History, Arts & Culture

Finger Lakes Wine Country has a storied history with ties to wine making and viticulture, glassmaking, aviation and auto racing history, literary history, the Underground Railroad, and the Civil War. Our region's history provides unique cultural experiences for today’s travelers.

Additionally, our region’s rich arts community is evident in our numerous galleries, live music events, and festivals celebrating the arts. While exploring Finger Lakes Wine Country, take note of murals by local artists, art installations at wineries and breweries, and unique sculptures on display across the region. 

Our world-class museums and cultural centers are open year-round providing hands-on affordable experiences for children and adults alike.

Diverse World-Class Museums

The Corning Museum of Glass is home to the largest glass collection in the world.  But at this renowned museum, glass isn't just for looking at or looking through. Research, explore, touch, work with, and interact with glass at a Hot Glass Show, a visit in The Studio, The Shops or at a Make Your Own Glass session. CMoG offers “kids and teens 17 & under free”, AAA discounts, group tours, free and convenient parking and a complimentary shuttle to downtown Corning for additional restaurants, shops, galleries, and the Rockwell Museum.

Art about the American experience and culture are preserved and interpreted at the Rockwell Museum, a focal point for engaging, dynamic exhibitions and educational events, minutes from the Corning Museum of Glass. The Museum offers a combination ticket with the Corning Museum of Glass, “kids and teens 17 & under free."  

Continue your museum experiences at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport and the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira. 

The Mark Twain Connection

Mark Twain spent over twenty summers in Elmira and the Chemung River Valley. It is said that the region’s sprawling landscape inspired him to create some of his most memorable characters and stories. Twain is buried along with his wife (an Elmira native) and children in historic Woodlawn Cemetery. Twain’s octagonal study where he did most of his writing, now located on the grounds of Elmira College, is open to the public.  In addition, Mark Twain Country hosts Twain-inspired events throughout the year.

Vibrant Cultural and Performing Arts Centers

Finger Lakes Wine Country offers abundant year-round cultural and performing arts events at a number of unique and historic venues. The Clemens Center offers two beautifully restored theaters including  the 1,618 seat Powers Theater, a full calendar of Broadway performances, family-friendly programming and more.  In addition of number of regional performing arts associations use the Clemens Center as their home including the Elmira Little Theatre, The Orchestra of the Southern  Finger Lakes, and Rafael Grigorian Ballet.

Experience History In the Charming Villages

For additional galleries, shops, restaurants, and museums discover the diverse and charming villages of Finger Lakes Wine Country in our Small Town Guides



Did You Know? 

Mark Twain wrote classics likeAdventures of Huckleberry Finn andThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer in Elmira, New York.