Those who have a passion for the finer things in life are going to love what’s on offer at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival. If you haven't thought about where you want to drive your RV this summer, then this festival could be the answer.
Held over three days in July, the festival incorporates everything you know and love about wine, food, and music, and all in one place at Watkins Glen International.
During your stay, you can camp on site, enjoy samples, take part in cooking demonstrations and educational seminars, and dance the night away to live entertainment. The Finger Lakes Wine Festival is truly a celebration of what makes the region spectacular.
It kicks off on Friday with parties and camp setups and ends with courtyard music, wine seminars, and pace car trips. The best part is, you can attend whatever you want at your leisure. Pick a few activities and enjoy yourself.
While you’ll undoubtedly visit Watkins Glen, New York State for the festival, you’ll stay for what else the area has to offer on your RV trip. You can go hiking at Gorge Trail or Watkins Glen State Park, or cruising on Seneca Lake. There are also plenty of other options to enjoy nature, such as trips to Coon Hollow State Forest and Cinnamon Lake State Forest.
Don’t let summer pass you by with at least one exciting adventure. It’s time for the Finger Lakes Wine Festival to bring you to Watkins Glen, New York State.
You can buy tickets for the Finger Lakes Wine Festival on the day, online, for the entire weekend, or single days. You can even look to camp on site while arranging your tickets as well. Included in the price of your ticket are tastings, outdoor performances, wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, and live music. Make sure you wear your festival bracelet throughout the event for seamless entry and exit of the venue.
Watkins Glen is central to major attractions, such as Sugar Hill State Forest and Seneca Lake. NY-414 and NY-79 join NY-14 at Watkins Glen, with NY-14 the most prominent road into the village. This scenic area is home to many smaller roads, so be prepared for turns and narrow roads as you pass through the forest areas.
However, from whichever direction you come in your motorhome, you’re bound to be blown away by the beautiful scenery and proximity to so many natural attractions.
Even though the roads leading into Watkins Glen are navigable by RV, it still wouldn’t hurt to tune into a traffic app such as 511NY to remain up to date with any weather, traffic, or construction alerts. The sight of Seneca Lake in the distance will alert you to your arrival in Watkins Glen, ready for festival fun.
Whether you camp at Watkins Glen International or elsewhere, you should have no problems parking your big rig and pilot vehicle at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival. There is ample parking in the camping areas for an RV and pilot vehicle per site, as well as in the general parking lot and beside the media center. Traditionally, parking in public lots has been free.
While Finger Lakes Wine Festival organizers do not arrange shuttle services, there are some in Watkins Glen. Often, shuttles run from accommodations around the village. If you can’t jump aboard an available shuttle, then private ride service providers and taxis will also be in operation. There is no area set aside for them to pick you up and drop you off, but they are welcome through the main gates.
Onsite RV camping is available at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival. Those with a motorhome are allowed their big rig plus one vehicle in each reserved site. There are electricity hookups, shared water supplies, and restrooms with showers too. Fire pits are allowed, as are pets on leashes, but generators are not - except for medical purposes. There are also waste disposal services at the event site for your convenience.
For those who would prefer to come and go to the Finger Lakes Wine Festival as they please, then the option to go RV camping elsewhere in Watkins Glen may appeal. There are plenty of places near the Village of Watkins Glen that are accessible with a large RV, so you won’t have trouble finding where to stay with an RV in the area.
However, even though there are plenty of options within a 20-mile radius, they can book up fast with the Finger Lakes Wine Festival. Consider booking months in advance to ensure you get your first pick.
Once you receive your Finger Lakes Wine Festival schedule, almost the entire venue is a free-for-all. You can hang out in the courtyard and relax, attend one of the many seminars and sessions, or wander around the camping areas at your leisure. Everything is accessible on foot, and it’s worth bringing your most comfortable pair of shoes for the occasion.
July is one of the hottest months of the year in Watkins Glen, so you’ll be pleased to know there will be plenty of opportunities to achieve that sun-kissed look. Pack your favorite summer attire, and maybe your best sunhat, too. As nighttime temperatures drop, make sure you’re prepared with a few warmer layers. If you are partaking in other events on your summer RV vacation, then consider appropriate clothing for these as well.
It’s an exciting time to be able to pack for a trip away, but it’s important not to rush and forget to bring something. You will need camping and cooking equipment for your overnight camping experience at the festival, as well as money for vendor purchases. Tastings and entertainment are included in your ticket price. Don’t forget your ID and ticket either, for entrance into the venue will not be allowed without it.
You won’t be able to take outside food or beverages or coolers from your campsite, but you may bring your own camping chair which can prove handy. Much of what you need for the three days of entertainment are available within the festival grounds.
Because July is a typically hot month of the year, it’s a good idea not to skimp on sunscreen, bug spray, or lip balm. Bring your best sunhat and sunglasses as well. Pop a first aid kit in your RV, any medication you might require, and toiletries you can’t purchase quickly either.
As this is an event with alcohol, make sure you have a sober driver if you intend on driving anywhere and be safe and smart with alcohol consumption. While there is no free drinking water available, you can buy bottled water to remain hydrated throughout the weekend.
You’re in for a treat once the daytime action is over, for firepits are allowed at your campsite. Make sure you’re well prepared by picking up supplies in nearby Watkins Glen. You can then either treat yourself to campfire goods such as toasted marshmallows and s’mores or use your onboard gas cooker if you prefer.
Watkins Glen may only be a village, but that doesn’t mean it’s not bursting at the seams with quality eateries to appeal to your tastes. From brick oven pizzas, donuts, and coffee, to family restaurants and fast food outlets; this quaint township has it all. Don’t be afraid to wander the streets at your leisure to find something you like, but note that the village area rests about five miles from the venue site.
You are going to want to save your pennies in the weeks leading up to the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, for the vendors are astounding. Not only can you buy delicious food, such as wings, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, pretzels, and nuts, but a range of handmade gifts, souvenirs, apparel, and more. Some stalls accept credit and debit cards, but it’s a good idea to bring plenty of cash, too.
Hundreds of wine lovers descend on Watkins Glen International for the festival, which means that officials like to make sure they can create a fun and safe environment. They will check your wristband and ID, and any bags to make sure you’re not bringing in anything you’re not allowed. You may approach any security worker at any time to ask questions or voice concerns. There is also a police department in the heart of the village near Lafayette Park.
July in Watkins Glen has average high temperatures of 83 degrees, and average lows of 60. As a result, you are likely going to enjoy plenty of sunshine during your stay in the area. With this in mind, make sure you pack enough water for yourself and your RV and ensure all fluids and coolants are topped up before you hit the road. Driving in summer also means there is more traffic on the road, so take care to note other motorists along the way.
Aside from medical staff at Watkins Glen International to help with any issues you may have, there is also a hospital within 24 miles of the festival venue as well. If you have an emergency medical event, dial 9-11. Otherwise, approach an official for help and advice who may suggest onsite care or a short journey to the hospital. Pharmacy services are available in the Village of Watkins Glen about five miles from the festival site.