New York Waterfalls May 17, 2022
Explore New York’s Best Waterfalls And Wineries On This Multi-Day Road Trip
When you think of waterfalls in the United States, Niagara Falls is likely one of the first to come to mind. This beautiful cascade is actually a grouping of three waterfalls straddling the border between New York and Ontario. Naturally, that’s where our New York wine and waterfalls road trip is going to begin…but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The state is full of natural treasures, both in terms of wine varietals and the beautiful landscape shaped by Mother Nature herself.
Our itinerary is broken out into several days of adventures (and you can easily access and alter the route for
Day One, Day Two, or Day Three), and we’ll point you in the direction of a few New York Best Westerns nearby to ensure you get a chance to rest up between all the fun. Ready to dive in? Buckle up, because this adventure just might blow you away.
If you’re driving in from out of state, there are several Best Western properties right by Niagara Falls. Best Western Summit Inn is right in town, providing an opportunity to rest up and easy access to the falls. If you’re traveling from the states to the east, Best Western Plus Lockport Hotel is just about 30 minutes away from the falls.
1. Niagara Falls
These mighty falls have the highest flow rate of any cascade in the nation, and they're beautiful all year round. In 1901, these falls earned publicity for something other than their beauty... a 63-year-old teacher went over the falls in a barrel as a publicity stunt. She emerged largely unharmed, but others who have attempted the stunt haven't been so lucky. Prehistoric roots and PR-stunts alike are common stories you'll encounter during your visit.
2. Akron Falls
Akron Falls Park, 44 Parkview Dr, Akron, NY 14001, USA
Akron Falls Park is a stunning landscape spanning some 280 acres. Murder Creek flows through the park, shaping its landscape and forming the stunning 40-foot cascade for which the park is named. There's a lot of history in this park, as it is one of the oldest in the county. Look for Works Progress Administration-era improvements along its pathways.
3. The Owens Falls Sanctuary
The Owens Falls Sanctuary, 720 Center St, East Aurora, NY 14052, USA
The Owens Falls Sanctuary proves that great things come in small packages. It's a petite 57-acre campus, but there's a lot of beauty lining its 1.4-mile trail. You'll stumble upon two waterfalls, which flow boisterously after a good rain.
4. Eternal Flame Falls
If the last few waterfalls seem hard to beat in terms of their beauty, you might be surprised to learn that the competition is growing heated. Literally, that is — Eternal Flame Falls in Chestnut Ridge Park has a fire burning in a tiny grotto behind this small waterfall. The flame, which actually has to be relit on occasion and is therefore not
totally everlasting, is fueled by a bit of natural gas seeping up from the shale deposits. Tectonic activity is likely what caused the natural gas to seep up from 1,300 feet below the surface, but the result is downright stunning.
5. Pellicano Vineyard Hamburg Winery
After so much adventure, you might find yourself famished. Pellicano Vineyard Hamburg Winery is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat, and it is open Wednesday through Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m. While the grounds are beautiful, the wines here don't come with a super high price tag. Get a glass, dig into a yummy meal, and listen to live music at this welcoming vineyard.
Your first day of adventures has reached its conclusion! You’re probably ready to rest up and refuel for the next leg of your journey. You’re right by Buffalo, and there are several comfortable hotels nearby to accommodate you. Best Western – On The Avenue, Best Western Plus Galleria Inn & Suites, and Best Western The Inn at Buffalo Airport are all just a short drive away.
6. Holley Canal Falls
We're going to make today a bit easier after the busy day you had yesterday. Our first waterfall for today, Holley Canal Falls, is located
right by the parking lot. You'll get a great view from your car, but you can also walk right up to it... and you should! This beauty deserves to be admired up close and from afar, like any good work of art.
7. High Falls
High Falls, Rochester, NY, USA
This waterfall is a real urban gem. This cascade is fueled by the Genesee River, and it's one of several along its expanse. As you might guess, this powerful waterfall once fueled industry, effectively acting as the lifeblood of the surrounding city. It can be easily viewed from the Pont De Rennes bridge, but its history is evident throughout the area... and you should explore its history in Brown's Race, a National Register Historic District, if you have time.
8. Lower Falls
After visiting High Falls, you'll want to see what its currents fuel downstream. Lower Falls is more isolated than High Falls, but it's beautiful. At 110 feet in height, it's the tallest waterfall on the Genesee River. It's a bit hard to get close to due to its location in the gorge, but Lower Falls Park provides a stunning view of its mighty waters.
9. Living Roots Urban Winery & Tasting Room
While you're in such a historically-rich area, you might as well head into the city to view its urban charms. Living Roots Urban Winery & Tasting Room is open Tuesday through Sunday, operating from 4 to 10 on weekdays and opening at noon on weekends. It closes at 10 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively, so there's plenty of time to get acquainted with its offerings... and the splendor of Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts.
And that concludes our adventures for day two! After you finish exploring Rochester, you can enjoy a cozy night in Best Western’s The Inn at Rochester Airport or Best Western Rochester Marketplace Inn.
10. Taughannock Falls State Park
2381 Taughannock Park Rd, Trumansburg, NY 14886, USA
Ready to dive into the final day of your road trip? We're starting off at Taughannock Falls State Park, a massive 750-acre dose of beauty. Its crown jewel is a 215-foot waterfall for which it is named. This is actually the free-falling waterfall east of the Mississippi, towering higher than Niagara Falls.
11. Bucktail Falls
Bucktail Falls, Spafford, NY 13141, USA
While you're recovering from the splendor of the previous site, we're going to head to a spot that's more low-key. Bucktail Falls is right off Moon Hill Road, and it's mere steps away from the road. At 21 feet, this beauty is quite a bit smaller than Taughannock Falls, but it's significantly less touristy and every bit as breathtaking.
12. Pratts Falls
7671 Pratts Falls Rd, Manlius, NY 13104, USA
As you can probably imagine, photos just don't do this spot justice. This 137-foot ribbon-like cascade fueled one of Onondaga County's earliest mills with its might current. Today, it attracts attention for being one of the state's most beautiful falls. Its loop trail is easy, taking only about half an hour in total.
13. Owera Vineyards
Owera Vineyards, 5276 E Lake Rd, Cazenovia, NY 13035, USA
Locals know Owera Vineyards as a cherished wedding venue, and it's plain to see why. This stunning site is easy to fall in love with. It closes at 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, opening at 5 p.m. on the weekdays and at noon on Saturday. Treat yourself to a wine tasting in this beautiful landscape... you'd be surprised at how affordable it is! No tasting is complete without a visit to the on-site Brick Oven Café, which supplies snackable boards that pair perfectly with your wine. Charcuterie, anyone?!
That’s it! Your wine and waterfalls road trip in New York has reached its conclusion. Fortunately, Best Western Plus East Syracuse Inn, Best Western Plus Liverpool-Syracuse Inn & Suites, and Best Western The Inn at the Fairgrounds are all nearby. Enjoy a comfortable stay as you unwind from your multi-day adventure across The Empire State.
This New York wine and waterfalls road trip is a real adventure, but it’s truly just a small sampling of the state’s many stunning waterfalls. Are there any you would add to this list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
If you find yourself inspired and decide to extend your road trip even further, remember to check out
Best Westerns in New York to find a comfortable stay near your next destination. Happy traveling! Address: Akron Falls Park, 44 Parkview Dr, Akron, NY 14001, USA Address: The Owens Falls Sanctuary, 720 Center St, East Aurora, NY 14052, USA Address: Niagara Falls, NY, USA