Known as America's Crystal City, Corning has long been at the forefront of all things glass, from innovative technology and science (think light bulbs for Thomas Edison, and modern wonders like fiber optics and Gorilla Glass) to the remarkable creations found at The Corning Museum of Glass, the world's largest museum of glass art and artifacts. But artisan glass is just one of the reasons Corning is so fun.
Spend a little time on Corning’s Historic Market Street and you’ll soon understand why it was named “one of the Top 10 Great Streets of the Year” by the American Planning Association, and why Travel & Leisure named Centerway Square one of “America’s Most Beautiful Town Squares.”
That beauty is only part of the appeal, though. Corning’s Gaffer District—named after a gaffer or master glassblower—is home to over 100 boutique shops, art galleries, studios, as well as craft beverage producers, restaurants serving fabulous food, and two world-class museums. With events like GlassFest each May—which was called one of the “Top 100 events in North America” by the American Bus Association—spring and summer bring an energy and excitement to this charming small town that’s difficult to match.
Each Autumn, during The Days of Incandescence, the town transforms back to 1880s as it celebrates its role in creating the first light bulbs for Thomas Edison. And winter brings its own splendor, as trees along the brick-line sidewalks are speckled with lights in preparation for the holiday season which kicks off with The Parade of Lights and Sparkle, two long-standing traditions that bring folks from near and far.
"Life moves a little slower, food tastes a little sweeter and everything is just a bit simpler than in the place you left behind," Suzy Strutner wrote in The Huffington Post when she named Corning one of "America's Best Small Towns, Perfect For A Long Weekend Trip."
THE CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS
There are some experiences so incredible you can't wait to do it again. The Corning Museum of Glass is one of those places, offering a glimpse of more than 3,500 years of historic glass, daily live glassblowing shows, demonstrations by special guest artists from around the world and a chance to make your own glass. We're sure you'll be mesmerized by the largest collection of art glass in the world. Oh, and kids 17 and under get in free!
THE ROCKWELL MUSEUM
Upstate New York's only Smithsonian Affiliate, The Rockwell Museum boasts a world-class collection of Western and contemporary Native American Art, and other exhibits focusing on "Art About America" as it continues to explore the people, land, and ideas that have shaped our country. And, while kids 17 and under get free admission to the museum every day, don't forget to take them to Kids Rockwell Art Lab on Market Street for some fun, interactive experiences that foster creativity and imagination.
HERITAGE VILLAGE OF THE SOUTHERN FINGER LAKES
A collection of historic buildings – including a one-room schoolhouse, a working blacksmith shop, a one-room log cabin, and Corning's oldest building – the Patterson Inn and Tavern, Heritage Village offers more than a look into the past. You'll get the chance to immerse yourself in historic antiquity with workshops and special events throughout the year.
CORNING'S GAFFER DISTRICT
A gaffer is a master glassblower, so the name is quite a fitting designation for the historic district of America's Crystal City. With more than a hundred shops, studios, galleries, and restaurants, as well as an abundance of unique and historic architecture, and awesome annual events like GlassFest— American Bus Association's 100 Best Events for 2016—Corning's Gaffer District is five blocks of flat-out-fun.
What to Do in Corning
- Visit the many Craft Breweries and Distillery across the region
- Visit the Hands-On Glass Studio and create your own art
- Tour miles of beautiful trails at the Spencer Crest Nature Center
- Seemingly endless shopping opportunities
- Enjoy a farm-to-table meal at one of the many restaurants in Corning
Share your adventures with us!