Summer is almost here, and that means taking advantage of the Finger Lakes’ great outdoors. Even if you don’t consider yourself the camping type, you may reconsider when you realize camping today can fit almost any type of personality.

If you want to bring your tent, hike in the woods, and set up au naturel, you can do that in Ontario County. But if you’re more like me and my “city-boy husband converted to the great life in Upstate NY,” you might prefer all the new choices available where camping has turned to glamping (glamorous camping).

So traditionalist, adventurist or pamper-yourself-ist, here are four opportunities for you to join the summer fun in the Finger Lakes.


Promise #1. S’mores, a campfire, and a choice of cabins, tents or trailers. S’mores are the melted, gooey epitome of family and friend time at a campground. And while Cheerful Valley Campground in Phelps is the site where I’ve toasted the most s’mores, there are many more justifications for its moniker—cheerful. Be cheerful here because you can tuck away in the cabins just a few steps from the Canandaigua Outlet River, where you can float or fish or sit and reflect. 


Promise #2. Night skies and morning sunrises. Bristol Woodlands is high atop the Bristol hills. You can be headed to the backside of Bristol Mountain for a turn at the aerial adventure park during the day, but at those cusp hours, this is a great locale for absorbing the constellations and the break of day.


Promise #3. Water when you want it—after all, the Finger Lakes is about water, right? Onanda Park in the town of Canandaigua has a whole lake as your front or back yard. This former kids’ camp echoes with lakeside fun—or hillside walks on the uplands. You choose cabin, cottage or retreat house.


Promise #4. Location, location and on-location. Has this blog been a little too serene to you so far? Well, turn up the pace at the Canandaigua KOA Kampground. Pillow talk takes on a new meaning here. You’re encouraged to run, jump, splash, bike, wine tour, gamble, fish, slide, mingle, hike, mini-golf, paddle. That traditional pillow is meant for intense resting after a day of doing everything from pillow jumping—a favorite feature for the kids—to biking Ontario Pathways.

Camping has come a long way from tents and backpacks tossed in the family station wagon. Campgrounds have upped their game so that even we luxury-seeking vacationers can add this to our repertoire of great vacations—all-inclusive of lifetime memories.

Grab the keys and get a new style of vacation on! Get into your comfort zone and tell me how our campgrounds met my promise to you. The best camping story will win an ultimate camping getaway and will be featured on our social channels.