I love planning trips that Hunter, Roscoe and I can take, so when a friend that lives in Philadelphia suggested meeting in the Finger Lakes, NY, I thought why not bring the dogs??
I really had no idea how dog friendly the area was. I knew there was some nice hiking in the area and I thought maybe the dogs could hang outside at some wineries. Little did I know until doing a little more research that the Finger Lakes is a very dog-friendly place to visit.
Located about four and half hours from Cleveland, the Finger Lakes region is located in Central New York. We stayed in Seneca Falls right on the Cayuga Lake. We were about 20 minutes away from most of the wineries on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, all of which are dog friendly. There are 14 wineries on the trail and all of them allow dogs inside the tasting room. We asked before entering each one though, just to be safe. (The weekend after our visit they were actually having a dog-friendly wine event at the wineries.)
Since you can only drink so much wine in a day, sadly, especially while transporting around dogs, we only visited four wineries along the trail – Varick Winery and Inn, Knapp Winery, Thirsty Owl and Buttonwood (dogs didn’t go into Buttonwood, although they would’ve been allowed as far as I know). The dogs were welcome at our stops and there was even water bowls already in most of the wineries.
Knapp Winery actually had a very dogs-and-people tolerant resident cat too.
At Thirsty Owl, we sat outside at the picnic tables and had a beautiful view of the lake while we ate lunch. The food and service were great, I’d definitely recommend it as a good stop for lunch along the wine trail.
Hunter loved the attention he got from the groups of women visiting the wineries for bachelorette parties, and Roscoe enjoyed the anonymity he could have by hiding out close to the bar. None of the wineries were too busy on our visit, so it made it pretty easy to bring the dogs along.
If wine tasting isn’t really your (or your dog’s) thing, there are some great hikes in the area, as well as other activities for dogs around the lake. At the end of the wine trail was Taughannock Falls State Park – a great place for a walk before or after the wineries to wear out the dogs. From where we parked it was about a mile walk to the Falls, which was definitely worth a visit and a great way for us to cool down on a hot day!
Taking the trail back we were able to stop and get some ice cream from Cayuga Lake Creamery. They served doggie cups for the dogs too.
Doing a little research, I also found that there is a dog park at the base of the Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, where dogs can access the lake, as well as play in doggy pools. You can also rent canoes or kayaks at Owasco Paddles and bring the dogs along.
Here’s a good list of dog-friendly things to do in the area: https://www.fingerlakestravelny.com/blog/post/far-from-a-ruff-life-dog-friendly-stops-in-the-finger-lakes/
Where we stayed
We found an Airbnb on the lake in Seneca Falls that was dog friendly. The location was perfect and the price was good, and the place was not so nice I felt bad having the dogs there. More like a cabin (or motorhome actually). We saw a lot of options on Airbnb that were dog-friendly, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a place to stay with dogs.
In Seneca Falls, we also discovered a swanky dog-friendly hotel, Gould Hotel, if you are looking for accommodations that are a little more upscale than most of the cabin-type Airbnbs in the area.
Next time I go back I think I’d look for places a little closer to Ithaca, which is still close to the wineries and other good areas to hike. If you have dogs that enjoy a mix of hanging out and hiking, this is definitely a great dog-friendly trip to take. Since dogs and wine are two of my favorite things, I will definitely be back!