(WETM) – The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Regions offer a unique combination of history and world-class attractions that draw thousands of visitors every year.
If you’re visiting the area for NASCAR week, here are some places to visit leading up to Go Bowling at the Glen.
One of the closest attractions to Watkins Glen International is Seneca Lake. Just a few minutes drive away in downtown Watkins Glen, Seneca Lake offers great views and photo opportunities from the dock. You can also take boat tours on the lake or rent a kayak to explore it on your own.
You can also visit Clute Park, which just underwent $5.3 million in renovations to construct a year-round pavilion, a bathhouse with amenities, an ice rink, and a summer splash pad.
Bring your hiking boots to explore the gorges in Watkins Glen State Park. Within two miles, the glen’s stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course.
Visitors to the gorge can park in the parking lots or park at the lake and walk through downtown Watkins Glen up to the park.
Campers and day-visitors can enjoy the Olympic-size pool and picnic areas in the campground.
New York State Park campsites, cabins, and cottages are currently open only to those with reservations.
Seneca Lake Wine Trail
The Seneca Lake Wine Trail stretches both sides of the lake from Watkins Glen to Geneva offering more than two dozen different wineries. Grapes have been grown in the Finger Lakes for more than 100 years, creating one of the most popular wine regions in the country. If you’re not interested in wine, there are also several distilleries and breweries along the way.
Corning Museum of Glass and Market Street
Located about 20 minutes from Watkins Glen International, The Corning Museum of Glass is open year-round, seven days a week, and offers something for all ages and interests.
Advanced admissions tickets are required and are available for purchase through 2021, with Make Your Own Glass tickets available through September 6, 2021. Museum admission tickets are valid for two consecutive days and must be purchased, in advance, online.
The museum is open from 9 am – 7 pm, daily, and admission for kids 17 and under is free.
If you make a trip to The Corning Museum of Glass, take a short trip across the bridge to Corning’s Market Street. The Gaffer District offers unique shopping and dining experiences for visitors with an array of options while walking downtown.
For more information on Market Street visit the Gaffer District‘s website.
Mark Twain Country
Elmira is Mark Twain Country with tons of history to explore. Twain’s study can be found today on the Elmira College campus and you can visit his gravesite in Woodlawn Cemetery.
The Chemung Valley History Museum also offers a cell phone tour of Mark Twain historical sites. For more information on visiting Mark Twain Country, visit their website.
Other Interesting Places to Visit During NASCAR Weekend
Montour Falls, Downtown Ithaca, Buttermilk Falls State Park, Robert H. Treman State Park, Harris Hill & the National Soaring Museum in Elmira, Arnot Art Museum, Eldridge Park, Keuka Lake, Cayuga Lake, Schuyler County Historical Society, Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, Animal Adventure Park, Glenn Curtiss Aviation Museum.