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Essential CNY: A Day Trip Exploring the Beauty in Material

Essential CNY: A Day Trip Exploring the Beauty in Material

Our third LivableCNY day trip is a mix between cultural legacies and the natural beauty in CNY. We leave Syracuse in the morning, stop at Skaneateles Lake and St. Mattews Episcopal Church, have lunch at the Cornell Campus, and finally arrive at Corning to visit the Corning Museum of Glass.

8:00 a.m. Breakfast at Mother’s Cupboard Diner and Fish Fry (3709 James St, Syracuse)

Our day trip began at Mother’s Cupboard Diner. This little diner, located in East Syracuse with a relatively big and crowded parking lot, is as homey as the name indicates. Waitresses are attentive, and they know when you need a coffee refill. Moreover, the food here is good, at least that’s what the high ratings on Yelp say. (The home fries receive the most praise.) If you plan to try out the breakfast at Mother’s, you’d better be hungry enough, or remember to ask the waitress for box.

9:00 a.m. Drive to Moravia via routes 175, 41A and 38A. Driving along route 175, we really enjoyed the countryside. Winter is coming to Central New York, it’s getting colder, and the leaves are falling. When we got to Skaneateles Lake, the gold and red leaves reflecting on the still water stopped us in our tracks. On a sunny day, standing by the glistening lake, no one can resist the view. It’s an important part of living in CNY.

10:30 Visit St. Matthews Episcopal Church (14 Church St., Moravia). The church looks nothing special from the outside, a little white building standing in a peaceful community. But when you enter, you will be stunned by the complete wooden ornament inside. The chancel, lectern, and tip to the baptismal top are decorated with delicate woodcarvings, which are almost 100 years old. The idea of using wood decoration originated from Father William Sutherland Stevens, who served as rector from 1908 to 1944. All the carvings are made of red oak from central New York. The combination of stained glass windows and wood wall is beautiful and rare to see. People from the community are hospitable. They are willing to give a guided short tour inside the church.

12:00 p.m. Freshen up at the Cornell Campus. Park your car at Stewart Ave. Bring your food and camera, enter Cornell Campus from the south side . The Cornell Campus is considered as the most beautiful campus in the U.S. It sits on the top of the hill with Cascadilla Creek across on the south side and Beebe Lake on the north. You can take a photo with the landmark of Cornell, McGraw Tower; and if the weather allows, have a picnic lunch on the Libe Slope.

1:00 Drive to Corning via NY-13 S and I-86 W.

  • Enjoying a break from driving on the lakeshore. Photo by Chongyu Li
  • Olive Tjaden Hall at Cornell University. Photo by Jiajing Zou
  • As the theme of the museum, glass appears everywhere, even used as the material of wall. Photo by Jiajing Zou
  • The green track parking at the entrance of Glass Market is now stuffed with all size of glass pumpkins. Photo by Chongyu Li
  • Halloween pumpkins take over the glass market. You can produce your own at the glass making session. Photo by Chongyu Li
  • Glass work from various periods of history are displayed in Corning Museum of Glass. Photo by Yiran Gong
  • Visitors can join glass making sessions to experience the process. High temperature flame is used to melt the glass. Photo by Chongyu Li
  • At Holmes Plate. Photo by Chongyu Li
  • Tempting food at Holmes Plate.Photo by Chongyu Li
  • Market Street in Corning, NY. Photo by Jiajing Zou


2:00 p.m. Visit Corning Museum of Glass. Corning has a long history of producing glass, and it is now a world-leading manufacturer of glass. Its production, Corning Gorilla Glass, is used as the screen of smartphones like iPhone. As a 100-year anniversary gift of Corning Glass Works, the museum opened in 1951 to invite the world to know about glass. Park your car at the parking lot and get ready to start an adventure in the glass world.

You will be immediately attracted to the huge glass market as you enter the museum. All kinds of glasswork are displayed here. The whole market looks colorful, and it lets you linger on without any thought of leaving.

On the second floor, you will be able to explore glass from a scientific perspective. From bullet-resistant glass to optical fiber, you will be amazed how close glass is to our lives. Hot glass shows and demos, organized several times a day,  let the visitors know more about the nature of glass and procedure of making a glasswork. Collection of glasswork exhibiting in other parts of the museum reveal the history of glass, started over 3,500 years ago as well as modern art pieces.

At Corning Museum of Flass, visitors also have the opportunities to produce their own glass. You need to pick and schedule a glass making session online before your trip. In the 40-minute session, an experienced crafter will instruct you. Depending on what you make, your glasswork may need extra firing after the session. You need to ask the museum to ship it for you.

Admission tickets and tickets for glassmaking sessions can be purchased at The museum normally closes at 5pm.

5:30 p.m. Dinner at Holmes Plate (54 W Market St, Corning). After an exhausting but exciting day, you deserve a big meal. Holmes Plate is your best choice. Park your car at parking lots along Denison Pkwy. Then walk one block north to Market St. Holmes Plate can easily be spotted beside the street. The restaurant is famous in town for its barbeque. The food is pretty good even for people who constantly go to the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse. They use paper as tablecloth at Holmes Plate and provide crayons, so you can draw on the paper while waiting.

6:30 p.m. Stroll in Corning. You might want to take a walk after dinner and explore the evening Corning. Market St., just outside our restaurant for dinner, is good for window shopping. Glass shops can be seen frequently. Go through Centerway Square and enter Centennical Park on the south side of Chemung River. You will see the lights of the Glass Museum changing on the other side of the river, a beautiful ending of a visually stunning trip.

About The Author

Yiran Gong

M.S. Candidate of New Media Management, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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