23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Watkins Glen (NY)

A little town between Niagara Falls and New York City, Watkins Glen is the ideal city to have a fun vacation experience in the Finger Lakes region.

This city offers a wide assortment of activities for tourists, and it is built in such a way to keep its various visitors coming back for more.

Known for its delightful scenes and many outside exercises, it is a heaven for all explorers, bikers, and other adventurers.

Watkins Glen is appropriate for individuals who love and partake in the water activities, as everything revolves around lakes, cascades, streams, and woodlands.

With its enthusiastic locals and tasty food varieties, this beautiful city should be one of your top choices for a fun vacation.

Visiting Watkins Glen soon? Here are the top things to do in Watkins Glen, NY.

Things to Do in Watkins Glen

1. Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce

Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce
Credits: Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce / Facebook
Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is another example of a great place to add to your list of fun things to do in Watkins Glen, NY.

At the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, many antique racecars flood the street to reenact the Grand Prix.

This is one event the race car enthusiast wouldn’t want to miss as there’s so much to see and a lot to expect from the racers.

Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is primarily available from September and pulls a large crowd of visitors from all over the States.

Visitors who use the Chamber while in Watkins Glen have tons of great information for everybody and feel welcome on arrival.

The sounds and sights are tremendous and what’s more interesting is that all the people working there were enthusiastic and sincere.

Address: 214 N Franklin St St. Rt. 14, Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1224

2. Annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival

Annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival
Credits: Master1305 / Shutterstock

The one occasion you most certainly shouldn’t miss assuming you are in Watkins Glen, is the Finger Lakes Wine Festival.

This yearly celebration is coordinated each July and hosts more than 90 wine-creating organizations and well-known eateries.

The coordinators also lodgings and nearby sellers of various things, from kitchenware to instruments.

The Finger Lakes Wine Festival is an occasion where you can reach out to nearby crafts artisans, artists, and different guests from around the world.

You can likewise eat extraordinary food, listen to music, and taste delectable wine. The celebration likewise gives different learning open doors, like culinary classes.

It presents the ideal chance to get your hands on a few privately delivered chocolates, candles, canvases, oils, stogies, and that’s just the beginning of the fun. It’s a visitor’s delight!

Address: Watkins Glen, NY 14891.

3. Castel Grisch Winery

Castel Grisch Winery
Credits: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock

Covering about 40 sections of land and offering stunning perspectives on Seneca Lake, the lovely Castle Grisch Winery was laid out in 1983.

What makes this winery different is its obligation to utilize the best quality grapes, which are in every case newly culled in time for the winemaking system.

This grape plantation creates the best wines, going from red wines to white ones. The winery offers about 14 assortments of wine.

You can likewise appreciate newly created wine in the winery’s tasting room, which is open occasionally from May to December.

Aside from the wines, Castel Grisch Winery likewise offers amazing perspectives from its open-air porch.

If you’re in or around Watkins Glen, visiting the Castel Grisch Winery should be added to your list of best things to do in Watkins Glen, NY.

Address: 3380 County Rd 28, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, USA

4. Quintus Gallery

Quintus Gallery
Credits: BearFotos / Shutterstock

There’s always that need to find inspiration somewhere unique and unconventional. If that’s the case for you, head to the Quintus Gallery.

The Quintus Gallery is an intricately designed building with top-notch artworks and a beautiful display space.

If you’re an art-loving individual, this is the place to go. Various artworks are created with diverse materials such as acrylic and oil paint.

Aside from the beautiful masterpieces available at the Quintus Gallery, the owners are also delighted to converse with visitors as they have good knowledge of their artists.

The Quintus Gallery is a gem shining brightly on the beautiful Seneca Lake as it is a destination spot for all art-loving individuals.

The gallery offers a beautiful range of contemporary art by national artists and is a perfect location to add to your list of best things to do in Watkins Glen, NY.

Address: 65 Salt Point Rd, Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1054

5. Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls
Credits: jgorzynik / Shutterstock

A picturesque and charming cascade, Rainbow Falls is found in the Watkins Glen State Park region, at the southern finish of Seneca Lake.

Alongside 18 different cascades in the State Park region, there are trails that you can investigate that lead to these falls.

Rainbow Falls is effectively reachable and permits guests to climb around the area. It is arranged over the biggest outpouring in the recreation area, north of 60 feet tall.

The full view of Rainbow Falls is gorgeous and loaded up with colors. Visitors can have a Cup of Joe at Seneca Sunrise Coffee and prepare for the day.

Seneca Sunrise Coffee is undoubtedly the best espresso roaster in the town of Watkins Glen.

The more significant part of the espresso sold at this spot is guaranteed to be natural, conceal developed, and obtained worldwide. It’s one place you shouldn’t miss.

Address: Gorge Trail, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, USA

6. Clute Park Campground

Clute Park Campground
Credits: Junjira Limcharoen / Shutterstock

If nature is more your speed than racecars, the Clute Park Campground is the best place to get your tents up and start enjoying the outdoor experience.

The site was a combination of stone and gravel and had a beautiful environment alongside many other amenities.

Clute Park Campground is a government-owned facility but is so well kept and clean that it will leave its visitors returning for more adventures.

The campground is close to various stores, so visitors need not worry about running out of supplies, and the staff is also accommodating.

One good thing about the campground is its drainage system which is very useful when it rains. So visitors don’t need to worry about having their campground ruined by the rain.

Address: 155 S Clute Park Dr, Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1268

7. Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake
Credits: Bruce Goerlitz Photo / Shutterstock
Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake is one of the state’s most well-known and lovely lakes, the biggest in volume and the second-longest in the Finger Lakes locale.

Seneca covers about 43,000 sections of land and has a coastline spreading to 75 miles. The lake is as profound as 600 feet and looks very lovely.

There are various ways you can partake in this lake. In any case, the best spot to appreciate Seneca Lake is to go on a lake voyage.

Many specialist co-ops offer rental gear or permit guests to send off their boats.

The best is Captain Bill’s Cruises, which is number one among local people and guests. Skipper Bill’s offers different feasting choices to guests.

Furthermore, you can appreciate delicious lunch and evening snacks there, and it’s worth adding to your list of fun things to do in Watkins Glen, NY.

Address: 517 E 4th St, Watkins Glen – Waze.

8. Brick Tavern Museum

Brick Tavern Museum
Credits: Dmadeo [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Brick Tavern Museum
A renowned government structure planned in 1828, the Brick Tavern Museum is situated close to Seneca Lake and Watkins Glen.

The historical center has wonderful displays depicting Schuyler County’s rich past narrative.

Its shows the historical backdrop of fields like American materials, local antiques, clinical things, stylish things, transportation, and businesses.

The Brick Tavern Museum likewise has its testing laboratory, which permits genealogists to grasp the town’s past in a superior, more straightforward way.

This fascination in Watkins Glen is overseen by the Schuyler County Historical Society and is most certainly worth a visit if you are a history lover.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Watkins Glen, NY, the Brick Tavern Museum is one good place to add to your list!

Address: 1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY, USA

Are you planning an exploration of New York, do not miss our list of things to do in Cooperstownthings to do in The Hamptons, and things to do Wesley Canandaigua for a memorable experience.

9. International Motor Racing Research Center

International Motor Racing Research Center
Credits: International Motor Racing Research Center / Facebook
International Motor Racing Research Center

Are you a racecar enthusiast searching for top things to do in Watkins Glen, NY? Then, the International Motor Racing Research Center is right around the corner!

At the research center, visitors can peruse various information about racecars and how they were made.

There are various pictures of vintage, special edition model vehicles at the research center, and visitors are at liberty to go through them.

One exciting thing about this place is that they can help you with the necessary information if you want to restore your vintage car.

The museum also has some beautiful and well-maintained cars on display, like the MGA Twin Cam racecar.

The staff is amicable, and if you have questions or need help on how to go about anything pertaining to racecars, they’ve got you covered. It’s a nice place to visit!

Address: 610 S Decatur St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1613

10. Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary
Credits: Meagan Marchant / Shutterstock
Farm Sanctuary

The lovely Farm Sanctuary covers an area of more than 271 hectares of land and wonderful green fields in New York’s Finger Lakes locale.

It’s the ideal spot for a family day out as the association offers shelter to about 500 creatures, the greater part of which are either saved or stranded.

Ranch Sanctuary likewise utilizes personnel who help guests and keep them engaged by recounting how different animals came to see the farm as a home.

The spot likewise has a little gift shop and a small deck to enjoy the view of the landscape and take intriguing pictures.

The Farm Sanctuary is essential for a greater organization of safe havens that give a safe house to homegrown animals previously hurt and raise awareness of wildlife preservation.

If you’re an animal enthusiast looking for fun things to do in Watkins Glen, NY, visit to the Farm Sanctuary.

Address: 3150 Aikens Rd, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, United States

11. Watkins Glen International

Watkins Glen International
Credits: Adam Moss / Flickr
Watkins Glen International

Watkins Glen International is situated at the southern tip of Seneca Lake and is an extremely popular vehicle circuit known for its exceptional administrations.

Otherwise called “The Glen,” the course was developed in 1956 and has been kept up with consistently from that point forward.

The course has facilitated the Formula One United States Grand Prix for 20 successive years.

Aside from Formula One races, the course has other dashing occasions, like the World Sports Car Championship.

They also host occasions like the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the International Motor Sports Association, and many more.

Notwithstanding the races, it likewise fills in as a scene for different music shows, the most renowned being the 1973 Summer Jam with the Grateful Dead.

Address: 2790 County Route 16, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, United States

12. Glen Theatre

Glen Theatre
Credits: Doug Kerr / Flickr
Glen Theatre

A shelter for film devotees, Glen Theater, is a highly charming old cinema at 112 N Franklin Street, Watkins Glen, New York.

This entertainment space is an immortal fortune that many individuals from the area love to visit. There are just two screens; however, this spot has character by the pail load.

It boasts a diverse setup of Hollywood blockbusters, non-mainstream hits, and the standard motion pictures delivered in customary films.

The concession at Glen Theater is somewhat on the little side, yet there is a decent assortment of choices to browse.

What’s truly remarkable about it is that tickets are less expensive than most places in this space will charge, and the bites are about normal in cost.

Glen Theater is the best place to visit with your loved ones if you’re looking for fun things to do in Watkins Glen, NY, as it has a family-friendly environment.

Address: 112 N Franklin Street, Watkins Glen, New York.

13. Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Seneca Lake Wine Trail
Credits: Bruce Goerlitz Photo / Shutterstock
Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Seneca Lake is known for its diverse offering of world-class wines, and it’s no surprise that they would have a wine trail waiting for its visitors.

The wineries are dedicated to increasing quality and serving as exceptional stewards of the land and lake.

Seneca Lake Wine Trail members pledge to exceed visitors’ expectations when they visit to taste wine and experience the Finger Lakes.

You don’t have to travel to far-away places to experience fantastic wines as they are on Seneca Lake Wine Trail!

The Seneca Lake Wine Trail boasts excellent wine and cheese trails, all available for visitors to explore.

One great thing about the place is that there are so many great wine samples to taste. 

Address: 2 N Franklin St Suite 320, Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1269

14. Lakewood Vineyards

Lakewood Vineyards
Credits: True life photography / Shutterstock

Lakewood Vineyards is located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York. It’s been a working grape farm since 1951.

The winery was established in 1988, almost two decades later, with over 675 awards; they continually produce fine wines and mead.

Lakewood Vineyards presents these wines in inviting, friendly tasting rooms and encourage you to enjoy the view of Seneca Lake while strolling through the vineyards.

The vineyard offers a broad selection of solid, modestly priced wines, a comfortable tasting room, and a friendly, knowledgeable staff.

The wines are more of an “everyday” sort, but that’s not bad, as you can sometimes have wine with a burger and pizza.

Watkins Glen is filled with various tourist attractions and wine tasting rooms, and the Lakewoods Vineyard is an attraction that is definitely worth visiting.

Address: 4024 State Route 14, Watkins Glen, NY 14891-9718

15. Reisinger’s Apple Country

Reisinger's Apple Country
Credits: Serhii Hrebeniuk / Shutterstock

Reisinger’s Apple Country is the place to visit if you’re looking for a place other than the various wine tasting rooms of Watkins Glen.

Although the place has ‘Apple’ Country in its name, you’re not going to see just apples when you visit as there are many other interesting things there.

Reisinger’s Apple Country is a little out of the way but very friendly and smells great inside. Visitors can have some homemade apple cider doughnuts and apple cider.

There is a lot of stuff to find on sale at Reisinger’s Apple Country, like their famous Honey Crisp, Apple Cider Doughnuts, and some apples.

This place is a perfect location for family-friendly visits, considering how their environment is clean and healthy to stay in.

If you’re looking for best things to do in Watkins Glen, NY, stop by Reisinger’s Apple Country and enjoy all they have to offer.

Address: 2750 Apple Ln, Watkins Glen, NY 14891-9797

Planning a New York road trip? also, check out our list of things to do in Watertown, things to do in New Paltz and things to do in Rochester for a fun New York trip

16. Rooster Fish Brewing Tasting Room & Beer Garden

Rooster Fish Brewing Tasting Room & Beer Garden
Credits: somchaij / Shutterstock

Rooster Fish Brewing Tasting Room and Beer Garden in New York State’s First Farm Brewery should be your next stop in Watkins Glen.

The place offers energetically blended, remarkably elite art lager from privately obtained fixings in a casual, tempting Beer Garden and distillery climate.

Visitors can appreciate passage from nearby food trucks or get their snacks while exploring the excellence of Watkins Glen.

The Rooster Fish is short from the chasm and makes a good spot for a burger and lager after the climb. It’s an incredible spot to eat with companions.

There is a parking area across the road that is sensibly open. Their homemade brew is delectable, especially the Porter.

Their burgers are huge, succulent, and cooked to arrange. This place will leave its visitors returning for more and always leaving them satisfied.

Address: 223 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1222

17. Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor

Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor
Credits: Atsushi Hirao / Shutterstock

Found right on the southern corner of the Watkins Glen State Park region, the Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor is a special frozen yogurt parlor in the town.

It has been a family-possessed business serving local people and guests for over 30 years.

The shop flaunts more than 30 frozen yogurt flavors, frozen treats, cakes, and other gelato items. It’s one of a kind since all they offer is made whenever orders are received.

Notwithstanding the normal things, the parlor likewise offers veggie and non-dairy variations. This sweet shop likewise takes orders for modified cakes with printed photos on top of them.

On the off chance that you have a major sweet tooth, this frozen yogurt parlor most certainly merits a spot on your Watkins Glen schedule.

There are many fun things to do in Watkins Glen, NY, but a visit to the Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor is one you shouldn’t miss.

Address: 221 S Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, United States

18. Schooner True Love

Schooner True Love
Credits: Schooner True Love / Facebook
Schooner True Love

Have you ever wondered how great it would be to take a break on a boat and cruise the rivers or lakes while exploring the city?

Schooner True Love is the place to go if you want to spend some time with your loved one on a cruise through Seneca Lake.

The boat rides are quiet and peaceful, and they have a very friendly crew. Quiet conversation is possible the entire time because it’s a calm sailboat.

The boat is beautiful and always keeps on time, so visitors need not worry about being late or having a ruined schedule.

For those who are all about size, the cruise length is the right size, and it’s advised that visitors use the bathroom before going on the boat.

It’s also advisable to come with extra clothing because it can sometimes get cold. 

Address: Watkins Glen, NY, USA

19. Captain Bill’s Cruises

Captain Bill's Cruises
Credits: Maridav / Shutterstock

Captain Bill’s Cruises is another great Cruise boat business in Watkins Glen waiting to give its customers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Visitors can book their boats online and come over to take a cruise whenever they decide. They have an excellent confirmation method in the form of an email.

If you feel putting a call through to Captain Bill’s Cruises to make reservations is better, they also promptly answer calls for reservations.

Supposing you arrive early for your boat ride, you can take some pictures and visit the gift shop while waiting to board.

On the cruise, you’ll be welcomed by friendly staff with fascinating information about the lake and the various locations you’ll be passing by.

It’s a relaxing, fun time to learn about history on the lake. You can bring snacks and drinks! Remember your sunscreen.

Address: Watkins Glen, NY, USA

20. Summit To Stream Adventures

Summit To Stream Adventures
Credits: sergua / Shutterstock

Watkins Glen in New York City is a small city with most of its beautiful tourist attractions revolving around its beautiful Seneca Lake.

There are a lot of exciting activities at the Summit to Stream Adventures, like kayaking on Seneca Lake and fly fishing by the Ithaca Falls.

Each activity at the summit is wholesome and leaves its visitors wishing to continue the day at their facility.

The staff is amicable, enthusiastic, and informative. Visitors can get to see cormorants, turtles, and a blue heron and get to take pictures.

If you’re in the mood, you can set up for a fishing experience as the staff can also help you with essential tips to make good catches.

Address: 2 Seneca Hbr Dr, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, United States

21. Stroller IV Scenic Boat

Credits: Olesia Bilkei / Shutterstock

There are several options to sightsee on Seneca Lake. One of them is Stroller IV Scenic Boat Ride, as it is a 50-minute ride seated inside on a wooden motorized sightseeing boat.

The captain and his assistant usually give a running commentary on the history and features of the lake and its primary industry, the salt mines.

 It’s always nice seeing the countryside from the perspective of the water, and the staff makes the experience enjoyable as they are very friendly.

You can’t run out of things to do on the cruise as you can decide to take loads of pictures of the beautiful view or get to learn about the place from the staff.

Visitors can also decide to relax on the boat ride and bask in the morning sun. It’s always advised to come along with some sunscreen.

Without a doubt, adding the Stroller IV Scenic Boat to your list of fun things to do in Watkins Glen, NY, is one choice you wouldn’t regret.

Address: Watkins Glen, New York, USA.

22. Seneca Lake Kayak

Seneca Lake Kayak
Credits: Vitalii Nesterchuk / Shutterstock

For those who have taken several kayaking trips, this one will become your favorite as the kayaks were high quality.

Nothing beats kayaking on a kayak that is very comfortable for resting your feet and moves easily through the water.

Seneca Lake Kayak has impressive relaxed, knowledgeable, and accommodating guides. It’s always comforting to have friendly guides.

Visitors will love climbing on Hector Falls and kayaking along the shore of Seneca Lake as it proves to be so peaceful.

On your tour, you can also see various beautiful birds of prey through Hector Falls, like the bald eagle and the falcon.

Paddling is easy on a quiet lake, and the wind is considerably good as long as the weather is in good condition. It’s a must-visit kind of place!

Address: Watkins Glen, New York, USA.

23. Quest Gaming Adventures

Quest Gaming Adventures
Credits: Fer Gregory / Shutterstock

After going through the list of things to do in Watkins Glen, NY, it’s easy to think that it’s all about the lake and that it isn’t interesting.

But the, once you learn about Quest Gaming Adventures, your perspective is sure to change as it’s a great place to visit.

Quest Gaming Adventures is just the place for you if you’re not fond of water bodies or have a phobia of being on boats.

Quest Gaming Adventures is an escape room game center that accommodates families ready to play the game. Singles are also welcome.

It’s always a blast at escape room adventures due to its mentally tasking and exciting nature. In addition, it’s one good place for friendly competition.

Supposing you’re looking for an exciting place to spend time and love puzzle games, Quest Gaming Adventures is just the place for you.

Address: 607 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1302

Check out other cities in New York, here is  a list of things to do in Newburghthings to do in Cortland, and fun things to do in Cold Spring for a fun time

Plan a Trip to Watkins Glen

When John D. Rockefeller was looking for a calm, green wide place to get away from his bustling life as one of the world’s most extravagant and powerful men, he tracked down his safe house in Watkins Glen, New York.

Vacationers travel from all over the United States to appreciate all that this unbelievable district has to offer. 

If you’re going on a vacation remotely close to New York State, you should visit Watkins Glen.