Summer Day Trips in Western New York

As the warmer weather approaches, there’s nothing I look forward to more than taking a Saturday drive with the windows rolled down. Here are some of the best day trips within an hour or two’s drive of beautiful Western New York.

Hammondsport

Voted “Coolest Small Town in America” by Budget Travel, this tiny town on Keuka Lake is the perfect weekend getaway. After a breathtaking drive along Keuka Lake, you can take a beautiful stroll down the shopping district and grab a bite to eat. I would recommend the Village Tavern Restaurant and Inn and the Crooked Lake Ice Cream Parlor for dessert.

Ithaca

Ithaca is gorges. Plain and simple. The waterfalls are something you have to see to believe and walking the hills of Cornell University, although tiresome, are quite beautiful. There are countless places to grab a delicious bite to eat in the town including local foods and wines. 

Canandaigua

The City of Canandaigua is situated on Canandaigua Lake southeast of Rochester. You can spend the day on the beach and finish off the night with a concert at CMAC Performing Arts Center. This summer they are featuring Ellie Goulding, Kenny Chesney and Train. 

Seabreeze

Seabreeze Amusement Park in Irondequoit, a suburb of Rochester, is home to the fourth oldest roller coaster in the world, the Jack Rabbit. Seabreeze has both water and dry rides that will keep you going all day.

Watkins Glen State Park

With picturesque bridges and breathtaking scenery, Watkins Glen State Park is the perfect getaway if you’re feeling a little outdoorsy. The waterfalls that cut through rock are spectacular and a sight whose beauty can’t be captured in a picture.

Buffalo Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo, the fourth oldest zoo in the country, is the second most visited attraction in Western New York aside from Niagara Falls. The zoo has an outrageously diverse population of animals and more than 320 different species of plants.

Niagara Falls

Western New York is lucky to have one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World in its own backyard. Although the Canadian side of the falls is arguably better, you don’t have to cross the border to see the incredible wonder. If you do choose to cross the border, the Maid of the Mist is always a popular attraction, along with casinos, restaurants and hiking trails.

Lollypop Farm

Who doesn’t love animals? Lollypop Farm is the perfect place to visit all kinds of animals. This would be an ideal trip to take with a younger sibling. Who knows, you might even leave with a new puppy!

Skaneateles

The village of Skaneateles is located on Skaneateles Lake and is a commercial center. The tiny village contains parks, restaurants, boutiques and historical centers, all overlooking the beautiful lake.

Corning

The Corning Museum of Glass located in Steuben County would be best for a rainy summer day. You can look through the galleries, watch professionals make glass and even take classes to learn how to make glass. 

Buffalo Botanical Gardens

The Buffalo Botanical Gardens are beautiful and booming during the summer months, making it the ideal place to visit. The gardens and the architecture attract nearly 100,000 people each year and show the magnificence of the natural world. 

Park Ave., Rochester

Park Ave. in Rochester is hipster heaven. There are countless cool shops and boutiques like Parkleigh and Peppermint, along with bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants. This summer will be the 40th Annual Park Ave. Festival with live music, food trucks and arts and crafts. Park Ave. is the place to be in Rochester. 

Lewiston

Lewiston, New York is located in Niagara Falls. This quaint town is full of restaurants and shopping, but it’s most well-known for Artpark, an outdoor concert stage. This summer, Artpark is hosting Bob Dylan and The Band Perry as well as art camps, movie nights and jazz festivals.

Rochester Red Wings

Even if sports aren’t your thing, a Rochester Red Wings baseball game is a lovely way to spend a summer evening. With delicious venders and cheap seats, the ballpark is always a fun family time. If you want to grab a bite to eat before or after the game, Dinosaur Barbeque is world famous for its mouthwatering barbeque and rock atmosphere overlooking the Genesee River. 

Canalside Buffalo

Every Thursday in the summer Canalside hosts a live concert series. You can buy VIP tickets to the concerts or wander in the general admission area free of charge. Of course, there are restaurants and food in the surrounding area.

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