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LGBTQ Travel

There’s something about traveling to another place, but feeling like you have really just found your way home that makes a getaway truly unforgettable. 

In Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes, we believe in the importance of writing your own story, of expressing your own identity, and of living your own life. This is a region built by those who were determined to defy the odds, to push beyond what was accepted (and expected) to reach new heights. Our differences not only make us unique, but tend to be our very strengths.

When you visit here, you’ll experience more than world-class art, award-winning wines, exceptional cuisine, and fabulous scenery. You’ll also encounter warm, friendly locals who will make you feel welcome simply for being yourself. 

Whether you’re from a big city or you’re simply craving a few days in a special place, small towns like Corning and Hammondsport are like balm for the soul. Though diminutive in size, they offer a safe and welcoming environment where you can enjoy the best of small town life without having to give up on world-class experiences.

Corning Museum of Glass

Art & Culture

Few places in New York State outside the Big Apple afford you the chance to encounter two world-class museums in such close proximity. Yet to do so in a small-town setting like the one you’ll find in Corning is incomparable. 

There’s a culture of art here that permeates the very fabric of the community. It’s a special bond that connects so many of us. Whether you’re enjoying dinner or libations at Hand + Foot or The Cellar, a new installation at Exhibit A, a special event at The Rockwell Museum, or making your own collectible memento in glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, it’s difficult to spend any time in "America’s Crystal City" and not get caught up in the positive vibrations of creativity found here.

And maybe it’s the sense of openness that seems inherent among artists that makes Corning, a town of about 11,000 residents, open and affirming. Maybe it’s the fact that a Fortune-300 company’s headquarters are here, bringing together diverse, progressively-minded people form around the world.

"Major cities don’t have a monopoly on culture, as the Rockwell Museum in Corning proves with ease.” - Katie MacLeod, Stories My Suitcase Could Tell

Chocolate S'mores at The Cellar
Cagwin Photography

Something to Savor

In recent years, the Finger Lakes has been gaining a reputation as one of the premier wine destinations in the world and has been voted best in the country by wine enthusiasts. The acclaim isn’t the result of some overnight success story, but has been decades in the making. 

Aside from the variety and quality of the vintages found here, the best part of a visit to Finger Lakes Wine Country might just be the way you can enjoy a little sightseeing on scenic back roads, then take in stunning panoramic views from hillsides overlooking vineyards and farmland and pristine Keuka Lake as you sample delicious wines at legendary wineries like Dr. Frank’s, New York State’s most award-winning winery since 1962, where the 1886 Reserve Food & Wine experiences make tastings a more complete sensory experience. 

Even though this is where the seeds for Finger Lakes Wine Country were first planted, you’ll also find a thriving craft beverage scene with over 30 craft beer, cider, and spirit producers on the Craft Your Adventure trail including local hot spots like Liquid Shoes Brewing and Four Fights Distilling in Corning. 

Liquid Shoes Brewing Craft Your Adventure
Cagwin Photography

Destination Weddings

Take advantage of what Budget Travel called “The Most Beautiful Wine Region in the World” as the backdrop for your wedding photos. Get the party started by tasting award-winning wines, making a one-of-a-kind keepsake at one of our hot glass studios, or exploring breathtaking scenery you won’t find anywhere else. 

Heron Hill Winery and the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum have experience offering two very distinct LGBTQ-friendly venues for your special day.

“. . . dreaming of an idyllic countryside backdrop for your wedding day, look no further than the Finger Lakes region in New York. If the idea of gently rolling hills, vineyards and dramatic lake views makes your heart swoon, the Finger Lakes should definitely be on your short list of destination wedding locations.” – Erin Lindholm, Brides

Destination Wedding at Heron Hill Winery
Stu Gallager

Outdoor Adventure

With nearly 1,000 miles of wilderness footpaths stretching throughout the region, four rivers, one of the most unusually shaped and scenic lakes in the country, and dozens of waterfalls located on roadsides and in beautiful state park gorges, there are many ways to explore the beautiful landscape that marks the region from just about every angle possible (near, on and in the water, through the trees, from the air).

Kayaking Keuka Lake
Stu Gallagher

Night Life

Whether you’re looking for fabulous fashion events like ReCouture—the annual Arts Council Fashion Show featuring upcycled couture—establishments concocting delicious cocktails or a vibrant local bar like Volo, there’s a fresh subtle energy here that’s not over-the-top flamboyant or neon-infused, but that emanates from the people themselves and the passion they have for this place.

Recycled Runway 2
Chris Walters

A Chance To Grow

Hands-on activities like glassblowing (with workshops in the largest glass museum in the world or in a small intimate studio with a local artist) give visitors a chance to try something they may have never done before. Unique opportunities to do soft adventure, like seaplane flights off the lake where they were first developed over 100 years ago or a glider ride in the Soaring Capital of America provide bucket-list-worthy experiences you won’t find just anywhere.

Glider Flight at Soaring Capital of America

Getting away to a place where you can focus on the experience at hand and not on whether you belong there is important for any traveler. Small towns like Corning and Hammondsport, in particular, offer you the chance to catch your breath, explore the larger world, and stay connected with your authentic self in a safe, friendly, thriving environment. 

Wedding at Curtiss Museum cropped
Andy Buscemi Photography