Finger Lakes Wine Country is proud to have some incredible cultural institutions and museums that make for the perfect way to spend a rainy day! Here are 5 amazing Finger Lakes museums to add to your visit or check out the virtual collections provided below to get some inspiration from home before your visit.
Currently you will want to reach out to each museum to plan your visit by making an appointment or reserving a ticket in advance.
What Frommer’s calls one of the “best small designed museums in the Northeast,” this museum in the heart of Corning features a collection of work on display about the American Experience.
The Rockwell Museum is an official Smithsonian Affiliate, the first in the state of New York outside of New York City.
You can find a mix of contemporary Native American art from landscape paintings to bronze sculptures to modernist pieces that represent the people, land, and ideas that shaped America through the work of American artists housed in a 19th-century historic Old City Hall building.
Explore the museum independently or join a guided tour to learn more about the art that traces the history of the American experience.
There are even special activities for the kids at the Rockwell Museum too to make art more accessible for the whole family.
Don’t miss the Rockwell Museum Store during your visit. You can find fair trade, Native-made, and American-made products that reflect the art on the museum’s walls and directly support the various museum programs and collections.
Corning Museum of Glass
One of the most obvious and famous choices for a rainy day activity is visiting the Corning Museum of Glass, dedicated to the history, art, and science behind glass.
Deep dive into over 3,500 years of glass-making history by exploring the museum’s collection of nearly 50,000 objects related to glass, learn about the science and technology behind glass in the Innovation center, enjoy live narrated glass-making demonstrations, and try your hand at making your own glass.
These are just a few of the many things you can enjoy at the Corning Museum of Glass in their state-of-the-art museum through their collections, workshops, exhibits, and more.
A typical museum visit requires 3 to 4 hours but could easily be longer. This is also another museum that’s great for all ages.
Glenn H. Curtiss Museum
Located in Hammondsport, you can learn the history of the pioneer aviator, “Father of Naval Aviation,” and the “Fastest Man on Earth,” at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum.
Experience the priceless collection of artifacts that not only explores early aviation but celebrates the history of local legend Glenn H. Curtiss.
The collection features exhibits and works including motorcycles, bicycles, boats, and of course aircrafts as well as the incredible accomplishments by Curtiss himself from designing bicycles and building bicycles to motorcycles and eventually aircraft.
National Soaring Museum
Enjoy the history of motorless flight at the National Soaring Museum at the top of Harris Hill in Elmira.
You can witness their large collection of antique and historical glider planes and sailplanes as well as learn about the significant events in history that took place around motorless aviation where it all began in America in the 1930s.
You’ll also get to check out their collection of soaring trophies and memorabilia telling the early history of soaring and gliding in America.
And if the weather clears up or on the next beautiful you can even try soaring yourself in a glider with a local pilot at Harris Hill Soaring over the gorgeous Chemung Valley.
Arnot Art Museum
Another wonderful art museum to check out located in Elmira is the Arnot Art Museum with its permanent collection of 17th through 19th-century European paintings, 20th-century American art, and contemporary art from the 21st century.
The museum is housed in a historic Greek-Revival building from 1833, founded by local banker Matthais Hallenback Arnot who gifted the museum to the city of Elmira.
In addition to the permanent and original art collection, you can also experience their temporary exhibitions featuring artwork from all over the world.