It’s time to start planning your Letchworth getaway! It’s so close to home—40 miles from Rochester to be more precise—so you won’t waste precious time traveling.
And by staying over night you’re able to include early morning and late evening activities you may not otherwise participate in if you had to drive home at the end of the day.
HINT: Borrow an Empire Pass from a Monroe County Library before you leave Rochester to save $10 a day if you’re not staying overnight in the park.
A Suggested Itinerary for Your Letchworth Getaway
Take a look at these day-by-day ideas for your three-day Letchworth getaway, with more ideas below. Let it serve as inspiration.
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Stop in Mount Morris for lunch at Borikén.
Head in to Letchworth State Park and enjoy the slow drive toward the Glen Iris Inn. Park at the inn and walk down to Middle Falls and on up the steps to the top of Upper Falls.
Enjoy dinner at the beautiful, historic Glen Iris Inn—William Pryor Letchworth’s home. Do make reservations!
Stay here or drive to one of the scenic overlooks—like Tea Table, Inspiration Point or Great Bend—and relax while watching the sun set. Take a look at the map you received when you entered the park. Now’s a great time to familiarize yourself with the park if you haven’t already.
Here are some ideas to fill your day with memory-making adventures!
Brian’s USA Diner is the place to go for a hearty breakfast.
Drive into Letchworth State Park and head for Lower Falls. Hike down the 127 steps to see the falls up close. Hike down about 30 more to walk across the stone footbridge.
Drive down to Adventure Calls Outfitters to begin your 5.5-mile whitewater rafting trip.
Partake in the BBQ lunch package through Adventure Calls.
Head over to Humphrey Nature Center. There are trails that lead to the Trout Pond, Inspiration Point Overlook and patches of old growth forest. Guided hikes and other events are also offered periodically.
Cool off with a swim in Letchworth State Park’s beautiful pool.
Or head into Perry to Ration Wine Bar for something light.
Spend more quality time at the overlooks if the sky is clear, gazing out at the Milky Way.
Or, head to Silver Lakes Twin Drive-In in Perry and enjoy a double feature. If you chose this option you might as well eat dinner here as well.
Make the most of your time here this morning! Plan on seeing a few sites, and enjoying a great lunch or dinner on the way home.
Take a guided tour of Mount Morris Dam, April 1 – October 25.
Or, take a drive back into Letchworth State Park to the Council Grounds and explore a new trail. Tour the William Pryor Letchworth Museum.
Or, do a little shopping on Main Street with a walk along the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail and a stop at Suzea’s Gluten Free Cafe.
Enjoy lunch at Euro Cafe in Geneseo.
Take a walk about Vitale Park on Conesus Lake in Lakeville.
These are the top things to do in the Genesee Valley region around Letchworth.
Letchworth State Park
Your activities will depend on what time of year you are visiting. You can easily plan your entire 3-day getaway here inside the 14,000-acre linear park. Great things to include are:
- Hiking Trail 1. It’s 7-miles end-to-end, following the Genesee River along all of the main scenic overlooks and waterfalls.
- Try a hike along the Portage Trail #6 on the east side of the river down to Lower Falls and the stone footbridge, or on the Letchworth branch of the Finger Lakes Trail, with multiple trail heads along River Road between Mount Morris and Portage.
- Go whitewater rafting with Adventure Calls Outfitters.
- Enjoy the view from a hot air balloon with Balloons Over Letchworth.
There are so many options for slower paced activities, as well:
- The drive between the Mount Morris and Portage entrances along Park Road is one the most scenic drives in New York State! Stop at every overlook. It takes 30-minutes to drive the 17-miles without stopping along the way. Beautiful anytime of year, it’s magnificent during peak fall foliage late-October to early-November.
- Pick one of those overlooks to watch the sun rise and set, and be observe the Milky Way under one of the darkest skies in New York State.
- From your vehicle, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of Wolf Creek’s waterfall into the Genesee River valley at Tea Table, plus the two major falls near the Glen Iris Inn—Middle Falls and Upper Falls.
- Go fishing in the Trout Pond.
- Enjoy the air-conditioned Humphrey Nature Center building and the easy walking trails that surround it.
- Take a relaxing swim in the pool.
Boutique & Antique Shopping
Shop the quaint village Main Streets, alongside cafes and restaurants.
The Finger Lakes
While you are exploring the Letchworth region, you should include seeing at least one of our gorgeous Finger Lakes.
Conesus Lake in Lakeville is the most likely candidate begin so close.
But you could venture over to Hemlock Lake for a completely different experience. Hemlock is the source of Rochester’s water supply so, unlike Conesus, there are no houses along its shoreline, no motorized boats, and no swimming. Just simple peace and quiet sitting at the park or paddling a kayak. It’s also a great spot to observe the universe at night!
Mount Morris Dam
Before the dam was constructed, vicious floods ravaged river-side communities downstream, including the City of Rochester.
We’re so thankful it exists today! Free ranger-led tours inside the dam are available daily, April through October, on a first come-first served basis.
Arrive early to sign up for a tour slot.
More Things to Do Around Letchworth
Drive down NY-19A to Wiscoy Falls, an exceptional roadside waterfall.
Take a walk around the Silver Lake Institute Historic District.
Take a scenic drive around Conesus Lake on East and West Lake roads, with a stop at Long Point Park, Conesus Lake Inlet, or the state marina park.
Take a walk through the historic district in Geneseo.
Great options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or a snack along the way.
In Letchworth State Park
Here is a range of the best options for a place to spend the night during your Letchworth getaway.
Inns and B & Bs
Cabins, Camping & Glam-ping
These are either great times to visit or dates to avoid when planning your Letchworth getaway depending on your comfort level with crowds.
Red, White and Blue Balloon Fest
Memorial Day Weekend
Flights depart from the Archery Field on Friday at 6pm, Saturay and Sunday at 6am and 6pm, and Monday at 6am pending favorable weather conditions.
Regardless of whether or not you plan to ride in one, it is a photo-worthy sight to see!
Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show
Columbus Day Weekend
This 45-year-old show is one of the largest in the sate, and has been ranked in the top 50 Art Festivals in the United States.
From their website, “Attendees are exposed to the creativity of some of the country’s finest visual artists, crafts people, artisans, and as well as a vast array of traditional and unique foods. The stunning venue is a key component that sets this festival apart from all others. The ambiance created by spectacular canyon views and peak fall foliage throughout the park is unparalleled. The festival could be considered the premiere holiday shopping opportunity for the thousands of people who attend each year. Over 300 artisans display their wares, along with food vendors, live entertainment, and other fun activities for the entire family.”
National Warplane Museum Airshow
And check out Geneseo’s National Warplane Museum Airshow (“The Greatest Show on Turf”) if you’re in town around mid-July. A must for lovers of vintage aircraft!
The Scenic Route
There are many ways to get from Point A to Point B. A thruway or expressway is usually the fastest and most direct option.
But here are a few ideas to consider to make the most of your trip. It’s about the journey and the destination.
River Road runs from Caledonia to Geneseo and generally follows the Genesee Valley Greenway Rail Trail and Genesee River.
Besides being a country road less traveled (running parallel with NY-36 and NY-39), you’ll pass by the Abbey of the Genesee.
Stop in and grab some fresh Monk’s Bread and take a look at the incredible stained glass work in the chapel.
Nations Road, which runs parallel to NY-63 between Geneseo and Avon, is a favorite among area photographers. Its bucolic Genesee Valley view, concentration of great oak trees, & horses in the fields make for an excellent slow drive through the countryside in any season, and especially in Autumn.
It’s also where you’ll find the Genesee Valley Hunt Races in October.
This will also put you pretty close to the Five Arch Bridge.
More Information for Your Letchworth Getaway
Dive in deeper to your Letchworth getaway destination by visiting the official tourism sites for the area, or grabbing a book from your local library or bookstore.
The more you know in advance, the more you’ll be able to confidently immerse yourself in your experiences. I call this “planning for spontaneity.”
Knowing your options in advance gives you the opportunity to pivot as you explore.
Official Visitor Guides & Local Tourism Sites
More Getaways from Rochester
How will you spend your 3-day Letchworth getaway?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!