Watkins Glen is located in the center of New York’s incredible Finger Lakes Region, on the southern shore of stunning Seneca Lake. If you’re staying at any Watkins Glen vacation rentals and looking for dining, things to do, breweries, wineries, distilleries, and more in the Finger Lakes, you’ve arrived at the right place. Every turn brings a new adventure, and some of your best moments are yet to come.
Explore the area by car, boat, foot, or bike. You’re going to have a great time. From planning a wineries tour to visiting breathtaking waterfalls, taking in the arts at upscale museums and galleries, to going out and savoring the abundance of water activities, there is something for everyone.
- Watkins Glen State Park – Watkins Glen State Park, located in the heart of downtown Watkins Glen, is the region’s largest outdoor attraction and is regarded as one of New York State’s flagship parks. It was also recently voted the third-best state park in the country in a poll. The Gorge Trail features nineteen waterfalls and breathtaking views as it makes its way over, under, and behind several waterfalls. The Visitor Center at the Park’s Main Entrance opened in 2018 and is state-of-the-art, manned by knowledgeable local professionals. Also, the North Rim Trail is dog-friendly and open throughout the year.
- Sugar Hill State Forest – The Sugar Hill State Forest is located seven miles west of Watkins Glen, covers a total area of 9,085 acres, and gives a variety of recreational opportunities, including camping, a fire tower, a picnic area, and a breathtaking view. There are miles of hiking, snowmobiling, and horseback riding trails.
- Seneca Lake Wine trails – Seneca Lake has the most wineries of any Finger Lakes lake. The region is renowned as one of the world’s premier cool-climate winemaking regions, capable of producing a wide range of grapes from Pinot noir to Riesling and almost everything in between. You’ll find everything from dry to sweet wines, port, and ice wine, a cool climate specialty.
The wine trail is best traveled by car and is self-guided. Whether you choose to hire an expert to organize your trip for you or you, prefer to handle the itinerary yourself and just need transportation, wine tour professionals, limousines, and other transportation are at your service.
- Farm Tours – There is a multitude of farms and agricultural-based businesses in Watkins Glen and the nearby areas that invite tourists to visit their operations. If you want to see a vineyard up close and learn more about the wine industry in the Finger Lakes, tour a working dairy farm and see how they turn their fresh milk into cheese, or venture into the forest, cross a small creek, and tour a woodland mushroom farm, they have all of these experiences waiting for you.
- Experience their water activities – Swimming. Leave your worries behind as you immerse yourself in the sapphire lakes. Relax to the sounds of water splashing against a pebble beach. Swimming is allowed in Seneca Lake at Clute Park in Watkins Glen and Smith Park in Hector. All parks are open for the season and have lifeguards on duty.
Fishing. Visit the Finger Lakes Preserve. An isolated and private rainbow trout fishing sanctuary that is open to fishermen and women of all ages and levels of experience. All of the lakes have excellent fishing, and Catharine Creek has one of the finest salmon in the area each spring.
- Take a tour of their arts and culture – The arts and culture are abundant in Schuyler County and the surrounding neighborhood. You may Visit the Brick Tavern Museum in Montour Falls, which showcases local, regional, and statewide history as well as rotating exhibits. Then, visit the Franklin Street Art Gallery in downtown Watkins Glen for an art opening.
Another must-see is the Glorious T Historic District in the town of Montour Falls. This one-of-a-kind collection of historical buildings and architecture is a wonderful sight, and the backdrop of a beautiful waterfall doesn’t upset you either.