Top 10 Places to Read a Book in the Finger Lakes

There's no better feeling than getting lost in a good book in a beautiful location. You pick the title, but let us help you select a memorable place to read it.

#1. A well placed Adirondack chair or bench

Benches sit overlooking Seneca Lake at Belhurst
It’s a getaway within a getaway when you take your book and read at one of the benches on the waterfront at Belhurst. A chilly day or night? Read by firelight in one of their Adirondack chairs around the firepit.

#2. Downtown Clifton Springs

Exterior of Warfield in downtown genevaMaybe you forgot to bring a book, or you finished the book you were reading sooner than you thought. Explore! The Bookstore in downtown Clifton Springs carries both new and used titles, as well as books by local authors or about local subjects. Once you find your must-read book, take it across the street to the Village Park, where you will find park benches in various spots along a lovely village garden. When you need to stretch your legs, take a stroll around the labyrinth.

Kershaw park packed with people on a sunny dayYou can choose so many spots to read your book at Kershaw Park and still enjoy an unobstructed view of pristine Canandaigua Lake. You can sit on a swing under a wispy willow tree, on a bench in the gazebo, or stretch out on the grass for a relaxing afternoon of reading.  You can also bring your swimsuit and beach towel and read in the sun then go for a swim. If you'd like, bring your own comfortable lawn chair and move to a different area for each chapter.

#4. By (or should we say “in”) the waterfalls 

A bridge connects the trail at Grimes Glen

On a hot summer day, nothing beats the shade and cool creek water at Grimes Glen Park in Naples. As you walk the creek bed and pass a couple of waterfalls, you are bound to find a large rock with your name on it. Be careful that you don't drop your book in the water!

#5. By the creek

manchester-gateway-trail-fallIf flowing water sounds relaxing, the 1.5-mile Manchester Gateway Trail offers a great way to get away from it all with a handful of places conducive to sitting and reading. The trail runs along the Canandaigua Outlet.

#6. Downtown Geneva

1-seneca-lake-state-parkFor those who love to be surrounded by hustle and bustle, Downtown Geneva is a treasure trove of places to settle down and enjoy your book. If you crave the energy and artsy vibe of a café or bookshop visit a location like Monaco's Coffee or the second floor of Stomping Grounds. If you want to be outside, Seneca Lake State Park is only a short walk away and has great benches along the waterfront. Or bring a blanket and spread out under a tree.

#7. At a local brewpub

Interior of Lake Drum Brewing in Geneva.

When the weather outside is frightful, a brewpub is so delightful. Order a pint of Finger Lakes beer or hard cider and pull up a chair at the community table at Lake Drum Brewing in Geneva, and take in a chapter or two. Forgot a book? No problem. As you can see, Lake Drum has its own in-house "library."

Canadice Lake as seen from the Hemlock-Canadice State ForestNature-lovers will want to take their books and hike into the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest. There are 14 miles of marked hiking trails, where you're bound to find a sweet spot to spread out a blanket and enjoy a book on the soft forest floor. The quiet is only broken by singing birds, scurrying animals and breezes that dance through the tree leaves.

#9. Village Square, Bloomfield

Enjoy reading your book in a park-like setting that resembles a New England-style village green. You can take your lawn chair and relax under a tree or sit in the gazebo. Surrounded by the Historical Society and historic churches, you might as well bring along a historical novel to this quiet place to complement the setting.

#10. At one of Ontario County's wonderful public libraries

From Gorham and Geneva to Canandaigua, and Naples, Ontario County has 12 public libraries that welcome visitors to roam their shelves or find a chair and bring their own book. Be sure to check out the local history section to read about the region.