Corning Museum of Glass cover

Explore Corning

Located twenty miles southwest of Watkins Glen, Corning is a charming city with a thriving arts and culinary community along the Chemung River. Market Street in the Gaffer District, lined with trees and colorful murals, features nearly one hundred boutiques, antique stores, specialty shops, art galleries, glass studios, restaurants, and historic architecture.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Best of Rochester Award-Winning Book for Best Published Literary Work of 2023.

Plan Your Day Trip to Corning

Breakfast

As you are driving into Corning, stop at Chat-A-Whyle Restaurant in Bath, or Jelly Beans in Painted Post. 

corning museum of glass
Hot Glass Demo
Gaffer
corning museum of glass tiffany
Tiffany
Corning Museum of Glass pink Chihuly
Chihuly

Morning

Start your day exploring the Corning Museum of Glass, the world’s largest collection of glass objects. With over 50,000 pieces spanning 3,500 years of history, you would need several days to see it all. I could spend an hour just gawking at the Chihuly and Tiffany pieces, plus their impressive paperweight collection.

Plan to arrive early for the hot glass demonstrations in the museum’s two theaters to secure a good seat. Watching an episode of Blown Away on Netflix before your visit will give you a better understanding of the glassblowing process. If you’re feeling creative, you can even try your hand at creating your own glass project at the museum’s hands-on studio.

Take the free, fully accessible shuttle bus to Market Street for lunch.

Nickels Pit BBQ Corning
Nickels Pit BBQ

Lunch

With so many options to choose from, try one of our favorites like Nickel’s Pit BBQ, Aniello’s Pizzeria, Mooney’s Sports Bar and Grill, Little Boomers’ Burrito Bar, Burgers and Beer, Nine Elephants, Atlas Brick Oven Pizzeria, Slammin’ Jammin’ BBQ, Market Street Brewing Co., and I could keep going!

Vitrix Hot Glass Studio
Vitrix Hot Glass Studio
Market Street Coffee and Tea Corning
Market Street Coffee and Tea
Old World Cafe Ice Cream Corning
Old World Cafe
Market Street Corning NY
Market Street, Corning

Afternoon

Explore the various shops in the Gaffer District. As you’ll learn from the museum, a gaffer is a master glassblower. On weekdays, visit Vitrix Hot Glass Studio for a glassblowing demonstration and the chance to purchase locally crafted glass jewelry and other souvenirs. For a sweet treat, check out Dippity Do Dahs, Old World Cafe and Ice Cream, or Poppleton Bakery and Cafe.

corning rockwell museum
Rockwell Museum Corning art
Rockwell Museum Corning native
Rockwell Museum Corning bison
The Rockwell Museum

Consider visiting the Rockwell Museum in Corning’s Old Town Hall, which showcases a unique collection of early American art—a gift from Bob and Hertha Rockwell. A Smithsonian Affiliate museum, you’ll appreciate a range of fine art focused on America’s western expansion and the impact on its land and people.

Take the shuttle back to CMoG for the final demonstration of the day, which typically takes place around 4:15 p.m. Then, drive back over the Chemung River and enjoy a nice dinner. Free parking is available in the downtown area after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.

Mooneys Sorges restaurants Corning
Mooneys and Sorges

Dinner

For a great dining experience, consider visiting The Cellar Modern Fusion Restaurant, The Mallard Club, Hand + Foot, Sorge’s Restaurant, or Three Birds. Each of these restaurants offers unique flavors and a memorable atmosphere.

Signature Events

GlassFest

late May

Held during Memorial Day Weekend, the event transforms Market Street into a pedestrian-only area where visitors can watch glassblowing demonstrations, taste local wines and beers, enjoy live music and food, and end the night with a dazzling fireworks display. It’s the perfect way to kick off summer in the Crystal City.

Wineglass Marathon

early October

This is one of the most exciting race series to run or watch, ending on Market Street in the heart of Corning. It’s an ideal time of year to visit the area, on the brink of peak fall foliage.

Parade of Lights

late November

After a full day of shopping on Small Business Saturday, enjoy a parade of festively decorated floats that accompany Santa and Mrs. Claus as they make their way back to their glass house in Centerway Square.

Sparkle

early December

Held annually on the first Saturday in December, Sparkle is a festive holiday experience that transforms Historic Market Street into a Christmas shopping winter wonderland. The event features the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, as well as concerts, caroling, and horse-drawn carriage rides.

Google Map of Locations

view map separately here

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Corning Museum of Glass cover
Cover photo: Corning Museum of Glass

Where are your favorite places to visit in Corning?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of daytrippingroc.com and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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