Historic downtown Canandaigua’s proximity to Rochester and Buffalo makes it an easy getaway for day-trippers and weekend vacationers. Spectacular 17-mile-long Canandaigua Lake provides a beautiful backdrop to the city and the surrounding countryside, and is a major attraction for boaters and others who enjoy water sports. Dock nearby at the city pier, where fishermen try their luck and photographers gather to take snapshots of the picturesque boathouses and Squaw Island. At a half-acre, Squaw Island is the smallest state Fish and Wildlife Management area in New York. Kershaw Park, which occupies nine acres on the north shore, is a great spot for swimming or enjoying a leisurely walk.

The theme of Canandaigua Merchant’s Association is “Shop, Dine, Explore.” The city offers a large selection of dining options, ranging from simple diner-type establishments to fine cuisine with a European, Mexican and American flair. As it does in many Finger Lakes locales, wine holds a place of special importance here in the “jewel of the Finger Lakes.” Wine walks offer tasters an adventure at every corner, and the New York Wine and Culinary Center showcases the finest wine and agricultural products from across the state.

The arts flourish here, too. Canandaigua is known for its large number of galleries; the largest, in fact, of any city in the Finger Lakes outside of Rochester or Syracuse. The spectacular CMAC Performing Arts Center on the campus of the Finger Lakes Community College hosts the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra several times each summer, along with a number of national touring acts. There are other concerts, exhibits and festivals in the area, just waiting to be enjoyed.

Throughout Canandaigua are designated historic districts that preserve the historical significance and the architectural quality of landmark homes and buildings. A stroll through these neighborhoods reveals beautiful examples of 19th and 20th century architecture. Granger Homestead and Sonnenburg Gardens, two lovely examples, offer tours and other special events for visitors. The Ontario County Historical Society offers research, exhibits, events and education.

Specialty boutiques, apparel stores and unique craft and gift shops line Main Street. Our store, Wick-edly Sent Soap and Candle Company is part of that eclectic mix. Locals and tourists alike visit us for unique candles, and all-natural soaps, lotions and bath products that are made on-site. Customers can even create their own custom scents from an “aroma bar.” All the downtown shops provide friendly and knowledgeable service that keeps customers – locals and tourists – coming back.

Canandaigua is alluring and ever changing, making it easy and fun to explore.


Cool Facts
• The name “Canandaigua” is derived from the name of the Seneca village that once stood there, Kanandarque, which means “the chosen place.”
• It’s historically significant as the site for the trial of Susan B. Anthony and for the signing of the Pickering Treaty, a peace treaty between the chiefs of the six nations of the Iroquois and the United States government.
• At one time, it boasted the widest Main Street in America.
• Canandaigua hosts podcast-directed history walks as well as haunted ghost walks.

For more info on Canandaigua visit

by Don Stevens
Don Stevens is co-owner of Wick-edly Sent Soap and Candle Company at 94 South Main Street in Canandaigua and president of the Canandaigua Merchant’s Association.

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