In this day and age, people are bombarded with images and advertisements from beautiful places. Just glancing through my Facebook newsfeed this morning had me dreaming about no fewer than a dozen far-off locales. While I probably follow more tourism boards than the average Facebook user, I'd venture a guess that the majority of people see at least one image of a tourist destination each and every day. And if you frequent Pinterest, you see thousands. There's so much beauty in this world - so many places to explore. So how do you sift through it all to decide what to do with that measly 2-3 weeks of vacation time per year?
I don't have all the answers for you. I certainly wish I did. I'm not here to help you figure out if you should go on safari in Africa, or backpack across Europe. There are lots of bloggers out there to help you with that, like Landlopers, Adventurous Kate, Amateur Traveler and Everything Everywhere. I'm here to introduce you to a destination that holds a special place in my heart. I want to help you figure out if amid all the beautiful places you see every day, Corning & the Southern Finger Lakes is a place you'd like to spend some of that precious vacation time.
So, what sets us apart? What gives us the edge? Are you ready for my best sales pitch? Ahem... here we go!
Here are the top 5 reasons Corning & the Southern Finger Lakes should be on your vacation planning radar:
Are you a wine lover? The Finger Lakes is the second-largest wine-producing region in the United States!
Enjoying the view and a glass of Finger Lakes wine.
Yes, really. Not only was it named "the world's most beautiful wine region" by readers of Budget Travel, but it earned a place on Shermans Travel's list of Top Ten Value Destinations in 2011, making it the world's most affordable wine region, as well. The Finger Lakes is home to more than 120 wineries, including Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars, the most awarded winery in the Northeast, and Pleasant Valley Wine Company, which is U.S. Bonded Winery No. 1. Oh, and we have beer, too! Upwards of 50 breweries have popped up in less than a decade.
Do you consider yourself "fun" and "cool"? That's awesome! We are, too!
Best of the Road Coolest Small Town
While Hammondsport plays host to some major names in wine, it also possesses a very distinct cool factor, which helped it earn the title of "America's Coolest Small Town" in Budget Travel's annual contest (2012). Last year, Corning was voted "Most Fun Small Town in America" in Rand McNally's Best of the Road contest. Check out how much fun we have in our video that won us the title!
Our museums are really amazing!
The Corning Museum of Glass
I know what you're thinking, but hear me out. The Corning Museum of Glass is the third most-visited destination in New York State, right behind New York City and Niagara Falls. It houses the most extensive glass collection in the world, visitors even make their own glass - something travelers can do very few places in the world. It's rare for a small city to have one world-class museum, let alone two! The Rockwell Museum has been called the "Best of the West in the East," offering one of the finest collections of Western Art in the US (and is the largest east of the Mississippi). Both The Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell Museum are free for kids and teens 19 and under, making them great value destinations for families. Also check out the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, where you'll learn about the famous Finger Lakes aviator.
There's water, water everywhere!
Take some time to relax. You're in the Finger LAKES, after all! Keuka Lake has long been regarded as one of the most picturesque of the Finger Lakes, in all its distinct "y-shaped" glory. It's the perfect spot to send a relaxing day on the water, surrounded by acres of vineyards in the hillsides. Whether you take in the scenery from a sailboat, kayak or even Jet Ski, you'll feel refreshed after breathing in that cool lake air. Yahoo! Travel even recognized the Finger Lakes as a top lakeside vacation! What more convincing do you need?
We've got fantastic events like GlassFest and the Wineglass Marathon!
Every Memorial Day Weekend, things get HOT in "America's Crystal City." We kick-off summer with GlassFest, a four-day celebration of the fire arts - from glass to pottery. Join us for exciting events, like the fame-off flameworking competition, live musical performances, and wine and beer tastings. The American Bus Association named GlassFest to their top 100 events in the North America for 2014, showing how much it has grown since its inaugural year in 2010.Wineglass Marathon
Did you know Corning & the Southern Finger Lakes is home to one of the "16 Best Marathons in the World"? Now in its 33rd year, the Wineglass Marathon is becoming quite the sought-after event, even receiving recognition from Away.com as one of the Top Ten Destination Marathons. More than 5,000 runner participate in the Wineglass full and half marathons the first Sunday in October each year, making the journey from Bath to Corning surrounded by the beautiful colors of a Finger Lakes' autumn.
So, what do you think? Are you convinced a trip to the Finger Lakes is one that's worth spending some of those vacation days on? We were hoping you might think so! You can always check out our website for travel planning help, browse our full events calendar, and request a travel guide.
Looking forward to welcoming you to beautiful Corning & the Southern Finger Lakes!