Cayuga County (pronounced ka-yu-ga) is named for the Cayuga Indian tribe that formed part of the Iroquois Confederation. Cayuga means "people of the wetlands."

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Cayuga County Facts

The county seat is Auburn with a population of just under 27,000.

The population of Cayuga County is approximately 79,000.

In 2010, Auburn, NY was ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 'Best small city to raise a family' in the northeast.

Cayuga County was formed in 1799.

Cayuga County has eight lakes, which is more waterfront land than any other county in New York State not adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean.

Cayuga County is located in the west central part of New York State, in the Finger Lakes region.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 864 square miles (2,237.7 km2), of which 693 square miles (1,794.9 km2) is land and 170 square miles (440.3 km2) (19.74%) is water.

Cayuga County has 926 farms, covering 246,900 acres.

Cayuga County FAQs

What is the meaning of 'Owasco' Lake?

On the eastern side of the Finger Lakes, Owasco Lake is a name believed to have been derived from Mohawk and Iroquois tribes meaning 'Floating Bridge' or 'Crossing Point.'

What is the meaning of 'Skaneateles' Lake?

The name 'Skaneateles' means 'long lake' from the Iroquois language.

When and where is the Route 90 50-Mile Garage Sale?

The annual 50 - mile long garage sale runs from Montezuma to Homer along Scenic Byway Route 90 on the eastern side of Cayuga Lake. The sale is held Saturday and Sunday, the last full weekend of July.

When is the best time to see fall foliage?

Typically, the first two weeks of October are the best time to see fall foliage. Keep in mind that timing varies from year to year depending on weather and conditions, so feel free to call us for updates.

What are the closest airports to Cayuga County?

Visitors can reach Cayuga County by flying into Hancock International Airport, Greater Rochester International Airport and Ithaca /Tompkins Regional Airport. Traveling by car is the best way to see the Finger Lakes and car rental agencies are available at each airport. Cayuga County also has an airport for private planes in Weedsport, which is Whitford Airport.

What is the weather like in Cayuga County?

Cayuga County is a four-season destination, averaging in the high 70s in the summer and low 30s in the winter.


Distances from major cities to Auburn, NY

Albany, NY - 175 Miles
Boston, MA - 340 Miles
Buffalo, NY - 125 Miles
Cleveland, OH - 311 Miles
Harrisburg, PA - 265 Miles
Ithaca, NY - 35 Miles
Montreal, CANADA - 380 Miles
Niagara Falls, NY - 139 Miles
NY, NY - 269 Miles
Ottawa, CANADA - 223 Miles
Rochester, NY - 60 Miles
Syracuse, NY - 30 Miles
Toronto, CANADA - 218 Miles
Washington, DC - 334 Miles


Sports & Leisure

Abner Doubleday, baseball's legendary founder, spent much of his life in Auburn. Auburn's minor league baseball team, the Auburn Doubledays is named in his honor.

Little Sodus Bay, just off Fair Haven, is the Brown Trout Capital of the world.


The first commercially successful system of sound film was invented in 1923, in the Case Research Lab, Auburn. The rights were later sold to Fox studios. Today visitors can tour the lab, which is now part of the Cayuga Museum.

The Insanity Plea was first used as a defense in a case represented by William H. Seward in Auburn.

The first electric chair and the first successful electrocution were at Auburn Correctional Facility, the oldest continuously operating maximum-security prison in North America.


After the Civil War, Harriet Tubman settled in Auburn, having completed her heroic work on the Underground Railroad. Today, visitors can tour the Harriet Tubman Home, the home she built for aged blacks. Fort Hill Cemetery, also in Auburn, is Tubman's final resting place.

Henry Wells, founder of Wells Fargo, American Express and Wells College began his career in Port Byron as a shoemaker and mechanic.

Millard Fillmore, our 13th President, was born, raised and trained in law near the Village of Moravia.  A replica of his cabin is located at Fillmore Glen State Park.

The Seward House, located in Auburn, was once the home of William H. Seward, co-founder of the Republican Party, Secretary of State to Presidents Lincoln and Johnson, and a leading figure in the purchase of Alaska (Seward's Folly).  Visitors can enjoy a tour through 17 rooms of original furnishings.

The Willard Memorial Chapel, Auburn, designed by Louis C. Tiffany, is the only complete unaltered Tiffany chapel known to exist. The chapel interior showcases fourteen opalescent nave windows, a nine-paneled Rose window, nine Mooresque-styled chandeliers, a large mosaic bronze and gilt tablet, hand-carved furnishings of oak inlaid, a ceiling with gold leaf stencils and extensive mosaic flooring.


The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Auburn, known as "Broadway in the Finger Lakes," is upstate New York's largest professional summer theatre.


Cayuga County is #1 in grain production in NYS.

Cayuga County is #2 in milk production in NYS.


The Village of Union Springs on Cayuga Lake has its own island, Frontenac Island.