Maroon’d… at Keuka Lake

Autumn 2017
Keuka Lake at sunset

Keuka Lake is the gem of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Carved by a glacier thousands of years ago, Keuka is home to vineyard-draped hills, crystal-clear waters, and gentle breezes. It’s equally gorgeous and down to earth, and you can’t miss it on the map — it’s the only Finger Lake shaped like a Y. I started visiting Keuka as a kid, and after traveling the globe, it remains one of my favorite destinations.

Take to the water… My favorite way to experience Keuka is from the water. Boat to the bluff (where the three forks of Keuka’s Y shape meet) to take in panoramic views up and down the lake.

Drive toward the wine… Driving West Lake Road toward the Keuka Lake Wine Trail always feels romantic. You sway side to side as the road winds left and right along the lake. Eventually you turn right to cut up through the hills past acres of vineyards. My favorite winery is Heron Hill, where I married my husband, Ryan, in 2014. Great wine and a gorgeous view of the lake — it’s time well spent.

Take to the skies… If you prefer the air, hot air balloon companies and sea plane tours will give you a birds-eye view of Keuka’s Y. This is on my bucket list!

A different kind of ice cream social… Traveling with kids? Head to the Spotted Duck Creamery for gourmet custard, which is made using all-natural ingredients and eggs from the flock of ducks that live on site. My daughter loves waving to the ducks while enjoying a cool treat.

The chapel on the mount… Perched above the lake is a memorial chapel that is worth the trip. Built 100 years ago, it’s a historic landmark with gorgeous architecture including stone arches, stained glass windows, and a crypt.

Enjoy the moonrise… As a glacially carved lake, Keuka’s steep hillside horizon makes for a moonrise that feels like a sunrise. Facing east on a clear night, you can watch the moon rise over the horizon. It’s the perfect way to end the perfect vacation.

To learn more and plan a curated trip, contact

— Taylor Buonocore-Guthrie ’08

Have tips for people who might be maroon’d in your town? Write to and put Maroon’d in the subject line.