By Julianne G. Crane
“America’s Crystal City,” also known as the “Most Fun Small Town in America,” is Corning, NY. It’s a perfect destination for RVing families this summer.
Corning is long-known for “all things glass” (think Corning Glass and innovative technology and science). It offers a variety of family friendly stops, including the Corning Museum of Glass, Rockwell Museum, historic Gaffer District, and Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes.
This is an amazing area for road-tripping families and sits in the breathtaking Finger Lakes District near the Pennsylvania border.
Fun places in America’s Crystal City
There are at least 50 reasons to visit the Corning Museum of Glass. In addition to a glimpse of 3,500 years of historic glass, there are daily glass-blowing demonstrations and a chance to make your own glass.
The world’s largest museum of glass art is reopening on July 1. Summer hours are daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day. Family members 17 and under get in free. Click here to plan your visit. Call 800.732.6845 for more details.
With new health and safety protocols in place, advance admissions tickets are required. Protocols, say museum officials, “continue to require masks and social distancing for all individuals on the Museum campus, whether or not they have been vaccinated.”
Parking Shuttle Bus
Park your RV for free in the Museum of Glass’ convenient, fully accessible main lot, located just off I-86 (see map for details). No overnight parking permitted.
Then hop on the free, fully accessible shuttle bus from the Welcome Center in the parking lot to the Museum. After visiting the Museum of Glass, climb back aboard the shuttle to explore the Rockwell Museum and Corning’s historic Gaffer District. The bus returns to the parking lot.
“Upstate New York’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, the Rockwell Museum boasts a world-class collection of Western and contemporary Native American Art, and other exhibits focusing on ‘Art About America’ as it continues to explore the people, land and ideas that have shaped our country,” according to the Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau.
As with the Museum of Glass, kids 17 and under get in free to the museum. Don’t forget the Kids Rockwell Art Lab on Market Street for additional fun, interactive experiences that foster creativity and imagination.
“Gaffer” is a master glassblower, so the name is a fitting designation for the historic district of America’s Crystal City. The five-block district offers unlimited things to do with more than a hundred shops, studios, galleries and restaurants.
Camping near America’s Crystal City
There are numerous private and public campgrounds in the Lower Finger Lakes region including Stony Brook State Park. This outstanding park features “hilly woodlands, a deep gorge with rugged cliffs, three waterfalls and fascinating rock formations.”
Good news – New York State Park campgrounds are officially open for the 2021 season. There is a catch, however – campers must have a reservations. “No walk-up camping stays will be accepted,” according to the state parks website. So, click on ReserveAmerica.com to book your site.
Of importance to traveling RVers is that out-of-state residents will pay an extra $5/night for campsites. However, for those of us with flexible schedules, we can save 15-20 percent by camping weeknights (Sunday–Thursday, excluding holidays). For details go to Fees and Rates.
Before you go
Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau
1 W. Market St, Suite 201
Corning, NY 14830