Shop Small, have a big impact!

Did you know that 48% of each purchase at a local, independent business is recirculated locally? Small Business Saturday is dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.finger-lakes-distilling

On Saturday, November 26, nearly 40 local businesses will participate in the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Saturday promotion. Each business is offering unique incentives for shopping small including discounts, unique experiences, free gifts, bonus offers, complimentary gift wrapping, and more! Supporting local businesses, keeping more money in your local economy, getting great deals; how could the day get any better?! Well, it can!namaste-spa

Our Christmas Wish List describes the unique incentive that each participating business will offer. But there’s more! While you are shopping, be sure to take the Christmas Wish List with you, have it stamped as you make purchases, and enter to win one of several gift baskets full of local goodies! It’s easy. Here’s how:

  • Visit watkinsglenchamber.com/smallbusinesssaturday and print the Christmas Wish List.
  • Purchase at least one of the items on the list (or any item) from a participating business and receive a stamp.
  • After you are done shopping, complete the entry form on the back page, leave it at your last stop, and you will be entered to win one of five gift baskets. The more stamps you have, the more chances you have to win!

village-bakerySome of our Chamber members participated in a social media campaign, sharing their stories about the impact of shopping small. Those are images featured throughout this post. Isn’t it amazing the difference you can make, just by shopping with local businesses?!

While you’re shopping be sure to share your adventures on social media using #shopsmall and #shopsmallwgacc. Follow the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook and on Twitter @WGAreaChamber.

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce office located at 214 North Franklin Street will be open on Small Business Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. If you have any questions about the event, be sure to stop by and see us!

For more information visit www.watkinsglenchamber.com/smallbusinesssaturday or contact Meredith Williams at meredith@watkinsglenchamber.com or call (607) 535-4300.

5 Things To Do In Cooler Weather

  1. Watch the sunrise over Seneca Lake. Now, one would think the sunrise would be sunrise-over-seneca-lakebeautiful no matter the temperature, and that is correct. But, when the cooler weather arrives in the fall, a dense fog bank forms over Seneca Lake. The water maintains its warmth relative to the air and as a result, fog begins to rise, creating an incredible, ethereal scene. Best places to watch? From the pier house in Watkins Glen or from any picturesque spot on the west side of Seneca Lake.
  2. Warm up with some craft beer tasting. Cooler weather brings out sweaters, scarves, and… suds! With so many craft breweries popping up in the Finger Lakes, it only makes sense that there is now an official Finger Lakes Beer Festival. Held October 21 and 22 at Watkins Glen International, this festival featuresbeer over 30 New York State craft breweries and distilleries. Enjoy live music, delicious food, and fun with friends. To learn more or to purchase tickets, click here!
  3. Waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls! With the summer heat over, fall is perhaps the best time to get out and explore the 44 waterfalls of Schuyler County. We’ve also had some rainfall as of late, so the waterfalls are recuperating from the summer drought. To view images and directions to all of the waterfalls, visit: http://nyfalls.com/waterfalls/. For a “can’t miss” list from an outside perspective, check out this list of 10 New York Waterfalls You Should See by famed photography Stu Gallagher.
  4. Get your tickets to the wine event of the season – Deck the Halls! This popular event on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail takes place November 18-20 and December 2-4. It tends to sell out, so you should definitely get your tickets sooner rather than later. In keeping with the holiday theme, you’ll receive a grapevine wreath at your starting winery, as well as a custom ornament from each stop. Plus, you’ll enjoy a delicious food sample with a wine pairing at each participating winery. Now there’s a way to get in the holiday spirit! For ticket and event info, visit: www.senecalakewine.com.
  5. Take in the foliage. Yes, it’s technically late fall, but don’t worry – there are still OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAplenty of leaves on the trees. The picture to the right is of postcard-perfect downtown Montour Falls. Things are just starting to peak here in the southern Finger Lakes, so plan your visit today to take it all in before it’s gone!

For trip planning assistance, visit our website: www.watkinsglenchamber.com or give us a call at 607-535-4300 to talk with a travel expert.

Top 5 Fall Experiences

Fall is one of our favorite seasons here in Watkins Glen and Schuyler County. The air is cooler, the sun seems to shine brighter, the scent of ripening grapes wafts from the vineyards, family activities abound from apple and pumpkin picking to hiking your favorite trails. There is no shortage of things to do, but here are our “Top 5” to give you some ideas. Read all about it here then go out and find your favorite fall activity! There is something special around every turn…

Apple picking at Reisinger’s Apple Countryreisingers

A family owned and operated u-pick farm with nearly 50 acres of orchards, fields, and meadows… and over 10,000 apple trees! Nearly 20 varieties are available for u-pick throughout the season including favorites such as Honey Crisp and Jona Macs, as well as the more rare Northern Spy variety and a slew of others.

The smell of fresh cider donuts wafting from the farm store is sure to pull you in where you’ll find apple butters, jams, jellies, apple cider, maple syrup, popcorn, and more great products – all made on site. They are open 7 days a week 9am to 6pm from August through early November (these dates vary by season). For details, visit their website or give them a call at 607-535-7493.

Picking grapes at Fulkerson Wineryimg_1393

If fall can only mean one thing in the Finger Lakes, it would be grapes. The scent perfumes the air and it is irresistible to all who live, work, and play here. Picking grapes is something that many locals have done (either for work or fun) and something that visitors always want to do.

Fulkerson Winery on the west side of Seneca Lake offers just that opportunity… but far beyond just the standard Niagara and Concord grapes, they also have more unique varieties such as Himrod and others. Perhaps you’d like to take the next step and try your hand at wine making. You can actually purchase fresh grape juice, get all of your supplies, and (free) expert advice, right there. For details on grape juice and grape picking, visit their website or give them a call at 607-243-7883.

Sailboat ride aboard the Schooner True Love1224967506_eswz8-o

There is arguably no better view of the surrounding hillsides than from a seat aboard the Schooner True Love. Built in 1926, True Love firs gained fame in the 1940 romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story, then in 1956 in the musical-film High Society. After her time on the silver screen, True Love retired to St. Thomas until her restoration in 2003 and now graces the waters of Seneca Lake. True Love sails morning, midday, and sunset sails. Prices vary and sails are available Memorial Day through Columbus Weekend.

Attending the Falls Harvest Festival in Montour Fallspicture-014

Check out this awesome (free!) community event in Montour Falls. Featuring entertainment, demonstrations, a scarecrow contest, an inflatable jumpy castle for children, a pumpkin carving contest, and more, all concluding with fireworks over Shequaga Falls at 7pm!

Take in the view from the Sugar Hill Fire Towersugar-hill-fire-tower

This 9,000+ acre outdoor paradise offers endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. From hiking and backpacking to camping in lean-tos or bringing your own tent, there is no limit to your options! But, if there is one thing not to miss during you visit, it would be the 75-foot climb to the top of the fire tower (one of only a handful remaining in the state) to the top to enjoy a 15 mile vista in all directions!

For more information, visit our website: www.watkinsglenchamber.com or give us a call for expert assistance in planning your trip: 607-535-4300.

Top 7 Places to Take A Stunning Photo

With the growing capability of cell phone cameras combined with social media, it seems everyone has taken to chronicling their experiences with photography. These images are shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. It’s no secret that here in the Finger Lakes (and specifically, Schuyler County) we have no shortage of incredible scenery and sites to capture photographic gold. Here, we share our Top 7 Places to Take A Stunning Photo in Schuyler County.

How many of these sites have you visited? Feel free to share your images from Schuyler County and the Watkins Glen area in the comments!

7. Sugar Hill State Forest sugar-hill-fire-tower

3361 Tower Hill Road, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Sugar Hill State Forest is located west of Watkins Glen and covers approximately 9,085 acres.  It is open for hiking, cross country skiing, horse use in the summer months, and snowmobile use when there is sufficient snow cover. Sugar Hill is also home to one of the last fire towers in New York State that is readily accessible to the public. The observation deck is closed, but the stairs up to the top landing are open for climbing at your own risk. At the end of your 68-foot climb you will be richly rewarded, with a 15-mile vista in all directions. On a clear day the view is truly spectacular. There are also waterfalls near trails throughout the forest.

6. Finger Lakes National ForestPainted Bar Stables Trail Ride2

Hector Ranger Station: 5218 State Route 414, Hector, NY 14841

The Finger Lakes National Forest encompasses over 16,000 acres between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. It is the only national forest in New York State and one of only three in the northeast. With over 30 miles of interconnecting trails that traverse gorges, ravines, pastures, and woodlands, it will amaze you with its scenic beauty. The National Forest is open to the public for camping, hiking, trail running, backpacking, biking, camping, horseback riding, hunting, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing.

5. On Seneca Lake aboard one of our fantastic cruises or sails

There is nothing like the wide open waters of Seneca Lake to put things in perspective for you. On sunny days the water is a brilliant sapphire. On cloudy days the water often becomes so placid you could mistake it for glass. Either way, it’s an amazing photo op that you don’t want to miss!

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True Love by Schooner Excursions

Enjoy a lovely sail courtesy of Schooner Excursions through the crystal waters of Seneca Lake. Your experience takes place aboard a 1926 John Alden Malabar VII Schooner. Schooner True Love has sailed the Caribbean waters of St.Thomas since the 1950s and was featured in the 1956 movie “High Society” with Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and Frank Sinatra.

Captain Bill’s

A visit to Seneca Lake is not complete without stopping at Captain Bill’s. The Seneca Legacy allows you take in views over a delicious Seneca Legacymeal. Whether enjoying a lunch among friends, or a romantic dinner, your time on the Seneca Legacy will be memorable. The Stroller IV, Captain Bill’s 50-foot mahogany vessel offers informative sightseeing excursions. This hour-long tour of Seneca Lake provides a brief look into the history of the lake and the surrounding areas – an educational and relaxing way to take in the scenery.

4. The Pier House at Seneca Harbor Park

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If you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, you can still capture incredible images of the iconic Pier House at Seneca Harbor Park. This is a major landmark for everyone who knows Watkins Glen. Don’t let the cold keep you away, either. Winter photos with sparkling ice and snow can be stunningly beautiful.

 

3. Eagle Cliff Falls at Havana Glen Park

This waterfall is 41 feet high with a 16 foot wide plunge in a beautiful amphitheater of rock. There are also numerous small cascades which you will encounter along the way, including a staircase-like waterfall that parallels the trail. The Glen Trail is very short and only Suits Eagle Cliff Falls  Havana Glen  MFallsclimbs 5 modest flights of stairs. It starts from the parking area, proceeds up the left side of the creek, past numerous small falls and ends at the entrance to the Eagle Cliff amphitheater. Once there, you can creek walk closer to the falls. Once there, feel free to walk behind the falls and in the shallow pool below it. Because you access the waterfall relatively safely, you can get some awesome images of your family and friends under and around it. Pretty cool! Click here for more info.

2. A sunset from the east side of Seneca LakeSunset at CLR

East siders often boast that they have the best view in the region because of the amazing sunsets… and it’s hard to argue with them! As the sun glides to the horizon, pull up a chair at one of the wineries or breweries and pull out your camera. A couple of options include Grist Iron Brewing/The Inn at Grist Iron and Atwater Estate Vineyards.

1.Watkins Glen State Park

We’re sure you’re not surprised to see this stunning gem at #1. Voted the #3 State Park in the Country by USA Today readers in 2015, this incredible park has delighted visitors for Watkins Glen State Park- Triple Cascades for CMoreNYgenerations. Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. Within two miles, the glen’s stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Some of the most photographed spots include Rainbow Falls, Cavern Cascade, and Triple Cascade.

 

Do you want more information on all there is to see and do in Watkins Glen and Schuyler County? Click here to visit our website or give us a call for expert advice and assistance: 607-535-4300. Toll free: 800-607-4552.

 

Top 5 Places to Enjoy a Frozen Treat

Everyone knows we have a beautiful lake and stunning waterfalls, award winning wineries/breweries/craft spirits, awesome restaurants, amazing scenic and natural beauty, great shopping and antiquing, one of the top state parks in the nation, America’s best road course, and so much more. But we also have something else that might surprise you. An incredible assortment of ice cream parlors and sweet treat spots to enjoy. In fact, we have so many, that we decided to compile a list of the Top 5 Places to Enjoy a Frozen Treat in Watkins Glen and Schuyler County. So, without further adieu, in no particular order… here are our

Top 5 Places to Enjoy Ice Cream (and Frozen Yogurt)
Ben & Jerry’sBen and Jerry's
418 North Franklin Street, Watkins Glen
Hours: Monday through Sunday: 11am to 10pm
Click here to find them on Facebook or visit their website.
This iconic Vermont-based ice cream parlor is known for its creative, cleverly named flavors. If you’ve ever visited their shop in Watkins Glen, you’ll also remember the iconic car parked outside. Oh, and if you happen to be a hosting a party and are looking for the perfect sweet ending… they cater, too! Aside from the plethora of hard ice cream flavors, sundaes, and milkshakes, they also serve up awesome ice cream cakes. But in our humble opinion, a truly “can’t-miss” treat is their Chunky Monkey Milkshake… heaven in a cup!
Colonial CreameryColonial Creamery 2
701 North Franklin Street, Watkins Glen
Hours: Monday through Wednesday: 12pm to 9pm; Thursday through Sunday: 12pm to 10pm
Click here to find them on Facebook or visit their website.
This family-run spot features homemade, small batch ice cream in over a dozen flavors! Among our favorites? Their Biscoff. Yes, you read right, Biscoff, as in, inspired by the deliciousness that is Europe’s best gourmet cookie… translated in ice cream. Can you say delicious?! Oh, and they even offer up vegan, gluten-free, and non-dairy flavors. But you’d also be crazy not to try one of their more fun ice creams chockful of goodness such as their Chocolate Peanut Butter Madness. That would be chocolate ice cream, peanut butter swirl, peanut butter cups, & peanut butter Oreos! As owner Paul Marcellus says, “Completely loaded, delicious madness!” We won’t take your word for it Paul, we’re going need to come try some!
Finger Lakes Frozen YogurtFinger Lakes Frozen Yogurt
215 North Franklin Street, Watkins Glen
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 1pm-9pm; Friday and Saturday 1pm-10pm
Click here to find them on Facebook or visit their website.
 
Owner Butch Monroe came to the frozen treat industry by way of a bed and breakfast. Mr. Monroe owned the famous Elmira’s Painted Lady Bed & Breakfast (which has since been sold into private ownership). He has welcomed guests from all over the world and now, has entered the world of frozen yogurt. Flavors range from classic such as Tahitian Vanilla and Cookies and Cream to more unique (and rare) such as Banana-Rama and Valencia Orange. While Butch has his flavor favorites, you never know what new ones you might come across. He offers 8 fresh-made rotating flavors, including a custard and a sorbet! Add in this huge topping station (they rotate more than 70 toppings), and your options are endless! The cherry on top is that you can have as much or as little as you want, because it’s self-serve and you pay by the ounce. Butch, you had us at Tahitian Vanilla!
Glen Dairy BarGlen Dairy Bar
433 South Franklin Street, Watkins Glen
Hours: Monday through Thursday: 11am to 9pm; Friday and Saturday: 11am to 10pm; Sunday: 11am to 9pm
Click here to find them on Facebook.
The Glen Dairy Bar opened in 1948 and was remodeled in 1999. They offer over 50 flavors of world-famous Giffords hard ice cream, 16 flavors of soft serve, and their newly added indoor seating means you can have ice cream – no matter the weather! But beyond ice cream, they also boast a sub shop featuring Boar’s Head Meats. So why not have a sandwich first and then a little dessert.
Great Escape & Everything Ice CreamGreat Escape
221 South Franklin Street, Watkins Glen
Hours: 7 days a week 11am to 10pm
Hours change after Labor Day
Click here to find them on Facebook or visit their website.
A family owned and operated business for over 30 years, the Great Escape is practically a Watkins Glen institution. They serve up homemade ice creams, treats and novelties, cakes, and Italian gelato. They also have vegan and non-dairy menu. The Honsberger family has been at the helm since the beginning and the vintage vibe inside takes you back in time. They also bake up delicious seasonal homemade pies and they recently began hosting “decorate your own” ice cream cake sessions for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (which were a hit). And if you’ve ever woken up and really been craving ice cream, there is nothing like their Ice Cream Breakfast Sandwich – vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. We’re setting our alarm. Don’t get between us and the ice cream!

Top 5 Places to Unplug

In today’s internet savvy, tech-connected world, it seems even on vacation it is a real challenge to be in the moment and truly relax. We are always connected. Whether it’s checking work emails from your phone or being caught up in social media, we’re here to help you UNPLUG and truly ENJOY your next vacation to the Finger Lakes. So, here is our list of the Top 5 Places to Unplug.

Seneca Sol

4625 Satterly Hill Road, Burdett, NY
(315) 270-2084
www.senecasol.com

Seneca Sol 2
Glamping at Seneca Sol
Seneca Sol is a “glamping” resort on the east side of Seneca Lake, just a few minutes drive from downtown Watkins Glen. If you’re wondering what “glamping” is, you can think of it as a combination of the worlds glamour and camping, hence – glamping! This property is the perfect place to get away from it all. It features spacious, furnished safari tents with private balconies in a secluded forest setting. There is an indoor commons area and a modern bath house, so don’t worry, even though this is part camping, you won’t really be roughing it. Click here for more information

Single Island Shores

5761 Rabbit Run Road, Hector, NY
(607) 742-7495
www.singleislandshores.com

Single Island Shores 3
Luxury cottages await at Single Island Shores.
Single Island Shores is a unique lodging experience on Seneca Lake, featuring newly constructed luxury cottages situated in the heart of the region’s most popular wineries, breweries, and attractions. This brand new property features beautifully appointed cottages, complete with full kitchens and the best part? Each and every cottage has a view of the lake! When you check in, you’ll want to toss that cell phone aside and soak in every moment. Click here for more information.

Farm Sanctuary

3100 Aikens Road, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
(607) 583-2225
The rolling green pastures of Farm Sanctuary’s secluded 175-acreshelter are home to more than 500 rescued farm animals. Spend the day and take an hour-long guided tour, browse their unique gift shop, learn more about farm animals in the Education Center, or enjoy a snack on the scenic deck. They are located next door to Sugar Hill State Forest, just west of Watkins Glen. You can even stay on the property! Click here for more information.

Finger Lakes National Forest

Hector Ranger Station

5218 State Route 414, Hector, NY 14841
Painted Bar Stables Trail Ride2
The Finger Lakes National Forest encompasses over 16,000 acres between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. It is the only national forest in New York State and one of only three in the northeast. With over 30 miles of interconnecting trails that traverse gorges, ravines, pastures, and woodlands, it will amaze you with its scenic beauty. The National Forest is open to the public for camping, hiking, trail running, backpacking, biking, camping, horseback riding, hunting, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. Click here for more information.

Sugar Hill State Forest

3361 Tower Hill Road, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

sugar hill fire tower
Climb the fire tower at Sugar Hill State Forest.
Sugar Hill State Forest is located west of Watkins Glen and covers approximately 9,085 acres. It is home to the Six Nations Trail System, approximately 35 miles long. It is open for hiking and horse use in the summer months. Roads winding throughout provide great mountain biking opportunities. Sugar Hill is also home to one of the last fire towers in New York State that is readily accessible to the public. The observation deck is closed, but the stairs up to the top landing are open for climbing at your own risk. At the end of your 68-foot climb you will be richly rewarded, with a 15-mile vista in all directions. On a clear day the view is truly spectacular. Click here for more information.

BONUS!

Because we would be remiss if we didn’t mention…

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park- Triple Cascades for CMoreNY
Watkins Glen State Park – step out of reality and into a Tolkien novel. Incredible!
1009 North Franklin Street, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
(607) 535-4511
Watkins Glen State Park is a stop you cannot miss! Voted the #3 State Park in the Country by USA Today readers in 2015, this incredible park has delighted visitors for generations. It is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. Within two miles, the glen’s stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge. Campers and day-visitors can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, scheduled summer tours through the gorge, tent and trailer campsites, picnic facilities and excellent fishing in nearby Seneca Lake or Catherine Creek, which is renowned for its annual spring run of rainbow trout. Click here to visit the park website!

Top 10 Things To Do in Watkins Glen & Schuyler County

Operating a Visitor Center is what we love to do… and what so many visitors ask us is what you’d expect, “What is there to do?” and we often respond, “Everything!” But really, what does that mean? Here is our list of the top 10 things to do in Watkins Glen and Schuyler County:

  1. Wine, beer, cider and spirits tastings along Seneca Lake. Watkins Glen and
    Atwater Vineyards
    The stunning view at Atwater Vineyards

     

    Schuyler County are located in the heart of one of the premier cool-climate wine regions in the world! With an amazing concentration of wineries, the wine industry in the Finger Lakes offers incredible diversity. On the heels of the wine movement, craft beer and hard cider are adding to the libations offered in the region. Schuyler County is home to the region’s first standalone craft distillery. Beer enthusiasts can try hand-crafted pale ale, amber, lager, or any number of specialty offerings at one of the many microbreweries in the area.

  2. Horseback riding through the Finger Lakes National Forest with Painted Bar
    Painted Bar Stables Trail Ride2
    Trail riding with Painted Bar Stables

    Stables. Experience the Finger Lakes on horseback. Painted Bar Stables is a community-oriented riding facility located just up the hill from Watkins Glen. Specializing in trail riding, the stable has reliable horses to guarantee a safe, secure adventure on horseback for riders of all ages and abilities. Experienced horses carry riders through the rolling landscape of the Finger Lakes Region on beautiful trails ranging from simple to rugged terrain. Each ride is carefully crafted through matchmaking of the horse and rider and selection of the perfect trail to give every individual the best experience possible. For a truly unique experience, take one of their moonlight trail rides.

  3. Drive The Glen. F1 came here in 1961, NASCAR came back in 1986 – and now it’s your turn! Give yourself a taste of what road racing is all about through Watkins Glen International’s Drive the Glen program which allows visitors to drive their own car on three paced laps around the historic Watkins Glen International 3.4 mile Grand Prix Course! Follow the pace car down the Front Stretch into the Ninety, twist, climb and claw your way up through the Esses and onto the Back Stretch, braking as you hit the Inner Loop and navigate the Carousel turn, then drop off the face of the earth into the depths of the turn-heavy Boot, climb your way out into Turn Ten, regain your senses and make a run for the finish line!
  4. Say cheese! No, really… we mean it! The Finger Lakes Cheese Trail winds its way
    sunset view creamery
    Cows at Sunset View Creamery

    through the Finger Lakes. Featuring destination farms that produce delicious artisan cheeses of all kinds, most have regular hours and welcome visitors throughout the year. We definitely recommend Sunset View Creamery in Odessa, which is also home to the Finger Lakes Cheese Festival in July. Lively Run Dairy, which is one of the longest operating commercial goat dairies in the country offerings tastings, tours, and an opportunity to play with the goats!

  5. Immerse yourself in local history at IMRRC. The
    IMG_1305
    Always something to see at the IMRRC

    International Motor Racing Research Center is located in Watkins Glen and features a 5,000 square foot facility housing a reading room, film room, exhibits, and worldwide racing archives. Famous drivers give talks periodically. A vintage car is on display in the atrium and the car changes every few months. Who knows, you might see a 1972 Indy Car Eagle or perhaps a 1929 35B Bugati.

  6. Chase waterfalls. TLC may have told you not to “go chasin’ waterfalls” but hey, this is Schuyler County… and we have 44 named waterfalls – you’d be crazy to miss them! Here are just a few of our favorites…

    Shequaga Falls in Montour Falls
    She Qua Ga Falls
  • Shequaga Falls in the village of Montour Falls are a hallmark of the Finger Lakes. They tumble 156 feet and empty into a large basin.
  • Havana Glen Park, located just south of the village of Montour Falls features Eagle Cliff Falls. To access this beautiful waterfall, it’s just a short walk from the parking lot, only a few hundred feet. Hector Falls, located right next to State Route 414 appear seemingly out of nowhere, running directly along the road. There is a small area for parking along the road but be alert, traffic can be heavy in this portion of highway.
  • Aunt Sarah’s Falls are located just north of the village of Montour Falls and are also directly along the road. Sometimes, during the peak of summer or during dry spells, this waterfall will slow to a trickle and sometimes stops its flow completely. But when it is flowing, Aunt Sarah’s Falls is among the most accessible waterfall in the region.
  • Deckertown Falls are located in the western portion of the village of Montour Falls.
    Suits Deckertown Falls  MFalls
    Deckertown Falls

    There is a small parking area for a handful of cars. There are three waterfalls visible from just beyond the parking area and if you journey upstream, there are several additional, sizeable waterfalls. Traveling upstream is best in summer or fall, when the water levels are likely to be a bit lower.

  • Of course, there are also 19 waterfalls in less than 2 miles at Watkins Glen State Park. Because our area was carved by glaciers, there are countless waterfalls to be found along trails at Finger Lakes National Forest and Sugar Hill State Park as well.
  1. Hang with the locals at one of these hot spots:
  • GRAFT wine + cider bar is the area’s only wine and cider bar. Creative, simple,
    GRAFT
    GRAFT wine + cider bar

    seasonal small-bites, snacks, salads, sandwiches and desserts are thoughtfully prepared in-house and designed to share and to pair, by popular regional chef, Christina McKeough. Christina. Favorite dishes include their take on grilled cheese – a crunchy, creamy Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomato Panini (featuring local goat cheese from Lively Run Goat Dairy, caramelized onion and a dried tomato olive oil puree on local focaccia from Village Bakery). Or the Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette (featuring local apples, parmigiana reggiano, and walnuts). You can finish your visit with a piece of their pie (a new offering every day!), and wash it all down with local wine or cider – talk about delicious! Oh, and you can enjoy live music there on Wednesday nights!

  • Nickels’ Pit BBQ is an authentic American BBQ located in the historic Watkins Glen fire department building. Their menu is homemade and locally sourced. Don’t miss their awesome Loaded Potato Tots, BBQ Mess Plate, and the classic Carolina Pulled Pork – our mouths are watering just thinking about it!
  • Montour House Café & Tapas Bar serves up delicious, fresh, chef-created foods, pastries, espresso drinks, and Finger Lakes wines and beers. We especially love the Slow-Roasted Veggie Wrap full of roasted red peppers, olives, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, hummus, sweet onion, and NY cheddar cheese, and their delicious Chicken and Cheddar Wrap stuffed with sliced chicken breast, Gouda cheese, mixed greens, tomato, onion, lettuce, and Kalamata olives. With a chef/owner who has served dignitaries and worked alongside internationally-renowned chefs and in some of the top kitchens in the country – the Montour House is definitely a can’t-miss stop!
  • The Harvest Café in Montour Falls offers up fantastic breakfast and lunch featuring wraps, salads, and our favorite – their quiche! Located in the heart of the Historic T district, with its idyllic dining room and beautiful exposed brick walls.
  1. Take a selfie at the iconic pier house in Seneca Harbor Park. This one is
    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    The iconic pier house at Seneca Harbor

    self-explanatory! It’s a must-do on your visit. If you’re not one for selfies, we understand… but you definitely don’t want to miss this incredibly photogenic spot. Walk the break wall to really get in touch with the water – literally and figuratively

  2. Unwind on a sunset sail with the Schooner True Love. Enjoy a lovely sail through the crystal waters of Seneca Lake aboard a 1926 John Alden Malabar VII Schooner. Schooner True Love has sailed the Caribbean waters of St.Thomas since the 1950s and was featured in the 1956 movie “High Society” with Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and Frank Sinatra. Local wine is available for those who wish to imbibe and the friendly crew passes a fruit and cheese platter for snacking. You’re also welcome to bring your own snacks on board.
  3. Dine aboard Captain Bill’s Seneca Lake Cruises. A visit to Seneca Lake is not
    Seneca Legacy
    Captain Bill’s Seneca Lake Cruises

    complete without stopping at Captain Bill’s. The Seneca Legacy allows you take in views over a delicious meal. Whether enjoying a lunch among friends, or a romantic dinner, your time on the Seneca Legacy will be memorable. The Stroller IV, Captain Bill’s 50-foot mahogany vessel offers informative sightseeing excursions. This hour-long tour of Seneca Lake provides a brief look into the history of the lake and the surrounding areas – an educational and relaxing way to take in the scenery.

These are just 10 options… we could name dozens more. Want to hear them? Give us a call for expert -travel advice (800-607-4552) or visit our website to download your free official travel guide. The important thing to take away is that there are countless reasons to vacation here in the Finger Lakes, and in our opinion, out of all of your options, Watkins Glen and Schuyler County are the perfect place to call home during your stay.

A hidden gem in the heart of the Finger Lakes

Watkins Glen State Park is, without a doubt, the #1 outdoor attraction in Schuyler County and arguably, among the most popular destinations in the entire region. But beyond the park, outdoor activitiesPainted Bar Stables Trail Ride2 are many and varied in our area. From hiking and biking, to paddling and sailing, horseback trail riding and snowshoeing – there is something for everyone when it comes to getting “out and about” around here. The Finger Lakes National Forest is just one of many options, but it is truly unique.

The Finger Lakes National Forest encompasses over 16,000 acres between Seneca and Cayuga Lake. It is the only national forest in New York State and one of only a handful in the entire eastern United States. Sadly, it is not so easy to find information on the Forest. On the internet, the Finger Lakes National Forest shares a site with Green Mountain National Forest (located in Vermont) – and information is not readily available nor easily sort-able. So, allow us to help you with a brief overview and more information! Keep reading…Landscape - kari lusk

With over 30 miles of interconnecting trails that traverse gorges, ravines, pastures, forests, and woodlands, the Finger Lakes National Forest will amaze you with its scenic beauty. It is open year round  to the public for hiking, trail running, backpacking, biking, camping, horseback riding, hunting, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing.

Just driving through the Finger Lakes National Forest can be a storybook-like experience. Trees arching over dirt roads, provide a lush green canopy under which to travel. Trillium blankets the forest floor and you can find blooms around seemingly every corner. Country Road- kari lusk

Because of its size, it is not uncommon to visit the Forest to hike, picnic, or play… and not even see another person. It is a wonderful way to escape the rigors and noise of the world.

If you need assistance in planning a trip to the Finger Lakes National Forest, please contact the Hector Ranger Station located at 5218 State Route 414 in Hector, New York, phone number: 607-546-4470. You can also call the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce at 607-535-4300 for expert travel advice!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest updates and events in Watkins Glen and Schuyler County.

 

 

Spring Break Staycation

According to Wikipedia, staycation (a noun) is defined as “a period in which an individual

use for back cover
Beautiful downtown Montour Falls with Shequaga Falls in the background

or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night.” With Spring Break right around the corner, many of us are dreaming of white sand and warm sun. But why go somewhere else when we have a little slice of paradise right here? We have dozens of attractions offering great activities, all within short driving distance of Watkins Glen and Schuyler County!

So whether you’re a local enjoying these attractions as part of your staycation, or a visitor to our area looking for great ideas and deals (yes, they’re in there – keep scrolling!) – we have just the list for you:

In Elmira/Corning

Corning Museum of Glass – Spring Break Activities
1 Museum Way, Corning
1-800-732-6845

make your own glass
Make your own glass!

For Kids: Encourage creativity and imagination to blossom over spring break. Visit the Museum for lots of family-friendly activities that will keep both you and the kids busy and happy. Admission for kids and teens is always free, and local residents (living in ZIP codes beginning with 148, 149, or 169) can visit for just $9, making the full line-up of events and activities an affordable option for families of all sizes. Activities include You Design It, We Make It!, Make Your Own Glass, Glassmaking Demos, and a Garden Gallery Hunt. Activities available March 19 – April 2. For details, visit: http://www.cmog.org/event/spring-break.

For Adults: Make this is a Saint Patrick’s Day to remember at 2300°! Get your green on and celebrate the day that everyone gets to be Irish at the Museum. These events are always a great time with live glassmaking, live music, sales in the museum shops, plus complimentary hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks. Heartier fare is available for purchase. For details, visit: http://www.cmog.org/event/2300-10.


 

Easter Sunday Brunch at Anthony’s Restaurantsoring iris
Holiday Inn Elmira Riverview
760 E. Water Street, Elmira
Brunch Available: Sunday, March 27, 2016: 10am to 3pm

Everything you could possibly want for Easter brunch including made-to-order omelets and waffles, with all of the sides you can think of, plus carved roast beef au jus, pineapple glazed ham, seafood thermidor, marinated grilled chicken, ratatouille, rice pilaf, fresh fruit, assorted salads, and so much more…. and of course, delicious desserts! For additional information, visit: http://www.fingerlakeshotel.com. Call 607-734-0402 for reservations. Cost is $19.95 for adults, $9.95 for children ages 5-12, $3.95 for children 2-4, children under 2 – no charge.


 

 

The Rockwell Museum
111 Cedar Street, Corning
1-607-937-5386
Hours: 9am to 5pm daily

Family Exploration Studio 1
Kids activities abound!

Take advantage of great kid’s activities all week long, Monday – Thursday from 10a – 1 p (kids free, local adults $5). They are also offering a FREE self-guided “Art of the Parks” in celebration of the National Parks Service centennial. The launching point to this tour is a small gallery of Historic Photographs of Watkins Glen State Park! For details, click here.

 

 


 

 

In the Watkins Glen/Seneca Lake Area

Easter Buffet at Veraisons Restaurant
Veraisons Restaurant • 5435 State Route 14, Dundee
1-800-243-5513
Sunday, March 27: 11am to 4pm

Featuring a carving station, decadent buffet selections, a “Create Your Own Pasta” station and a homemade dessert bar. Advanced reservations are required by calling 800.243.5513 or reserving a table online at http://www.Glenora.com/Reservations.

$32.95 for Adults
$13.95 for Children (12 and under)
*Veraisons will be closed for dinner following the buffet


 

Grand Brunch Buffet at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
Harbor Hotel • 16 North Franklin Street, Watkins Glen
1-607-535-6116
Sunday, March 27: 11am to 1pm

This grand buffet never disappoints! With everything from salads to soups and main dishes including pineapple ginger glazed ham, roasted pork loin provencal, her and horseradish crusted prime rib, spicy breaded cod, penne pasta with chicken and andouille sausage, tasty sides, and an assorted dessert display.

$30.96 per adult
$13.95 children ages 5-12
Children 4 and under eat free

Reservations required: please call 607-535-6116.


 

Lodging Deal – Stay 2 Nights, Get the 3rd Night FREE!
The Savannah House Inn and Cottages on Seneca Lake
3927 State Route 14, Himrod
1-540-454-1933

Take advantage of the “Cherry Blossom Special”:

• Stay 2 nights during mid-week – get 3rd night free!
• No weekend or holiday dates
• Applies March 1 thru June 30, 2016
• Rooms at the Inn included
• Lake front cottages included – pets accepted
• Includes Complimentary Wine Travel Card

Call 540-454-1933 to reserve or visit http://www.savannahhousevacation.com for more information on this charming property. Pat and Brenda look forward to hosting you in one of the rooms at the inn or a lakefront cottage.

Sweet deals for a sweet escape…

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there is no better way to show your love than with a visit to the beautiful Finger Lakes!

Did you know that the Finger Lakes was just named one of the Top 5 Romantic Destinations, alongside hot spots like Vail, Colorado?! Read the article here, then browse our local offerings below and book your experience today.

There are deals and discounts that include romantic add-ons to a room package, family getaway deals, special extras for chocolate lovers, and more… keep reading! Need help or have questions about what to do and where to stay? Give us a call at 607-535-4300!


The 1922 Starkey House Bed & Breakfast

For the same price as a standard room rate, you’ll receive these romantic add-ons: fresh flowers and chocolates in your room plus wine tasting passes to two Seneca Lake wineries.

An upscale breakfast each morning as well as coffee, tea, and desserts waiting in the dining room each evening. Regular room rates and cancellation policy apply. NY State taxes will be added. Subject room availability.

To learn more about the Starkey House, contact Innkeeper Cathy Moskal at 607-243-7770 or visit: www.1922starkeyhouse.com.


The Estate at Glenora Falls – Valentine’s Special!

The Estate at Glenora Falls is offering a Valentine’s Day special promotion for the entire month of February… offering the property at a discounted rate of $1,000 per night.  It is the perfect location for a couple or a group to plan a wine weekend/Valentine’s getaway. Included in the promotion is a $100 gift certificate to a local Seneca Lake winery of your choice! For information on the property, click here to visit their website or call Jeff at 607-339-9285.

This truly special property is located on scenic Seneca Lake, just 8 miles from Watkins Glen and 20 miles from Geneva. The house has a spacious great room, with a soothing view of the Falls. There is an ample kitchen and a comfortable parlor on the first floor, just off the spacious first floor master bedroom. The second floor includes 3 bedrooms and a full bathroom. Fall asleep and wake up to the gentle and relaxing sounds of the waterfall from your exclusive 2nd floor bedroom overlooking the entire property.


The Farmhouse at Fulkerson Winery

For the week of Valentine’s Day (Feb. 7th-15th) enjoy a special deal to stay at The Farmhouse at Fulkerson Winery, two nights for the price of one at $500, plus your choice of a bottle of Fulkerson wine up to $15 in value. For details, visit their website or call 607-243-7883.

The Farmhouse is one of the oldest houses in the region, which has served as a gathering place, inn, and home for the Fulkerson family for over 150 years. In its current state, this beautiful vacation rental has been completely updated, but with its historic architectural details (such as stained glass) and antiques throughout, it retains its vintage charm and warm feel.


A Sweet Escape: Valentine’s Day Weekend at the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars
February 12th-14th
http://www.glenora.com/Inn/Valentine-Package
See how sweet love can be this Valentine’s Day with an overnight stay at the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars! Room packages include a bottle of Glenora NV Brut, six chocolate covered strawberries, a half dozen red roses, a $100 Gift Card to Veraisons Restaurant and a Preliminaires Chocolat & Wine Experience in the Retail Shop. Rates start at $379. Reservations must be made by calling 800.243.5513.

Package Add-on: Boudoir Session with Nicole Long Photography
http://www.glenora.com/Boudoir
Make this Valentine’s Day extra special by booking a 60 minute Boudoir photo session with Nicole Long Photography at our Vineyard Cottage on Saturday, February 13th! Package includes 15 edited images on USB and print release for $130. Booking sessions on February 13th only, starting at 10am. To book, contact Emily at emily@glenora.com. To view Nicole’s work, visit http://nicolelongphotos.com/.


 

Valentine’s Day Weekend Dining at Veraisons Restaurant
February 12th-14th
http://www.glenora.com/Restaurant/Valentine-Dining
Visit Veraisons Restaurant Valentine’s Day Weekend and enjoy a Couples Lunch; pick two entrees, one bottle of wine and one dessert for $40 per couple (limited menu selections)!  For dinner,  try our Love is Blind five-course Chef’s Tasting menu and enjoy a unique dining experience with heightened senses as you sample each course blindfolded. Five courses for $60 per person or $75 with wine pairings. Reservations strongly suggested by calling 800.243.5513 or reserve online at www.Glenora.com/Reservations. Daily Lunch & Dinner Menus Available. Lunch: Daily 11am-4pm, Dinner: Fri-Sat 5pm-9pm, Sun 5pm-8:30pm


Jacuzzi Suite at The Savannah House on Seneca – just $159/night!

The Savannah House offers the perfect place to tuck away for a wonderful romantic weekend. For details, call 607-243-7787! Visit www.savannahhousevacation.com. The Jacuzzi Suite offers the following:

  • large bedroom with Queen bed, Jacuzzi tub, large screen TV, and private wine deck facing lake
  • large living room with large screen TV, electric fireplace, and sofa bed
  • large kitchen are with table and chairs, double sink, refrigerator, microwave, toaster, and coffee maker
  • private bathroom
  • terrific views of the lake and surrounding vistas

Cabin Fever Package at the Hampton Inn Elmira/Horseheads

“Get out of the cold and come stay with us!” For $99.00, this family themed winter package includes an overnight stay in a room with 2 queen beds at the Hampton, Large 1 topping Pizza, 2 liter of Soda, full hot breakfast buffet, plenty of board games, or just relax in our indoor pool and Whirlpool.  Available Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday now thru March 31, 2016. For more information, call The Hampton Inn Elmira/Horseheads at 607-767-8034 or visit: www.elmirahorseheads.hamptoninn.com.