Cities, Towns & Villages

Forbes Magazine ranked the City of Auburn, N.Y., as the  'Best Small City to Raise a Family' in the northeast in 2010.

Located near the center of New York's Finger Lakes, Cayuga County's towns and villages are a great place to base your Finger Lakes Vacation getaway! The small city of Auburn will delight you with its history, culture and great places to stay from quaint B&Bs to hotels including the full-service Holiday Inn. Famous sites such as the Seward House Museum, which jumped to national attention in the best-selling book, 'Team of Rivals', blend with charming ethnic neighborhoods and first-class entertainment at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and Auburn Public Theater. Watch the Auburn Doubledays play at Falcon Park or see where sound on film was invented at the Case Research Lab, all in Auburn, NY!

Cayuga County's smaller towns and villages are truly the essence of what the Finger Lakes are all about – rural charm with a sophisticated flair. Our great restaurants, unique shops and fine service won't disappoint you. Aurora, on the east side of the longest of the Finger Lakes, Cayuga Lake has been said to have a 'Norman Rockwell' quality and it lives up to it's reputation. This historic village is a 'must see' on any Finger Lakes vacation.

To learn more about Cayuga County's communities, explore the links found below.


Cayuga's county seat, and its largest community, boasts first-rate historical and cultural attractions such as the Harriet Tubman Home and Seward House Museum, park access to Owasco Lake, professional theater and baseball, New York's only Bass Pro Shops, and a wide variety of other attractions, fine dining and accommodation options. 

As the County seat, located in the center of the County, Auburn is the location of many countywide government offices, banking and finance, legal and medical services.  

Downtown Auburn is the hub of business activity and in the Downtown Business Improvement District alone; there are over 200 retail, financial, food, entertainment and professional businesses as well as dozens of not-for-profit organizations and government agencies.  More

A great time to visit Auburn is on the first Friday of every month, when the City’s historical and cultural sites open their doors to visitors with food, entertainment, free admission, and special offers from 5 to 8PM in Auburn. 


Settled in 1799, the tranquil village of Aurora is situated on the east side of Cayuga Lake. To the north, it is home to the renowned home accessories company, MacKenzie-Childs, LLC. and to the south is Wells College, established in 1868 by Henry Wells. Places like the Aurora Inn, E.B. Morgan House and The Fargo are wonderful places to shop, dine and spend the night.

Come see the Howland Stone Store Museum in Sherwood, former family business of Quaker abolitionist Emily Howland. On view are historic items and memorabilia from her accomplishments and world-wide travels. Cleveland's Antiques, with tons of treasures, is right next door. Read more.


Geographically, Cato is surrounded by some of the best formed drumlins in the world, with water paths moving north to Lake Ontario and south to the Seneca River. This pattern accounts for its beautiful small lakes and ponds, and recreational opportunities abound! These include the Cato-Meridian Recreational Center, North Trail, Cato Golf Club and Cross Lake. 


The village of Cayuga, incorporated in 1857, is located on the northeast end of Cayuga Lake . It derives its name from the lake, which is the longest of the six major Finger Lakes at 40 miles. The northern end of the lake extends into the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, 7,000 acres of wetland that provide habitat for over 300 species of birds and wildlife. 

The Seneca River Crossing Canal Historic District, on the National Register of Historic Places, is located in the Town of Montezuma along the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.  The Cayuga-Seneca Canal (1828) joined with the Erie Canal (1820) opening navigation to the Finger Lakes and beyond. A 140-acre park connects several nature trails to the remains of historic canal sites and natural resources along today's Seneca River/NYS Barge Canal.

Fair Haven/Sterling

Located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario this area has changed from a shipping port to a resort community and features some of the best fishing, swimming, boating and camping in New York State. Unique attractions include the Sterling Renaissance Festival, Fair Haven Beach State Park, Sterling Lake Shore Park & Nature Center and the Little Red School House Museum. Read more.

King Ferry/Genoa

Just south of Aurora, King Ferry and Genoa form the agricultural heart of Cayuga County; their attractions include Rural Life Museum and award-winning King Ferry Winery. 


Locke, which was formed in 1802, is another peaceful agrarian community with beautiful farmland, historical cemeteries and Grisamore Farms, a busy family-run fruit and vegetable u-pick, with a picnic area, petting zoo and tours. 

Moravia/New Hope

Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States, was born five miles east of the village of Moravia. A replica of his log cabin birthplace is in Fillmore Glen State Park, with a deep limestone and shale glen with five waterfalls, a stone-walled swimming pool, campground, pavilion, and picnic areas. Nearby New Hope Mills has a water-powered grist mill and is famous for its pancake flour available in its country store. 

Port Byron/Mentz

The Village was incorporated in 1837, and is situated on the Owasco Lake Outlet and former Erie Canal, near the center of the Town of Mentz. The completion of the Erie Canal, in 1825, gave a new impetus to the businesses of the village, rapidly increased its population, and soon made it one of the principal grain markets in western New York. For more information on the Port Byron & Mentz area click on one of the links listed below.

Sherwood Historic District

This national historic district is in Sherwood in Cayuga County, New York. The district consists of 28 properties, some are related to the Underground Railroad, and most were built between 1820 and 1910.  The properties tell the stories of dedication to abolition, women's rights, and education.

Howland Stone Store and Opendore both make up the Howland Stone Store Museum. The museum includes a large collection of women’s rights memorabilia: original posters, photographs and more! 


Located to the east of Locke on Scenic Route 90, Summerhill boasts the birthplace of Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States. Fillmore was born in a log cabin in 1800 on Fillmore Road. The town recently completed a project honoring Fillmore's birthplace. On location now stand a recreational pavilion and a park for public use. Summerhill was named by an Irish settler for a place near Dublin. Within its five-square miles, visitors enjoy the town's high elevation and natural assets Lake Como and Fall Brook. Read more.

Union Springs

Union Springs is located on a bay of the east shore of Cayuga Lake, with Frontenac Park offering visitor amenities and lake access. As might be expected, the town's name is derived from the many springs within its boundaries. Two of the largest, dammed to form ponds, were the source of power for the earliest industries. Other springs have a strong taste of sulfur and contain various minerals of interest to the geologist. The extensive and valuable minerals, gypsum and limestone played an important part in the industrial development of the town, as well as its draw as a health resort. Read more.


Weedsport, formerly known as "Weeds Basin" was incorporated in 1831 was the site for early development of the Erie Canal starting in 1818. There are still remnants of the Centerport Aqueduct, providing a good example of Erie Canal stone work. Currently, Weedsport is known for the Weedsport Speedway and the DIRT Hall of Fame and Classic Car Museum. Read more.