Do you enjoy relaxing as you gaze upon the tranquil scenery of gently rolling waves on a lake surrounded by lush, tree covered hills? How about exploring spectacular waterfalls hidden within steep canyon-like gorges?
Would you care to taste the award winning wines as you tour the wine trails along the shores of the picturesque Finger Lakes, which provide the best climate for wine producing in the Eastern United States?
Are you a student of history? Care to explore the homes and learn about the lives of two of the great champions in the fight for freedom from slavery?
How would you like a night out that begins with dining at a fine bistro, followed by an evening at the theater, and then topped off with a drink at a trendy pub or sidewalk café?
All of that, and so much more, can be found in Auburn and the surrounding Finger Lakes Region. Check out these area attractions:
The Harriet Tubman Home
Often referred to as “The Moses of Her People,” Harriet Tubman risked her life repeatedly after her own escape from slavery by returning to lead others to freedom through the Underground Railroad.
Her residence in Auburn, The Harriet Tubman Home, alongside The Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged that she founded after the Civil War, was designated a National Historic Park by Congress in December 2014 and is open to the public.
Owasco Lake at Emerson Park
The well-maintained, beautifully landscaped Emerson Park provides public access to Owasco Lake and a wide variety of recreational activities, including: swimming at two separate public beaches, boat launch areas, fishing, a long attractive pier, playground areas, several pavilions, a baseball field, a disc golf course. Directions and other park information may be obtained at: Emerson Park website
The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse
Located at Emerson Park on the shoreline of Owasco Lake, this beautifully renovated, early 20th century carousel building is home to the region’s largest professional musical theatre. From May to October, the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse welcomes both recent Broadway releases and revivals of stage classics. For the season’s schedule and ticket information, visit: Merry-Go-Round Playhouse website
- 6877 East Lake Road, Auburn, NY 13021
- Box Office: (315) 255-1785 / 1-800-457-8897
Seward House Museum
Home to Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Henry Seward and his family, the Seward House Museum contains an extensive collection of Civil War era artifacts, documents, photographs, and gifts from foreign dignitaries displayed among the well preserved original furnishings of this stately house. The historic museum offers guided tours. More information can be found at their website: Seward House Museum website
Wineries, Distilleries, and Breweries
The deep waters and steep slopes of the Finger Lakes region has provided an ideal microclimate for grape growing, which has resulted in the largest and most acclaimed winemaking region in the Eastern United States. With over 100 wineries and three major wine trails to tour, tasting the area’s award winning offerings while soaking up the splendor of the setting has proven to be some folks favorite way to take in nature. Most wineries offer tastings and gift shops, many have restaurants with scenic views, and some provide guided tours of the wine making process. Increasingly in recent years, distilleries and craft breweries have been opening in the area, also set within scenic locales. Finger Lakes Wine
Cayuga Museum and Case Research Lab
Thanks to Theodore Case, Auburn gave birth to talking movies. In the 1920’s, Theodore Case invented the first commercially successful system of recording sound on film at Case Research Lab in Auburn. The history of his work and exhibits from his lab and studio; including the first sound camera, the darkroom, chemistry lab, and recording studio are on display at The Cayuga Museum and Case Research Lab close to downtown Auburn. Cayuga Museum and Case Research Lab website
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
The 9,809 acres at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge provide a habitat for 242 species of birds, 43 species of mammals, 15 species of reptiles, and 16 species of amphibians. Thousands of visitors observe the migratory birds and other wildlife yearly by driving along the 3.5 mile road through the refuge or hiking along the miles of trails. It has been instrumental in reintroducing the once-endangered bald eagle to New York State. Visitors are able to observe six active eagle nests with as many as 60 mature and young bald eagles throughout the season at Montezuma. For more information, visit their website at: Montezuma Wildlife Refuge
The Auburn Doubledays
Join the fans at Falcon Park for a night of baseball that the whole family can enjoy! The Auburn Doubledays are a the only city owned professional baseball team associated with the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Grab a hotdog and a cold one as you enjoy the excitement of professional baseball at Leo Pinckney Field at Falcon Park. And with special weekly promotions like Dollar Day, you won’t break the bank. For information on tickets, schedules, and promotions, visit: Auburn Doubledays
Auburn Public Theater
Musical theatre, independent films, live music, off-Broadway plays, and stand-up comedy are just some of the offerings at Auburn Public Theater. The downtown locale is dedicated to presenting the performing arts, cinema, education, and community involvement. The Auburn Public Theater provides four different venues for these varied programs:
- The Main Stage – a 200-tiered seat auditorium with raised stage and professional lighting and sound.
- The Cinema – a 65-seat art house theater with HD digital projection and 7.1-channel surround sound.
- Stage Right – a Bistro with seating for 100 people and raised stage and serving bar.
- Auburn Public Studio – a 1,500 sq. ft. studio with dance floor, mirrored walls, piano and sound system.
For event and program information, visit: Auburn Public Theatre website
Built in 1894 as part of Auburn Theological Seminary, Willard Chapel is an unaltered, rare work of Louis C. Tiffany and Tiffany Glass and Decoration Co. The original nine-panel rose window, three-paneled stained glass window, 14 opalescent nave windows, nine leaded glass chandeliers, and interior ceramics grace the historic building, which is open to the public for tours and available for events. For visitor and event information, visit: Willard Chapel
The Schweinfurth Art Center
The Schweinfurth Art Center is a non-profit gallery and multi-arts facility located within walking distance from downtown Auburn. The Art Center also offers a variety of programs, studio classes, and workshops for youth and adults throughout the year. For visitor information, visit: Schweinfurth Art Center
The Carriage House Theater
Located behind The Cayuga Museum, The Carriage House Theater features a The Pitch, a cabaret-style theater and stage, beautiful ballroom, and bar in an historic, unique setting. Originally constructed around 1850 as a carriage house, the charming, brick building first became a community theater in 1941. In 2011, the theatre was completely renovated and once again opened to the public. The Pitch presents original plays as part of The Rev Theatre Company. The Mack also provides a venue for concerts, weddings, meetings, and private parties. For the full history of the theatre and other venue details, visit: The Rev Theatre Company website
A Night On the Town
Before you take in a “Broadway in the Finger Lakes” show, enjoy the fine cuisine at one of Auburn’s bistros. Then round out your night with a drink or two at a trendy downtown pub. Downtown Auburn has ben revitalized in recent years with the kind of nightlife you usually find only in the Big Apple. With fashionable, upscale bistros, pubs, breweries, and cigar bars, you can wine and dine in the best big city style. And you don’t even have to fight the traffic.
Finger Lakes Drive-In
In the age of multiplex cinemas with noisy crowds, screens barely bigger than your television, and concession stand prices for popcorn and soda that cost more than a filet mignon and cabernet at a fine bistro, the Finger Lakes Drive-In still offers the old-fashioned fun of watching movies under the stars. Recent renovations of New York State’s oldest continually operating drive-in theatre feature a new digital projector, and a new FM transmitter for great sound through your car radio. If you really want the experience of a by-gone day, you can instead listen by placing the still operating drive-in speaker in your car window. For movie listings, visit: Finger Lakes Drive-In
Ward O’Hara Agricultural & Country Living Museum
Visitors can learn and experience the history of the region’s farming community as they tour the carpenter and blacksmith shops, complete rural kitchen, bedroom, one room schoolhouse, country mercantile and dairy room at the Ward O’Hara Agricultural & Country Living Museum. Exhibits include handheld tools, horse drawn implements, tractors and other large farm equipment that were made in the 1800s and 1900s. The museum is located at Emerson Park, across from The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and admission is free.