Top 10 Places for a Picnic in the Finger Lakes

If you love a picnic, the Finger Lakes is the place to be.  Be sure to check out these beautiful places to enjoy a picnic you won't soon forget.

#1. Don't overlook this overlook

Carolabarb Park, Naples/South Bristol

A family smiles for the camera while picnicking at the Coutny Road 12 Scenic OverlookThis is a popular picnic spot for good reason. It offers a stunning view of the hills hugging pristine Canandaigua Lake, and what picnic isn’t more romantic or relaxing when you can see natural beauty for miles around you? Bring a bottle from a nearby winery and maybe a Naples grape pie to add a local flavor to your stop.

#2. A true day of play

Two lawn chairs overlook Seneca LakeCombine your picnic lunch with a leisurely stroll along the path next to Seneca Lake, the deepest of the 11 Finger Lakes. When you’re hungry, stop and spread out your feast and enjoy your packed treats. Afterwards, play disc golf. If the kids are along, let them play on the playground, then give them some cool-down time at the park's sprayground.

#3. Forgot the food? You're in luck!

Kershaw Park, Canandaigua

A pavilion is packed with people at Kershaw Park in Canandaigua Imagine, you're enjoying a lovely picnic next to the Canandaigua Lake waterfront, a gentle breeze rolling in off the water. It's a pretty amazing concept, right? But what if you forgot to pack the sandwiches? Not to worry. There are several restaurants within walking distance to get some takeout. Or go straight to dessert and get an ice cream cone at Scoops, located right across the street.

#4. Float your boat

Onanda Park, Canandaigua

A Cabin sits overlooking Canandaigua lake at Onanda ParkA picnic doesn’t have to be set up on a blanket on the ground. For a different picnic experience, take your kayak or canoe to Onanda Park on Canandaigua Lake and have your lunch on the water. What would be more leisurely than sitting back in your canoe and enjoying lunch while the water laps against the craft’s sides?  

#5. Where history is alive

The sunsets on a grass field found at Ganondagan's Native American Culture CenterThe meadows surrounding Ganondagan's Native American bark longhouse replica are alive with butterflies, flowers, and Mother Nature's other lovely picnic accessories. After eating, round out the experience by touring the longhouse and the Seneca Art & Culture Center to see the way the Seneca and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) lived hundreds of years ago and how their culture still thrives today.

#6. The lakes that were left alone

Hemlock-Canadice State Forest, Springwater/Canadice/Richmond

Canadice - Hemlock state forest overlooks Canadice LakeSee what the Finger Lakes looked like hundreds of years ago at the only two lakes that are still undeveloped. Enjoy a picnic in the pavilion as you gaze at the beautiful shoreline and rolling hills in this pristine and peaceful setting.

#7. On top of the world

A family enjoys the view at Gannett Hill Parks overlookGrab your picnic basket and head out to Gannett Hill in the beautiful Bristol Hills, known for being one of the highest points in Ontario County. Soak in the natural beauty of a landscape carved out by glaciers millions of years ago. Don’t forget to eat your lunch!

#8. It takes a village

Clifton Springs Village Park, Clifton Springs

Trees and flora found at the Clifton Springs Village ParkThere are several beautiful spots where you can spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic in Clifton Springs Village Park. The historic area has beautiful gardens to enjoy your picnic out in the sun or in a cool, shady spot under a tree. A nearby gazebo is also a great place to dive into that picnic basket. P.S. Don't forget to talk a walk around this historic village.

#9. So many ways to "earn your lunch"

the sign for sandy bottom park right on the water of Honeoye LakeThere’s hiking, fishing, swimming, shuffleboard, basketball, baseball, a playground, and a skateboard park at Sandy Bottom Beach on Honeoye Lake. And if that's not enough activity, there is also a beach and nearby streams to splash in. Make this more than just a picnic!

#10. Walk in water

A couple enjoys a glass of wine at a picnic in Grimes GlenA picnic by a beautiful waterfall can be just the thing to make time with your family, or someone special. There are two falls to choose from, but you'll have to take a hike up the stream bed to get to them wear the appropriate footwear.