Dog-Friendly Road Trip: The Finger Lakes, NY

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.

Boys trip! Hunter and Roscoe with their buddy, Bruno.
Boys trip! Hunter and Roscoe with their buddy, Bruno.

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.)

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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. cat


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.


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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.

Other attractions

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!


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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.

ice cream

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:

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.

At our Airbnb
At our Airbnb

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!

Wine and Dogs

Is there anything better than wine and dogs? Not in my book. There’s pretty much nothing I like to do more than hang out with my dogs and drink wine. One of the things I look forward to the most in the summer are dog-friendly nights at local wineries. Several local places host nights where dogs can come to the winery with you to hang out while you enjoy a glass of wine.

Here are the local wineries to check out this summer:

Debonne Vineyards – Woof Wednesdays

Stop by the vineyards after 5 pm to enjoy some wine and music with your furry best friends. Each week $.50 cents from every wine and beer glass, $1 from every bottle of wine purchased in house and 10% of all food sales from the outdoor grill will be donated to a different shelter. More information can be found on the website:

Here are the upcoming dates:

June 1 – Ashtabula APL
June 15 – Dachshund Rescue
June 29 – Lake Humane Society
July 13 – NE Ohio Greygound Rescue
July 27 – Lake Humane Society
August 10 – Dachshund Rescue
August 24 – Ashtabula APL
September 7 – NE Ohio Greygound Rescue
September 21 – Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue
October 5 – TBD


Winery at Wolf Creek – Yappy Hour

On the second Tuesday of each month from 5:00–8:00 p.m. bring your dog to hang out on the lawn at the Winery at Wolf Creek. Proceeds from the yappy hour will benefit Give Pets a Chance ( Tickets are $10 per person at the door and include a raffle entry, a glass of wine, and goodies for your dog ($5 per person for nondrinkers includes a soda or bottle of water). Find out more here:

Grand River Cellars – Woof, Wag and Wine

This annual event will be held on June 18 and benefits the Lake Humane Society. Bring your dog to enjoy the vineyards, as well as enjoy a wine tasting, live music, the chance to win great prizes in various raffles and games. I highly recommend you bring chairs if you want to hang out for a bit and enjoy some wine. Although they say there is some seating, when I went last year there was nowhere to sit so it made it very hard to enjoy a glass of wine. Find out more details here:


Thorncreek Winery – Yappy Hour

Beginning the first week of June, you can bring your dog to this Aurora winery on the first Thursday of the month through October. Find out more details here:

Other Dog-Friendly Winery Options

Sarah’s Vineyards in Cuyahoga Falls always allows dogs in its front picnic table area and Debonne allows dogs outside on other nights besides Woof Wednesdays. As always, it’s a good idea to call ahead and check before bringing your dog though!