Long view of Cayuga Lake with sailboats in the distance
Cayuga Lake

Visit the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway and make it your next best destination. Cayuga Lake, a glacially formed lake is one of the Finger Lakes and is 40 miles long. The Scenic Byway, an 87-mile loop, surrounds Cayuga Lake and follows spectacular lake views, rolling hills, picturesque vineyards and waterfalls along the way.  Come and visit for a day, three days or five to explore the beauty and the ambience we have to offer. The following are a few itinerary ideas to choose from, so mix and match to create your perfect stay along the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway.


3-Day Getaway— Experience the Trails–Hike and Sip Fine Wines.

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Ithaca Marriott on the Downtown Commons

Explore Ithaca along the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway by hiking one of the many trails or visiting one of the many wineries along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail.

As you arrive in Ithaca on Friday stay at the Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons, this hotel offers all the comforts of home, a fitness center and is pet-friendly.

Friday evening dine at your choice of over 50 fine restaurants along the Ithaca Commons and the Downtown area, an easy walk from the hotel or dine at the Ithaca Marriott’s restaurant and bar, Monks on the Commons.

Taughannock Falls photo taken from Gorge Trail
Taughannock Falls

Saturday take a short drive exploring the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway by hiking Taughannock Falls State Park. There are a few trails to choose from but one of the favorites is the Gorge Trail that leads you to the famous Taughannock Falls, the tallest falls east of the Mississippi.  As your day progresses order a lunch at one of our local winery eateries, Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery at Mary’s Place, Thirsty Owl’s Bistro or Knapp’s Winery and Vineyard Restaurant. Wine tasting is a must here along Cayuga Lake as we have 28 wineries to choose from. The two wineries near Taughannock State Park are Lucas Vineyards, the oldest winery offering their Nautie wines and Americana Vineyards, known for their homemade fudge and wine pairings. In the evening sail on the Discover Cayuga Lake Boat Tour for a Sunset Cruise.

Sunday finish up your weekend with a Bagel or Croissant from Ithaca Bakery and a visit to the Ithaca Farmer’s Market with over 160 vendors of fresh produce.

This itinerary is a suggestion, for further options check out these other sites, our Byway Destinations, Visit Ithaca or Cayuga Lake Wine Trail for a complete list of accommodations, restaurants, wineries and other hiking trails to choose from.


History Buffs and Wine Lovers

Barrister’s Bed and Breakfast, located in Seneca Falls at the northern part of Cayuga Lake offers you warm friendly service and the most tastiest breakfasts you will ever have. Barrister’s Bed and Breakfast was built in 1860 and is full of the finest architectural details, carved oak mantels, stained glass windows and spacious porches. The house speaks of history as well as the many places you can visit only a short walk from the B&B.

Barrister's Breakfast
Breakfast at Barrister’s B&B

Visit the Women’s Rights National Historic Park devoted to people, places and events that played a role in fighting for women’s suffrage including Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Additionally plan to visit the new location of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. The quaint village of Seneca Falls has shops, restaurants and museums to see including the It’s A Wonderful Life Museum full of memorabilia from the iconic movie.

Hidden Marsh Distillery
Hidden Marsh Distillery at Montezuma Winery

Visiting wineries is a must, especially Buttonwood Grove Winery where you can enjoy spectacular lake views and beautifully landscaped grounds. Musical performances take place every Friday evening and Saturday afternoons during the summer.  A perfect place for a fine glass of wine. Another must winery stop is Montezuma Winery and Hidden March Distillery.  At Montezuma Winery you’ll have a chance to try wines, wine slushies, homemade fudge, and browse around in their gift shop with a full abundance of gifts. At Hidden Marsh Distillery experience tasting handcrafted spirits and liqueurs.  They are pioneers in developing the first of its kind artisan distilling in New York State. Try tastes of Bourbon Whiskey, Bee Vodka, Cherry Pie Liqueur and Cinnamon Apple Liqueur, just to mention a few.

This itinerary is a suggestion, for further options check out these other sites, our Byway Destinations, Cayuga Lake Wine Trail or Discover Seneca for a complete list of accommodations, restaurants, wineries and other attractions to choose from.

Shop and Relax in the Village of Aurora

Aurora Inn Lakeview Room2
The Aurora Inn

Stay in your choice at any of the luxurious Inns of Aurora, at one of their five establishments. The Aurora Inn located on Cayuga Lake was built in 1833 by Colonel E.B. Morgan and was a long-favored resting-place, back in the day as it is today. The Aurora Inn offers a perfect balance of historic charm and modern luxury. Dine at their restaurant  at the 1833 Kitchen & Bar for a dinner offering the best of the season’s bounty. For a lighter fare choose the Fargo Bar & Grill just across the street.

Shop till you drop at MacKenzie Childs for hand painted ceramics, dinnerware and furniture, for that whimsical appeal. Ladies, need a special outfit for any occasion, choose trendy, unique pieces that liven up your wardrobe at Jane Morgan’s Little House, the perfect boutique.  If a taste of wine is your pleasure visit Hearts and Hand Winery for an award-winning Pinot Noir, Riesling or Chardonnay. To feel pampered and totally relaxed book a Spa Treatment at The Spa at the Inns of Aurora for a holistic approach to wellness.

This itinerary is a suggestion, for further options check out these other sites, our Byway Destinations, or Tour Cayuga for a complete list of accommodations, restaurants, wineries and other attractions to choose from.


Fun-Filled Family Vacation

The Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway has countlessly served as an unforgettable family vacation destination. There is so muchto see and do for children of all ages. For accommodations there are family friendly hotels or if you would like a more natural experience, we have numerous campgrounds in the area to choose from including 3 State Parks, Cayuga, Long Point and Taughannock State Park.

Kids Cayuga Lake Workbook Cover
Kids Cayuga Lake Guidebook .

Our Byway has three programs to keep your family occupied. First start out with our Kids Cayuga Lake Guidebook, a scavenger hunt activity program that takes you completely around Cayuga Lake as you drive along the Byway. Figure out each riddle and puzzle, there are12 sites in all to visit. Click on the Guidebook above to find out more details and numerous places to pick-up the book. A great learning experience for everyone in the family.

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Blueway Trail

New to our Byway is our newly launched Blueway Trail. If canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding are a must for your fun-filled trip, you are going to want to paddle along the Blueway Trail. The Blueway Trail offers 24 paddling trips at 12 different sites on Cayuga Lake. These trips are suitable for novices and experts alike. If paddle-craft rentals are your need Paddle-N-More is the place for you. They have 3 different locations located around the Lake and specialize in kayak, canoe and paddleboard adventures as well as lessons.

Another fun activity is our Geo-caching Trail. This is a hands-on hunt using GPS coordinates to find each cache.  The cache is a small box with notes inside and a numbered hole-punch to punch your logbook. We have 20 caches strategically placed on both sides, east and west of Cayuga Lake to discover. Find 15 caches and you’ll receive a Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway commemorative coin.  Make sure to check out the cache at the Rural Life Museum on the east side of Cayuga Lake in King Ferry. Details about Geo-caching and how-to pick-up the Logbook are given on our site.

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Discover Cayuga Lake Boat Tours

You won’t want to miss out on a trip on Discover Cayuga Lake. Check out their educational programs that take place right on the MV Teal, the Floating Classroom. Other fun places to visit are the Cayuga Nature Center and the Museum of the Earth.

This itinerary is a suggestion, for further options check out our Byway Destinations for a complete list of accommodations, restaurants, and other attractions to choose from.