7 Fun Things to Do on Skaneateles Lake

7 Fun Things to Do on Skaneateles Lake

  • Ellen O'Connor
  • 04/11/23

Skaneateles Lake is one of the Finger Lakes located in upstate New York. Skaneateles Lake is unique because of its higher elevation than other lakes. Many people visit Skaneateles to enjoy the area’s wineries or explore the beautiful natural areas around the lake. If you’re considering a trip to Skaneateles or if you’re thinking about shopping for Skaneateles luxury homes, you’ll want to set aside some time while you’re in town to check out some of the activities that you’ll read about on this list. 

Midlakes Navigation

Midlakes Navigation provides seasonal cruises and guided tours on Skaneateles Lake. They regularly host special events such as weddings, reunions, banquets, and business meetings aboard their ships. You can book a sightseeing cruise on Judge Ben Wiles that lasts 45 minutes. The boat holds up to 100 people at one time. You can also reserve your spot on a dinner cruise that lasts two and a half hours. You’ll enjoy an experience similar to the guided tour, but you’ll also have your choice of several delicious plates, such as the prime rib of beef or the chicken marsala. Each meal also includes a bowl of New England clam chowder, a baked potato, bread for the table, a seasonal vegetable, and a dessert chosen by the chef. Most cruises began sailing in the spring, and you can get schedule updates by visiting their website.

Sherwood Inn

The Sherwood Inn has hosted guests in Skaneateles for over 200 years. There are only 25 rooms, so it’s a privilege to stay at the hotel. Each room was restored and decorated with care to preserve the inn’s original charm. Many rooms provide views of the lake, and their friendly staff works hard to make sure you’re comfortable throughout your entire stay. The inn sits directly across the street from the lake, and guests rave about the hotel’s high standards for cleanliness and comfort. There are multiple restaurants on-site as well, so you can enjoy a visit to the Sherwood Inn without booking a room or staying overnight. 

Bluewater Grill

Bluewater Grill is one of the top restaurants located on Skaneateles Lake. You’ll enjoy beautiful views of the water as you sit and enjoy their seafood, sushi, and new American fare. Their full-service bar offers a wide range of beer and cocktails and stays open late even after the kitchen has closed down. Their appetizer menu includes popular plates such as the shrimp cocktail and the bluewater nachos. The Bluewater-style chicken wings are also a top choice. For the main course, you can order one of their handmade sushi rolls, or you can opt for one of their craft burgers or seafood plates. They are open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Thayer Park

You’ll find Thayer Park, not far from Bluewater Grill. It’s not a large park, but many people in Skaneateles enjoy bringing a picnic lunch and a blanket and setting up near the water. It’s easy to access right off Route 20. The park stays lit after dark, and there are several benches in the area if you forget to bring a blanket or a lawn chair of your own.

Clift Park

Clift Park is located near downtown Skaneateles by the waterfront. It sits directly across from the Sherwood Inn, and you can often find metered parking nearby. The pier stretches out over the lake and allows guests to experience some of the most beautiful waterfront views they can find anywhere in town. Visiting the park won’t take much time, but it’s definitely worth a trip. Make sure you snap a few photos while you’re on the pier, so you don’t forget what the incredible view was like. You can also take a dip in the water if you would like. The swimming area isn’t large, and you’ll have to pay a small fee, but many people enjoy splashing around in the beautiful clear water. Keep in mind that dogs are not allowed in the park.

Anyela’s Vineyards

Anyela’s Vineyards is located on a hill not far from Skaneateles Lake. It’s open year-round, and it’s a huge draw for people across the region. You’ll enjoy fine wines and expertly-crafted spirits served by the warm and hospitable staff. The winery’s history dates back to Eastern Europe when the Nocek family first started experimenting with various climate patterns. The fertile soil allowed them to grow their own grapes to use in their wines. They planted their first vineyard in Skaneateles in 2001, and they have built a reputation as one of the top wineries in the area. 

They work hard to protect their vines from the harsher temperatures in the winter. Each year they remove the vines one by one and bury them back in the earth. This helps to insulate the primary buds, which improves the taste and quality of the fruits that are harvested in the spring. The winery opens daily at 12 p.m. Closing time varies depending on the day. They regularly offer tastings and special events, and they even have a wine club that you can join if you’re local. You’ll enjoy discounts on bottles along with a complimentary glass of wine each time you visit. 

Barrow Art Gallery

Barrow Art Gallery sits across the street from Thayer Park. They opened their doors in 1900 and continue to impress visitors with their handmade oil paintings. They display over 400 original masterpieces created by John D. Barrow himself. They usually open for the season in April, and you can come by between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

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Perhaps you enjoy your day on Skaneateles Lake so much that you start thinking about shopping for Skaneateles luxury homes. If you get that urge, Ellen O'Connor would love to help. Ellen offers impeccable service to each of her clients. She has spent nearly 20 years helping clients navigate the market for Skaneateles homes, and she would love it if you were the next person she served.

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