One of my very favorite things about Corning & the Finger Lakes is its diversity. It never ceases to amaze me. One minute, you can be in Corning - a fairly large city, all things considered. It is home to a Fortune 500 company, and houses the largest collection of art glass in the world. The Corning Museum of Glass is one of those places some people put on their bucket list. And it's practically in my backyard. Drive for half an hour, and you'll taste wine at dozens of award-winning wineries - some that are among the most famous in the country. You can see one of the only "y-shaped" lakes in the whole world - the same lake where the first public flight in recorded history took place.
Drive a little more and you'll be in a town that was a major hub for railroad transportation and innovation - and still breathes life into that history today. And still you can drive a little farther and be in the absolute middle of nowhere, surrounded by exquisite, vast farmlands and herds of cattle. Since Steuben County is larger than the entire state or Rhode Island, I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise to me that there is a wide range of things to see and do. And yet, as I drive from one side of Steuben County to the other, I am still amazed every time.
It's hard to say whether it's the smell of the haystacks or the braying of the animals from the barn that conjures that "down-home" feel as soon as you step out of the car. At Heavenly Sunset Farm, it is most-decidedly the moment you touch the soft fur of an alpaca that solidifies that feeling deep within you. When you stare into the face of a fuzzy-headed friend, time becomes a thing of the past, and an afternoon could easily go by without you ever leaving the row of stalls in the barn.
That's exactly what happened when I visited Heavenly Sunset Farm last summer. I was leading a familiarization tour for people who work with summer tourists. They attend the trip so they can get acquainted with what the area has to offer - beyond whatever attraction or hotel it is that they represent. When I passed out the itinerary, several questioned my decision to include an alpaca farm. What could possibly be so fun for visitors to do there? Later that day, their question was answered.
The bus made its way up the long driveway to the large barn full of fuzzy friends. We got out, took one look at those adorable creatures, and knew we were in for a good time. When everyone touched the soft fur of the newborn baby alpaca, they all understood exactly why they were here - interacting with alpacas is just plain fun! And visitors should know about it.
Visiting one of the four Steuben County alpaca farms makes for a wonderful family outing. Kids will be delighted by the friendliness of their new pals. With dozens of pairs of eyes on you and your camera, you'll be amazed at how fun your farm experience can be.
At Heavenly Sunset Farms, you'll want to make sure to stop by the gift shop to see all kinds of alpaca fur products from sweaters to mittens.
What are you waiting for? Make a fuzzy-headed friend all your own. Plan your visit to Heavenly Sunset Farm, or one of our other alpaca farms today!