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New York: 14 fabulous things to do in New York’s Finger Lake’s Region

The Finger Lakes Region of New York State is a 9,000 square mile, four-season playground, set against a backdrop of Mother Nature’s best work: from waterfalls and gorges to rolling hills to miles of spectacular shoreline around 11 glacial lakes and one Great Lake.

As part of our New England road trip, we included a few days exploring the Finger Lakes Region in Upstate New York. We had a wonderful time and would definitely like to return to this area in the future.

Below is a list of 14 ideas for places to check out if you are thinking of visiting the area.

1. WATKINS GLEN STATE PARK

The small town of Watkins Glen is found in Upstate New York in the Finger Lakes Region. It lies at the southern tip of Senaca Lake, one of the larger ‘Finger Lakes’. Watkins Glen is not big, it has a permanent population of only 2000 and is made up primarily of one street. Yet it is a draw for tourists, due to its location in the popular Finger Lakes region and due to the Watkins Glen Internation race track, which regularly hosts NASCAR events.

One of the biggest draws to the town is the renowned Watkins Glen State Park, one of the most remarkable State Parks in the country. This is a relatively small park, but what makes it special are the 19 waterfalls in the glen that runs through the Park. They are close together, so walking upstream about 2-miles and you will see them all.

Address:1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY
Website:parks.ny.gov/parks/142/
Telephone:T: 607-535-4511
Hours:

Watkins Glenn State Park is open every day 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the fall, winter and spring. Memorial The park is open everyday from dawn to dusk. The gorge trail access is seasonable and closes for the winter months.

Admission Fees

Entry to the Park is free but there is a $10.00 fee for parking

2. WINE TOUR

The Finger Lakes region is known for its award-winning wines. There are numerous vineyards and wineries that cover the hills that surround the lakes, taking advantage of the near perfect conditions for making excellent wine.

You can plan your own wine trail to visit the wineries or take an organized wine tour. Which ever way you decide to visit you are sure to have an amazing experience.

3. ROBERT TREMAN STATE PARK

Robert H. Treman State Park is an area of wild beauty, with the rugged gorge called Enfield Glen as its scenic highlight. Winding trails follow the gorge past 12 waterfalls, including the 115-foot Lucifer Falls, to where visitors can see a mile-and-a-half down the wooded gorge as it winds its way to the lower park. 

Address:105 Enfield Falls Rd. Ithaca, NY
Website:parks.ny.gov/parks/135/
Telephone:T: (607) 273-3440
Hours:

Park is open year round, dawn to dusk.

Admission Fees

Vehicle entry fees collected from April to mid November. Car: $9

4. CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS

The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York is one of the largest museums in the world dedicated to the art of glass making and design. As well as galleries of glass art there are also live demonstrations of glass blowing and classes where you can make your own glass.

Address:1 Museum Way, Corning, NY 14830
Website:https://home.cmog.org/
Telephone:T: (607) 937-5371
Hours:

Museum Hours:
9 am – 5 pm, daily, through Memorial Day

Admission Fees

Adults $20, College students, age 62+, AAA, and military $17; Aged 17 & under – Free

You can get combo tickets with the Rockwell Museum that will save you money if you plan to visit both

5. THE ROCKWELL MUSEUM

The Rockwell Museum (nothing to do with Norman) in Corning, New York is an interesting and diverse collection gifted by local business owners Bob and Hertha Rockwell. The Rockwells had keen eyes for art and exquisite taste.  They owned a department store in the area and used their store as a venue to display their remarkable collection of American art and artefacts, Carder Steuben glass, classic firearms, and antique toys. Today, the Rockwell Museum is a centre for the local community and has achieved prestigious status as a Smithsonian affiliate.

Address:111 Cedar St, Corning, NY 14830
Website:rockwellmuseum.org/
Telephone:T: (607) 937-5386
Hours:

The Rockwell is open every day 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the fall, winter and spring. Memorial Day through Labor Day (Summer), hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Museum is closed January 1, Thanksgiving Day, December 24 and 25.

Admission Fees

$11.50 Adults (18-61)$10.50 62+, $10.50 AAA and Military*, $5.50 Students (with ID), Kids & Teens (17 & Under). You can get combo tickets with the Corning Museum of Glass that will save you money if you plan to visit both

6. PLAY ON THE WATER

Whether you are jumping in, gliding along, or sitting lakeside, enjoying the water is a Finger Lakes must! As to how you can enjoy the waters of the Finger Lakes? That is up to you!

You can opt for human-powered activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing. Add a motor into the mix and rent a boat at different spots around the lake. Looking for a bit more pampering? Enjoy a lake cruise on a paddleboat or sail along the lakes, instead.

7. TAUGHANNOCK FALLS STATE PARK

Taughannock Falls State Park is located on Cayuga Lake, 10 miles north of Ithaca, in New York’s Finger Lakes Region. From the parking lot, it is a short and easy 3/4 mile walk along the Taughannock Creek Gorge to the falls which plunge 215 feet from the top of the gorge. This waterfall is 33 feet taller than Niagara Falls and is the tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains

Address:1740 Taughannock Blvd. Trumansburg, NY
Website:parks.ny.gov/parks/
Telephone:T: (607) 937-5386
Hours:

Park is open year-round from dawn to dusk.

Admission Fees

$9 per vehicle

8. WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL

Watkins Glen International, nicknamed “The Glen”, is an automobile race track located in the town of Dix just southwest of the village of Watkins Glen, New York, at the southern tip of Seneca Lake. It was long known around the world as the home of the Formula One United States Grand Prix, which it hosted for twenty consecutive years (1961–1980), but the site has also been home to road racing of nearly every class, including the World Sportscar Championship, Trans-Am, Can-Am, NASCAR Cup Series, the International Motor Sports Association and the IndyCar Series.

9. WINGS OF EAGLES DISCOVERY CENTRE

The Wings of Eagles Discovery Centre in Horseheads, New York is a small aerospace museum and education centre. If you love aircraft and science then this is a great place to spend and hours two. It is family-friendly, especially if your children are a little older.

Address:339 Daniel Zenker Dr, Horseheads, NY
Website:wingsofeagles.com/
Telephone:T: (607) 358-4247
Hours:

Summer Hours: From Memorial Day to Labor Day,  Open Thurs-Fri-Sat-Sun 10:00am-3:00pm
Winter Hours: From Labor Day to Memorial Day, Open Fri-Sat-Sun 10:00am-3:00pm

Admission Fees

Adult – $7.00
Senior Citizen (age 62 and over) – $5.50
Children (ages 6-17 years old) – $4.50
Children (under 6 years old) – Free
Family (2 adults and 3 children) – $18.00

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