Skaneateles Lake Clift Park

Skaneateles Lake: One of New York’s 11 Finger Lakes

Skaneateles Lake is the only Finger Lake not connected to the Erie Canal System, and serves as the drinking water source for Syracuse and other municipalities.

You can drive around the entire lake—from the Village of Skaneateles to the Town of Scott and back—in 60 minutes.

Skaneateles Lake shopping
Skaneateles Nest
Skaneateles Cate and Sally
Skaneatles Getaway Imagine cover

Village of Skaneateles

The Village is located on the northern tip of the lake. You’ll find dozens of boutiques along Genesee St (US-20) and Jordan St specializing in art, home decor, toys, clothing, and food.

It is the best village in the Finger Lake Region for boutique shopping and finding unique lake-themed souvenirs. Head over to Hammondsport on the southern end of Keuka for another shopping destination.

The traffic through Skaneateles seems pretty used to having pedestrians crisscrossing US-20 at regular intervals, so take advantage of the many cross-walks.

Mirbeau Bistro
Mirbeau Bistro
Skaneateles Lake Doug's Fish Fry
Doug’s Fish Fry
Skaneateles Lake bakery
Skaneateles Bakery
Skaneateles Lake House Pub
Lake House Pub
Skaneateles Moros Kitchen
Moro’s Kitchen
Skaneateles Patisserie
Rosalies Cucina garden
Rosalie’s Cucina
Skaneateles Blue Water Grill lakeview
Sherwood Inn

Exceptional dining options

Eat at Doug’s Fish Fry, Skaneateles Bakery, the historic Sherwood Inn, Blue Water Grill or Rosalie’s Cucina. Really, Skaneateles seems to specialize in great food—you can’t go wrong!

Skaneateles Lake Mid-Lakes Navigation
Mid-Lakes Navigation
Skaneateles Clift Park gazebo
Skaneateles Thayer Park
Skaneateles Lake swimming

Lake Life

Every lake has boat cruises, but a 3-hour Mail Boat Cruise is a unique experience! Mail has been delivered by boat on Skaneateles Lake for 120 years, except during the two world wars. Many of the summer cottages are not accessible by road (sounds lovely!)

Take a swim, or just relax along the shore and watch the boats go by!

Skaneateles Lake Dickens Fest Sherwood Inn
Skaneateles Artisans
Skaneateles Artisans
Skaneateles Lake
Sidewalk along US-20

Visit Skaneateles Lake in December

Head over for Dickens Christmas and explore the town with jovial costumed “Christmas Carol” characters. The official kickoff to the festivities is the day after Thanksgiving with a tiny parade. You’ll even find chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

We’ve been a few times with weather ranging from heavy snow to mild 60’s, but my favorite was the year we had the lightest, fluffiest snowfall with a little lake breeze. It is the perfect event to start the holiday season!

Skaneateles cliffs
Staghorn Cliffs
Skaneateles Anyelas Vineyard scenic view
Anyela’s Vineyard
Andrew Fuller Recreation Park Scott
Andrew Fuller Park
Skaneateles Hinchcliff Family Preserve
Hinchcliff Family Preserve

Other points of interest

There are three boat launches; Skaneateles Marina and a DEC launch on the west-bank, Fuller Park (Town of Scott) on the south-end.

Stop by Anyela’s Vineyards (the only winery on Skaneateles Lake) and Lockwood Lavender Farm (pick your own in season).

Explore Bahar Preserve and Carpenter Falls, High Vista Nature Preserve, Ripley Hill Nature Preserve, High Hickory Wildlife Sanctuary, or Hinchcliff Family Preserve.

Dickinson Conservation Area is accessible by boat only. You can still appreciate it in this beautiful drone-captured video of Staghorn Cliffs.

Skaneatles Getaway gallery cover

More about Skaneateles Lake

75 minutes from Rochester – MAP

3-Day Skaneateles Getaway

The Village of Skaneateles is the perfect place to getaway and enjoy the pace of lake-life surrounded by unique boutiques and restaurants.

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Spend a Day in the Finger Lakes Region

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Where is your favorite spot on Skaneateles Lake?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


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COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.