Monday, November 04, 2013

Pet-friendly options in the Finger Lakes Wine Country

While traveling throughout the United States and Canada searching for pet-friendly locations and activities, our thoughts often turn back to the Finger Lakes region of New York as being a top destination for pet-friendly fun. While locals have crowned the area “New York’s Wine Country”, the Finger Lakes region is that and so much more. It is an ideal family vacation destination with quaint downtowns, top museums and plenty of pet friendly options for you and your pets. For those looking for a perfect vacation destination, here are our top tips for pet-friendly fun in the Finger Lakes region.

Dog-Friendly Wineries

Of course, no trip to the Finger Lakes area can end without taking a tour of the world-class wineries in the area. Here are a few dog friendly wineries you’ll want to be sure not to miss:

Bully Hill Vineyards in Hammondsport (8843 GHT Mem. Dr., 
Hammondsport, NY): When the weather cooperates, dining in the lovely outdoor restaurant is a must. The views of Keuka Lake and the surrounding vineyards are extraordinary and well worth the visit. The vineyards is also home to The Greyton H. Taylor Wine Museum but be aware the museum operates using seasonal hours with openings from mid-May through October.

Keuka Lake Vineyards in Hammondsport (8882 County Route 76, Hammondsport, NY): Just up the road on Route 76 is another dog friendly winery that prides themselves on their European-style, dry wines. Don’t let the size of the operation fool you – in 2009 they entered eight wines in the 2009 Governor’s Cup and walked away with seven awards!

Chateau Renaissance Wine Cellars (7494 Hatchery Rd, Hammondsport, NY):  With two hounds roaming the property, you’re likely to be greeted before you even get out of the car. The vineyard boasts a massive selection of sparkling wines but you’ll also find a decent selection of white and red wines. Their fruit wines were a hit, with the peach and raspberry leading the pack.

Seneca Lake Wine Trail: It is the mecca of New York wine vineyard trails. The largest and most active of the all the Finger Lakes wine trails, the Seneca Lake Wine Trail boosts 35 wineries, two breweries and even a distillery. The good news for pet lovers is that the trail features at least 13 wineries that are dog friendly and that list is growing. Some of the pet friendly vineyards include:

  • Fox Run Vineyards (670 State Route 14, 
Penn Yan, NY)

  • Red Tail Ridge Winery (846 State Route 14, Penn Yan, NY)

  • Seneca Shore Medieval Wines of Finger Lakes (929 Davy Road, Penn Yan NY)

  • Penguin Bay Winery (6075 Route 414
, Hector, NY)

  • Prejean Winery (2634 Route 14, Penn Yan, NY)

  • War Horse Brewing Company (623 Lerch Road, Geneva, NY)

Pet Friendly Outdoor Fun

According to their website, Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, and there is reason to believe that claim. The state park features miles of breathtaking views, over 19 waterfalls, and some of the best walking trails in the state. Sadly, those who looking to enjoy the day with their four-legged friends might be limited as the Gorge Trail is not pet friendly.  The trail is just too narrow for pets to safely navigate.

The Indian and South Rim Trails, both overlooking the gorge, are two pet friendly options that still provide great views (although not as scenic as the Gorge Trail) and a decent workout for both you and your dogs. Keep in mind that the park requires dogs to be leashed at all times. Also, proof of rabies vaccination in the form of a veterinarian’s certificate is required. Unfortunately, a collar tag is not an accepted form of proof.

W.W. Clute Memorial Park and Campground (155 S. Clute Park Drive
Watkins Glen, NY
): For those looking for pet friendly camping options, Clute Park Campground is a fantastic location. Directly across from Seneca Lake, this campground offers full hook-up sites with electric (20,30, and 50 amp) water line, sewer line, and cable connections. Dogs are welcome with proof of their rabies vaccinations. Pets must be leashed and, of course, cleaned up after.

Sampson State Park (6096 Route 96A, Romulus, NY): This fantastic state park encompasses more than 2,000 acres on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake. The park has a total of 309 campsites, over 100 boat slips, and miles of trails. Other facilities include courts for tennis, horseshoes, basketball and volleyball, a swimming beach, playground, low impact fitness circuit and nature watching.  Dogs are welcome with proof of their rabies vaccinations. Pets must be leashed and, of course, cleaned up after.

Pet Friendly Hotels

While there are several options for pet and dog-friendly hotels in the Corning area, we are fans of the Staybridge Suites (201 Townley Ave Corning, NY) for a few reasons. First is its location – the hotel is in walking distance to The Corning Museum of Glass (not pet friendly…it is a museum after all) and the downtown area. Second, if you book ahead, you can arrange their pet sitting and dog walking services. Other pet friendly hotel options in the area include:

  • Radisson Hotel Corning (125 Denison Pkwy E, Corning, NY)

  • Ramada Painted Post (304 S Hamilton St, Painted Post, NY)

As with all of the pet-friendly options listed, we would recommend contacting each location directly or visiting before your visit as pet policies and restrictions can and often do change.

Article contributed by guest blogger: Amy Burkert. Amy runs the award-winning pet travel website,, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their Winnebago with their dogs, Ty and Buster.


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