Bring Your Date Lakeside to the Finger Lakes in Ontario County, New York

Women's Dating

Bring Your Date Lakeside to the Finger Lakes in Ontario County, New York

Jessica Lollino Jessica Lollino • 3/05/18

The Short Version: Every couple needs to recharge from time to time. One of the best ways to unplug from everyday stressors and reconnect with a loved one is to get away to a remote area. Couples can unwind in the Finger Lakes of New York state, where they can enjoy nature activities, cultural events, and scrumptious food. The Finger Lakes is comprised of 11 finger-shaped lakes, which are home to scenic beauty, a charming community, and culinary destinations. The farm-to-table fare beckons you to explore Linden Street and beyond. You can hit the slopes in winter or kayak in spring — whatever floats your boat. Whether your dream weekend is filled with outdoor activities or savoring a glass of wine by the lake, it’s all possible at the Finger Lakes.

Everyday life can be rough on relationships. Whether you lack free time to spend with your partner or work stresses have you both in a tizzy, it’s easy to procrastinate relationship maintenance. You promise yourself you’ll make time to talk this weekend, but then it gets postponed again and again. If that’s the case, it may be time to put in a PTO request and plan a romantic getaway with your special someone, so you can relax, reconnect, and give your relationship some TLC.

Not convinced a vacation could help? One study found the more satisfied a couple was with their trips, the more satisfied they were with their relationship. One of the researchers, James Petrick, said, “For some couples, their relationship is lost for a while. They go on vacation, and it gets back on track. Another couple, their relationship is off-center, and the vacation enhances that. A lot of couples avoid those problems, and they confront them during a vacation experience.”

Vacations have the power to improve your view on life and boost your relationship. Even short vacations can have tremendous benefits on your love life.

Couples looking to plan a stress-free vacation with cozy accommodations, daytime diversions, and delicious food need to look no further than the Finger Lakes in Ontario County, New York. Scenic views, a friendly community, and an abundance of activities can help you and your partner reconnect.

Ignite Your Passion With Outdoor Activities

The Finger Lakes boasts many outdoor areas where couples can get moving. Fresh air, crystalline lakes, farmscapes, hills, and forests beg to be explored in this pastoral wonderland. Visitors can hike, bike, and enjoy other outdoor activities in Ontario County — 4,413 square miles of countryside that also offers snowshoe, golf, and canoeing.

Photo of skiers at the Finger Lakes

The picturesque surroundings of the Finger Lakes make a lovely backdrop for an outdoor date.

Christen Smith, Director of Marketing and Communications for Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, has some great recommendations for couples looking for an outdoor adventure. “Going to Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures is a really fun thing to do if you’re dating,” she said. “They have three or four levels of different aerial park adventures. There’s ziplines, tightropes, rope ladders, and things like that. If you’re just dipping your toe into the adventure scene, you can start at a lower level. You could spend the whole day progressing through the levels.”

Of course, in the winter, the Finger Lakes welcomes skiers of all experience levels. Couples can book a ski-and-stay to ski and snowboard the day away for an affordable price at nearby Bristol Mountain.

The Finger Lakes also has an impressive fishing scene. The lakes offer both cold and warm water fishing, including lake trout, black bass, Atlantic salmon, and walleye. You can ice fish in the Finger Lakes as well.

Food, Wine, and Craft Beers, Oh My!

A vacation just isn’t a vacation without inspired eats and drinks to share while you plan your day. The Finger Lakes features an array of farm-to-table dining options as well as roadside diners and hipster gastropubs. Whether you want a greasy burger or an elevated multicourse meal, the Finger Lakes has the nosh for you.

Christen recommended a few date spots for hungry couples. “The New York Wine and Culinary Center would be one of my top choices for a date night,” she said. “They have lots of classes you can take. They do everything from wine pairings and wine tastings to making your own pizza dough. They have lots of fun events there you can take a date to.” The culinary center is a one-of-a-kind gateway to New York’s best foods, wines, beers, and other products.

Photo of a couple drinking wine a the NYCC

You and your date can take a wine class or tasting at the New York Wine and Culinary Center.

To experience the region’s nightlife, you can head to Linden Street in Geneva, where the local establishments serve up craft beverages, and the Smith Opera House down the street always has a show going on to entertain people.

Daters shouldn’t miss F.L.X. Table, which USA Today named the best new restaurant in its 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards of 2017. What makes this restaurant stand out is that each evening it serves a set five-course menu of seasonal products that will change regularly. Another of F.L.X. Table’s unique aspects is its single communal table that only seats 12 people.

“You come in, and you sit at this table with strangers,” Christen explained. “You’re connected with these other guests by your love of food and wine, and it’s an eclectic menu. You’re going to have something really special there. They take their time, and the chefs come out and explain the dishes.”

Meanwhile, the Rochester-Finger Lakes Craft Beverage Trail showcases the signature beverages of about 30 wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries. You could spend a few days exploring artisanal drinks on this trail.

Keep the “Do Not Disturb” Sign on the Door of Your Hotel Room

The Finger Lakes offers a range of accommodations to fit a guest’s every need and comfort. “We have amazing bed-and-breakfast establishments in our community. You get a different experience at each one you go to,” Christen said. “They are cozy, warm experiences. You could go to a different one every night and have different experiences.”

If you want to elevate your experience, Belhurst Castle would be the perfect fit. The castle’s old-fashioned look and high-quality restaurants make for a memorable stay. It even has a spa and winery where guests can unwind.

If you’re interested in glamorous camping, the Finger Lakes has a place for that. “We have a place in Naples called Mountain Horse Farm, and they are the place for glamping,” Christen said. “She just opened two brand new teepees there. You walk inside, and it’s like you walked into this gorgeous room — it’s amazing.”

The Finger Lakes has many traditional inns, hotels, and resorts as well as unique lodging accommodations. You can truly create your most comfortable experience with the options available.

Come for the Events, Stay for the Serenity at Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes has no shortage of events and festivals going on all year round. No matter when you visit, there’s sure to be plenty to do.

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion hosts several events for visitors and residents looking for a picturesque place to spend a day or evening. The annual Roses & Rosès and Midnight Stroll Music Series takes place here. It’s definitely worth a visit in the warmer months.

“You want to go there in the spring or summer and just see their beautiful grounds,” Christen said. “There are 50 acres of beautifully maintained gardens. You can also tour the mansion.”

In March, you can sample maple syrup with your date during Maple Weekend, a fun two-weekend event where local farmers showcase their maple syrups atop a stack of fresh-made pancakes. “People go crazy for it,” Christen said. “It’d be a great date event.”

The Naples Grape Festival is another must-attend event. Thousands of people flock to Naples to celebrate the area’s grape harvest and wine makers. “Naples has become the grape pie capital of, at least, New York state,” Christen told us. “They make pies, tarts, jellies, and jams; it’s wonderful. There are vendors and music and food.”

While the area hosts many activities and events, and is home to top-notch places to eat, what many couples most enjoy about the Finger Lakes is its peaceful setting. The majestic scenery is both inspiring and relaxing, giving couples a much-needed break from the hectic everyday. You can reconnect with your loved one and improve the quality of your life by visiting this romantic getaway.

As James Petrick said, “We do know that vacation satisfaction is a predictor of life satisfaction, so finding vacations that satisfy both partners [leaves you] feeling better about life as a whole.”