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Canadian want to know: How to get there?

Which Watkins Glen hotels are on sale?
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posts: 127
reviews: 14
Canadian want to know: How to get there?

Every June/July we fly from Alberta to LaGuardia and spend 3-5 days in Manhattan shopping and eating and exploring. Someone put Watkins Glen on my radar and, as a scenic photographer, I think it appropos to visit this place. We don't drive, we are limited to public transport. Can this place be visited from Manhattan by public modes of transport or should I fly into some other (large) hub and Greyhound it to there? I see there are a few hotels/B&B's in the area of the park so that's no problem. Also, how hard are the trails? I have a 77 year old mother in tow and she might like to prefer to rest along the trail (if it's possible) while I do my thing with the camera but she's ok with stairs, etc (just not 'climbing' per se).

3 replies to this topic
Fort Collins...
posts: 226
reviews: 294
1. Re: Canadian want to know: How to get there?

Watkins Glen, and the Finger Lakes in general, are a fairly rural area and it is not easy to get there by public transport. You could fly closer to Syracuse, Ithaca or Elmira but all of those are fairly small airports and you would still need to make your way to WG 30-75 miles away. If you don't mind the bus, probably Greyhound or Trailways from NYC could get you to WG in under a day - probably with stops/connections.

WG is a small touristy town and is walkable itself (including the park) but there is much more in the region you would probably want a car to visit. The park is a great place to spend a day, especially for a photographer. You can take a shuttle to the top and then just walk down the trail through the glen seeing all the waterfalls. There are some wet and slippery spots, but also benches along the way to stop and contemplate the beauty.

Vestal, New York
Destination Expert
for Auburn, Finger Lakes
posts: 1,739
reviews: 141
2. Re: Canadian want to know: How to get there?

The Syracuse airport (international airport) is much bigger than Ithaca and Elmira (regional airports) but it is also quite a bit further away from WG (about 1.5 hours). Both Elmira and Ithaca's airports are about 30 minutes from WG.

Ithaca, New York
posts: 668
reviews: 47
3. Re: Canadian want to know: How to get there?

You could look into the Campus to Campus Bus that runs from NYC to Ithaca, if you would be interested in making Ithaca your base. http://transportation.fs.cornell.edu/coach/

Ithaca, with 2 colleges, has more to offer in transportation once you arrive: taxis and public transport (TCAT bus line) to get you around, including to most of the State Parks in the area, like the also pretty Taughannock Falls State Park, which has a flat, level trail suitable for all ages. Photographers also often like the Ithaca Farmer's Market (Saturday and Sunday mornings), for lush produce and great people watching.

Watkins Glen is a very cute small town, and like noted, there are hotels & B&Bs right downtown, you can walk to the State Park, the lake, and restaurants, but it's the getting there without a car that is tricky. Note, for hotels I like the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Very nice, staying on a weekday will usually result in a more favorable rate.

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