Fun Things to Do in Canandaigua, NY for a Day Trip

We love all the things to do in Canandaigua for a family day trip. There are great outdoor activities, things to see, and places to eat for families.

We live in Rochester, NY which is under an hour drive to Canandaigua making it a great place to visit on weekend days in the summer.

Canandaigua is great place to plan a day trip for families and as the weather begins to improve, its a perfect place for a day out. Check out our tips for planning a family day trip before you head out our your adventure.

The Finger Lakes in New York state are really an amazing destination year round. The summer and fall months are visually beautiful with perfect weather. A visit in the summer may be cold but there are plenty of outdoor winter activities like skiing and snow shoeing to do.

Best Things to Do in Canandaigua NY

Where is Canandaigua, NY

Canandaigua, NY is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. It is situated on Canandaigua Lake south of the city of Rochester.

What is the Weather Like in Canandaigua

The weather is traditional New York state weather and has all four seasons. Expect wintery conditions and cold in the winter months and beautiful summers and fall. The average temperature in January is 31 and the average weather in July is 82.

Plan ahead and pack for the weather. Bring layers to keep you prepared no matter what the weather is during your visit.

things to do in canadaigua lake view

Planning a Day Trip to Canandaigua, New York

Canandaigua isn’t a flashy town. It has simple joys like walking along the lake and having a picnic lunch with your family. Strolling the gardens of Sonnenburg or stopping at one of the shops along Main Street. It is a place to unplug, relax, and connect with your family.

Activities in Canandaigua

Canandaigua’s waterfront is unique and the pier is a must during your visit. The historic boat houses are a must see while checking out the area.

One of our favorite places to visit in Canandaigua is Sonnenberg Gardens. Sonnenberg Gardens is a 50 acre garden estate that is part of the New York State Parks system.

You will do a lot of walking as you explore the grounds of Sonnenberg Garden. There are Japanese gardens to explore, sculpture gardens, as well as the mansion to explore. Learn more about admission prices and ground rules here.

things to do in canadaigua sonnenberg garden

If you are visiting Canandaigua during the summer months you may want to add a visit to Roseland Water Park to your itinerary. Roseland Water Park has waterslides and splash areas for all ages as well as the Roseland Wake Park.

The Roseland Wake Park is the only cable wake park in the Northeast and offers a step up on the traditional water park experience. Guests can purchase wake boarding and other water experiences. This is great for older kids and young adults. Learn more here.

If you want to relax near the water but are looking for something a little more calm, plan a visit to Kershaw Park. Kershaw Park has a small beach front for families to relax and enjoy the lake. There is an admission fee and you can learn more about it here.

If you have more time built into your day trip to Canandaigua take a drive out to Bristol Mountain. It is about a 20 minute drive and has an awesome rope course that families can do.

Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventure has courses that range from easy to difficult, making it a great place for kids of all ages. We visited when my daughter was young and the courses for young children were great.

Reservations should be made in advance and you can learn more here.

Where to Eat in Canandaigua

Usually we pack a picnic and snacks for our day trips but we also like to include a stop for a special snack or one of our meals. Canandaigua has options that everyone will like.

A few places to check out:

  • Simply Crepes Cafe
  • Nolan’s on Canadaigua Lake
  • New York Kitchen
  • Rose Tavern
  • Charlie Riedel’s
  • Chipotle
  • Pontillo’s Pizza
  • Burger King
  • Rheinblick German Restaurant
  • Villager Restaurant and Diner
  • Casa de Pasta

I really appreciate the wide variety of places to eat in Canandaigua. There is something for every budget and whatever you may like.

More Things to Do in Canandaigua, New York

When planning a day trip we always expect that we won’t fit in everything we want to do. When we discover new things that we want to include on our next visit we start a list. This list helps us plan our next family day trip and we are always adding to it.

  • Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum
  • Visit a Winery or Brewery. (Most are family friendly)
  • Take a ferry ride on the Canandaigua Lady
  • Visit Sweet Expressions for Homemade Chocolate

There are many things to do in Canandaigua to fill a day or even a weekend in the Finger Lakes. We like planning a few days a year to experience all the seasons.

Are you planning summer day trips around Rochester? Check out more Rochester day trip ideas and let me know if I am missing any of your favorites!

Read Next: Rochester to Ithaca Day Trip with Kids

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