The Finger Lakes area of New York offers a variety of small towns to visit and enjoy. One of those is Corning.
One of the starting points could be the Corning Glass Museum. Popular for its versatility and unique decoration, Corningware cookware was a staple in most mid-Twentieth Century homes. This museum demonstrates the art of glass blowing and offers a “make your own” opportunity. If you are going to spend a few days in the area, the tickets to this site are valid for two consecutive days.
Lakes mean water sports. Just a short 20 to 30 minute drive from Corning is Keuka Lake. Start your day with a kayak trek or paddle boarding. Four rivers are also in the Corning area including the Chemung, Canisteo, Tioga, and Chococton. These provide plenty of opportunities to test your angling skill or schedule a float trip for a leisurely drift from one scenic spot to another. Check with the local excursion centers to see what is available and to be sure you stay on the right side of the law with permits and limits.
Sports are not just for the temperate months. During the winter check out Spencer Crest Nature Center for sledding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. It offers 250 acres with seven miles of trails perfect for hiking and nature photography.
Take a stroll down Market Street with the self-guided tour or just wander on your own. You won’t be able to miss the Clock Tower since it is 50 feet tall. Built from local stone, it started as a watering station for horses and is named after the town’s namesake, Erastus Corning. The Gaffer District will take you through a number of city landmarks. By the way, gaffer is a master glassblower. The Gaffer area is filled with boutiques, eateries, pubs, and galleries.
We’ve already mentioned the Corning Glass Museum, but don’t overlook the Rockwell Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate. Those under the age of 17 have free admission and the Kids Rockwell Art Lab on Market Street will provide some additional interactive fun and they may not even realize they are learning something. The Rockwell has a fantastic display of Native American art and is a good way to explore the indigenous people of our land.
Food is a part of every day. In Corning, start with dessert, if you dare. Dippity DoDahs is synonymous with ice cream. Local cuisine is fully represented by Hand + Foot run by former Manhattanites. Three Birds and the Cellar are also good recommendations with a nice variety of meals and appetizers on their menu. Market Street Brewing Company and Mooney’s Sports Bar and Grill are great for an end of the day craft beer or cocktail of your choice. If you are all worn out from the day, there are several restaurants that will deliver including several pizza shops and a Chinese spot.
So, if you are going to be in the Corning area, be sure to include some of these ideas on your agenda. It will combine the quaint and modern and will provide a nice change of pace.