There’s something to be said about observing traditions, and celebrating the birth of our nation is, if anything, paramount to that rule. But whether you’re looking for a change of pace or want to create new traditions entirely, the Finger Lakes has some truly spectacular ways to celebrate all things U.S.A.

Fireworks: If there’s anything critically essential to celebrating the Fourth of July it has to be a good firework show and if there’s one thing we in the Finger Lakes know, it’s how to put on a good show! In fact, three of our communities celebrate with fireworks a day in advanced, so they can get in on the fun as well. In almost all cases the fireworks are set off near the lakes, creating dazzling displays as shimmering lights reflect off the water and thunderous booms roll through the nearby hills. Communities with displays on Sunday, July 3 include Farmington, Geneva, and Honeoye, while Canandaigua will have a fireworks show on Monday, July 4. There are many great locations for viewing the fireworks including parks, like Kershaw Park, pictured below, and lake houses. While not everyone may have a house on the lake there are a variety lodging options with lake views, including B&Bs and Hotels.


Grilled Eats: One of the other most important things to an American holiday is the food. The smell of a cookout on a warm summer evening is something that never fails to bring back good memories of past celebrations. Our parks and lakefronts, like Deep Run Beach, Seneca Lake State Park, Onanda Beach & Park, and Ontario County Park, (pictured below) have grills available for your Fourth of July cookout needs (Pro tip: They’re also great for making s’mores!). Deep Run Beach, Onanda Beach & Park, and Kershaw Park make great locations for viewing the Canandaigua fireworks, while Seneca Lake State Park offers a good view of the Geneva fireworks. 

These locations also make for great picnic spots after enjoying a swim in the beautiful lakes. Alternatively, if you just want to take a “holiday” from cooking there are a number of restaurants that will fix up something grilled to perfection.


On the Water Fun: While we love having our lakes to enjoy, we’re also great at sharing them, and enjoying the water on a warm Fourth of July weekend is one of the most thrilling ways to cool off and spend quality family time together as well. If you have a boat, bring it with you! There are plenty of locations to launch on each of the lakes. If you’re not a boat owner there’s no need to fret, as there are plenty of ways to enjoy the water. Kayak and paddleboard rentals as well as boat rentals are all available and in some cases you can even rent equipment to go water skiing!