Family Weekend at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

We spent an amazing weekend in Watkins Glen at the Harbor Hotel. It was a perfect getaway to enjoy the gorgeous area of the New York Finger Lakes.

Watkins Glen is a perfect weekend getaway spot from Rochester, New York. It is under a two hour drive and Watkins Glen State Park is one of my all time favorite places to visit.

Of course you can plan a day trip to Watkins Glen and really enjoy it but if you are looking for a relaxing and easy getaway to plan, a weekend at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel is a great choice.

sunset at wakins glen harbor hotel balcony
Sunset along Seneca Lake.

What to Do in Watkins Glen During a Weekend Getaway

Watkins Glen is a peaceful and relaxed weekend getaway. You don’t need a lot of big attractions to keep you busy. We enjoyed the slower pace and focused on quality family time.

Below is a quick overview of some of the activities you can do during a visit to Watkins Glen. We planned to do the gorge trail at Watkins Glen State Park, walk around the village, and take time to relax at the hotel.

  • Watkins Glen State Park
  • Finger Lakes National Forest
  • Seneca Lake Kayak
  • Watkins Glen International Speedway-Drive the Glen
  • Farm Sanctuary
  • Keuka Candy Emporium
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
  • Seneca Lake Wine Trail
  • Corning Museum of Glass (18 miles away)
  • Taughannock State Park (18 miles away)
watkins glen gorge trail
There are a lot of stairs along the gorge trail at Watkins Glen. It is totally worth including in your visit but be prepared.

Where to Stay in Watkins Glen: Harbor Hotel

We stayed at The Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel because of its great location. It is .5 mile from Watkins Glen State Park and overlooks Seneca Lake.

It is family friendly hotel, has an on-site indoor pool, amazing dining options at the Blue Pointe Grill, and helpful and kind staff to make your stay in Watkins Glen the best.

There are standard rooms and suites, some overlooking Seneca Lake.

We stayed in adjoining rooms that had 1 King Bed and 2 queen beds with a balcony and lake view. The hotel rooms were clean and cozy. They offered ample space for our family of five.

rooms at watkins glen harbor hotel
King Bed Room at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

Amenities at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel include an on-site restaurant, the Blue Pointe Grille, an in-door pool and hot tub, fitness center, and fire pit.

We dined at the Blue Pointe Grille for 2 breakfast and 2 dinners during our stay and all of our meals were excellent.

I loved the salmon dinner on our first night and the kids menu options satisfied all three of my kids. The hotel was very accommodating to families and we were happy to enjoy a meal out.

The location of the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel is one of the perks of staying there. Guests have an amazing view of Seneca Lake and have access to walking along the pier.

Guests are also within half a mile to walk to Watkins Glen State Park, although we drove and used the parking lot at the park. You can also explore along the village streets shops and restaurants during your stay.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel and felt that it was a great option for families looking to spend the weekend in Watkins Glen, NY. Check out current pricing of the Harbor Hotel.

Want to learn more? Read on for my detailed weekend in Watkins Glen itinerary.

Friday: Drive to Watkins Glen from Rochester, NY

We packed our car and started the 81 mile drive from Rochester, NY to Watkins Glen. The drive is nice and you will drive through a lot of cute towns before you make your way along the lake to Watkins Glen.

We arrived at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel around 4:30pm. This allowed us time to check-in and get settled before our dinner reservation at 5:30pm.

lobby at watkins glen harbor hotel
Lobby at Harbor Hotel Watkins Glen.

After getting settled in our room we headed down to dinner. We decided to sit outside for our meal and it was nice, but the sun was setting directly on us, so it got a little hot at times!

After enjoying an excellent dinner, we decided to take an after dinner walk on the pier. It is a really nice area to take an after-dinner stroll.

Saturday: A Rainy Start to Our Day

We had planned on getting up early and going to Watkins Glen State Park after breakfast but the rain clouds had rolled in and we decided we would switch our plans.

We slept in a bit and then headed downstairs for breakfast. Breakfast was delicious and we all really enjoyed our meals at the Blue Pointe Grille.

During breakfast we decided to go for a drive to Keuka Candy Emporium in Penn Yan. It is about a 30 minute drive from the hotel and gave us something to do on this rainy morning.

The candy store was cute and we stocked up on taffy and other bulk items to snack on back at the room. As we started our drive home the weather began to clear up and we drove directly to Watkins Glen State Park.

candy at keuka candy shop
Keuka Candy Emporium

I was really excited to visit Watkins Glen. The gorge trail boasts 19 waterfalls and it is a beautiful hike. We had last visited 4 years ago and I couldn’t wait to experience it again with the family.

The hike really is a must visit in the Finger Lakes but be prepared for it to be busy. If you are visiting on the weekends or during the summer crowds can make the hike a little less relaxing.

The Watkins Glen Gorge Trail is a 1.5 mile hike up stairs and around waterfalls. Hikers are stopped at the 1 mile mark and asked to use an alternative trail to hike back down.

After the hike we headed back to the hotel to relax. I sat on the balcony overlooking Seneca Lake while the kids relaxed and watched TV. It was a nice change of scenery.

In the afternoon we decided to take a swim in the hotel pool.

We returned to our room and got ready for dinner. Again we were seated outside and the food was delicious. After dinner we got dessert to-go and relaxed in our room for the evening.

Sunday: Check Out Day and the Seneca Lake Pier

On our last day we started off slowly. We went down for our last breakfast at the hotel and were seated inside due to weather.

After breakfast we decided to take a walk along the pier. I am so glad we waited until early morning to do this. There was no else on the pier with us.

Seneca Lake pier is so pretty and serene. We saw fish and seagulls, and took in the calm quietness of the lake. It was a perfect way to end our family weekend in Watkins Glen.

seneca lake pier at watkins glen harbor hotel
Seneca Lake Pier

After our walk we had to pack up and check-out. We were so happy to have a weekend away together and really enjoyed our stay at the Harbor Hotel.

Check Out This Article: 12 Best Things to Do in New York State with Kids

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