Canandaigua Lake, New York, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Canandaigua Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Canandaigua Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Canandaigua Lake

Canandaigua Lake, located in Ontario County’s “Lake Country,” is the fourth largest Finger Lake, stretching out over 15.5 miles in length and 1.5 miles in width. Canandaigua is Iroquois for “chosen spot,” a fitting name, as it is an area of stunning natural beauty; 50% of its shoreline and surrounding land is still forested.

The lake is home to Squaw Island, one of the only two islands in the Finger Lake region. The island, located at the north of Canandaigua Lake, is over 11,000 years old and is the smallest Fish and Wildlife Management area in New York. As oral tradition explains, the island was once used in the 18th century to hide Seneca women and children during the Sullivan Expedition against the Six Iroquois Nations. Unfortunately, Squaw Island is a victim of severe erosion, and has shrunk from a size of approximately 2 acres in 1853 to only 55 feet by 145 feet today. The Squaw Island Preservation Society has since been formed to protect the island and its unique history.

Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park is located in the City of Canandaigua at the north end of the lake. The park provides boat launch facilities from May to mid-October. Two parks operated by Ontario County are located on East Lake Road. Deep Run Beach provides a swim beach and picnic facilities from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Ontario Beach Park is available for picnicking only. The town of Canandaigua also operates seven public parks. Onando Park provides swimming, fishing, picnicking, hiking trail, and cabin and pavilion rentals. West Lake Schoolhouse Park is primarily a swimming beach with lifeguards on duty. Other city parks provide recreational facilities such as walking trails, picnic tables and grills, baseball diamond, soccer field, sand volleyball court, playground equipment, sandbox, basketball backboard, and pavilion rentals.

The town of Naples, located at the southern end of the lake, is part of the Finger Lakes wine region. You can visit seven wineries along the 41-mile Canandaigua Wine Trail to sample their Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling, and Traminette wines.

The motto of Ontario County’s Lake Country is “the fun of it all.” Enjoy a variety of water activities, including sailing, boating, and swimming. Anglers can try their luck at catching lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, and panfish.

Make sure to spend some time off the water enjoying the area’s special events and spectacular inland scenery. Star gaze while attending a summertime concert at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center, an outside amphitheater. Savor the area’s famous Grape Pies in the fall during the grape harvest. Drive the quiet roads to view the spectacular fall foliage. In winter, hit the nearby slopes. Ski “the vertical” or enjoy the slower pace of groomed cross-country trails.

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historical Park sits on 50 acres overlooking Canandaigua Lake. The Queen Anne Victorian-era mansion was built in 1887, and the extensive gardens were planted between 1902 and 1920. In addition to tours from May through September, the site hosts special events such as the annual Orchid Show, Rose Week, Moonlight Strolls, and the annual Arts at the Gardens show.

Canandaigua Lake invites you to discover “the fun of it all” in the heart of the Finger Lakes region.

Things to Do at Canandaigua Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • City Park
  • Playground

Fish Species Found at Canandaigua Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Lake Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Canandaigua Lake

If you’re considering a Canandaigua Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Canandaigua Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Canandaigua Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Canandaigua Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Canandaigua

Surface Area: 10,553 acres

Shoreline Length: 36 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 688 feet

Average Depth: 127 feet

Maximum Depth: 276 feet

Drainage Area: 174 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Canandaigua Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


Advertise Your Canandaigua Lake Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.


Looking for the Canandaigua Lake Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Canandaigua Lake Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our Canandaigua Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!