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The Finger Lakes in Fall

From cozy nights by the crackling fire with a book from our lending library to lakeshore vineyard tours, autumn in Aurora is an exceptionally beautiful season, framed by trees bursting in vivid hues of saffron and burgundy. With breathtaking natural beauty and endless activities to do here in the fall, we’ve carved out your to-do list this season.

For your convenience, most listed attractions below are within 25 miles of Aurora. Looking to stay in the village? From outdoor adventures to culinary activities, there is so much to do in Aurora.

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Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is only 22 minutes north of Aurora, and it's one of the best places on Cayuga Lake to enjoy an autumn hike. This wildlife refuge offers exceptional opportunities for birdwatching: Montezuma has more than five active bald eagle nests and over 60 regularly observed eagles, as well as many other species of migratory birds. The Refuge's trail loops allow visitors to enjoy the fall colors, as well as the chance to see one of North America's most majestic bird species in its natural habitat.

The Montezuma Visitors' Center is located at 
3395 U.S. Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY. Phone: 315.568.5987.

The Visitor Center is open from April 1 until November 30, 10:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m. Wildlife drives are available from sunrise to sunset from April 1 to November 30, weather permitting. Trails and observation areas are open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

Didn’t pack your hiking gear? Visit the Schoolhouse to check out binoculars, a birding guide, and a pair of our complimentary Hunter boots.

Wine Tastings

Autumn brings a special excitement to the Finger Lakes region: with its thriving agricultural community, the season brings a bounty of local produce to markets, farm stands, and tasting rooms across the region. To sample a bit of everything the area has to offer, let our complimentary winery and brewery shuttle escort you to select tasting rooms along the Finger Lakes wine trail.

Wine tasting is a treat throughout the season, but harvest time provides visitors with a sneak peek at the upcoming vintage. Take the opportunity to ask your tasting room attendant how the season went, and you're likely to get some inside tips on which bottles to watch for in the year to come. The drama of harvest time is heightened at a small and innovative winery like Heart & Hands: with a total commitment to particular varietals, there is no margin for error, and a challenging season brings out the best of a true winemaker's improvisational artistry. 

Visit the Heart & Hands website for up-to-date hours and visitor information during the upcoming harvest. We recommend reservations for tastings.

Apple Picking

A bite of a freshly picked apple from the orchard embodies the crispness of fall in the Finger Lakes. Grisamore Farms (25 minutes southeast of Aurora) offers pick-your-own produce and a selection of treats at their fifth-generation family-operated farm. Assorted “u-pick” is available throughout the summer, and apples are the highlight in the fall. While there, stop by the Grisamore Cider Works tasting room for a flight of craft hard cider!

Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard is a little further afield (1 hour east of Aurora), but worth every mile. Founded in 1911 by George Skiff and Andrew Beak, the Orchard now has pick your own apples, hard cider, and their own line of spirits. Stop in to enjoy their tasting room, tavern, apple barn, café, bakery, and more.

Grisamore Farms & Cider Works is located at 749 Cowan Road, Locke NY. Phone: 315.497.1347 Hours vary by day and season: call ahead or check online for your specific date.

Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard is located at 2708 Lords Hill Rd, Lafayette NY. Phone: 315.696.6085. Open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (last pick your own wagon at 5:00 p.m.). Distillery is located just a few minutes down the road from the orchard at 4473 Cherry Valley Turnpike, Lafayette NY, and is open Thursday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.



One of the true highlights of the fall season is enjoying the foliage along our nature trail. The Overlook Platform offers stunning views of Cayuga Lake in all its autumnal glory. As you hike the trail, you'll cross through several different landscape types, each with its own seasonal charm.

Best of all: if you get an early start, a brisk hike on a chilly day can end with a delicious dip in a heated tub at the Spa. As you relax and reflect on your excursion, you may even feel inspired to capture the beauty of the scenery using one of our art kits.

Join us in the Finger Lakes this fall!


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