Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion, Canandaigua


Located only 25 miles southeast of Rochester, the scenic community of Canandaigua is known as “The Chosen Spot,” a Native American translation that holds true today. Nestled on the north end of Canandaigua Lake, the town is historic and scenic with a variety of locally-owned shops, galleries, restaurants, and places to stay. There are plenty of outdoor spaces to rest and relax, with beautiful Canandaigua Lake providing a stunning place to enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing.

Jump to:

The city of Canandaigua was at one time a Seneca village populated by inhabitants who fled the nearby Seneca village of Ganondagan, which was destroyed by the French in 1687. Settlers of European background started moving into the region in the late 1780s following the Phelps & Gorham Purchase. The Treaty of Canandaigua was signed here in 1794, establishing clearer land boundaries and more peaceful relations between citizens of the new country and the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.

Today, the city of Canandaigua is best known for its tourism assets, thriving downtown business section, beautiful residential neighborhoods, agricultural assets, and handsome summer cottages and lakeside cottages and summer homes.

Fun Fact
The late Humphrey Bogart spent childhood summers on Canandaigua Lake, in a cottage near Seneca Point. 

Canandaigua Fast Facts 

Canandaigua was settled in 1789 by settlers from eastern New York and New England, and officially became a town in 1791. In 1815 the village of Canandaigua separated from the town and became its own entity, incorporating as a city in 1913. 

City of Canandaigua: 10,545 (2010 Census)
Town of Canandaigua: 10,020 (2010 Census) 

City of Canandaigua: 4.8 square miles (including .2 square miles of water)
Town of Canandaigua: 62.5 square miles (including 5.7 square miles of water)  

Located at the northwest end of Canandaigua Lake in the central part of Ontario County, the city and town of Canandaigua have several main arterials. State Routes 5 and 20 runs east-west, while State Routes 21 and 332 runs north-south. 

The city of Canandaigua slopes downhill towards Canandaigua Lake. The surrounding town is largely made up of gently rolling hills that become more rugged and steep as they approach the lake. 

Key Industries  

Government: Canandaigua is the seat of the Ontario County government.

Healthcare: Canandaigua is home to two major healthcare facilities. The Canandaigua VA Medical Center provides inpatient and outpatient medical services to veterans on its historic city campus. F.F. Thompson Hospital is a community hospital that is in the University of Rochester Medicine Network.  

Agriculture: Dairy farms, field crops, and specialty crops abound in the town of Canandaigua. Wegmans Food Markets runs the Wegmans Organic Farm in Canandaigua.  

Banking: Canandaigua is the home of Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, a local, community-owned, full-service financial institution. 

Light manufacturing: PACTIV Corp. manufactures foodservice packaging and products. Ajay Glass is a glass subcontractor. 

Food processing: Artisan Meats makes hand-crafted sausages and charcuterie which are sold in area supermarkets and served at local restaurants. 

Wine: Canandaigua Wine Company, founded in 1945, has a production facility in the city. In later years it joined with other companies to form Constellation Brands, the world's largest wine producer and distributor. Constellation Brands headquarters are based in nearby Victor, with a warehouse and distribution facility in Canandaigua. 

Retail: There are many small, independently owned stores in Canandaigua, from art galleries to fashions to toys, most located along Main Street. The Route 331 commercial corridor is home to many large car dealerships and service businesses. 

Tourism: Canandaigua is home to full-service hotels, as well as many smaller hotels, motels, inns, and bed and breakfasts. There are also many tourist attractions in the city and town, including Roseland Waterpark, Roseland Wake Park, Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, and the New York Wine Kitchen. Canandaigua Sailboarding on Lakeshore Drive offers kayak and watercraft rentals and lessons. 


The Canandaigua City School District has twice received the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award. 

Key Landmarks & Attractions 

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park: One of the country's most extensively preserved estates from the Victorian era. 

Granger Homestead & Carriage House Museum: 1816 Federal-style mansion was the home for Gideon Granger, the country's first and longest-serving Postmaster General. 

Ontario County Courthouse: Susan B. Anthony was tried here in 1873 for voting in the 1872 presidential elections in Rochester. 

Ontario County Historical Society: Permanent and rotating exhibits are on display here. There is also an extensive research library. 

New York Kitchen: The center showcases foods, wines, and other agricultural products from the entire state. It offers hands-on cooking classes and meeting space and has a full-service restaurant.  

Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail: The 41-mile trail includes award-winning wineries, great restaurants, gourmet food shops, and picnic venues. 

Skenoh Island: Small island in Canandaigua Lake that is one of only two islands in the Finger Lakes. 

City Pier: Historic boathouses, built in the mid-1900s to store boats and farm products in transit from Canandaigua Lake steamboats, line the pier, and draw artists and photographers. 

Kershaw Park: Lakefront park features a picnic area, beach area with a bathhouse, walkways, public dock, and small craft launch area.  

Roseland Waterpark: Aqua-themed park with slides, wave pools, and more. 

Roseland Wake Park: The only wakeboard park of its kind in the Northeast.  

Onanda Park: Located on the western shores of Canandaigua Lake, this town park offers swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, cabins outdoor, and a host of other recreational activities. 

West Lake School House Park: Small public swimming beach on West Lake Road.   

McJannett Park: This small roadside picnic rest stop features several picnic tables and a wonderful view of Canandaigua Lake. 

Richard P. Outhouse Memorial Park: This park has a walking trail, fitness centers for individuals with disabilities, a playground, and a field for soccer, lacrosse, and other activities.  

Leonard R. Pierce Memorial Park: Located in the hamlet of Cheshire, this park features a ball diamond, soccer field, sand volleyball court, swings, basketball backboard, and other playground equipment.

Canandaigua Airport (KIUA): This publicly owned airport is a great stop for private pilots. 

Key Events 

Canandaigua Treaty Day: Every November 11, Canandaigua hosts a walk and commemoration ceremony to celebrate the Treaty of Canandaigua, the federal treaty of 1794 that established "peace and friendship" between the Six Nations Confederacy and the U.S. government. 

Canandaigua Art & Music Festival: Canandaigua's Main Street turns into a festival of live music, art, food, and other activities in mid-July. 

Canandaigua Lake Music Festival: Canandaigua's largest celebration of music performed by both local and nationally recognized musicians takes place for several days in mid-July. 

Festival of Trees at the Granger Homestead: Community groups decorate trees before the holidays inside the historic Granger residence. 

Christkindl Market: The grounds of the Granger Homestead turn into a holiday marketplace for crafts, arts, and unique gifts every November.

Community resources

City of Canandaigua: 
Town of Canandaigua: 
Ontario County Chamber of Commerce:
Ontario County Historical Society: 
Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail: 
Daily Messenger (newspaper):