In the center of the village is Clift Park, a waterfront refuge with a gazebo and wide-angled views of the lake. Docked at the end of a small pier are the two classic wooden boats of the Mid-Lakes Navigation Co. (315/685-8500 or 800/545-4318, www.midlakesnav.com, May–Sept.). During the warmer months, the family-owned spit-and-polish vessels offer enjoyable sightseeing, lunch, and dinner cruises.
These same craft also deliver the mail on Skaneateles Lake—a 100-plus-year-old tradition. The knowledgeable captain offers insight into the passing sights and properties, some of which her family settled generations before.
Across from the park stands the hospitable Sherwood Inn (26 W. Genesee St., 315/685-3405, www.thesherwoodinn.com) a rambling, Colonial blue building that was once a stagecoach stop. The inn was established in 1807 by one Isaac Sherwood, a man who began his career by delivering the mail on foot between Utica and Canandaigua, and ended it as the “stagecoach king.”
Just down the street is Krebs (53 W. Genesee St., 315/685-5714), a Finger Lakes institution dating back to 1899. For many years, Krebs reigned as the best restaurant in New York outside Manhattan, and diners flocked here from all over the state. At its peak in 1920, Krebs served 3,000 meals a day.
A great place for an espresso stop or leisurely browse over a glass of wine is the independent bookshop and cafe Creekside Books and Coffee (35 Fennell St. 315/685-0379 www.creeksidecoffeehouse.com) which offers wine tastings, author readings, cooking demos and live music in a cozy, bookish atmosphere.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition