Must See

Ask a dozen locals what are the best things to see and do in the Finger Lakes and there will be twelve different answers. That's because there is something here that everyone will uniquely love.

The first step is to pick an interest!

The Arts

The Finger Lakes attract artists and craftsmen who offer their pottery, weavings, clothing designs, paintings, woodwork, and other creations throughout the region. Taking a glassmaking workshop at The Corning Museum of Glass is a must. In Corning, don’t miss The Rockwell Museum — known for paintings, sculptures, photographs, and media that speak to the “American experience.” Be sure you note the gas lighting fixtures and restored architecture at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira with its Hudson River School paintings and contemporary realist works.

Outdoor & Adventure

Finger Lakes National Forest is among the most immersive of year-round nature experiences in the region. Tanglewood Nature Center offers more than 10 miles of trails, exhibits, educational programming, and more, 10 minutes from downtown Elmira. Watkins Glen State Park is also a perennial favorite where visitors can hike among 19 waterfalls. Expert paddlers, on the other hand, might want to head to the waters of the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail, the Chemung River, or the pristine lakes. For more extreme adventures, hop into a German fiberglass sailplane in Elmira or sign on for the Drive the Glen experience in Watkins Glen. 


With farms galore, it’s no wonder that the culinary scene is a huge draw in the Finger Lakes. You’ll find many top-rated restaurants along Seneca and Keuka Lakes. Some vineyards in the region also perform double duty. Heron Hill Winery’s Blue Heron Café (Keuka Lake) whips up casual fare like flatbread pizzas and wraps. Veraisons Restaurant at the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars (Seneca Lake) offers upscale dining. In warmer months, don’t forget the farmers markets in any of the flagship towns. There’s also the Chocolate Trail with 30-some stops in Corning’s Gaffer District and the 15-creamery Finger Lakes Cheese Alliance.