Corning, which gives its name to the famous, virtually indestructible glassware, is a destination of delightful surprises. The abundance of fun to be had in the area begins in historic downtown Corning's Gaffer District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and is also one of the first wheelchair accessible historic districts in the United States. There are more than 100 Corning event venues, stores, art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars within its historic confines. The area around Corning also offers the opportunity to take a sailplane ride over the Chemung River Valley, cruise on one of the only Y-shaped lakes in the world, and explore the oldest and second largest wine-producing region in the U.S.; the 130 wineries of the Finger Lakes Wine Region.
Downtown Corning is 14 miles from Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, which is served by Allegiant Air (nonstop to Orlando-Sanford), Delta (nonstop to Detroit) and US Airways (nonstop to Philadelphia). For drivers, Corning is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, within a four-hour driving radius of most major metropolitan areas of the Northeast U.S. and Canada.
There are two major hotel venues in Corning: The 177-room Radisson Hotel Corning has a total of 8,995 square feet of meeting space in 11 rooms. The 105-room Ramada Hotel Corning-Painted Post offers 3,954 square feet of function space in five meeting rooms.
The meeting facilities and special event venues in Corning and the Finger Lakes are one in the same. There is no convention center, but a variety of world-class facilities can host either meetings or parties. The Planetarium at Corning Community College can host groups of up to 80 theater-style and 60 people for a reception. Organizers can create their own presentations using specialized facilities such as a surround-sound system, special effects projector and wide-screen panorama system, including projecting images up onto a 40 x 27 high dome.
Corning Museum of Glass provides 14 different spaces for groups both large and small, with the ability to do anything from a cocktail reception for 200 people on a glass platform, to a team-building event and dinner for up to 85 people. The museum's state-of-the-art sound and lighting system-equipped auditorium can be configured to accommodate either 765 theater-style or 440 people for a banquet. At the museum, visitors can watch live glass-blowing demonstrations and groups can arrange to have participants make their own glass souvenir. The museum is undergoing a multi-million-dollar expansion that will result in new gallery space, a larger hot glass-blowing theater and more event space.
The National Soaring Museum, which chronicles the history of motorless flight, can host meetings or receptions of up to 300 people. At the Glenn H. Curtis Museum, which houses a collection of early motorcycles and aircraft, groups can use a 75-seat multi-media theater or stage a reception for 200. The Rockwell Museum of Western and Native American Art can handle groups of up to 65 people. In the Finger Lakes wine district, there are venues such as the Pleasant Valley Wine Company, the U.S. Bonded Winery #1 (founded in 1860) and Heron Hill Winery. The latter can host up to 300 people for a reception.
Among the mix of Corning restaurants are several that are particularly group friendly. Those include Sorge's, a family-owned Italian restaurant for over 55 years; Bully Hill Restaurant, which overlooks Keuka Lake from Bully Hill Winery; Tony R's Steak & Seafood restaurant, situated in a refurbished historic bank building; and Market Street Brewing Company, the laid-back and local microbrewery.