Seneca Lake Wine Trail Presents

Itinerary: Watkins Glen

Updated: 6/14/2024

The village of Watkins Glen is home to less than 2000 year-round residents. Each summer that population swells as people make their way to this picturesque village at the southern end of Seneca Lake. Yet it never feels overwhelmed. All in all, it’s a great place to stay while visiting the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, thanks to its small town feel, access to incredible natural beauty, and convenient location. Let’s learn more…

Dozens of Wineries within 20 Minutes

You’ll find nearly a dozen wineries within a 20 minute drive of Watkins Glen, including: wineries including Tabora Farm and Winery, Fruit Yard Winery, Hickory Hollow Wine Cellars, Glenora Wine Cellars, Fulkerson Winery, Toast Winery, Lakewood Vineyards, and Castel Grisch Winery on the west side of Seneca Lake, and on the east side, J.R. Dill Winery, Atwater Vineyards, Red Newt Cellars, Leidenfrost Vineyards, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, and more!

Where to Stay

The Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars is a great place to stay and overlooks spectacular vineyards and Seneca Lake

The Inn at Glenora (pictured) is a stunning property overlooking Seneca Lake. The Inn at Miles Wine Cellars is another beautiful and historic property, and one of only two boat-accessible wineries on the lake.

Watkins Glen is an easy drive from each of these gorgeous spots. (15 minutes from Glenora and 20 minutes from Miles).

Picture of Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

If you’re looking for a more traditional hotel, the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel boasts 104 rooms, half with views of the lake. And their onsite dining room, bar, and expansive patio offer lakefront luxury at its finest.

Beekman House Exterior

Cabins and cottages available to rent within close proximity to Watkins Glen include Single Island Shores and Vineyard Villas, both on the east side of the lake. There are also several stunning bed and breakfasts including Magnolia Place, 1897 Beekman House, and Idlwilde Inn.

Where to Eat

Plum Point Lodge Patio Dining at Sapalta

Sapalta is a farm-to-table restaurant with beautiful views of Seneca Lake, just 20 minutes north of Watkins Glen. Their menu focuses on quality, locally-sourced ingredients. They are co-located with Plum Point Lodge (motel rooms and yurts!).

Seneca Harbor Station

Seneca Harbor Station serves up lunch and dinner in their beautiful restaurant, located on the water in Watkins Glen. You can also take sightseeing cruises and dinner cruises, all from their convenient location.

Veraisons Restaurant overlooks the vineyards and Seneca Lake, from their beautiful perch on the sloping hills of the west side of the lake. Their focus on fresh, local ingredients is evident in their creative menu.

Things to Do

Enjoy hiking and exploring waterfalls in famed Watkins Glen State Park (the Gorge Trail is open seasonally May-October; the Rim Trail is open year-round), and there’s also the somewhat lesser known (and much quieter!) Finger Lakes National Forest (miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and more) and the flat Catharine Valley Trail (great for families and kids, very bike friendly, too!). Get out on the water with a cruise aboard Captain Bill’s – they have hourly sightseeing cruises as well as lunch and dinner cruises.

Cheese and ice cream flight at Shtayburne

Explore local agriculture with a visit to a creamery. Get to know the cheese-making process and learn directly from the folks who make it. Enjoy cheese and ice cream flights (pictured) at Shtayburne Farms or cuddle cows at Sunset View Creamery (their cheese is super delicious, too!). Both farms have great stores with other locally-produced products as well.

Plan Your Visit!

The village of Watkins Glen is a gem in the crown of the Finger Lakes. Incredible natural beauty meets stellar wine country hospitality: a lakefront location that is just waiting for you! Why not stay and play there on your next visit to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail? Plan your trip today!

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