Try Something Different! Unique Summer-Time Activities in Finger Lakes NY

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Harris Hill Soaring Finger Lakes

We know the Finger Lakes area is famous for its State Parks and Wineries but there is so much more to discover in this pretty little spot in Upper State New York. Here are our top 4 picks for unique and fun activities to try on your next girls’ trip to the Finger Lakes.

1. Kayaking on the Chemung River

There is nothing I like more than a quiet kayak paddle on a warm summer day. Southern Tier Kayak makes kayaking easy and social by offering public kayaking tours most weekends during the summer. For $55 you can join in on the fun, choosing between Paddling the Palisades, Sample the Susquehanna or for the beginner kayaker, a quiet tour of the Chemung River.

Souther Tier Kayaking Finger Lakes NY

2. Gliding on Harris Hill

One word. Amazing! I am not a fan of flying but this was one of the most serene and beautiful flights I have ever experienced. You’d think the fact that you’re high in the air without an engine would be unnerving but the opposite is true. A lot of my calmness was as a result of my wonderful pilot, Steve McMaster. Steve was the ultimate in professionalism, his expert knowledge and love of soaring is evident from the minute you sit in the glider with him until you land. His day job is piloting for UPS so you know this guy has serious flying cred.

Gliding in Finger Lakes

What is also amazing is the inexpensive cost of soaring at Harris Hill, a very nominal fee of $90-96 will get you up in the air, soaring high over the Chemung Valley. Top Tip: Flights are first come first served, check their website for flight info, then head out early in the morning for a thrill of a lifetime.

I have decided flying in a glider plane is magical, and I can’t believe I was lucky enough to have my first flight in the place Amelia Earhart declared was the best spot in the US for soaring. I will be back baby!

Harris Hill Gliding

3. Riding the Track at the Watkins Glen International Speedway

Have you ever wanted to try out your driving skills on one of America’s top racetracks? This has been a dream of mine for a long while, and I was thrilled to discover that Watkins Glen International Speedway in Finger Lakes offers a Lap and Lunch Program. They arrange it so you can take your own car for a few laps around the track and then enjoy a catered lunch with a few of your favorite peeps. How cool is this?!

If you just want to drive the Glen, for a small fee of $25, the track is yours! You and a Speedway pace car will complete two laps of the Grand Prix track. At the end of the ride, you’ll be able to take a great photo shot of you and your car at the Finish Line. Drive The Glen begins at Noon and 5 p.m. from April 24 – July 22. Check the Watkins Glen Speedway website for more information.

4. Hot Glass at the Corning Glass Museum

You cannot visit the Finger Lakes area and not visit the Corning Glass Museum. Take my word for it; you will not regret spending an afternoon or an entire day at the museum. The exhibits are breath taking and the gallery spaces are stunning. Our favorite exhibit was the newly opened “Celebrating a Century of Pyrex” Exhibit located in the Rakow Research Library. It was like strolling down memory lane checking out all the cool retro styles of America’s favorite baking and cooking dishes. This exhibit runs from June 6th to March 17th, 2016.

A Century of Pyrex Corning Museum of Glass

Corning Museum of Glass

You can also try your hand at glass blowing by enrolling in one of the many daily glass-making workshops. The cost for the workshops start at $20 and up depending on the class. Top tip: The glass making workshops are popular and fill up fast, enroll online before your visit to guarantee a spot.

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What all the girls are saying:

  1. Anna says:

    Cool post! My friend and I will be travelling through NY next month and were looking for some interesting destinations to stop by as we make the drive. Very helpful post, what with the easy-to-read list format, accompanying photos, and practical details.