New York Small Towns, Trips September 08, 2021
by Jennifer With Attractions Galore, The Small Town Of Canandaigua, New York Is Perfect For A Family Getaway
More than ever before, travelers are seeking quiet getaways with vibrant, old-school charm and easy access to the great outdoors. And for families with little ones in tow, appeal to all ages is a must. From quaint downtown squares to rolling farmland to lush glens to pure wilderness, New York’s small towns are ideal for families looking to bypass the big name attractions of the city in favor of adventure and memories that will last a lifetime. And this is exactly what you’ll find when you take a getaway to Canandaigua, New York.
Canandaigua is one of the lesser-known small towns and hidden gems in New York. With a population of just over 10,000 and a set-aside locale that has just missed the fame of other historic destinations like Aurora, Cooperstown, and Ithaca, this sweet little getaway is perfect for the whole family.
Nestled on the north end of Canandaigua Lake, the third largest of the Finger Lakes, the scenery in Canandaigua is stunning.
This charming historic community has endless options for families to play, explore, and dine.
It's no surprise that Canandaigua Lake is the heartbeat of this small town, and no visit here would be complete without some time spent relaxing by the water or enjoying it up close and personal.
While you're on the water, you'll also want to check out the incredible houseboats lining the marina.
Located along the Canandaigua City Pier, this colorful village of 80 small wooden boathouses is a uniquely rustic and artistic part of Canandaigua's history unlike anything else you will find in the Finger Lakes.
A ride on the historic
Canandaigua Lady is another fantastic way to jumpstart your sightseeing!
Kids of all ages will have a blast pointing out the sights and feeling the cool mist off of the water on this double-decker paddle boat. The Lady launches daily from Lakefront Park. Private bookings are available as well.
Back on dry land, the Sonnenberg Gardens are a blissful escape, as well as an idyllic place to take family photos to document your trip.
The gardens - one of only two botanical spaces in New York's park system - were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. There are nearly 50 acres of pristine landscaping, unique architecture, and floral gems to discover here!
Get an extra dose of local history at the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum.
The stunning on-site mansion has been owned by four generations of Grangers and houses over 100 historic carriages and sleighs. Just be sure to book your tour in advance!
Or, kick the pace up a notch and get your adrenaline pumping at Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures.
This sky-high adventure park offers multiple rope courses, zip lines, sky bridges, and rope walks through the trees. There are even some mild options for the youngest members of the family, so that everyone can have a safe and exciting visit!
Afterwards, cool off at the Roseland Water Park, where you can try your hand at wake boarding if you're feeling brave.
But the towering waterslides will cool you off just as easily if battling the waves isn't your thing.
Of course, Canandaigua isn't just a fantastic spring and summer destination. There's plenty to do in winter as well! Bristol Mountain Ski Resort offers top notch winter snow runs, as well as scenic chair lift rides over the Bristol Valley in the warmer months.
But if escaping into the trees is your family's style, you'll definitely be able to get your waterfall and nature fix here.
Pictured: Barnes Creek Trail.
Check out Onanda Park, Lagoon Park (pictured), or any of Candandaigua's other sweet parks to spend some gorgeous quality time with Mother Nature.
Finally, after a long day of adventuring (and dining at one of Canandaigua's many fresh, local restaurants), don't forget to indulge that sweet tooth! Cheshire Farms Creamery serves up hand-churned ice cream every day of the week.
Our state's famous grape pie is a regular on the menu as well, along with fresh-baked cookies, pastries, local coffee, and more.
It's the sweetest way to wrap up your waterfront vacation, no matter the season!
Canandaigua is definitely one of our favorite small towns for a getaway in New York. But after you’ve spent some time exploring the sights, jump on over to some of New York’s other
charming small towns. (The Finger Lakes are full of them!) You can also check out this list for more of our state’s tiniest overlooked communities.
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Address: Canandaigua, NY 14424, USA