It is springtime in Skaneateles. Come smell the fresh, spring breeze, see the ducks and geese returning home on the lake and stop in at one of your favorite local businesses! Coming from a far, be sure to book a room at one of the many cozy inns, motels, hotels, or B&B's. In the historic downtown district, shops and galleries are housed in restored buildings dating back to 1796. Browse for unique foods, distinctive fashions, original art, home accessories, a special antique. Relax at a restaurant or tavern; the atmosphere may be casual and lively or quietly gracious, but the menu is always tempting. Skaneateles is home to a thriving residential and business community, and host to thousands of visitors and vacationers each year.
Skaneateles (Skan-ee-atlas) is an Iroquois word meaning long lake and it's just that, a 16 mile stretch of one of the cleanest lakes in the country. You feel a sense of belonging here - whether it's to raise a family, build a business, escape for a weekend or stay for the season.
And there's so much more. Parks with playgrounds, jogging paths, basketball and tennis courts - even ice skating. Sidewalks festooned with flowers and dotted with park benches. A scenic pier for strolling, fishing and people-watching. A fascinating historical museum. A cozy public library with a walk-in gallery of works by the late Skaneateles artist John Barrow.
Skaneateles comes to life in the summer. Every Friday in July (7:30 pm) and August (7 pm) the Skaneateles Community Band performs lively music at the Gazebo in Clift Park on Skaneateles Lake. Hundreds of people arrive with blankets and lawn chairs for this festive event. Children dance and boaters pull up to listen from the lake side. Good for all ages. Free.
In July and August, there are polo games every Sunday at 3 p.m. in the countryside on Andrews Road (off West Lake Road). Donation per car.
Skaneateles is full of beautiful boats during July, when the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society holds its annual Boat Show. Last year over forty boats were on display in the water and on the shore.
Throughout the month of August, the Skaneateles Festival brings world-class musicians to Skaneateles to perform chamber music. (An 18-concert series. Three to five nights weekly all month) . Concerts are at First Presbyterian Church or at Brook Farm on Saturday nights. Wednesdys in August are reserved for families! Call the Skaneateles Festival at 685-7418 for more information.
Take a hot-air balloon ride for breath-taking views of Skaneateles and the surrounding area...or get a close-up view on a bicycle. Many bicycle groups and individuals make the 32-mile trip around the lake.
For a view from the lake, Mid-Lakes Navigation Co. offers a variety of cruises. Go along while the mail boat delivers mail to old-fashioned camps on the lake, or take a dinner cruise. Call 685-8500 for more information.
Skaneateles has several parks for year-round enjoyment. In the heat of summer, Clift park on the lake refreshes you with open public swimming (and a lifeguard on duty). Nearby on the lake, Shotwell Memorial Park includes monuments to those from Skaneateles who served in the Spanish-American War, World War I and II and the Viet Nam and Korean Conflicts. Thayer Park, east of the shops is a quiet, beautiful park for relaxing and enjoying the view. Austin Park (between Jordan and State streets off Austin Street) features fun playground equipment, picnic tables, basketball and tennis courts, baseball fields, and a great track for walking, biking or blading. Across the street, the State Street School boasts a new playground that delights children of all ages.
A beautifully restored creamery at 28 Hannum Street, off West Genesee Street, captures the history of Skaneateles. The Creamery is the home of the Skaneateles Historical Society and the new boat museum and features permanent and rotating exhibits and research facilities. Hours: 1-4 on Friday, plus additiona hours during the summer and holiday time. Call the Creamery at 315-685-1360 for hours.
The well-equipped old stone Library in the center of the village hosts a popular book sale the second weekend in July. Year 'round, visitors enjoy the adjacent John D. Barrow Art Gallery, which is filled with beautiful paintings of how this area looked 100 years ago to the famed Hudson Valley artist. Call 685-5135 for hours.
The Skaneateles YMCA and Community Center is home to recreation for all the ages, from a fitness center, to an Olympic Ice Rink, 4 swimming pools and a game room. Call 685-2266 for information.
The Austin Park Pavilion comes to life in the winter months with hockey, and figure skating. Other events -- including the Rotary Club's popular Annual Father's Day Pancake Breakfast , and the FREE Syracuse Symphony Concert in July-- are held at the arena throughout the year. Skaneateles takes on new spirit during the winter months. Call 315-727-9320.
The lake comes to life with clusters of ice fishermen and skaters, There are plenty of hills for sledding, and a family ski hill just five miles west of the village welcomes new members. Call 315-636-8486 for information.
The fun-filled, fourth annual Dickens Christmas in the village begins the day after Thanksgiving and goes through December 24. It includes events for all ages, caroling, horse drawn carriages, and visits with Scrooge and Santa.
To learn more about upcoming events visit our Calendar of Events.