Hammondsport is a village, in the town of Urbana, northeast of Bath, in Steuben County, one of New York’s Finger Lakes. With a population of under 1,000, it is viewed as a serene spot in the Finger Lakes region. You will find it at the southern tip of Keuka Lake.
Keuka Lake has one of the most distinctive shapes, a “Y”. It is large enough that you can avoid crowds but still easy to access. It has numerous boat launches ready to accommodate any of the canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, sail boats, and more that are available for rental, or you can bring your own. You can schedule a fishing outing, or hop on one of the sightseeing tours.
If you have a penchant for museums, there are a couple that you might want to check out. As you might expect, there is a boating museum. It is appropriate for all ages and features everything from the 19th Century steamboats to more modern examples.
The other stop would be the Glenn H. Curtiss museum. Sometimes known as the greatest motor expert of his time, Curtiss loved speed. He provided engines for motorcycles, dirigibles, and then planes. In January 1907 he rode a motorcycle of his own design and construction to a speed of 136.26 miles per hour setting an unofficial world record and earning the title of “fastest man in the world”. This record was not broken until 1930. A pioneer in most things motors, he was a driving force in aviation through World War I and the period just before the next war. At this museum you can see examples of vintage aircraft and other vehicles.
Hammondsport has a couple of different nicknames. Vine City is one of those.
In 1829 William Bostwick planted the first grapevines and in the 1860 French immigrants carried on the industry. Now there are around 20 wineries in the area including Heron Hill Vineyards, McGregor Winery, and Dr. Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars. Sipping a nice glass of Riesling or Cabernet and enjoying the vista is a very enjoyable late afternoon adult activity in the area. All it needs is you.
If you would prefer, try the Keuka Brewing company for a sampling of it s craft beers. It has won several awards including the John Calen for the best brown ale in New York State. There are also the Brewery of Broken Dreams or the Keuka Brewing Company so that you can compare samples and choose your favorites.
Double check for details but in September they offer Wings & Wheels, mingling vintage and exotic cars with seaplane, competitions, and fly ins. February brings the Winter Stroll and Wintercycle Therapy. The area also sponsors golf tournaments and, of course, shopping.
Readers of Budget Travel voted Hammondsport the “Coolest Small Town in America”. So, when it comes time to schedule some R&R from the stress of everyday life, remember Hammondsport and its relaxed atmosphere, unassuming presence but with tons of things to keep the entire family entertained for a long weekend.
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