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Old 08-07-2012, 12:27 PM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
3,870 posts, read 2,611,528 times
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Default A Brief Visit to the Southern Tier: Questions....

I may be visiting an old friend in early October, who lives in Tioga, PA, just across the state line...but will be driving and staying overnight in New York State.

Plan is to drive that interstate from Erie PA, via Jamestown and Olean, to the Corning/Elmira area, where I will be overnighting (from then on I continue east through Binghampton & Albany & up into Vermont).

Since the Corning/Elmira area is a bit off the beaten path I figure Id ask some New Yorkers for intel on the area.

Questions & Request for Recommendations:

1. Is this freeway fairly good in terms of speed...I usually do aroun 70 - 75 MPH. Too fast?

2. Are there hotels in downtown Corning or Elmira. I prefer to stay downtown when I travel, so am looking for a center-city location? Also, is it safe to walk around downtown and the older neighborhoods (I like to walk around after checking in or dinner).

3. Related question...restaurants and coffee shops in these places, and good venues for live music (more on the acoustic/singer-songwriter style), since I will be in town on a Saturday night. Not sure which town would be better for this..Corning or Elmira. I'm also interested in old-school places the locals go to for a good breakfast, especially an all night diner kind of place (since I hit the road early).

4. Postcards & notecards. Odd request but I like to send these to freinds & relatives during my travels...where is a good place to get these, if any.

5. Ithaca. How far is this...in driving time? Was thinking of a side trip up there since I hear its an attractive college town, and I'd like to see at least one Finger Lake.

Thank you all in advance for your recommendations.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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Quick answers: look into the Radisson in Downtown Corning. Check out the Gaffer District close by: Corning's Gaffer District - Corning, New York - Shopping - Entertainment - Museums - Food Corning is fine and Elmira can vary by neighborhood. Neither are are Dayton though. Near the Museum of Glass in Corning may have postcards.

Ithaca is about 30-45 from the Elmira-Corning area and is doable. Check out the Commons and Johnson Park, among other places.

If you want a scenic drive to VT, you could go Route 13 towards Cortland to Route 281 to I-81 North to about Watertown. From there, you can take Route 11 around the Adirondacks to Rouses Point, where you take the Route 2 bridge into VT. If you are going to Burlington, take Route 2 into I-89 South into Burlington.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:30 PM
 
Location: SENIOR MEMBER
655 posts, read 1,211,152 times
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Default Nice Smaller Towns to visit/vacation across Upstate NY

Hello Dayton,

If there is any way that you could visit/travel through the Southern Tier & Upstate New York regions during the second or third week of September rather than later in October you might find the weather more enjoyable and possible more businesses open for you to visit; although there WILL be plenty of places to visit/see regardless.

You'll be better off spending your time in Corning rather than Elmira. Also you'd enjoy visiting Ithaca NY.

Here goes. ckhthankgod is correct. Corning Museum of Glass - the Gaffer (Shops) District - Museum of Western Art (Cowboys/Indians/Horses/& such).
Corning Museum
... http://corningmuseum.photosandpictures.net/main.php

Go to Ithaca (Cayuga Lake) rather than Elmira. Visit "Ithaca Commons - The Commons", Downtown Pedestrian Walking Shopping Plaza shops (no cars).
Ithaca & Cayuga Lake
... www.city-data.com/picfilesv/picv6629.php
The Commons - Summer
... www.fingerlakes.com/towns/ithaca
... www.ithaca.edu/photos/2053/?image_id=15323#photo

You might also enjoy visiting the shops in downtown Skaneatles village at the northern end of Skaneatles Lake.
Skaneatles village & Lake
... http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/ph...language_en-US
... www.city-data.com/forum/91246-post1.html

You might also like the small shops in Cooperstown NY (several museums & Baseball Hall of Fame & village shops/restaurants). It seems to me that I remember seeing one store especially (not sure which one) that sold old & new post cards & souveniers & t-shirts & etc.=post cards you mentioned.
Cooperstown NY & Otsego Lake
... www.visitingcooperstown.com/welcome.html
... www.visitingcooperstown.com/gallery14.html
... www.visitingcooperstown.com/otsego.html

Another small enjoyable city is Saratoga Springs NY where there are lots of shops and restaurants in the downtown area=park in one of their back-street parking lots and walk all over downtown=see the painted horse statutes around town. There's a lot of "Horse Theme" gifts and items for sale in this town=connected with horse racing.
Saratoga Springs NY
... www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc25623.php
... http://www.smalltowngems.com/browset...snyphotos.html

One last town. Lake George (summer resort=summertime steamboat lake cruises-shops-restaurants-gift shops-post cards). In October, many things will be closed for winter-coming. But a few places will still be open.
Lake George NY & Minne Ha Ha Steamboat
... www.lakegeorgeguide.com/
... www.city-data.com/picfilesv/picv7139.php
... www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc3584.php
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Maybe you will decide to alter your trip route a little and see some of these other nice small towns across Upstate New York.

You have a nice trip to New York.

grdnrman

Last edited by grdnrman; 08-07-2012 at 10:47 PM..
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:34 PM
 
3,159 posts, read 5,363,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayton Sux View Post

1. Is this freeway fairly good in terms of speed...I usually do aroun 70 - 75 MPH. Too fast?

2. Are there hotels in downtown Corning or Elmira. I prefer to stay downtown when I travel, so am looking for a center-city location? Also, is it safe to walk around downtown and the older neighborhoods (I like to walk around after checking in or dinner).

3. Related question...restaurants and coffee shops in these places, and good venues for live music (more on the acoustic/singer-songwriter style), since I will be in town on a Saturday night. Not sure which town would be better for this..Corning or Elmira. I'm also interested in old-school places the locals go to for a good breakfast, especially an all night diner kind of place (since I hit the road early).

4. Postcards & notecards. Odd request but I like to send these to freinds & relatives during my travels...where is a good place to get these, if any.

5. Ithaca. How far is this...in driving time? Was thinking of a side trip up there since I hear its an attractive college town, and I'd like to see at least one Finger Lake.
1. I-86 has very little traffic other than state police 75 might be pushing your luck a little vs. the posted 65 mph.

2. Radisson in Corning as noted by the ever-helpful ckhthankgod. Corning has an attractive downtown with a Fortune 500 HQ, Elmira does not. If you have been to Mansfield, OH, Elmira is similar.

3. I'm a little out of the loop on the live music type places. I know locals who breakfast at the Central Restaurant (closed Sundays I think though) in an odd little pedestrian plaza that comprises downtown Painted Post, and also the Jelly Beans restaurant in the Gang Mills section (S Hamilton St Painted Post). Both would be a backtrack for you five minutes into the Corning suburbs, such as they are, not downtown.

4. I've seen a few postcards at Wegmans at the west end of downtown Corning, open longer hours and more easy in and out vs. the CMOG gift shop. We get postcards when we travel too and they are getting harder to find anymore.

5. Ithaca is an hour from Corning. You need to get off NY 13 to see much of the actual town, NY 13 is an arterial then becomes limited access for a bit.

Consider using NY 414 north from Corning to Watkins Glen, then NY 79 east to Ithaca. These are good standard two lane roads, only slightly slower but somewhat more scenic than the I-86/NY 13 usual route. You can also get a glimpse of the Watkins Glen itself then a view of end of Seneca Lake this way, and also pass a few actual vineyards coming up the hill out of Watkins. The entry into Ithaca this way is one of the more dramatic skyline views.

If you are just driving through Ithaca without time to really stop here is a suggested path: Either NY 13 north or NY 79 east to W State St (oops, showing my age, now W Martin Luther King St) to end of Ithaca Commons pedestrian mall, right on S Cayuga St, left on E Green St, straight at east end of downtown (neither left to 96B nor right to 79 yet) swinging around the circle to E Seneca St, right on N Tioga St to end, right on E Falls St to end, left on Lake St just a tiny bit to gawk at Ithaca Falls, back up (yes, up) Lake St and straight onto University Ave and still straight on Forest Home Dr on the Cornell University campus, right at Plantations Road then left twice around a tiny cloverleaf to Judd Falls Rd, at NY 366 turn right then left onto Pine Tree Rd, continue to NY 79 left and out.

The usual route from Ithaca to I-88/Albany and southern/central VT is NY 79 east to Whitney Point, then NY 206 east to Bainbridge, these are good standard 2 lane roads solid 55 mph mostly, a bit hillier than most of Ohio and not prevailing 75 mph either.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:27 PM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
3,870 posts, read 2,611,528 times
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Thanks for your alls advice!

Is Watkins Glen worth a side trip...it seems ...on the map....closer than Ithaca.

I wont have but an afternoon & evening to spend in the area (assume I'll be arriving around noon or so, then driving down to Tioga to meet up w. friend).
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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I'd be careful with the 75MPH on I-86/I-88, there are a lot of ticket-happy staties (and small towns that like their revenue), and not a lot of traffic to distract them from you. I'd say 70mph is safe, but anything over that is starting to look for a ticket with them.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:23 PM
 
30,810 posts, read 35,867,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayton Sux View Post
Thanks for your alls advice!

Is Watkins Glen worth a side trip...it seems ...on the map....closer than Ithaca.

I wont have but an afternoon & evening to spend in the area (assume I'll be arriving around noon or so, then driving down to Tioga to meet up w. friend).
It is, I'd say if you want to check out a nice community on a Finger Lake. I was thinking that maybe a side trip to Cooperstown or Saratoga Springs may be better in terms of not having to go too far from your route to VT.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:14 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
3,870 posts, read 2,611,528 times
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Thanks for intel on the speed limit. 68 MPH- 69 MPH (ie below 70) is generally "OK" on the open road in Ohio, so sounds like the same in New York State. Freeway sounds good, too....I like travelling on open, nearly empty roads (who doesnt?) )


I'm looking forward to this trip. I see Binghampton is on the way east. Is this an old factory town? It looks large on the map,...Binghampton and a string of towns in a valley (Endicott?).

I am thinking of a side trip to Saratoga on the way up to Burlington, to visit the battlefield (im a history buff), but there is a time constraint as I need to make the noon ferry across Lake Champlaign to Burlington.

First day out I figure I will be in the Corning/Elmira area around noon-ish to early afternoon or so (figuring this based on previos trips east to Scranton/W-B). Which should give me all aftenoon and evening to spend with my old buddy and do some exploring.

This isnt NY, but how long would it take me to get to Tioga PA from Corning area???....seems pretty close on the map.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:35 AM
 
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Watkins Glen village is a small town, its tourist infrastructure has rapidly gentrified in recent years so town is much different than it was 10 years ago. On race weekends or during the Italian Festival traffic is horrendous. The Watkins Glen State Park offers amazing scenery for a relatively short walk in from the bottom.

Ithaca is a university town, much larger than Watkins Glen but still a small town by most metropolitan standards. It has scenic locations in the gorges generally similar to Watkins Glen, but also has the university town accoutrements (except for the football-associated elements, the Cornell football stadium wouldn't pass muster for a Texas high school).

Cooperstown is bigger than Watkins but smaller than Ithaca. It has a lake too, smaller than the Finger Lakes proper but arguably more scenic than either Seneca at Watkins Glen or Cayuga at Ithaca. The roads don't really go directly east from Cooperstown, slow going getting to US 20 from there.

So you have choices for where you feel your schedule slot lies.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:38 AM
 
3,159 posts, read 5,363,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayton Sux View Post
This isnt NY, but how long would it take me to get to Tioga PA from Corning area???....seems pretty close on the map.
There's still a bit of two-lane on US 15 inside NY, but Tioga Borough (tiny town limits) to Corning Gaffer District easily within 1/2 hour. (Takes three to four minutes longer the other way due to recently realigned exit ramps.)
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