Motels Near Finger Lakes, NY

by Meg Jernigan
Vineyards surround the Finger Lakes

Vineyards surround the Finger Lakes

finger lakes wine region, ny image by Micah Jared from

The Finger Lakes region of central New York is best known for the myriad wineries around the lakes and in the nearby countryside. Many of the independently owned motels have served the tourist trade for decades and their architecture confirms their age. They remain in business by offering clean, comfortable rooms at a budget-friendly price.

Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake’s motels are located around Geneva on the north and Watkins Glen on the south shores. Ramada, Hampton Inn, Motel 6 and America’s Best Value Inn join the Belhurst and Geneva on the Lake resorts on the far northwestern shore. Watkins Glen is popular for its scenic beauty and as the location of Watkins Glen International Raceway. A small collection of privately owned motels, inns and cottages provide accommodations. The Colonial Inn and Motel is a no-frills, homey property conveniently located to shopping and restaurants.

Cayuga Lake

Ithaca, home to Cornell University and Ithaca College, is located at the southern end of Cayuga Lake. Motels, hotels and inns are abundant. The Grayhaven Motel on the western side of Ithaca a mile from the region’s gorges has individually decorated rooms with country, antique and rustic themes. Seneca Falls and Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge are at the northern end of the lake. Accommodations there include historic hotels and bed and breakfasts. One privately owned motel and a Microtel are in the area. Auburn, about 10 miles east of the lake, has a number of chain motels.

Canandaigua Lake

Motels are mostly located in Canandaigua, on the northern shore of Canandaigua Lake. The village is the closest Finger Lakes town to Rochester. Two bed and breakfasts on the western shore and one to the south are the only other accommodations near the lake. Most of the motels, like the Lafayette Motel & Restaurant, are family businesses. Opened as a tourist stop in the 1950s, the restaurant’s breakfast-anytime menu includes Belgian waffles, corned beef hash and buckwheat pancakes.

Skaneateles Lake

Much like Canandaigua, motels on Skaneateles Lake center on the village of Skaneateles on the north shore. Many of them are more like bed and breakfast properties or inns than motels. Skaneateles Suites operates a collection of properties in town and around the lake, including Bungalow Suites, a refurbished 1950s motor court. Cottages, renovated with upscale amenities like pillow-top mattresses, have private patios and galley kitchens. The exterior of the property remains true to its original design as a motor court.

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  • finger lakes wine region, ny image by Micah Jared from