Lakefront Life in Canandaigua

By Jake Banas, Finger Lakes Visitors Connection

Lakeshore Drive, the lakefront area of Canandaigua, has seen many changes over the years but new businesses, park upgrades, and improvements to walkability have made Canandaigua Lake’s north shore even more enjoyable for both visitors and residents of the Finger Lakes.

Running along the shallow, blue waters of Canandaigua Lake’s northern shores, Kershaw Park provides public access to the lake’s shores and beach. This city park has lakefront walkways, a swimming area, a small watercraft launch site, public docks, and a newly-remodeled playground. The nine acres of green park have ample walking paths that span the width of the park, connecting tasting rooms, restaurants, and other businesses along the way.

Craft beverage enthusiasts can slake their thirst at Twisted Rail Brewing Company’s lakefront tasting room where you will find craft beers and ciders. On the opposite end of Kershaw Park, the New York Wine & Culinary Center offers a different tasting experience where one can sample and compare wine, beer, cider, and craft spirits from across New York State. If all that beverage tasting leaves you hungry, the New York Wine & Culinary Center offers cooking classes and demos, as well as dining at the Upstairs Bistro which serves locally-sourced, bistro-style dishes. Nearby, Nolan’s on Canandaigua Lake is cooking up steak, seafood, and pasta, and just across the street MacGregor’s Grill & Tap Room grills classic burgers and pub fair.

Outdoor enthusiasts and fitness fans will find themselves equally as at home as their foodie counterparts. Beyond Kershaw Park, Canandaigua’s City Pier makes for a great place for dockside fishing or hanging out by the water’s edge. Seager Marine and Sutters Marina have all your boating needs covered, or, in the winter time, all your boats covered, as it were. For those lacking a fleet of their own, these marinas also offer rentals, and Canandaigua Sailboarding rents small watercraft as well as safety gear. If you’d like to spend some time afloat on the lake but don’t necessarily want to be responsible for the watercraft, the Canandaigua Lady, a replica paddlewheel boat, offers excursions during the warmer months and can be found at the eastern side of the north shore.

Across from Kershaw Park, Pinnacle North adds even more to see and do. A mixed-use development being constructed in five phases, Pinnacle North adds living space and new retail spaces to Canandaigua’s bustling lakefront. The nearly completed first phase adds one and two bedroom apartments as well as space for a restaurant and a microbrewery. The microbrewery, Young Lion Brewing, will occupy some of the first-floor retail space and is set to open just in time for the energetic summer season in Canandaigua.

The proposed restaurant at Pinnacle North is being developed by husband and wife business partners Joshua and Jenna Miles, who are well known in the restaurant world and are the faces behind names such as The Revelry in Rochester and Branca in Bushnell’s Basin. Joshua Miles is also responsible for two restaurants at the Strathallan Hotel, where he serves as the food and beverage director. Plans for the restaurant call for it to serve authentic southern-style barbecue with its team of chefs to be expertly trained in the art of slow, hot smoking as in cuisine from places such as South Carolina and Georgia.
With phase one well underway and four more phases to come, Pinnacle North is sure to continue expanding on the already varied options for food and fun along Canandaigua’s North shore, allowing for new and exciting experiences for visitors and residents both current and future.