Post overview: Recommendations and picks for best things to do in Owego, New York
It’s no secret that we are big fans of the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York, we have quite a few articles on the area including photos of the Finger Lakes that will make you want to book your next vacation or getaway here. We have personally visited several times and keep uncovering places in this destination that make us keep coming back for more, including Owego, New York named one of America’s Coolest Towns.
Coming in from NYC this is one of our first stops in the Finger Lakes region and one that we are happy to stop at every time we drive out because it’s not only eye-catching from the freeway as you drive by, but it’s really one of the coolest towns in the Finger Lakes and in New York.
From the freeway, you can see Owego, New York as you pass, the lantern and flag lined bridge across the scenic Susquehanna River leading to Owego’s picturesque town hall.
This is one of those driveby moments that made us want to turn around on our first drive to the Finger Lakes, and luckily on one our trips we did make that stop and found it to be one of our favorite things to do in the Finger Lakes and a regular stop each visit, whether it be for lunch at one of their many amazing eateries, antiquing, visiting one of the best bookstores ever, or just for a scenic river walk.
Check out all our picks for best things to do in Owego, New York – one of upstate New York’s coolest towns!
Read Next: Why the Finger Lakes is One of the Most Underrated Destinations in the US
About Owego, New York
The historic town center of Owego
Owego, New York is situated on the on Susquehanna River in Tioga County. You can easily access some of the best of New York’s wine scene and Finger Lakes region from Owego.
Owego has a famous annual Strawberry Festival in June that attracts visitors and is home to many famous historic figures including Belva Lockwood (more on her later on in this guide).
The name of Owego comes from the Iroquois Native Americans, the word Ahwaga which means ‘where the valley widens.’
Owego distance to:
- Ithaca, NY & Cayuga Lake: 30 miles, ~40-minute drive
- Corning, NY: 53 miles, ~52-minute drive
- Watkins Glen, NY & Seneca Lake: 44 miles, ~58-minute drive
- Hammondsport, NY & Keuka Lake: 84 miles, ~80-minute drive
Things to do in Owego
One of the best things to do in Owego is enjoy the pretty, scenic walk along the Susquehanna River on the Owego Riverwalk tucked under the businesses on Front Street.
There are a few places to stop to take a seat and just enjoy a pretty sunset or take a little quiet break including steps that lead down to the river or the park on either end of the riverwalk where you can find benches and even a swinging chair.
Enter the Owego Riverwalk either at Ahwaga Park at 180 Front Street or at the opposite end at Draper Park at 132 Front Street across from the Parkview Inn.
Another one of our favorite things to do in Owego, New York – quite literally every time we visit is to check out Riverrow Bookshop in the bright yellow colored brick building on the corner of Front Street and Lake Street. Before (or after) going into the wonderful world of new and used books be sure to check out the lettering mural on the side of the building on Lake Street. This is one of our favorite photo spots in town.
If you have the pleasure to visit during the holidays, the bookshop has fun ‘book’ Christmas tree displays in the window. Plus there are plenty of options for great gift ideas in here for your favorite book worm.
Calling all antique and vintage lovers, one of the best things to do in Owego is enjoy the epic antique shops right here! Whether you want some vintage Corningware from nearby Corning, or any other fun treasures and finds, there are some great antiquing options in Owego.
Our favorite antique shop and must thing to do in Owego while you’re exploring this charming village is Early Owego Antique Center on Lake Street in the historic J.J. Newberry building, a former five and dime store chain that was popular in the 20th century.
Inside you’ll find different vendor stalls selling all kinds of antiques from home furnishings, kitchenware, decor, coins, clocks, clothing, jewelry, and more.
If you’re anything like me you’ll get lost in here.
If you’re REALLY into antiquing then you will be excited that there are more options in Owego, New York! There is also Owego Schoolhouse Antiques & Art Gallery.
The Foodie Scene
For being such a small town, Owego, New York has a killer food scene. If you’re just passing through and only have one meal we recommend grabbing tacos at Las Chicas Taqueria. We are a bit of taco snobs after spending so much time in Mexico and living in California, but we have to tip our hats to this taco spot, they got it handled and their queso dip is a must.
Another great spot for breakfast or lunch is The Owego Kitchen, they have a killer selection of different flavored iced teas as well as casual cafe eats from sandwiches, soups, and salads.
If you’re looking for a nice sit-down restaurant for dinner we recommend The Cellar Restaurant and Bar on the Riveron Front Street. This is one of your only more elegant options for dining if you’re on a romantic getaway. The menu includes dishes like a beef Wellington, lobster, steak as well as a wide array of drinks to accompany your meal.
You really can’t go wrong if you try any of these, we’ve been several times now and pretty much go back to the same spots over and over, definitely plan your adventuring around all the best things to do in Owego around enjoying some meals here.
Tioga Downs Casino
Feeling lucky? This next thing to do in Owego is for gamblers just a 15-minute ride from downtown Owego. Tioga Downs Casino Resort has a horse race track and a casino.
While neither of us are huge gamblers, we like to play with a few dollars here and there. Whether you want to play classic casino card games like poker or try your luck at slots, there are games for everyone.
What makes Tioga Downs popular though is that they have live horse races. We did get to attend these on our first visit to the Finger Lakes and I was the lucky lady who won $2 on my horse. I tried not to spend it all at one place.
If you’re stopping here and need to eat then we can’t recommend enough the famous NYC steakhouse, PJ Clarke’s which as a location here. We recommend one of their famous burgers.
The Waverly Glen
Waverly Glen Waterfall
Just a 25-minute drive from the town center is another one of the best things to do in Owego for outdoor and nature lovers. There are pretty, forested trails around the Waverly Reservoir that are fun to explore as well as one of the many waterfalls of the Finger Lakes.
The Waverly Glen Waterfall is just a short walk from the parking area, so if you don’t have alot of time you can just see the waterfall or if you want to spend a little more time you can enjoy light hiking around the reservoir.
Another great thing to do in Owego is check out the farms that you can visit in the region. From honey farms to fresh produce to horseback riding and other fun activities.
You can find some great farms to visit near Owego on the Tioga Tourism website.
Mark Twain Country
All aboard the Mark Twain Trolley in Elmira
Calling all American Literature lovers, this next thing to do near Owego is for you! Just over a half an hour drive away is Mark Twain Country in Elmira, New York. Enjoy an afternoon exploring the historical sites and landmarks from famed American literary Mark Twain who fondly spent his summers here for over 20 years.
You can visit Mark Twain’s study where he worked on some of his most famous literary works now located at Elmira College. This wasn’t the original location, but for preservation and educational purposes its been relocated here. Twain loved this part of New York and said it even inspired much of his work.
He also is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira which you can also visit. We recommend visiting both of these sites by taking the Mark Twain Trolley and tour from the Chemung Valley History Museum.
If all that fun stirred up an appetite or made you thirsty, head over to The Finger Lakes House for some samplings of the local wine in the region as well as light snacks like flatbread.
Explore Wine Country
We recommend stopping to enjoy all the great things to do in Owego, New York before moving on to the rest of the Finger Lakes region or also use it as a base to continue to explore Finger Lakes Wine Country which consists of wineries around Cayuga, Keuka, and Seneca Lakes.
The closest lake to Owego, New York is Cayuga Lake and the famous Ivy League college town of Ithaca, home to Cornell University and some incredible waterfalls. From there you can visit places like Taughannock Falls State Park or Buttermilk Falls plus all the awesome things to do in Ithaca.
Continue to Watkins Glen where you can explore the gorgeous cascading waterfalls in New York at Watkins Glen State Park trails as well continue to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, we recommend heading to Wagner Vineyards in Lodi, NY. On your way you’ll also pass one of our favorite waterfalls in the region, Hector Falls which is a roadside attraction and you don’t even have to leave your car to enjoy this gorgeous waterfall.
Make your way to Hammondsport at the southern tip of Keuka Lake, the Y shaped Finger Lake and explore some of the stops on the wine trail. If there’s only one winery we recommend it would be Dr. Konstantin Frank, as Dr. Frank himself is responsible for bringing the famous vinifera variety from Europe to Upstate New York and basically shaping the wine region here as we know it.
There are tons of wineries to explore, to see more of our top picks check out our guide on all our favorite things to do in the Finger Lakes.
Where to Stay in Owego, New York
Belva Lockwood Inn in Owego
As mentioned earlier, we recommend at least staying one night to enjoy all the awesome things to do in Owego, New York if not extending your stay to use this as your base for exploring the Finger Lakes region.
The most charming option for accommodation also happens to be a historical one and a really cool way to learn about the local legendary woman in history, Belva Lockwood at the Belva Lockwood Inn in Owego.
The Inn isrun by a local couple who restored a gorgeous home from 1872 into a 5 room quaint Inn that’s more than just a hotel bed for the night, its an entire experience. So much care is taken into your stay with each uniquely designed and restored room to the morning picnic basket breakfast delivered to your door.
You can also learn about the legndaryBelva Lockwood herself, a former Owego resident who started fighting for equal rights at the age of 14 in the 1800s before women could even vote. She was also the first female to run for president, not once but twice in 1884 and 1888.
Her history is truly fascinating and the owners are more than happy to share her history and help make more people aware of this incredible woman forgotten in history.
If that’s not enough reason to visit, this property was also featured on an episode of House Hunters and the owners have put their heart and soul into redoing this historical home and making each of their five rooms a unique experience.
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We also recommend reading our guide on where to stay in the Finger Lakes if you’re wanting to explore more of the region! We also recommend checking out some of the best glamping in Upstate New York as there are many great options here in the Finger Lakes region!
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What is Owego known for? ›
Owego has a famous annual Strawberry Festival in June that attracts visitors and is home to many famous historic figures including Belva Lockwood (more on her later on in this guide). The name of Owego comes from the Iroquois Native Americans, the word Ahwaga which means 'where the valley widens. 'Is Owego in the Finger Lakes? ›
Owego, considered part of the Southern Finger Lakes region, does not sit directly on a lake. However, the Susquehanna River flows through town, making almost any spot a photo op, from the Owego Riverwalk to the 19th century storefronts that line the historic downtown district.How did Owego get its name? ›
South Owego: Located near the Pennsylvania line, the name Owego is a derivative of "Ahwaga," what the Iroquois called Owego in the beginning. It means, "where the valley widens." Gibson Corners: Named for Eli Gibson, from Massachusetts, who settled there in 1835.How long is the Owego Riverwalk? ›
Easily one of the best things to do in Owego NY, the aptly named Owego Riverwalk is a mile-long, riverfront walkway that runs along the banks of the Susquehanna River and beneath the businesses of Front Street.How big is Owego? › What is the number 3 attraction in New York? ›
3 – Rockefeller Center
A Midtown beacon of entertainment, shopping, and tourists that takes up an entire city block, Rockefeller Center is one of the most famous landmarks in all of New York City and a must on any first-time trip to the Big Apple.
According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the coldest town in New York is Saranac. January is the coldest month with an average low of 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit. On average, there are 291.4 days a year where the temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below.What is the prettiest town in the Finger Lakes? ›
Ithaca. Known as one of the prettiest towns in the Finger Lakes, which we'd have to wholeheartedly agree, Ithaca is a town located on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake and is home to not one but two famous universities including Ivy League, Cornell University.What is the cleanest Finger Lake? ›
The cleanest of the lakes is Skaneateles Lake, which is considered one of the cleanest in the United States and passes to homes unfiltered. There are waterfront restaurants to enjoy its crystalline lake views and designated swimming areas. At 16 miles long, it spans through Onondaga, Cayuga, and Cortland counties.Are there bears in the Finger Lakes? ›
Black bears are continually expanding their range into what was once considered “marginal” habitat, which includes all of the Finger Lakes and the Lake Plains region south of Lake Ontario.
Who is the mayor of Owego? ›
This is an excellent place to build a family, or spend time with one. The village taxes are pretty insane, so living in the town is preferable. While the nearby areas have been hit hard by floods and the exit of IBM 30+ years ago, Owego has proven more resilient.Where is our we go New York? ›
Owego is on the Susquehanna River where the Owego Creek flows into the Susquehanna from the north. A bridge connects the village to the Southern Tier Expressway (New York State Route 17), which is on the south side of the river. Owego is located on NY-17C, south of the junction of NY-96 and NY-38.How long is the new farm River Walk? ›
The 870m long Riverwalk is happily segregated into dedicated roadways for cyclists and pedestrians so neither can intrude on other's turf, with cyclists enjoying a 3.5m path and a comfortable 2.5m one for pedestrians.What river runs through Owego NY? ›
From its origin at Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York, the Susquehanna River flows for over 440 miles, making it the longest river on the American east coast.What is the zip code for Owego New York? › How old is Elmira NY? ›
Known as "The Queen City," Elmira was incorporated in 1864. By the late 19th century Elmira was a major transportation hub, connecting commercial centers in Rochester and Buffalo with Albany and New York City.What towns are near Owego NY? ›
- Endicott, NY.
- Endwell, NY.
- Johnson City, NY.
- Binghamton, NY.
- Ithaca, NY.
- Elmira, NY.
- Cortland, NY.
- Corning, NY.
Ridgewood landed the top spot as the coolest neighborhood in NYC and the fourth coolest in the world (out of 51). Ridgewood came in behind Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico (No. 1), Cais do Sodré in Lisbon, Portugal (No. 2), and Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia (No.What is the most visited place in NY? ›
With over 39 million visitors annually, Times Square is the world's most visited tourist attraction. The bright lights and big city feel of this commercial intersection have iconified this spot as “The Crossroad of the World.” Today, Times Square is a major center of the world's entertainment industry. What is this?
What is the number 2 attraction in New York? ›
2: Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is one of the most iconic and beloved New York City tourist attractions.
Black New Yorkers cluster in Central Harlem, the north Bronx, central Brooklyn, and southeast Queens. The Hispanic population predominates in northern Manhattan, the Bronx, Elmhurst/Corona area, north and east Brooklyn, and parts of Staten Island.Where is the richest part of New York? ›
The most expensive neighborhoods in NYC for 2022 are Noho, Hudson Yards, Tribeca, Central Park South, and Nolita, and the median sales price in all of these areas is above $3 million dollars. As you probably expect, most rich New Yorkers live in Manhattan.What is the richest part of Upstate New York? ›
Nassau County on Long Island is No. 1 on the statewide list with a median household income of $116,100. That's 69.5% above the statewide median and over 84% higher than the national median. You can see the 10 Upstate New York counties with the highest incomes below and read the full top 50 on Stacker's website.What is the coldest place in NY state? ›
The Adirondacks are the coldest in New York and are almost always below freezing for almost 3 straight months. The temps are between 18–23 °F (−7 to −5 °C).What month is New York the coldest? ›
The daily mean temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is 32.6 °F (0.3 °C); however, temperatures to 10 °F (−12 °C) or less can occur several times each winter while on the other hand mild spells to 50°F (10 °C) or more occur several days each winter month as well.What is the coldest town on Earth? ›
Winter temperatures in Oymyakon, Russia, average minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50 degrees Celsius). The remote village is generally considered the coldest inhabited area on Earth.What is the warmest Finger lake? ›
Keuka Lake is the only lake in the country that flows both north and south. Because of the shallow waters, Keuka is one of the warmer Finger Lakes and is an ideal place for swimming and boating.Which Finger lake has the most waterfalls? ›
Watkins Glen State Park is the most well known park in the Finger Lakes. The famous Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen is home to nearly 20 waterfalls in a span of less than 2 miles, which makes it the easiest place to see the most amount of waterfalls in the Finger Lakes at once.What is under the Finger Lakes? ›
There are secret tunnels underneath the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. Back in the day, the tunnels were part of the underground railway, providing safe passage for runaway slaves to escape to Canada. Later in history, during prohibition, the tunnels were used to smuggle alcohol into the United States.
What is the cleanest lake in upstate New York? ›
Canandaigua Lake is known for being one of the cleanest lakes in New York State, perfect for swimming and exploring.What is the deepest lake in New York state? ›
Oneida Lake is the largest lake completely in New York covering 51,243 acres. Our second largest lake, Seneca Lake is also our deepest with a maximum depth of 618 feet. Seneca is part of a system of 11 glacially created waters known as the Finger Lakes located in Central New York.What is the cleanest lake on Earth? ›
Two lakes. Blue Lake (below), in New Zealand's South Island, is the clearest lake in the world. It is fed by water from Lake Constance, above. Both are found just next to Mount Franklin, in the Tasman District's Nelson Lakes National Park.Are there snakes in Bear Lake? ›
A few reptiles roam the preserve, including the Great Basin rattlesnake, garter snake, striped whipsnake, and sagebrush lizard, but they are rarely seen.Do the Finger Lakes ever freeze? ›
Seneca Lake accounts for more than 50% of water found in the entire Finger Lakes Region. On average, because of its length and extreme depth, Seneca Lake completely freezes once a century. The last reported date was 1912.Can you drink water from the Finger Lakes? ›
The lakes and rivers of the region supply drinking water to more than 2 million people. Except for Honeoye Lake, the other Finger Lakes are used as public drinking water supplies, serving 1.5 million customers.Who is the mayor of NRH? ›
Please get behind JJ as he raises funds to help end homelessness in the Eurobodalla.When did Owego NY flood? ›
In 2011, it was Tropical Storm Lee, which devastated Owego, flooding 75% of the village in a 500-year storm.Is Macedon NY A nice place to live? ›
Macedon is a safe place to live. There are many places to go for outdoor exercise and recreation, and some places indoor. However, there is not much to do at night.
Is Oswego NY A good place to live? ›
Oswego is an incredible small college town. Its charm is impeccable. The City of Oswego offers many different delicious restaurants, everything from Italian to Mexican, Oswego offers.Do you have to be vaccinated to go to New York? ›
As of November 8, 2021, international travelers may once again enter the country to visit New York City. All travelers over the age of 18 must be fully vaccinated.
Putnam County, New York.
|Named for||Israel Putnam|
|Largest CDP||Lake Carmel|
The name "Lynbrook" is derived by dividing "Brooklyn" into its syllables and transposing them, a tribute to the original home of many of the town's turn-of-the-century residents. Since 1912, Lynbrook has been served by the Lynbrook Police Department. The Chief of the Department is Brian Palladino.Is Owego NY Broome County? ›
Owego is a village in and the county seat of Tioga County, New York, United States. The population was 3,896 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Binghamton Metropolitan Statistical Area.Is Mahopac upstate NY? ›
|Mahopac, New York|
|• Total||7.32 sq mi (18.96 km2)|
Palatka was established as a trading post in 1821 and is today the county seat of Putnam County, Florida. The name comes from the Timucuan Indian word Pilotakata, meaning "crossing." The original settlement was burned during the Semionole War of 1836.Is Putnam Lake man made? ›
Putnam Lake, a 226-acre manmade lake in Putnam County, is one of the 12 priority lakes impacted by HABs.Is East Rockaway nice? ›
East Rockaway is in Nassau County and is one of the best places to live in New York. Living in East Rockaway offers residents an urban suburban mix feel and most residents own their homes. In East Rockaway there are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.When did Lynbrook Diner close? ›
The Red Apple Diner has opened this spring at 401 Sunrise Hwy., the site of the former Lynbrook Diner, which closed March 2019 after 90 years in business.
When was Lynbrook built? ›
The suburb was developed by VicUrban, starting in 1994.