Canandaigua, NY: Easy to find, hard to leave



category: Travel
region: Finger Lakes
tag: -

When you stroll down Canandaigua’s Main Street, it’s easy to see why this small Finger Lakes town has such big appeal. Its attractions, activities, and of course, the lake, offer visitors plenty of potential for a weekend getaway or just a quick, close-to-home day trip.

Getting there

Located in Ontario County on the northern end of Canandaigua Lake, Canandaigua is easy to find. From the Thruway, take Exit 44 to Route 332 towards – you guessed it – Canandaigua. You can create and print your own TripTik here.

What to do

The New York Wine & Culinary Center is a personal favorite, and a must-see. Opened in 2006, the Center is dedicated to celebrating New York wine and food through education and partnership. Take a cooking class in the professional-grade gourmet kitchen, Sample New York wines and spirits in the recently remodeled tasting room. Enjoy a meal made from fresh local ingredients. Whatever you do here, you won’t be disappointed. You can read more about the Center in this story, which we published in Member Connection last year.

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The Center's new tasting room

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We’ve written about the Sonnenberg Gardens before, too, and for good reason: The gardens are stunning, of course, as is the property’s historic mansion. And it doesn’t hurt that AAA members save on admission. But words can’t do this place justice, so here are a few pictures that say it better than I can.

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Another place to visit during summer in Canandaigua is the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum. It’s a restored 1816 Federal-style homestead built by U.S. Postmaster General Gideon Granger, who served under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. This is another place you can show your AAA card and save on admission.

And, last but not least, if you’re bringing the kids with you, you might want to check out Canandaigua’s Roseland Waterpark, which we recently highlighted as one of New York’s top 10 theme parks.

Where to stay

With a population of just over 10,000, Canadaigua is the unlikely home to two – TWO! – AAA Four Diamond hotels: The 1795 Acorn Inn and the Morgan Samuels Inn. The Four Diamond award is a prestigious recognition given to properties with extensive amenities and a high degree of hospitality. (It’s a big deal!)

A lake lifestyle

As in so many Finger Lakes towns, the lake itself becomes a way of life here in Canandaigua. Take a sailing lesson in the summer, or BYOB. (No, that’s not what you think. It’s Bring Your Own Boat, thank you very much). A colleague recently returned to the office after a day on Canandaigua Lake on her friends’ boat. Her stories and pictures of the day, and her “just-enough” suntan make me wish I had a friend with a boat. Interested parties may apply in the comments below.

Check out some of the pictures from their day on the lake, taken by AAA member Bill Judkins.

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Sure, it’s easy to get to Canandaigua, but with so much to do here, it’s not so easy to leave.

Have you been to Canandaigua recently? What’s your favorite thing to do there? Tell us about it in the comments below.


This is nice but I was expecting you would mention the lovely and informative cruises on the Canandaigua Lady. What a wonderfully relaxing excursion this is and there is good food available for some sailings! Please be sure to check it out!! Thanks.

Sounds like a great way to spend a day. Thanks for sharing!

What a very informative site, I have found alot of very useful information here and still have a lot more to read. Thank you very much for the time and effort you have put in....

Hi Shane, thanks for the feedback. Glad you like it! We've got a lot more to share, so I hope you'll keep coming back for more.

The Naples Open Studio Trail is a group of dynamic, innovative artists located in the Canandaigua area. During the first weekend of every October, these artists invite the public to their homes and studios to share their craft, demonstrate how they work, and create a better understanding of the arts.

During the Open Studio Trail Weekend, visitors can stop by all the studios or only those that strike a particular art interest, and many of our artists conduct captivating demonstrations. They work in oils, glass, ceramics, metal, wood, textiles, and leather, and create paintings, sculpture, wearables, furniture, jewelry, housewares, etc. These artists typically sell their wares in galleries and craft fairs; during NOST, purchases and commissions can be made directly with the artist.

The Open Studio Trail is a free, two-day event with studios open from 10:00-5:00 both days.

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