2019 September Featured Destination of the Month: Steuben County CVB
Friday, September 13, 2019 08:00 AM

Steuben County CVB:

In Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes you'll find quintessential small-town Americana without compromising on world-class experiences. Between the extraordinary landscape and outdoor adventures, the charming small towns, the variety and affordability of activities, the accessibility of the region (nearly 25% of the U.S. population is within a five-hour drive: Corning is about a 4 hour drive from NYC, 4 hours from Philly and Toronto, 5 hours from DC), the first-rate culinary options, world-renowned art, and the laid-back, unpretentious vibe that distinguishes the regions personality, its difficult to find anywhere quite like Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes.

1.    What's one attraction that can’t be missed when visiting your destination?

You may not expect to find world class art in a town of only 11,000 people, but there are two museums sure to take your breath away, including The Corning Museum of Glass, the world’s largest museum dedicated to glass. Travel back to the time of King Tut’s father and explore the evolution of glass in diverse cultures from around the world over the past 3,500 years. View mind-boggling art, watch exciting live demonstrations (as artists shape molten glass as hot as lava before your eyes), then create your own one-of-a-kind keepsake to take home. And families love The Corning Museum of Glass, especially the Innovation Center (which explores the science and technology side of glass including everything from Pyrex, fiber optics, space shuttle windows, and more which were all first developed in Corning). There are even fun glass-breaking demonstrations and admission for kids 17 and under is FREE. Admission tickets are good for two days so you can break up your visit (the average visit is 5 hours and once you are there you will see why people don’t want to leave). With one of the largest museum shops in the country, there are plenty of souvenirs waiting to be discovered.  

2.     What story ideas will travel media uncover at your destination?

Travel media who visit are consistently surprised at just how friendly and kind the folks in Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes are. While it seems like a trivial thing, it truly enhances an otherwise wonderful experience making it something unforgettable. Between the extraordinary landscape and outdoor adventures, the charming small towns, the variety and affordability of activities, the accessibility of the region (nearly 25% of the U.S. population is within a five-hour drive—Corning is about a 4½ hour drive from NYC, 4 hours from Philly, 5 hours from DC), the first-rate culinary options, and the laid-back, unpretentious vibe that distinguishes the region’s personality, it’s difficult to find anywhere quite like Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes. 

Corning’s Market Street has it all! Five short blocks (one of the first handicap accessible main streets in the country) with historic architecture, plus over 100 cool boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Incredible food and beverages. This small town has a laid back vibe, but world class culture. And the energy is electrifying. But there’s more in the area than just Corning (which also makes a great base camp for exploration).

Where else can you find in such close proximity so many unique experiences? Visit the world’s largest museum devoted to glass art and artifacts, stroll along a brick lined street with over 100 boutiques, galleries, restaurants in Corning, step inside the study where Mark Twain wrote his classic novels and visit his gravesite in Elmira (just 15 minutes from Corning), stroll among 19 breathtaking waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park (just 30 minutes from Corning), drive 30 minutes from Corning to Hammondspot, with a population of about 600 residents, and take an historic tour at the first winery in the Finger Lakes region (Pleasant Valley Wine Company) and then visit the winery that transformed wine-making in the region and the North Eastern Untied States (Dr. Frank’s Winery) which is also the most award winning winery in New York since 1962. Then, while you’re n Hammondsport, voted Coolest Small Town in America in 2012, learn about aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss (also known as the Father of Naval Aviation) and take a seaplane ride of Keuka Lake, the only Finger Lakes not shaped like a finger. With nearly 1,000 miles of wilderness footpaths, the Finger Lakes Trail offers hiking opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Love craft beverages? The Craft Your Adventure Trail has grown to include over 30 craft beverage producers, including breweries named Best in New York State at TAP NY Craft Beer and Food Festival, those with brews named some of the best in the state, the first actual estate grown hop farm/brewery in NYS, and the most awarded farm cidery in the United States in 2017. With suggested outdoor Adventure Pairings, enjoy the incomparable landscape that sets the region apart with the rewarding payoff of some delicious libations. 

3.     What plans, events does your destination have scheduled that travel media should be aware of?

Each May Corning celebrates GlassFest, which was named a Top 100 Event in all of North America multiple times by the American Bus Association. A special four-day festival of glass (live shows, vendors, fireworks, concerts, and more). Learn why Corning is America’s Crystal City and have a great time at this wonderful event. And each October, the town celebrates Corning’s role in making the first glass containers for Thomas Edison’s Incandescent Lamps and the impact one mysterious boy played in helloing get light out into the world with The Days of Incandescence. Every September the southern tip of Keuka Lake is transformed into a seaplane extravaganza during the annual Wings & Wheels event. Watch seaplane competitions, take a seaplane ride, see exotic and vintage cards, and more.

4.     Is there anything else you feel travel media should know about your destination?

Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes is composed of small towns full of passionate, creative folks who want to share their favorite things with others. Don’t be surprised when you come if you end up feeling like you haven’t actually found your way home. 


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