The landscape of New York’s Southern Finger Lakes region is anything but ordinary. The region’s gently rolling blue hills, shimmering lakes, wildlife-rich forests, and endearing towns offer a whole range of accommodation options, with something for every type of traveler—from off-the-grid adventurers to farm-to-table foodies to artistically inclined culture vultures. Break the mold and plan a getaway at one of these unique accommodation options in the Southern Finger Lakes region surrounding Corning, N.Y.
1. Black Sheep Inn & Spa
Located just outside Hammondsport and within walking distance of Keuka Lake, the Black Sheep Inn & Spa is a truly singular escape. The historic, octagonal-shaped structure is done in an Italian stucco style and offers five uniquely appointed guest rooms, along with plenty of cushy perks, including locally sourced farm-to-table breakfasts, special packages for beer and wine lovers, and an on-site spa offering Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages. For the artistically inclined, innkeepers Debbie Meritsky and Marc Rotman create art with creatively repurposed materials at the property’s F.L.A.V.O.R Studio & Gallery.
2. Taylor Farm B & B
Wildlife lovers will adore the bucolic Taylor Farm B & B, located just west of Keuka Lake. Book a room in the homey bed & breakfast or rent the Carriage House featuring two sleeping lofts and master bedroom spread over 1,200 feet (including a massive balcony). The 315-acre farm also features scenic walking trails, providing guests the opportunity to encounter area white-tailed deer, beavers, and pileated woodpeckers.
3. Pleasant Valley Inn
There is plenty to entice traveling foodies in the Finger Lakes, including the Victorian-inspired Pleasant Valley Inn. At the chef-owned inn located just outside Hammondsport in the aptly named Pleasant Valley, guests can take advantage of the daily continental breakfast served al fresco and indulge in gourmet meals at the inn’s in-house restaurant, which even offers homemade ice cream (it’s freshly churned every single day!). The elegantly yet cozy inn also has an on-site pub, the perfect place to linger for a nightcap after a scrumptious dinner.
4. The Gaffer Inn
Check out the cultural offerings of the Southern Finger Lakes at the Gaffer Inn, located on Market Street in the bustling center of Corning’s historic Gaffer District, a hub for arts and entertainment. The stylishly appointed inn offers four spacious guests rooms, convenient to iconic cultural attractions like the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell Museum, which highlights the work of American artists. The trendy inn sits directly above Burgers and Beer of Corning, a character-infused eatery serving classic comfort food and offering 30 different beers on tap.
5. Button’s Creekside Farm B&B
Bask in the charm of the Southern Finger Lakes at Button’s Creekside Farm and B&B, just outside the town of Cohocton. The historic farmhouse dates back to the middle of the 19th century and offers four homey guests rooms, each decorated with tasteful antiques. Relax on the front porch with a riveting book, tuck into heaping, homemade breakfasts (including juice made from local concord grapes), or help out with farm chores, which involves meeting resident lambs and kittens. The bed & breakfast also offers unique packages for guests, including pottery experiences with local artisans and culinary experiences that include a visit to Healing Spirits Herb Farm and Education Center located just down the road.
6. Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort
Located just south of Keuka Lake, the Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort has something for everyone. Outdoor lovers can pitch a tent at one of the resort’s campsites, while visitors craving a few more creature comforts can opt for a cabin, cottage, or loft-filled lodge. The resort also has a handful of options for larger groups, including the Bunk House, which sleeps 18 and offers summertime perks like a spacious firepit for s’mores and a sizeable gas grill. Large groups can rent the historic Lehman House, which dates back to the 1850s but now features modern conveniences like a spacious kitchen and family room. It can accommodate up to 12 guests.
7. Stony Brook State Park
The rustic cabins and family-friendly campsites at Stony Brook State Park provide the ideal base camp for waterfall hikes, sun-soaked picnics, and refreshing dips in the park’s stream-filled natural pool. Take advantage of the easy trail access offered by the park’s leafy campsites, or cozy-up in the one of the dog-friendly cabins (which sleep four), ideal for family getaways. In addition to the trio of waterfalls, natural pool, and woodland trails, Stony Brook State Park also features tennis courts, ball fields, and a playground for young campers.
8. Birdseye State Forest
For the ultimately camping experience, head to Birdseye Hollow State Forest, and spend a night beside the lily-pad covered waters of Sanford Lake. For campers already equipped with gear, the state forest offers shady campsites tucked among the towering pines bordering Sanford Lake, ideal for a weekend of bass fishing or kayaking. Besides Sanford Lake, the state forest has plenty of other outdoor offerings, including a portion of the Finger Lakes Trail, a 558-mile footpath meandering across west-central New York from Allegany State Park eastward to the Catskill Forest Preserve.
9. 18 Vine Inn & Carriage House
History buffs can plan the ultimate getaway at 18 Vine Inn & Carriage House in Hammondsport, part of a 19th-century property once belonging to the country’s first champagne producer, Jules Mason. The historic bed & breakfast offers six uniquely decorated rooms, each named for notable historical figures, tucked away on a property adorned with restful gardens and a pool. Guests can also rent quarters in the adjacent Carriage House, including the two bed Coachman’s Quarters or smaller Coach Suite. Large families can even rent the entire Carriage House, which comfortably fits seven.
10. McCarthy Hill State Forest
Craving a little trail time and a night in the backcountry? Head for the McCarthy Hills State Forest, just outside the town of Addison. Primitive camping is allowed throughout the 794-acre state forest (free of charge), and backpackers can easily craft overnight or multi-day hiking loop on the interconnected trail network, showcasing seclude ponds, woodlands, and wildflower-sprinkled meadows. Visitors can also explore the trail system at adjacent Pinnacle State Park, or hop on the Crystal Hills Trail, a 50-mile long offshoot of the regional Finger Lakes Trail.
Need a few more ideas of what to do on your next trip to the Fingers Lakes? Download our free experience guide here.
Written by Malee Baker Oot for RootsRated Media in partnership with Steuben County.