advertisement

Arriving

By Plane -- Most visitors traveling by air will fly into either the Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), 1200 Brooks Ave., Rochester (tel. 716/464-6000; www.rocairport.com), or Syracuse's Hancock International Airport (SYR), 1000 Colonel Eileen Collins Blvd., Syracuse (tel. 315/454-4330; www.syrairport.org); both are serviced by most major airlines. Smaller regional airports are Elmira/Corning Regional Airport (ELM), 276 Sing Sing Rd., Horseheads (tel. 607/795-0402; www.ecairport.com), and small Ithaca/Tompkins County Airport (ITH), 72 Brown Rd., Ithaca (tel. 607/257-0456; www.ithaca-airport.com).

By Car -- The Finger Lakes region is within a day's drive of most major metropolitan areas in the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada; Seneca Lake is about 300 miles from New York City, 400 miles from Boston, 230 miles from Toronto, and 275 miles from Philadelphia. The New York State Thruway (I-90) travels across the top of the region, from Albany all the way to Rochester and beyond. From Binghamton and Pennsylvania, I-81 travels north to Syracuse, and Route 17 west to Corning.

The major car-rental agencies have outlets at the two largest airports.

By Train -- Amtrak (tel. 800/USA-RAIL; www.amtrak.com) has service to the Finger Lakes region and heads to Syracuse and Rochester from New York City, Buffalo, Boston, and other cities.

By Bus -- Bus service to the Finger Lakes is available on Greyhound Bus Lines (tel. 800/231-2222; www.greyhound.com), with stations in Ithaca, Syracuse, Geneva, and Rochester, and Trailways (tel. 800/343-9999; www.trailways.com), which travels to Elmira, Geneva, Rochester, and Syracuse.

Visitor Information

For general tourist information before your trip, contact the Finger Lakes Association, 309 Lake St., Penn Yan, NY 14527 (tel. 800/548-4386; www.fingerlakes.org). Its Web page has contact information and links to each of the region's individual county Web sites. Another very helpful tourism organization is Finger Lakes Wine Country (tel. 800/813-2958; www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com), which focuses on the southwestern quadrant of the region, where most of the best wineries are located.

Many good free publications are widely available across the region, at hotels, restaurants, and other sites, with tons of information on wine routes, outdoor activities, accommodations, festivals, and more.

Area Layout

Stretching from Lake Ontario in the north and almost to the Pennsylvania border in the south, about midway between New York City and Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes region covers some 9,000 square miles and touches upon 14 counties, occupying a huge chunk of central-western New York. The region is roughly equidistant between Albany and Buffalo.

Many of the major towns and attractions in the area tend to be clustered at the top or bottom ends of lakes. When you're traveling by car, it's probably easiest to move in one direction from east to west or west to east, rather than circling entire lakes that, though not wide, are certainly long.

Getting Around

By Car -- A car is virtually indispensable for any kind of traveling in the Finger Lakes region. There is very little public transportation in the area, except between major cities. The major car-rental companies have outlets at both Rochester International Airport and Syracuse's Hancock International Airport.

By Organized Tour -- Finger Lakes Tours, Ltd., Drawer 9, Jasper, NY 14855 (tel. 607/792-3663; www.finger-lakes-tours.com), offers all-inclusive family, hunting, fishing, biking and hiking, wine festival, and even "women only" organized tours of the region, in a variety of price ranges. Grapevine Country Tours (tel. 877/536-8123; www.grapevinecountrytours.com) organizes Finger Lakes Wine Trail tours.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.