Guest Author - Brenda Potter Reynolds
Watkins Glen is located at the southern tip of Seneca Lake, the deepest of the 11 Finger Lakes in New York State. This charming village is well-known as the home of both the Watkins Glen International Speedway and Watkins Glen State Park. But as I soon discovered, there's much more to do and see in Watkins Glen.
As I explored downtown Watkins Glen, I browsed through the small boutiques, stores and antique shops. Later I relaxed at the Seneca Lake HarborPark, which embraces the lake. If you can't get enough of Seneca Lake, you can take a tour on one of Captain Bill's Cruises. They offer hour-long tours, lunch or dinner cruises, and for the landlubber, miniature golf.
North of Watkins Glen, two wineries face each other across Seneca Lake. Glenora Wine Cellars, located in Dundee, is about ten miles from Watkins Glen on the west side of the lake. You'll find much more than just wine here, though. At their restaurant, Veraisons, I enjoyed an excellent prime rib dinner, and their Signature Cabernet French Onion Soup Gratinée was heavenly.
At the Inn at Glenora, the thirty rooms all have Stickley furniture, excellent views of Seneca Lake, and a complimentary bottle of wine. Some rooms feature fireplaces and Jacuzzis. A wonderful perk is the glass of wine guests receive when checking in.
Across the lake, Logan Ridge Wine Cellars also has a restaurant, Petioles. The view here is spectacular anytime, but especially during sunsets. Both wineries offer wine tastings.
Also north of Watkins Glen, on the east side of the lake, I found a unique shopping experience at Skyland Farm Craft Gallery and Café. Here I found a beautiful garden, a two-story high indoor tree staircase and wonderful one-of-a-kind gifts from local artists.
I wasn't ready to leave Watkins Glen when the time came. Before I left, I visited the state park to marvel at the natural gorge. I didn't have time to take the bus to the top, or to climb the 832 steps, but that's okay. Watkins Glen has so much to offer that it was impossible to see it all in one trip. On the way home, I was already planning my next visit.
For More Information
The Schuyler County Chamber of Commerce is located at 100 North Franklin Street. Their phone number is 800-607-4552: their website is Schuyler County.
The Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars can be found at 5435 Route 14, Dundee, NY.
For reservations, call 607-243-9500 ext. 302.Their website is located at Inn at Glenora.
Logan Ridge Wine Cellars is located at 3800 Ball Diamond Road, Hector, NY. Their phone number is 866-546-6486 and their website is: Logan Ridge.
Skyland Farm is about ten minutes north of Watkins Glen on Route 414, on the east side of the lake. Open seasonally, call 607-546-5050 for summer and fall hours or visit them on the web at Skyland Farm.