How We Planned a Fantastic Finger Lakes Road Trip


New York may be most well known for its huge, loud, and bustling Gotham-like metropolis. But, there are plenty of beautiful sights and natural scenery all over this northeastern state. In fact, New York state’s deceptively large size can make travel planning difficult. 

So, we did the work for you! 

Below, you’ll find a 4-day itinerary loaded with gorgeous locales and exciting things to do. To narrow down and guide this trip, we centered it all around the Finger Lakes –– geological wonders often overlooked in the northeast.

Buckle up and read on for our fantastic Finger Lakes road trip!

What are the Finger Lakes? 

First, let’s talk about the lakes!

The Finger Lakes are a group of 11 long and narrow lakes in New York state. The Finger Lakes Region is over 9,000 square miles in total. This “Finger Lakes Region” spreads through West-Central New York and touches Ontario and Lake Eerie. 

Their astounding depth and unique, elongated shape make these bodies of water an excellent focal point for our trip. With that out of the way, let’s get started planning our Finger Lakes road trip!

Day 1: Catskill Mountains 

What better way to start a road trip than with some gorgeous roads? Our itinerary starts 2 hours north of NYC and follows one of the most scenic roads in the Northeast United States. 

The Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway is a 52-mile drive along New York State Route 28. Winding roads will lead you through charming villages, scenic mountain passes, and picturesque overlooks. 

Hikers rejoice! Trails along the byway are plentiful and challenging. You’ll have to contend with some steep ascents and rugged terrain. But for your efforts, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views and a deep sense of accomplishment to go with it. Whether you just enjoy the scenery on the road or make stops along the way, the Catskills are one amazing way to start a Finger Lakes road trip!

RV Parks Near the Catskill Mountains

Day 2: Seneca Lake 

We’re keeping things moving with a bang. How does a stop by the largest glacial body of water among the Finger Lakes sound to start? 

Jumping right into Seneca Lake Park seems like a natural first stop. But, make your way to the Finger Lakes Welcome Center first. Besides stopping by the water, there are so many things to see and do in Geneva. 

Between local eateries and pubs, brewery and wine tours, and historic landmarks in Geneva, you’ll want to plan out your day in advance. Pack a rod and some tackle if fishing is your thing. Seneca Lake was once known as the trout capital of America!

RV Parks Near Seneca Lake

Day 3: Auburn 

Our next destination is a smaller city and about a 40-minute detour east. But on the way, you’ll be able to stop by Cayuga Lake, the longest and second-largest of the Finger Lakes. 

First, head into Auburn to check out historic sites like Harriet Tubman’s home, the Willard Chapel, or Fort Hill Cemetery. You’ll discover enough interesting stories contained therein to please any history buff. Once you’ve had your fill of small-town charms, it’s off to Lake Cayuga.

Try one of our recommended RV parks below to end the night with a view of the lake and awaken to an insta-worthy sunrise.

RV Parks Near Auburn, NY

Day 4: Niagara Falls

To finish our Finger Lakes road trip we head 3 hours west to Niagara Falls. Driving along the I-90 saves you a bit of time. Or, you could stick to Route 20 and stop at a few of the smaller Finger Lakes along the way.

Whatever you choose, enjoy the leisurely drive in style. These kinds of long drives are what traveling by RV and making road memories is all about!

Wrap up the journey with a Maid of the Mists boat tour. Or get even closer to the falls by visiting the Cave of the Winds. Bring a poncho if you don’t want to come back to the RV soaked!

RV Parks Near Niagara Falls, NY

Visit the Finger Lakes by RV With Cruise America

Want to visit the Finger Lakes yourself? There’s no better way to take a road trip than in an RV rental!

You never know what to expect on a long trip like this. New places you want to see pop up, your favorite stops get extended, and plans change. An RV rental lets you be as flexible as you’d like. Make any place your home for the night.

Cruise America’s selection of RV rentals is perfect for veterans and RV newbies alike. Enjoy comforts like bedding, a bathroom and shower, and a working kitchen no matter where you roam.

Reserve your RV rental for the ultimate Finger Lakes road trip today!