A Day Spent Exploring Elmira

Elmira, NY a city named after a rambunctious young girl, or so the story goes, is a city full of rich history, museums and old time fun. When you are in the Finger Lakes region take a day to explore Elmira.

Hop aboard the historic trolley of Elmira, NY and explore the rich history of Mark Twain, Elmira College, Woodlawn National Cemetery and so much more. You can catch the trolley during the months of July and August at the Chemung Valley History Museum. The museum is located inside a historic 1800’s bank. I like to go early and explore the museum before the trolley ride. The displays do change from time to time so you will always find something new. As you stroll back in time you will discover stories from the Native Americans that once roamed this valley to Mark Twain’s time writing many of his famous stories such as “The adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.

Once you are on the trolley you will literally step back in time as you walk into Mark Twain’s actual octagonal study, travel back in time to Elmira’s Civil War prison camp and soak up the beauty of historic Maple Ave. Your trolley guide will point out many other features along the way. I have lived in the Finger Lakes region for 20+ years and I still learn something new every time I take this journey into Elmira’s history.

After the trolley ride there is so much more to do. From shopping at The Christmas House, exploring the Arnot Art Museum or if you happen to be in Elmira on a Thursday you can stroll around the Wisner Park Market. I highly recommend you visit Elmira on a Thursday just so you don’t miss this one. Every Thursday during the summer the heart of Downtown Elmira is transformed into a relaxing farmers market and local craft vendors fair.

At Wisner Market you will find melt in your mouth pastries locally baked by the Amish. As you make your way through the colorful array of tents you will discover a variety of booths featuring handmade jewelry, locally produced maple syrup and honey, flavored popcorn and fresh vegetables grown by the Mennonites. You will also find interactive booths for the young visitors. There are a multitude of food trucks and plenty of picnic tables under the large trees to shade you while you enjoy your lunch.

After spending a day exploring all Elmira has to offer I like to enjoy a relaxing dinner with a view. And if an amazing view is what you are looking for Elmira’s Hilltop Inn is the place to go. Sitting at the top of Jerusalem Hill overlooking the Chemung Valley you will find delicious food paired with spectacular views. As you relax sipping your wine you will have a front row seat to watch the sun slowly dip behind the hills. If the air is chilly they have a couple of fire pits to keep you cozy. The Hilltop Inn is a perfect way to cap off your day exploring Elmira!

Thanks for exploring with me – Shelly

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