"Roof Garden of the Lakes" ~ The Finger Lake Skaneateles

We just returned home from our big summer vacation up to Canada and Niagara Falls, and although I planned to share with you all of our adventures while they were happening, time and technology, or the lack of both, managed to hinder my ability to get any posts up. But now that we are home I can begin to share with your our most memorable summer getaway!

I am actually going to start with the last day of our vacation, a day spent in one of my favorite places, beautiful Lake Skaneateles in the great state of New York.

(me at age 23, yes a natural brunette!!)

Flashback 28 years when I was in my early 20's, I went on a ski weekend with my childhood friend Christina up to "Greek Peak" in New York state. We skied for a couple days while staying with a few of her friends, and then on Sunday the skiing conditions were not that great, so Christina's friends took us to this quaint little town for Sunday brunch. The place was located on one of New York's Finger Lakes and is known as the Village of Skaneateles. 

As far as I was concerned it was LOVE at first sight!!!

There is so much history here in this beautiful place, and the buildings and surrounding shops and gardens make the entire village feel as if it were frozen in a much simpler time. The village of Skaneateles was founded somewhere around the year 1839.

That dazzling Romanesque looking house on the hill was built in 1839, although it it has been disputed as to whether the home was built in Skaneateles, or possibly in New York City where it was then dismantled and relocated to Skaneateles. The home today is known as "Roosevelt Hall" because around 1879 it was purchased by Samuel Roosevelt, a cousin of Teddy Roosevelt's, and Samuel renamed the building with his family name. Both Teddy and Franklin did eventually do some presidential campaigning here in Skaneateles.

The lake itself is so pure that several surrounding municipalities use the lake's water without filtration. That's right...you can drink the water straight from the lake! 

This lake is sometimes referred to as the "Roof Garden of the Lakes" because it's altitude is much higher than the other Finger Lakes. 

The water of Lake Skaneateles is crystal clear and an amazing blue green in color. The color is the result of the water not only being so clear, but also the fact that the lake is very deep and contains minerals like lime in its bedrock. In addition there happens to be a lack of biological systems, microbiological to be more exact, which are typically found in most lakes.  

There are several beautiful stores and specialty shops to mill around in located right on the village's main through way known as Genesee Street.

And some beautiful churches to explore.

I don't want to forget to mention the historic Sherwood Inn, originally built in 1807 as a stagecoach stop, for a scrumptious bite to eat!!! This is the spot where I enjoyed Skaneateles back in 1985 for the first time!

On the north shore of Lake Skaneateles is the Shotwell War Memorial Park.

 This park was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1936, along with the unveiling of a plaque bearing the names of all of the village's World War I veterans. 

(Notice the bottom line reads..."Who answered their country's call in the World War"...at that time no one ever expected there would ever be a second World War!)

In later years plaques containing the names of veterans from WW II, the Korean conflict and Vietnam were also dedicated.

Right next to the Shotwell Park our kiddies swam the latter part of the afternoon away in this gorgeous lake.

Aside from swimming there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the lake...

Night began to fall and it was time for us to leave this little slice of heaven. 

I hope you enjoyed spending the day here with us. Lake Skaneateles is truly is a magical place to visit! 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

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  1. I was born and raised not far from there. That area is just beautiful, isn't it? Makes me kind of homesick. My brother loved to ski Greek's Peak. xo Diana

  2. Barbara, Thank you so much for sharing your photos. I loved every one of them. I would love to see the lake in person. xoxo,Susie

  3. That looks like so much fun. I have a girlfriend who lives in Fairport, NY. Once when I went to visit her we spent the day in Skaneateles. It's such a pretty picture book type of town. The drive there is beautiful too. That Finger Lakes Region is amazing!

  4. Your pictures are only rivaled by your wonderful narrative. I feel like I was there! :)


  5. Beautiful pictures! I put it on my list of places to definitely visit! Thank you for sharing!

  6. SO excited to see my neck of the woods being talked about. I'm about a half hour from Greek Peak and Skaneatles Lake.. It's good to be reminded of the beauty I'm surrounded by. Thanks for sharing.

  7. When my daughter was in college in Syracuse we visited twice. It is an enchanting lakeside village. I loved it. I wanted to move. Thank u for bringing me down memory lane.

  8. Oh, I love Lake Skaneateles!! My husband and I spent our first wedding anniversary there in a bed an breakfast and I have gone back every year since. It is only an hour from me. Your pictures have captured the town and lake perfectly. I go with girlfriends to shop the fabulous shops and we always eat at the Bluefish Grill on the water. Thanks for sharing! Visiting from The Scoop and following you via GFC, Pinterest and Google+!

  9. I am fortunate enough to be living in the beautiful little town of Skaneateles, NY. My husband and I raised our three children here. It truly is as picturesque as you've shown, but it's your narrative that is the icing on the cake. I also have to be grateful for the long term residents, who are so tenacious in keeping the town's "story book" quality. Without them, this gorgeous place would be just another "once upon a time".

    1. Thank you so much Susan! It means a lot to me coming from someone who is lucky enoth to live in such a beautiful place. Shaneateles is where i would love to retire!
      XO Barbara

  10. Just discovered your blog, and had to say how nice it was to read this post. As a teenager, my parents and I lived about two hours from Lake Skaneateles, and we vacationed there a couple of times. It was wonderful. I live in the South now, but would love to go back there and take my husband. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


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