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Find great nonalcoholic options on and around Canandaigua Lake

The Seneca people who once called this area home knew there was something special about Canandaigua Lake and the surrounding land. Their word “Canandaigua” translates to English as “The Chosen Spot”, noting their high regard for this area.

Today much of the lakeshore is privately owned land with super expensive lake houses, but just off the shore there is plenty to explore.

There are parklands scattered throughout the area for exploring like Clark Gully and Canandaigua Vista Nature Preserve. The city of Canandaigua at the north end of the lake has a picturesque street of shops for anything from speciality teas to musical instruments, art, and antiques. As you descend along either side of the lake heading south, you’ll get a great feel for just how serene the region is. At the southwest side of the lake, the village of Naples offers a quaint Main Street with artisan shops, farmer’s markets, wineries and food options.

Whether you’re seeking a day trip or a weekend getaway in the Finger Lakes, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy around Canandaigua Lake. Should you be wanting a craft nonalcoholic option on your visit, these spots are a recommended stop.

Canandaigua Lake Nonalcoholic Trail

This is a list of producers of craft nonalcoholic options around Canandaigua Lake. Other wineries and breweries and restaurants not listed here often will have options, but the folks listed here are the ones making them.

Arbor Hill Winery

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Arbor Hill Winery opened way back in 1978 in Naples, helping to put Canandaigua Lake on the wine map. Late founder John Brahm not only became known for his wine, but also for being a quintessential host. Before his passing in 2019, he was often onsite hanging with guests and taking photos and helping to make everyone’s visit a memory.

John also ensured that nonalcoholic options were available, and his legacy in that area continues. The concord-based Healthy Purple grape juice has won national awards. For those wanting a sparkle, Arbor Hill also has a sparkling grape beverage line and fruit-forward iced tea concentrates.

All are available to purchase by the bottle on site, but also can be enjoyed by the glass onsite.

Arbor Hill Winery Healthy Purple Grape Juice

Brew & Brats

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Brew & Brats is an Austrian-inspired brewery but with a New England feeling backdrop. From the same family that owns Arbor Hill Winery, the two businesses share a parking lot and a lot of menu items, too.

You’ll find a fantastic brat-loaded menu with custom locally-produced sausages and a great beer lineup.

Much like Arbor Hill, Brew & Brats is entirely onboard with ensuring there are great nonalcoholic options available. They have their own Rattlesnake Pete’s Root Beer available by the glass or a growler to go. They also serve all of the Arbor Hill sparkling iced teas.

Root Beer at Brew and Brats in Naples, NY

Heron Hill Winery Tasting Room

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Since its founding in 1972 Heron Hill Winery in Hammondsport has become a favorite destination over on Keuka Lake. More recently in 2010, they opened a tasting room in a renovated historic barn with views of Canandaigua Lake. Heron Hill has garnered international attention for their hospitality, so having a second location in the Finger Lakes was a celebrated expansion.

Heron Hill makes a long list of wines, but they also produce two unique nonalcoholic options. They have a bottled grape juice with a hint of apple cider, setting the flavor of this juice apart from other juices in the region. In 2016 they began producing their Dancing Bear, a black-tea blended with their own grape juice.

Both items are available to sip in house for a visit or in bottles to go.

Heron Hill Winery Dancing Bear Grape Juice

The Sand Bar at the Lake House

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The Sand Bar at the Lake House in Canandaigua pays homage to its namesake by reinventing the historic landmark with a renovated menu and theme. The Lake House opened in the summer of 2020 with incredible fanfare. As one of the handful of places in all of the Finger Lakes that you can eat and sit right on the water, the setting is about as picturesque as you can find on a gorgeous summer evening.

The food menu is simple and casual like oysters and salads and lobster rolls. Their nonalcoholic menu is short and simple but features mocktails made with Seedlip zeroproof spirits.

The Sand Bar_Featured Image

Twisted Rail Brewing Company

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Twisted Rail Brewing Company first launched in 2013 and in the decade since they’ve developed a great reputation in the Finger Lakes. They’ve now got four locations (Canandaigua, Honeoye, Geneva, and Macedon) where they’ve got their own beers on tap and a great food menu. Their Lone Train non-alcoholic IPA is available both on tap and in cans to take home. If you’re headed to Canandaigua Lake and looking for a unique, locally produced “near beer”, these guys have you covered! Plus, this Canandaigua location has a pretty awesome waterside view.

Twisted Rail's Long Train IPA

Things To Do Nearby

Cumming Nature Center is a preserve owned and operated by the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Walking trails and educational programming offer a family-friendly opportunity to spend time in nature while learning.

The Naples Grape Festival is probably one of the most anticipated and best attended annual events on the lake. In full celebration of all-things-grape, this festival offers two days of harvest season fun and food.

Sonnenburg Gardens in the city of Canandaigua is a historic property neatly preserved with acres of interesting gardens. You can spend a few hours stepping through the rose gardens, the greenhouses, Japanese-style gardens, and more.

Fun Facts From Around Canandaigua Lake

  • On the east side of the lake in Middlesex on Newell Road there is a “Gravity Road” commonly called “Spook Hill”. At a very specific point on the road, you can shift your vehicle into neutral and it will appear as if your vehicle is rolling uphill.
  • At the north end of Canandaigua Lake is Skenoh Island (formerly Squaw Island). It is one of only two islands found in the Finger Lakes and it’s the smallest NYS Fish and Wildlife Management Areas in the state.
  • The courthouse in the village of Canandaigua is where Susan B. Anthony was tried for voting in an election when it was still not legal for women to vote in New York State.
  • Kristen Wiig, acclaimed actress and comedian known for her work on Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids, and Knocked Up was born in Canandaigua.

Keuka Lake Nonalcoholic Trail

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Seneca Lake Nonalcoholic Trail

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