Discover Canandaigua Lake

Nestled in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region, Canandaigua Lake beckons with its unparalleled beauty, rich history, and abundant activities to delight visitors of all ages.

From thrilling outdoor adventures to fascinating historical sites and breathtaking scenic vistas, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. Join us as we delve into the wonders of Canandaigua Lake and uncover the myriad experiences that await along its picturesque shores.


Best time to visit
Best things to do

Top 3 Facts about Canandaigua Lake in New York


Dimensions and Size

Canandaigua Lake is the fourth largest of the Finger Lakes in New York. It stretches about 16 miles in length and has a maximum width of approximately 1.5 miles. This makes it large enough for various water activities but cozy enough to explore without getting lost.


Best Drinking Water

The lake is renowned for its clean water quality. In 2013, Canandaigua was awarded the title of having the best drinking water in New York State. Imagine sipping some of the purest water while enjoying the stunning lake views – quite the experience!


Rich Fish Population

Fishing enthusiasts will be delighted by the lake’s diverse fish population. You can catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, and bullhead.


Must See Attractions

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Sonnenberg Gardens

Botanical Gardens

This historic estate and botanical garden offers a delightful escape with its sprawling grounds and beautiful greenhouses. The mansion and gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Bristol Mountain


Known for its winter skiing, Bristol Mountain also offers summer activities like hiking and zip-lining. The nearby town of Bristol is charming and worth a visit.

Roseland Water Park

Water Park

Perfect for families, this water park features a massive 27,000-square-foot wave pool, a lazy river, and multiple water slides. Nearby, the Roseland Wake Park attracts thrill-seekers with wakeboarding.

Annual Events and Festivals


Finger Lakes Riesling Festival

Held annually in mid-August, the Finger Lakes Riesling Festival celebrates the region’s world-class Riesling wines.

Visitors can enjoy tastings from local wineries, live music, food vendors, and educational seminars, all set against the backdrop of Canandaigua Lake.

July – August

Canandaigua Lake Music Festival

This summer music festival showcases a diverse lineup of classical, jazz, and contemporary performances at various venues around Canandaigua Lake. Running from late July to early August, the festival attracts renowned musicians and offers unforgettable evenings of musical entertainment.

July 3rd

Ring of Fire

A beloved tradition around Canandaigua Lake, the Ring of Fire is held on the evening of July 3rd.

Participants light flares around the shoreline after sunset, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of light reflecting off the water. This annual event is a symbol of community spirit and celebration.

Top Hiking Trails

Ontario Pathways Rail Trail

Stanley Trailhead or Canandaigua Trailhead

This scenic rail trail follows the route of an old railroad line, offering a flat and accessible path for hikers of all skill levels.

Stretching for over 25 miles, the trail passes through picturesque farmland, woodlands, and wetlands, with several access points along the way.

Grimes Glen

Grimes Glen Parking Area

Just a short drive from Canandaigua Lake, Grimes Glen is home to two stunning waterfalls nestled within a picturesque gorge.

Hikers can follow a moderate trail along Grimes Creek, passing through lush woodlands and rocky outcrops to reach the waterfalls and enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings.

West River Marsh

West River Road Parking Area

Located near the northern end of Canandaigua Lake, West River Marsh offers a peaceful hiking experience through a diverse wetland habitat.

Hikers can explore a network of trails and boardwalks that meander through marshes, woodlands, and along the lake shore, providing opportunities for birdwatching and enjoying the area’s natural beauty.

Best Golf Courses

Ravenwood Golf Club

929 Lynaugh Rd, Victor, NY 14564, United States

Situated just a short drive from Canandaigua Lake in Victor, New York, Ravenwood Golf Club offers a premier golfing experience.

This championship course features 18 scenic and challenging holes, meticulously maintained fairways and greens, and picturesque views of the surrounding landscape.

CenterPointe Golf Club

2231 Brickyard Rd, Canandaigua, NY 14424, United States

Located in Canandaigua itself, CenterPointe Golf Club offers a picturesque 18-hole course that winds through mature trees, lush meadows, and scenic ponds.

With its well-manicured greens and fairways, this course provides an enjoyable and challenging experience for golfers of all skill levels.

Geneva Country Club

4147 W Lake Rd, Geneva, NY 14456, United States

Located on the northern end of Seneca Lake, just a short drive from Canandaigua Lake, Geneva Country Club offers a classic and inviting atmosphere for golfers.

This private club features an 18-hole course designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. and amenities such as tennis courts, swimming pools, and dining facilities.

Water Sports


Boating is a favorite pastime on Canandaigua Lake, with options ranging from powerboats and pontoon boats to sailboats and kayaks.

Boaters can explore the lake’s 16 miles of crystal-clear waters, enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding hillsides and shoreline.

Water Skiing & Wakeboarding

Thrill-seekers can enjoy water skiing and wakeboarding on Canandaigua Lake, taking advantage of its expansive surface area and calm conditions.

Whether you’re a beginner learning the ropes or an experienced rider looking for some adrenaline-pumping action, the lake offers plenty of opportunities for fun on the water.


Fishing enthusiasts will find plenty to love about Canandaigua Lake, which is home to various fish species, including trout, bass, perch, and panfish.

Cast a line from shore or take your boat out to deeper waters for a chance to reel in a trophy catch while enjoying the tranquility of the lake.

Winter Activities

Ice Fishing

When Canandaigua Lake freezes over, it becomes a hotspot for ice fishing enthusiasts. Drill a hole in the ice, drop your line, and try your luck at catching perch, trout, and other cold-water fish species.

Several outfitters in the area offer ice fishing gear rentals and guided excursions for those new to the sport.

Cross-Country Skiing

The scenic trails around Canandaigua Lake are perfect for cross-country skiing during the winter months.

Explore the snowy landscapes of nearby parks and nature preserves, such as Ontario County Park or Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area, and enjoy the tranquility of gliding through the winter woods.


Strap on a pair of snowshoes and embark on a winter adventure through Canandaigua Lake’s forests and fields. Snowshoeing is a great way to explore off-the-beaten-path areas and experience the beauty of the winter landscape up close. Many local parks and nature preserves offer designated snowshoe trails for visitors to enjoy.

Where to Eat

Rose Tavern at The Lake House

$$ – $$$ • Fine Dining

Skipper’s Landing Restaurant

$$ – $$$ • Seafood

Ports Cafe

$$ – $$$ • Creative Dishes

Where to Shop

Eastview Mall

Shopping mall

True Lily

Chic fashion

WildHeart Art Studio

Vintage gifts and artwork

Where to Sleep

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1054 Grace River Road
Number of Guests 8
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 3
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Smoke detectors
$0.00 / day
sparkles New

JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day
sparkles New

Majestic Lakefront Log Cabin in the NC High Plains

121 Whispering Wolf Wy
Number of Guests 5
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 2
Sq Footage 1,500
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$195.00 / day
sparkles New

Huron Shores. Beachy escape for the whole family

609 Lakeside Trail,Ripley,ON,CA,N0G 2R0
Bathrooms 3
Bedrooms 5
$0.00 / day
sparkles New

Tips on Renting a Vacation Home on Canandaigua Lake

Plan Ahead

Canandaigua Lake is popular, especially during peak seasons like summer and fall. Start your search early to secure the best properties and rates. Booking several months in advance can also give you more options to choose from.

Set a Budget

Vacation rentals can vary significantly in price based on location, size, and amenities. Establish a budget to help narrow down your options and prevent overspending.

Read Reviews

Reviews can provide valuable insights into the property and the host. Pay attention to comments about cleanliness, accuracy of the listing, responsiveness of the host, and overall experience.

Communicate with the Host

Reach out to the property owner or manager with any questions you have before booking. Confirm details about amenities, local attractions, and any specific requirements you might have. Good communication can ensure a smoother rental experience.

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Going Deeper: History and Cultural Significance of Canandaigua Lake

Canandaigua Lake, part of New York’s Finger Lakes region, holds profound historical and cultural importance. Known as “The Chosen Spot” by the Seneca people, it has been a vital resource for centuries.

Canandaigua Lake served as the backdrop for a significant historical event, the signing of the Treaty of Canandaigua in 1794. This treaty, also known as the Canandaigua Treaty, was an agreement between the United States and the Iroquois Confederacy, particularly the Seneca nation. It recognized land rights and is still commemorated annually.

Clark’s Gully, located at the lake’s southern end, is steeped in Native American legend. It’s significant to the Seneca people, yet not widely marked, making it a hidden gem for those interested in Native American history.

Through the 19th century, Canandaigua Lake saw the rise of steam and paddleboat passenger services. This tradition is maintained today by the Canandaigua Lady, a replica paddleboat. These boats were crucial for transport and commerce in the area.

Significant historical landmarks around the lake include the City of Canandaigua at the northern end and the village of Naples to the south. Both places offer a glimpse into the area’s rich past.

Frequently Asked Questions about Canandaigua Lake

Canandaigua Lake offers numerous activities, such as boating, fishing, and wine tasting. You can also enjoy hiking and year-round outdoor adventures at places like Bristol.

Yes, you can swim in Canandaigua Lake and enjoy its clean water, which is known for being among the best in New York State.

Canandaigua Lake is approximately 16 miles long and 1.5 miles wide at its widest point. It has a surface area of about 10,558 acres and a maximum depth of 276 feet.

Yes, Canandaigua Lake is excellent for fishing. It is home to various fish species such as lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and panfish. Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy both shore and boat fishing.

Yes, there are several hiking trails around Canandaigua Lake, including those in Ontario County Park, Bare Hill Unique Area, Grimes Glen, and Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area. These trails offer varying levels of difficulty and scenic views.

The best time to visit Canandaigua Lake depends on your preferred activities. Summer (June to August) is ideal for water sports and outdoor activities, while fall (September to October) offers beautiful foliage and a quieter atmosphere. Winter (December to February) is great for ice fishing and winter sports.

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