15 Best Museums in Corning, NY

In search of the best museums in Corning, NY? This guide presents the top museums to visit in Corning and neighboring cities.

Corning is a city in New York’s Steuben County, United States. The population of the city was 10,738 after the 2021 census. 

The city is named after an Albany Financier called Erastus Corning, who was an investor in the company that developed the city. 

Corning is often referred to as America’s Crystal City. It has been at the leading edge of everything glass, from creative technology and science to unique creations.

You can find its glass creations at Corning Museum of Glass, the world’s most extensive glass art and artifacts museum. 

Corning is among the best and most lovely towns in the area. There are many fun things to do in Corning. 

Are you planning a visit to Corning, NY? Here are the best museums in Corning, NY.

Best Museums in Corning, NY 

1. The Rockwell Museum 

Rockwell Museum 
Credits: Sean Marshall / Flickr
Rockwell Museum 

The Rockwell is a community center where everyone enjoys, bonds, and contemplates the importance of the American spirit, character, and values via the lens of American artists. 

The Rockwell Museum has a world-class collection of western and contemporary Native American art and other exhibits focused on “Art about America.” 

Their eclectic, unique collection gifted by Bob and Hertha Rockwell is the foundation of their work and inspires their creative programs. 

Their mission is to use their collection to enable and engage their guest within the Museum and Corning community. 

The Rockwell Museum, situated in Corning’s Old City Hall, has an incredible view from the upper deck facing Corning. It has a formidable presence in the local community. 

The Rockwell Museum holds activities for people of all ages and interests, from creative art education for kids and their parents to outstanding lectures by renowned scholars. 

They allow guests to experience the history in the center of Corning, see world-class fine art, partake in classes or programs, relax, shop, and reflect. 

As a symbol of the Corning Community, The Rockwell offers a different and unique experience. 

When you visit The Rockwell Museum, you will also see landscape paintings depicting historical moments in the United history, famous US landscapes such as Yosemite National Park, modern installations, and bronze sculptures. 

Visitors to this place can experience the people, land, and ideas that shaped the country, all in a calming, intimate, and accessible atmosphere. 

The Rockwell Museum is meticulously curated, and its collection is incredible. 

There are also some exciting activities, including scavenger hunts for children and adults. It makes things more exciting for everyone during their visit, making it one of the most fun Museums in Corning, NY.

Address: 111 Cedar St, Corning, NY 14830, United States

2. The Corning Museum of Glass 

Corning Museum of Glass 
Credits: Ellen Forsyth / Flickr
Corning Museum of Glass   

The Corning Museum of Glass, which receives approximately 500,000 visitors yearly, is one of the top museums in Corning and New York State.

The Museum studies almost 35 centuries of glass, from ancient to modern works. Since its opening in 1951, it has witnessed five major expansions. 

The Corning Museum of Glass is a voluntary Museum dedicated to narrating the story of glass, a flexible medium still explored by scientists, historians, and artists today. 

The Museum hosts and showcases the world’s finest collection of art, daily live glassblowing shows, and a historical glass of over 3,500 years. 

The Corning Museum of Glass also offers demonstrations on glass making by notable guest artists from around the globe and an opportunity to make your own glass. 

The Museum is also a gorgeous architectural masterpiece. An experience at the Corning Museum of Glass is so incredibly amazing you won’t mind a do-over. 

There’s no doubt that this extensive collection of glass art will hypnotize you. 

If you have kids aged 17 and under, they can go into the Museum for free, while visitors above that age will pay a fee. 

The Corning Museum of Glass is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Corning. 

Address:1 Museum Way, Corning, NY 14830, United States 

3. Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lake 

Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lake 
Credits: Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes / Facebook
Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lake 

The Heritage Village of Southern Finger lake consists of many buildings dating back to the 19th century. 

An excellent place to begin is the Painted Post, which narrates the history of Erwin and has educational exhibits. 

The most ancient building on this site is the 1797 Benjamin Patterson Inn which is among the oldest tavern in the eastern United States that still stands. 

At the inn, you can see the tap room, kitchen, guest quarters, dining room, and ballroom, which currently showcases old textile equipment. 

Make sure you drop by the kitchen and herb garden to view the gardening methods that the local gardening guild still uses. 

While exploring the Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes, stop by the Wixon Road Cabin. The Mack Family constructed and resided in the cabin on Wixon Road in Campbell. 

Walk into the cabin and see how stuffy it must have been for this family of five. Also, browse through a replica ‘care package’ from the Civil War and catch a glimpse of what a soldier would have desired from home. 

You can also visit the Browntown Schoolhouse that was constructed in Caton in 1878. This one-room schoolhouse was a venue for teaching kindergarten to eighth grade until 1955. Today, the schoolhouse still sees many students on regional school field trips. 

Conclude your tour at the Blacksmith Shop, where you can learn more about the tools of the trade during the 1800s. 

The blacksmith shop, constructed in 1870 and owned and run by the Cooley family of Beaver Dams, aided the local community of farmers for plenty of years. 

The Patterson Inn’s blacksmith produces items for purchase in the gift shop. 

The Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lake is open for guided tours on Thursday, Wednesday, and Tuesday by reservation only. 

Address:73 W Pulteney St, Corning, NY 14830, United States

4. Corning-Painted Post Historical Society 

Corning-Painted Post Historical Society 
Credits: Stilfehler [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Corning-Painted Post Historical Society 
The Corning-Painted Post Historical Society was established in 1947 to gather local historical data, foster the centenary of incorporating Corning as a village, and diffuse the knowledge of local history. 

In 1976, the Society obtained and renovated the run-down 1976 building once known as Painted Post Tarven. 

Corning-Painted Post Historical Society manages the Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lake, which includes the Benjamin Patterson Inn. 

The Society continues to gather historical information and artifacts. Its position in the museum community is established with living history programs that reach over 5,800 visitors yearly. 

Corning-Painted Post Historical Society also houses a large historic Clothing collection, books, objects, and photographs. 

Address:Steuben St, Painted Post, NY 14870, United States

5. Painted Post- Erwin Museum 

Painted Post- Erwin Museum 
Credits: Stilfehler [CC BY-SA 1.0], Wikimedia Commons
Painted Post- Erwin Museum 
Painted Post- Erwin Museum is in Painted Post, 6 minutes from Corning. The Painted Post- Erwin Museum is a department of the Corning-Painted Post Historical Society. 

The Painted Post- Erwin Museum, situated in a renovated Painted Post Depot, explains the history of the Village of Painted post-Erwin Museum and the town via exhibits and programs. 

The Museum houses a collection of artifacts, stories, pictures, audio & video records, and historical documents relating to the town’s history. 

The Museum is open from June to August from Monday to Saturday. 

Address: 277 Steuben St, Painted Post, NY 14870, United States

6. Corning Airport and National Wartime Museum 

The Corning Airport Museum, or the National Warplane Museum, is outside Corning, close to Horseheads, NY. 

This Museum conserves aircraft from the Second World War and the Korean War eras. The collections include over 20 planes, most of which are still active. 

The featured aircraft of Corning Airport and National Wartime Museum is a B17 bomber. 

The Museum also holds a yearly annual airshow at the Batavia airport. Additionally, Corning Airport and the National Wartime Museum house aircraft replicas, missiles, some military trucks, and flight simulators. 

The Museum accepts military reunions, group tours, and other lathe group events with prior notice. It is one of the best museums in Corning, NY.

Address: Corning, NY, United States

7. Glenn H. Curtis Museum 

Glenn H. Curtis Museum 
Credits: Wally Gobetz / Flickr
Glenn H. Curtis Museum  

The Glenn H. Curtis Museum is in honor of the memory of Glenn Hammond Curtis. This Museum houses a priceless collection linked to early aviation and regional history. 

The Museum also has a 75-seat theater, spacious open areas for special events, and a museum store. 

At Glenn H. Curtis Museum, you can see numerous vintage motorcycles and planes. You can learn and construct at the restoration shop just as Glenn once did. 

You will also see a full-scale replica of the first naval aircraft, a 1917 ‘Jenny,’ a 1919 ‘Seagull’ flying boat, and a 1912 ‘Pusher.’ 

Also displayed are vintage toys, boats, tools, home furnishings, fire equipment, and more. Glenn H. Curtis Museum is in Hammondsport, 34 minutes from Corning. 

Address: 8419 NY-54, Hammondsport, NY 14840, United States

8. The Finger Lakes Boating Museum 

Finger Lakes Boating Museum
Credits: Finger Lakes Boating Museum / Facebook
Finger Lakes Boating Museum 

The Finger Lakes Boating Museum is on the southern tip of Keuka Lake, which means ‘Canoe Landing” in the Iroquois language. 

The Finger Lakes Boating Museum exists to conserve the boating history of the Finger Lakes and to educate and promote the continuation of boating activities all over the region. 

The Museum’s increasing collection presently includes 115 boats constructed by several of the regional boat builders of the last century.

This Museum also records the importance of boating in the region with incredible exhibits of vintage crafts, restoration projects, boat-building workshops, various classes, and many fun events. 

You could even rent one of the great wine rooms for private events. The Finger Lakes Boating Museum also hosts stunning destination weddings. 

With a lovely setting and catering available, this could be the perfect place to host your special day. 

Address: 8231 Pleasant Valley Rd, Hammondsport, NY 14840, United States

Planning a New York road trip? do not miss our guide on Canandaigua and Oneonta for a fun trip in New York.

9. The Greyton H. Taylor Wine Museum 

Greyton H. Taylor Wine Museum
Credits: Greyton H. Taylor Wine Museum / Facebook
Greyton H. Taylor Wine Museum 

The Greyton H. Taylor Wine Museum aims to teach the public about the American wine industry and the beginning of the century cooperage. The Museum is dedicated to Greyton Hoyt Taylor. 

The Museum has extensive vintage winemaking equipment, unique bottles and artifacts focusing on American Winemaking and cooperage, and the Walter S. Taylor Art Gallery. 

The Walter S. Taylor Gallery showcases his prolific and diverse catalog. 

The Cooper Shop Building is an initiation of the Hammomdsport Cooperage Company. The building has a tremendous collection of Cooper tools and a 70-minute film about barrel making. 

You can also find souvenirs from the earliest days of the New York State Wine industry. 

The Museum also has a collection of presidential wine glasses that dates back to Abraham Lincoln. 

The Walter S. Taylor Art Gallery contains over 200 pieces of the brush of one of the most innovative artists in the New York State Wine Industry. 

Some works on display comprise the original label painting, which you can see on many Bully Hill Vineyard Wines. 

Address: 8843 Greyton H Taylor Memorial Dr, Hammondsport, NY 14840, United States

10. The Arnot Art Museum 

Arnot Art Museum 
Credits: Lvklock [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Arnot Art Museum 
The Arnot Art Museum is a landmark gem of the art world in Elmira, 25 minutes from Corning

The Arnot Art Museum, situated in the 1833 neo-classical Arnot family mansion, is one of the last surviving private art collections created in the 1800s still exhibited in its original showcase. 

Temporary exhibitions showcase different aspects of the collections and include works from other museums around the globe 

The Museum also showcases its permanent collection of the 1600s to 1800s European paintings, 19th-century American art, and a distinguished and growing collection of modern works. 

Programs and other special events are scheduled throughout the year at this Museum. 

Address: 235 Lake St, Elmira, NY 14901, United States

11. The National Soaring Museum 

National Soaring Museum
Credits: Mark Fischer / Flickr
National Soaring Museum 

The National Soaring Museum is also referred to as the Soaring Capital of America. The Museum is dedicated to conserving the history of motorless flights. 

The National Soaring Museum is located on top of Harris Hill in Elmira. It is directly opposite the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation Flight Center, which offers guests a 20-minute sailplane flight over the quaint Chemung Valley. 

It features the most extensive exhibits of vintage and modern sailplanes from Da Vinci designs, a WACO from the Second World War, fabrics from the 1903 Wright Brother Flyer, and current and experimental gliders. 

It also contains many airplanes, memorabilia, soaring trophies, and photography. 

The Museum is open all year round for visitors to explore and learn. 

Address: 51 Soaring Hill Dr, Elmira, NY 14903, United States

12. The Chemung County Historical Society 

Chemung County Historical Society 
Credits: Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr
Chemung County Historical Society 

The Chemung County Historical Society, established in 1923, is a voluntary education institution dedicated to collecting, preserving, and presenting the heritage of the Chemung Valley. 

This non-profit organization runs two cultural repositories, which include the Chemung Valley History Museum and Booth Library. 

The Chemung County Historical Society is open year-round. It narrates the history of Chemung County via interactive exhibits, lectures for guests of all ages, and educational programming. 

The Museum has a gift shop featuring various publications about local history, including books about Elmira’s role during the civil war and the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign. 

It also contains back issues of the Chemung Historical Journal, museum souvenirs, and history DVDs. 

You can visit this gift shop when the Museum opens from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Saturday. 

Address: 415 E Water St, Elmira, NY 14901, United States

13. The Elmira Heights Historical Society 

Elmira Heights Historical Society
Credits: Onasill – Bill Badzo – OFF- VACATION / Flickr
Elmira Heights Historical Society  

This Society is a voluntary organization that was established in 1978 to preserve and promote the heritage of the area and the people 

The Society gathers and preserves artifacts and documents linked to the area’s history, making them accessible to the public. 

The Elmira Heights Historical Society researches local history, hosts educational programs and events, and publishes books. 

Its headquarter is in the Old Elmira Heights Fire Hall and contains a museum, library, and archive. 

The library has books, magazines, and other documents about local and regional history, while the archive contains documents, photographs, and other historical materials. 

The Elmira Heights Historical Society also gathers oral histories from residents and maintains an extensive collection of local records. 

Address: 266 E 14th St, Elmira, NY 14903, United States

14. The John W. Jones House 

John W. Jones House
Credits: Lvklock [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
John W. Jones House  
This historical house is the former home of John W. Jones and the present home of the John W. Jones Museum

The house used to be the private home of Jones W. Jones and his family but has changed ownership many times since then. 

In 1997, the building was denounced by Elmira. However, with the help of a group of concerned locals, it was saved from demolition. 

The Museum brings to light the history of African America who built a life in New York and the activities of local abolitionists. 

Also, the Museum emphasizes Mr. Jone’s community involvement and relationship with his contemporaries when he was alive. 

Address: 1250 Davis St, Elmira, NY 14901, United States

15. The Vietnam Veterans 803 Museum 

Vietnam Veterans 803 Museum
Credits: Vietnam War Museum / Facebook
Vietnam Veterans 803 Museum  

The Vietnam Veterans Museum was established between 2007- 2008. 

The Museum honors the sacrifices and memory of Veterans. Also, it acts as the home of Chapter 803 of the Vietnam Veterans Association. 

The Vietnam Veterans Museum is also referred to as the “Last man standing museum.” 

This Museum is a secure place to interact with veterans that desire to explain and teach their experiences to anybody who wants to listen. 

The Vietnam Veteran Museum is a must-visit if you are interested in military history. 

Address: 1200 Davis St, Elmira, NY 14901, United States

Take to exploring other cities of New York, check out our list of things to do in Yonkersthings to do in Watkins Glen, and things to do in Saugerties.

Plan a Trip to Corning

The Finger Lakes region is a fantastic place to visit and a pleasant drive from the Big Apple. 

Corning has something every traveler would enjoy, such as beautiful structures and other things.  Its several public museums and libraries make it a fabulous destination for history and art lovers, educators, and scholars. 

Regardless of the kind of vacation you want, this city guarantees you a fun and unforgettable experience.