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So have you ever been to a place where you had no real expectations and then was somehow wowed by the destination? Well, this was my impression of Elmira, and it’s surroundings, I have to admit, I fell in love with the place. It ticked all the boxes for me, the scenery, the History and the people have made this a nomination for my bucket list collection. So here are ten reasons why you should visit Elmira, New York.
Things to know before you go to Elmira
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Getting to Elmira
Hiring a car from New York City is simple, and I highly recommend Discover CarsI flew into JFK and picked it up from the airport, and once I figured out how to get myself out of New York City, the roads in New York State are easy to navigate and simple to drive. It only takes (without stopping) approximately 4.5-hours to drive to Elmira.
There are a few regional airports near Elmira, so check online if these are suitable from your location.
Elmira Corning Regional Airport
Ithaca Tompkins International Airport
Greater Binghamton Airport
Buffalo Niagara International Airport
If you are coming from New York, you may have to change coaches depending on what day you intend on travelling.
Hotel recommendation in Elmira
Holiday Inn Elmira
The Holiday Inn Elmira is in the perfect location, 5 minutes drive from Elmira College. The rooms in this hotel are clean, and the hotel is affordable, you can never go wrong with the Holiday Inn chain.
10 Reasons Why you should visit Elmira
Visit Mark Twain’s resting place
Mark Twain who was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), was an American writer, entrepreneur, publisher, and then finally lecturer. He was born in Hannibal, Missouri, which is what the basis for his novels Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. His grave (along with his family) is situated Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira.
Learn why John W Jones is an integral part of History
Head over to 1250 Davis Street Elmira and find out for yourself why the John W Jones Museum is an integral part of American History, this is why you should visit Elmira. Read up on John W Jones before you go so that you have an understanding of what this remarkable man did for so many. Ensure you contact them before you arrive as opening days and hours are limited.
Be inspired by Mark Twain’s study
Over a hundred years after Mark Twain’s death, he is still an essential part of today’s literature greats. Mark Twain’s study is where he wrote some of his great novels is no longer on an isolated farm but situated on the campus of Elmira College.
Sit on the porch at Quarry Farm
Mark Twain and his family spent many summers at Quarry Farm which was once owned by Jervis Langdon and then inherited by Susan Langdon (Mark Twain’s sister in law). Sit on the porch that inspired the Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn novels.
Learn more about Mark Twain at the Chemung Valley Museum
For a small fee of $5 visit the current Mark Twain exhibition and learn all there is to know about this famous author. There are also other exhibitions at Chemung Valley Museum, and if you are of the adventurous type, book in for one of the ghost walks, brought to life by real-life actors, this is why you should visit Elmira.
Wander around Elmira College
Elmira College, founded in1855, became co-educational in 1969. Before that, it was one of the first colleges to develop degrees for women of equal quality to those of men at the time. There are only two extensive Mark Twain Archives in the world and Elmira College has one of them, this is why every four years the college ensures his legacy lives on by hosting an international conference about Mark Twain.
Pick up a Christmas Ornament at any time of the year
Okay, Okay I am first to admit, I am one of those people! You know the type that love holidays and Christmas is by far my favourite! So The Christmas House in Elmira which open all year round has something for everyone when you visit Elmira. Not only are there plenty of Holiday ornaments to pick from but, there are loads of knick-knacks and holiday treats for the entire family.
Stop off at Finger Lakes house for a taste of local beverages
Finger Lakes House is an ideal place to stop for a taste of the local beverages. You will find everything from ciders to wines and everything in between. Have a chat with the knowledgeable local staff who will give you the rundown on their local treats. If you like beer, try the pumpkin ale, they make it even more special by rubbing the glass with cinnamon and sugar!
Check out Watkins Glen International
There are many different reasons to visit Watkins Glen International, and it will depend on what time of year you visit. From Nascar racing to wine festivals, they have it all! Look online before you go to seeWatkins Glen International Schedule: Most events run from April to October.
Make your own glass at The Corning Museum of Glass
Yes, you heard me correctly! Corning Museum of Glass allows you to make your own glass ornament to keep. Technically this is not Elmira but only a 30 minute drive away. Visit this unique museum for more than just the exhibitions. The Corning Museum of Glass is one of a kind, with its History, professional presentations and glassware shop, this museum will have you busy all day long.
If you are heading to Elmira to see all of Mark Twain’s hotspots, then consider doing a Trolley into Twain Country Tour be mindful that they do only operate during summer though.
So if you are looking for a trip that is a little different, or you want to know what to do outside of Wineries and Vineyards in this beautiful area. This is why you should visit Elmira as there is so much to see and do in this part of New York.
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