This story is about Corning, New York, and why it is an awesome town to visit. Now, you might think, is Corning the type of city to visit during a pandemic? Yes! The town has begun to open up and Market Street is great to visit. I should add we are native New Yorkers and traveling in our own state is a strong preference for us right now.
Let’s start with where to stay. The Radisson Hotel Corning is at one end of Market Street. The location couldn’t be better as you walk out right onto Market Street. We will get to Market Street being awesome later, but the Radisson itself is just the perfect location. It is the flagship hotel for the town itself. It’s exceptionally clean, they have their pandemic act together and the pricing is very reasonable. The rooms are very spacious and well-appointed, and they have a cute little restaurant for breakfast or dinner. The service was quick and courteous. We wouldn’t stay anywhere else.
I promised to return to Market Street. Some streets in the United States deserve the label of being an awesome street such as Bourbon Street in New Orleans and Beale Street in Memphis. Market Street ranks with these streets. Market Street is easy to walk from end to end, maybe a total of five to six blocks. Do not let the size deceive you, this is the type of street that we explored for hours over two days. The street seems to cry out to a bygone era as well as holding on to its heyday. There are historic antique elements throughout while also being up-to-date and having modern restaurants and shops. There are quaint shops, beautiful architecture, and top-of-the-line restaurants. One of our favorites was The Cellar as it had a variety of vegetarian and vegan options all well prepared with fresh ingredients. One of our favorite shops to visit was The Corningware Corelle and More Store. It had some amazing deals and we stocked up on Pyrex and Corningware. The Radisson was a great location to drop off our purchases and continue exploring.
Corning Museum of Glass
Besides Market Street, you can visit The Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell Museum.
Corning, New York is famous for being the home of Corning Inc, the company that makes world-renowned glass products, think Gorilla Glass on your iPhone, and you get the idea. The Museum provides interactive information in glassmaking and blowing but to me, the big draws were the historical artifacts, Tiffany displays, and out of this world chandeliers. They have artwork, glassblowing demonstrations, and probably one of the nicest museum stores we’ve ever visited. At the time we visited, the shop had almost everything on sale which was a nice little added benefit. (check out our YouTube video below)
The Rockwell Museum
The Rockwell Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian and it portrayed the American Experience from about the mid-1600s to the present. They really have their act together when it comes to dealing with COVID and it was quite impressive to see the massive temperature scanner upon entry. It is not one of the biggest museums in the world but the focus on all things American was done very well. Our favorite permanent collection was the Native American collection of beadwork and paintings. We really enjoyed the temporary exhibit by Kara Walker. (One more YouTube video is below)
Titled Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War. The exhibit was a juxtaposition of modern art on top of the original drawings which were very moving, especially given current events.
Many people will suggest you use Corning as a base to explore the Finger Lakes to the north or to go hiking. Corning is a great town to visit for a weekend to just walk and explore, no need to venture anywhere else. It is a gorgeous little town where you can spend a wonderful weekend just walking straight down the street from the Radisson. We loved how it was so beautiful and a very relaxing weekend. Corning had its act together in terms of COVID as the shops, restaurants, museums, and locals took every opportunity to make us feel safe. If you’ don’t feel safe traveling far, visiting unique places like Corning in your own state can be a great option.