Situated in Chemung County, Elmira is the place you are looking for if you desire a tranquil and peaceful vacation in New York, away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. Every single day you will be presented with panoramic views of the hills of southwestern New York. Despite being a small and quiet town, Elmira offers abundant attractions that you are going to enjoy. The town is known for its beautiful parks along with several museums. And, did you know that Mark Twain spend his life in this town? Keep reading to find out more about the best things to do in Elmira, New York.
1. Check out the sculptures and paintings at Arnot Art Museum
What do you think of having some artsy time in downtown Elmira? Sounds superb, doesn’t it? Well, you should be headed to Arnot Art Museum that boasts an extensive collection of paintings from the 17th till the 21st centuries, with the 21st-century collection featuring contemporary representational artwork. In addition to the paintings, you can also enjoy looking at various sculptures. Spend at least an hour or two at this museum.
Arnot Art Museum
Address: 235 Lake St, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Website: Arnot Art Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Mon & Sun)
Price: 7 USD
2. Learn some history at Chemung Valley History Museum
What kind of history you can learn through this museum? The history of the Chemung Valley region! As the biggest history museum in the region, its current exhibits include Bank Gallery in which you can gain insights into the settlement of the Native Americans until the end of the 20th century. Popular exhibits are Mark Twain’s Elmira. Through artifacts used by Mark Twain, you can get to know more about the author, his family, and his life in Elmira during the late 1800s.
Chemung Valley History Museum
Address: 415 E Water St, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Website: Chemung Valley History Museum
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
Price: 5 USD
3. Check out the motorless flight at National Soaring Museum
As the name suggests, the National Soaring Museum is the place where you can spread your wings! The aviation museum attempts to preserve the history of motorless flight through interactive presentation and exhibits. Explore every corner of the museum to check out its extensive collection of gliders that are as old as 200 years, inductees of Soaring Hall of Fame and more.
National Soaring Museum
Address: 51 Soaring Hill Dr, Elmira, NY 14903, USA
Website: National Soaring Museum
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 7.50 USD
4. Go on paddleboat rides at Eldridge Park
Eldridge Park used to be an amusement park back in the 20th century. Now it serves as a recreational place for everyone looking to spend some fun and quality time with loved ones. The highlight of this park is its paddle boats, carousel, and mini golf. One that you must try is, of course, are the paddle boat rides. Take note that the park only opens from May to September.
Address: 96 Eldridge Park Dr, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 12pm - 9pm; Sun: 12pm - 8pm (closed on Mon - Wed)
Price: 1 USD
5. Eat Italian food at Lib's Supper Club
Craving for some Italian food when you are about to have dinner? Why don’t you make your way to Lib’s Supper Club to indulge in classic Italian fare? You may want to share with your travel partners because all dishes served at this restaurant have large portions. The popular menu includes homemade ravioli and fettucini alfredo. Wines and spirits are also available.
Lib's Supper Club
Address: 106 W 5th St, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Website: Lib’s Supper Club
Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 4pm - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 4pm - 9pm (closed on Mon & Sun)
Price: from 11 USD
6. Catch a show at Clemens Center
Catch a fantastic show to entertain yourself at night, at the Clemens Center. There are plenty of performances that are hosted weekly and you have to check its calendar, to book a ticket for your favorite show. Broadway series and school-time series are highlights of this performance center.
Address: 207 Clemens Center Pkwy, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Website: Clemens Center
Price: from 193 USD
7. Taste fast food at Central Hots
Forget about sticking to a diet when you are on a vacation. Drop by Central Hots to taste the best burgers and hot dogs in the city. Situated only a few blocks away from Elmira College, the eatery is an excellent place to hang out during lunch time. Order their signature meat sauce, which is homemade.
Address: 220 Roe Ave, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Website: Central Hots
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 7pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 10am - 4pm
Price: 10 USD
8. Try vegan food at Turtle Leaf Café
If you do want to eat healthily on your vacation, you can find your way to Turtle Leaf Cafe and order their vegan options, such as The Veggie Wrap, or a sandwich and roasted veggies for your salad. Their smoothies are so delicious and the popular ones include chocolate or vanilla protein and pineapple, mango and spinach juice. If you prefer coffee or tea, the cafe serves a selection of those beverages as well.
Turtle Leaf Café
Address: 315 E Water St, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Website: Turtle Leaf Café
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 3pm; Sat: 9am - 3pm (closed on Sun)
Price: under 10 USD
9. Buy clothing from H. Strauss
This light weight jacket is perfect for the golf course or a day at the soccer fields! Zero Restriction offers a full line of waterproof outerwear!Posted by H Strauss, Inc. on Saturday, 20 May 2017
Are you looking to buy some men’s clothing and accessories that are of top quality for yourself or for your partner? H. Strauss is the right place that you should be dropping by. The clothing store promises that you will find something unique and unexpected. You will definitely find the clothing or accessories you like and will not leave the store empty-handed, be it a light jacket, a winter coat or a pair of shoes. What’s more, the store also provides custom tailoring services.
Address: 363 W Church St, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Website: H. Strauss
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 6pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
Price: from 100 USD
10. Pay your tribute at Mark Twain Gravesite
Having written really great novels such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain has earned the respect of fellow authors and readers from around the world. When you are in Elmira, you have an opportunity to pay your respect to him by visiting his gravesite. When you see the gravesite, you will see how it is dominated by a memorial obelisk with his name and his photograph. Other than Mark Twain himself, his family members are also buried in the same cemetery.
Mark Twain Gravesite
Address: 1208 Davis St, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 4.30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
11. See Mark Twain's Study at Elmira College
You need to make a stop at Mark Twain’s Study if you are a huge fan of the renowned author. It is a small hut in which Mark Twain produced a lot of his popular writings. See for yourself and maybe you will be inspired to also become a writer like him. The hut is located in the middle of Elmira College in the hope that it stays as an inspiration for young writers every single day.
Mark Twain's Study
Address: 800 Park Pl, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Website: Mark Twain’s Study
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 4.30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
12. Watch a movie at Elmira Drive-In
You may not be able to watch your favorite movie in the cinema back home because you are on a vacation in Elmira. Do not fret because Elmira features a superb cinema called the Elmira Drive-In. Featuring two outdoor screens, this huge cinema makes a cool place for you and your loved ones to enjoy a movie together in an open area. If you are hungry, you can go to the snack bar that serves grill fare and treats. Check out the now-playing and upcoming movies on its website and book your tickets early.
Address: 2431 NY-352, Elmira, NY 14903, USA
Website: Elmira Drive-In
Price: 9 USD
13. Head to Harris Hill Amusement Park for family fun
There are plenty of places in Elmira where you can have that family fun, such as Harris Hill Amusement Park. Spend the entire day trying all the rides and attractions for the most fun time. Attractions offered include go-kart, miniature golf, batting cages, and kiddie rides. There is also an area where you can enjoy a picnic. As if this were not enough, the amusement park has its own swimming pool.
Harris Hill Amusement Park
Address: 557 Harris Hill Rd, Elmira, NY 14903, USA
Website: Harris Hill Amusement Park
Opening hours: 12pm - 9pm (daily)
Price: pay-as-you-go attractions and rides
14. Visit the exceptional Newtown Battlefield State Park
During the American Revolutionary War, there was a battle that took place right at this park. The area used to be called the Newton Battlefield Reservation. As you stroll along the park, you will come right to an obelisk, which is a memorial monument. The park is also suitable for biking and jogging in the morning.
Newtown Battlefield State Park
Address: 2346 County Rd 60, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sat)
15. Marvel at Sperr Memorial Park
Sperr Memorial Park is among the prettiest parks you can find in Elmira, which is why we highly recommend that you spend some time in the park. Whether you want to sit on the bench and absorb the tranquility, enjoy a pleasant stroll or take your kids to have fun in the playground, you will enjoy your time here. In addition to the lush green fields that surround you, you need to also spare some time to enjoy the pond.
Sperr Memorial Park
Address: 75 Kahler Rd S, Elmira, NY 14903, USA
Website: Sperr Memorial Park
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
16. Go fishing at Brick Pond Park
One of the best activities you can do to kill time is probably fishing. An enjoyable place where you can go fishing in Elmira is Brick Pond Park. Although the park itself is not that big, there is a nice pond where you can try your luck to bring home some fish. Other facilities you can find in the park include a playground, a grill on the peninsula and a pavilion.
Brick Pond Park
Address: 1015 Sullivan St, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
17. Make a quick stop at the historic Quarry Farm
What is so historic about Quarry Farm? Mark Twain and his family used to live there during summertime for more than 20 years. That is what makes this house so special. Now, the house has been bequeathed to Twain’s sister-in-law. You can see the house from the outside. Unfortunately, this house is not open to the public. But, you can enjoy a virtual tour of this house at any time of the day. You can see Twain’s writing room along with bookshelves and other objects.
Address: 131 Crane Rd, Elmira, NY 14901, USA
18. Hike through Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum
Appreciate the beauty of nature by hiking through Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum. Views you get to enjoy along the long trails include Finger Lakes and Chemung Valley. You can also meet with more than 40 native animals that are just very exotic. Afterward, drop by the museum to look at a collection of paintings or simply explore the lodge.
Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum
Address: 443 Coleman Ave, Elmira, NY 14903, USA
Website: Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9am - 4pm; Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed on Mon & Sun)
Travel to Elmira for a richer you
It is true what people say: traveling is the only thing that makes you richer! If you want to add to your travel experience, you need to take a short break to Elmira. Enjoy the parks, visit the museums and try the restaurants. Basically, you should do everything on the list to have a great vacation in Elmira.
Get Trip101 in your inbox