There’s lots to do in our area so if you’re planning a trip here you might want to check with:
- Chemung County Chamber of Commerce (www.chemungchamber.org)
- Finger Lakes Wine Country (www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com)
- Elmira Downtown Development (www.elmiradowntown.com)
All of these great groups will provide you with a complete listing of events and suggestions that will make you say “HEY…why didn’t we go to Mark Twain Country sooner?!!!”
If you’re in town during July and August, don’t forget to take the “best bet in town”---the one-hour narrated trolley tour on the Elmiran (available Tuesday - Saturday). The trolley takes you on a tour of Mark Twain Country and includes such local “hot spots” as Mark Twain’s Study, Woodlawn Cemetary (on the last tour of the day), the Civil War Prison Camp and historic Maple Avenue. The tours run from Tuesday - Saturday on the hour from 10am - 2pm and leave from the Chemung Country Historical Society and Museum on Water Street (exit 56). You won’t believe that this isn’t a typo, but the trip costs only $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for the kids. The trolley fills up fast so get there a bit early to reserve your place! Local folks enjoy the ride as much as our visiting guests so there’s something for everyone.
Also, if it’s time for a bite to eat while you’re shopping with us, ask us to refer you to our list of favorite places (and we’ve even written out directions for you). With a dozen women on staff, you can bet that we’ve tried them all and Elmira offers everything from a local favorite 50s diner (Classic Cafe) to a real dining event with a view (Hill Top Inn). Sweet-n-Saucy also offers box lunches if you wish to eat at a local park or looking at the beautiful view from Harris Hill Park.
If you need suggestions on other things to do or a place to stay, we’d be happy to assist with that too. We love these rolling hills and want you to enjoy your stay as much as we enjoy living here! Other links you might need immediately are:
If you’re doing the wine trails or Corning Museum of Glass, you may want to stay in nearby Horseheads.
- Stop at the National Soaring Museum (www.soaringmuseum.org) for glider rides and a great soaring exhibit. A must see! The kids will also enjoy a stop at the wonderful Harris Hill Park…a great opportunity to use some of that energy!
- The Clemens Center (www.clemenscenter.com) provides entertainment for all! After a terrific 2008 renovation project, the building itself is worth a visit!
- Elmira College (www.elmira.edu) has the Mark Twain Study and exhibit (http://marktwainstudies.com/)and is a fabulous private 4-year college! Although Quarry Farm, the home where the Clemens Family stayed while visiting Elmira, is not open to the public, here is a link to a virtual tour of it. http://marktwainstudies.com/quarry-farm-virtual-tour/
- The Chemung County Chamber of Commerce (www.chemungchamber.org) has the schedule of the sporting (and entertainment) events at Dunn Field and the downtown Arena and has their fingers on the pulse of what’s going on locally.
- The Arnot Art Museum (www.arnotartmuseum.org) has one of the finest collections of art and we know you’ll be surprised at what a hidden gem we have!
- The Chemung Valley History Museum (www.chemungvalleymuseum.org) has some great revolving exhibits and lectures…plus a great little gift shop too!
- Tanglewood Nature Center (www.tangle-wood.org) is our local nature center and museum (with lots of family fun-filled activities)
- The Wings of Eagles Discovery Center (www.wingsofeagles.com) can’t be missed and provides another attraction for folks that are in town on an aviation tour!
- Find more Local Attractions on the City of Elmira’s website at www.cityofelmira.net/about, the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce (www.MarkTwainCountry.com) or through our local paper’s Time Out section (www.stargazette.com)
There’s also a lot of great shopping opportunities here in Mark Twain Country. Check the Chamber website or ask us for suggestions. Our local paper, The Star-Gazette (www.stargazette.com), also has a weekly listing called “Timeout” that lists almost everything that is happening and will be a great resource for specific last-minute opportunities for the week of your visit.
According to the fine folks at FLWC “The Finger Lakes consist of 11 long narrow, roughly parallel lakes, oriented north-south as fingers of a pair of outstretched hands. The southern ends have high walls, cut by steep gorges. Two of the lakes (Seneca and Cayuga) are among the deepest in North America and have bottoms below sea level. These lakes all formed over the last two million years by glacial carving of old stream valleys. www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com
Seneca Lake---Seneca, meaning “place of stone” in the Iroquois language, is the deepest lake in the region and is home to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. The village of Watkins Glen sits at the southern tip of the lake and is home to Watkins Glen International, the birthplace of American road racing, and Watkins Glen State Park and its 19 waterfalls.
Keuka Lake---Keuka, meaning “canoe landing” in the Iroquois language, is also known as Crooked Lake due to its distinctive Y-shape. It is also the only lake in the United Stated to flow both north and south. Keuka Lake is home to the Keuka Lake Wine Trail as well as the picturesque villages of Hammondsport and Penn Yan.
Cayuga Lake—Cayuga, meaning “boat landing” in the Iroquois language, is the longest of the Finger Lakes and is home to the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, the oldest wine trail in America. Cornell University and Ithaca College sit on the southern banks of Cayuga Lake in the prominent college town of Ithaca.
Canandaigua Lake—meaning “the chosen place” in the Iroquois language, is home to the Canandaigua Wine Trail as well as the New York Wine & Culinary Center. The Center is an educational and experiential preview of New York State’s incredible wine, food, and culinary industries.”