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Autumn leaves with Cayuga Lake in background

Fall Activities Around the Finger Lakes

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

Here are our recommendations (updated for 2021) for some fabulous fall excursions. For your convenience, most listed attractions below are within 25 miles of Aurora. Contact our Guest Services team or speak with your innkeeper for help creating your ideal itinerary.


Businesses throughout the Finger Lakes are often independently owned. While we make every effort to provide updated information, tasting rooms, local farms, and other points of interest may close with short or no notice. To ensure a seamless experience, we recommend you call ahead before embarking on your journey.
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MONTEZUMA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is only 22 minutes north of Aurora, and one of the best places on Cayuga Lake to enjoy an autumn hike. This particular 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.

Open from mid-March until mid-November: 10am-3pm on weekdays, and 10am-4pm on weekends. Trails and observation areas open 30 minutes before sunrise and close 30 minutes after sunset.

Didn’t pack your hiking gear? Visit the Inns of Aurora Schoolhouse to check out binoculars, a birding guide, and a pair of our complimentary Hunter boots.
Finger Lakes vineyard
Courtesy of TourCayuga.com

HARVEST SEASON

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. Wine tasting is fun throughout the season, but harvest time provides visitors with a sneak peak 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 Winery website for up-to-date hours and visitor information during the upcoming harvest.
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U-PICK APPLES

Apples picked fresh from the orchard is one of the best things about 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.

Grisamore Farms & Cider Works is located at  749 Cowan Road, Locke NY. Phone: 315.497.1347 Hours vary by day: 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 10am-5pm; tasting room open until 7pm. Distillery open Friday to Sunday, 12pm-7pm.
Inns of Aurora Nature Trail

THE NATURE TRAIL

We're biased, of course. But if you ask us—one of the true highlights of the fall season is enjoying the foliage along our very own 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 their own seasonal charm. Best of all: if you plan your day right, a brisk hike on a chilly day can end with a delicious dip in a heated tub at the Spa. If you want something a bit more adventurous, get in touch with one of our trusty Outdoor Guides to set up a private excursion or outdoor workshop.

More information about our current offerings can be found on the Activities & Events page.


 

Throw on that fall sweater and come explore the Finger Lakes with us!

 

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