When winter weather comes to the northeast, a few misguided folks flock to the south, but they don't know what they're missing! While the south may be warmer during the winter, there are plenty of ways to escape, relax and rejuvenate right here in the Finger Lakes that you would miss out on.


1. Relax at a salon spa

Winter is a time to recoup and revitalize. What’s a better way to relax than to visit a space like the Isabella Spa Salon at Belhurst? Go on, we’ll wait. Once you lie down and experience the Isabella signature massage, everything else will melt away. They offer an array of services in addition to massages such as manicures, pedicures, and facials. After a relaxing treatment, the professionals at Isabella Spa Salon will have you looking and feeling fantastic. Be sure to make your reservation in advance!Travelers enjoying a relaxing massage

2. Romantic weekend getaways

Don’t let a snowy forecast stop you from indulging in a weekend getaway! Make the most of the cold weather with your significant other at one of our premier locations like the beautiful 1795 Acorn Inn, where you will wake up to a gourmet breakfast, or Geneva on the Lake, where you can dine at the exquisite Lancelloti Dining Room; both are renowned AAA Four Diamond properties.night time, trees and against a snowy backdrop, Geneva on the Lake in the background with holiday lights.

3. Wineries & wine tours

There may be no greater sight than a snow-covered vineyard – a winter vineyard visit in the Finger Lakes is breathtaking. Great wines and views await you at wineries like Ravines Wine Cellars and Inspire Moore Winery. Check out the Canandaigua Wine Trail or Seneca Lake Wine Trail for more great ideas. Every wine trail and winery is different and while wines of all kind are being produced in the Finger Lakes, perhaps the most well know are our Rieslings.

Rows of grape vines line a snowy landscape in the Finger Lakes

4. Local breweries

The Finger Lakes is famous for its wines, but be sure to take advantage of “hoppy” hour at a local brewery! We’ve seen a boom in breweries, cideries, and distilleries in recent years. Find greatness at places like Naked Dove Brewing Co., and Nedloh Brewing Co. An apple a day is said to keep the doctor away, so cider should do the same, right? If you subscribe to this philosophy, then try something new at Blue Toad Cider.

Patrons sample beer at Naked Dove Brewing Company in Canandaigua, NY

5. Cafés & delicious drinks

What about drinks of the non-alcoholic variety? We have those, too! For some, a hot cup of cocoa during the winter is a throwback to childhood and to others, it’s a great way to indulge a little – a treat for the soul. You can find tasty hot chocolates and great food at Simply Crepes Cafe in Canandaigua; fresh, aromatic coffees at Finger Lakes Gift and Lounge in Geneva; or fresh-pressed juices at Red Jacket Orchards also in Geneva.

Apples on display at Red Jacket Orchards Farm Store in Geneva, NY

6. Restaurants & cooking classes

Food and wellness go hand in hand. When we eat well, we feel well! Take a culinary class at the New York Wine & Culinary Center and pick up new cooking skills that will have you making healthy, delicious foods and impressing your friends and family! You can also sample New York State wine, beer, cider, and spirits. If cooking isn’t your thing but eating is, treat yourself to a meal at the Upstairs Bistro on the second floor.

Guest take a cooking class at New York Kitchen in Canandaigua, NY

7. Shopping

Now’s the time to treat yourself to something special! That pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, perhaps? At Eastview Mall you’ll find five major department stores (including the first Von Maur in the northeast) as well as a wide variety of smaller stores and restaurants.

If small-scale, local businesses are more your style, visit Artizann’s in Naples where you’ll find artwork, crafts, and jewelry made by local artists. Visit Main Street in Canandaigua for stores like F. Oliver’s, for the freshest oils and flavor-infused balsamic vinegars, or Good Life Tea for loose-leaf teas like chocolate mint black tea and hot cinnamon spice tea.The front entrance of Eastview mall in Victor, NY lit up at night

8. Outdoor activities

Another great way to relax and focus in nature is to visit the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Cumming Nature Center. This 900-acre environmental education facility near Naples, NY offers 15 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails and a 3-mile loop for snowshoeing. You can rent cross-country skis and snowshoes at the visitor center to enjoy this rejuvenating foray into winter wilderness.Snow gently blankets tree branches.

9. Ski Bristol Mountain

What better way to enjoy winter than to break out your skis or snowboard and head to Bristol Mountain Winter Resort? Downhill skiers will enjoy Bristol Mountain’s 1,200 feet of vertical, two high speed quads, and state-of-the-art snowmaking. If larger slopes aren’t quite your thing, Bristol Mountain’s Nordic Center provides 3 km of well-groomed, gently rolling trails. In addition to being able to rent equipment for downhill and Nordic activities, you can also rent snowshoes. So, if you prefer walking to gliding, you can still enjoy fresh air and crisp snow.Downhill skiers on their way down Bristol Mountain in the Finger Lakes

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