Photo by Dakota Lodge
Snugly nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes region is the extraordinary village of Watkins Glen; the place where our agency proudly first began.
It’s also the place where an estimated 600,000 people attended Summer Jam, a concert boasting the likes of the Grateful Dead, The Band and the Allman Brothers Band, back in 1973.
The concert’s legendary status has left a lasting legacy in its wake. Several concerts have tried to live up to the blockbuster atmosphere of Summer Jam; the band Phish has hosted several successful concerts at Watkins Glen International - the same racetrack that Summer Jam took place – however, their last concert was called off after water contamination became a concern due to a flood that affected many of us residents.
Of course, most recently in the news, the fiftieth anniversary edition of Woodstock was slated to take place at WGI – but its continuation is currently up in the air after funding was pulled.
If the music festival is indeed cancelled, this could cause frustration and disappointment to the many people who have already booked hotels and flights. You may even be one of those people.
But as a small business that started in Watkins Glen nearly 50 years ago, we want folks to know that there’s some good news if you’ve already planned a trip to visit our area:
There’s still plenty of remarkable things to do and see in Watkins Glen. Take a look.
Go on a Waterfall Adventure – Famous for its Gorge Trail that immerses you on a 2 ½ mile hike decorated with 19 breathtaking waterfalls, Watkins Glen State Park was voted as the 3rd best state park in the country. There are multiple entrances to the park, including a direct entrance to the Gorge Trail right in the middle of Watkins Glen – a short walk to reach if you’re staying in town (although the park offers campsites for rent too.)
The waterfall fun doesn’t have to stop there either; the entire region is littered with them. Nearby She-Qua-Ga Falls, Hector Falls, and Havana Glen (to name a few) are all must-sees.
Have Fun on Seneca Lake – Watkins Glen is based at the southern tip of Seneca Lake, one of the eleven Finger Lakes. If you aren’t much of a hiker but still want to enjoy some stunning views then consider visiting Seneca Lake instead. There are ample opportunities to get out on the water, including rides aboard the beautiful True Love schooner or the magnificent Seneca Legacy and kayak and canoe rentals.
If you’d prefer to just enjoy the water from the shore then we recommend visiting the Watkins Glen pier where you can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the lake. There are also many fishing and swimming prospects around the lake.
Try the Seneca Lake Wine Trail – Are you a wine buff?
The Finger Lakes are famous for their incredible wines and Seneca Lake alone is surrounded with dozens of incredible vineyards and wineries – many of them scattered across hills and ridges that offer spectacular sightlines of the lake itself. The wine scene here is so unique and successful that it even has a dedicated “wine trail” – with plenty of tours to guide you and your friends to all the special wineries, tasting rooms, and vineyards along the trail. As if it couldn’t get any better, the wine trail goes hand-in-hand with the newly blossomed Finger Lakes Cheese Trail.
Not into wine? There are countless options other food and drink attractions including plenty of local craft beer.
Don’t Forget the Racing – Let us add that Watkins Glen International isn’t just a place for concerts.
The venue brings in some of the hottest events of the summer, including a NASCAR race, a wine festival and even a chance to drive the track yourself. Meanwhile, the annual Grand Prix and the International Motor Racing Research Museum offer chances to enjoy auto racing and its history right here in town.
Enjoy the Local Charms – There a truly too many stops and goings-on in Watkins Glen to list them all, but here are a few other attractions to keep in mind if you are considering visiting our area.
- Attend other local festivals and events
- Play the Watkins Glen Golf Course
- Learn about our history
- Try the many great restaurants, cafes, and other eateries
- Enjoy the local music, artists, and other entertainment
If there’s any point we’d really like to make about Watkins Glen and the surrounding areas, it’s that it’s a special place. There’s something here for just about everyone and we highly encourage you to pay a visit or maybe even come here to stay.
If you do, we know just where you can go to get a great insurance strategy.