Corning Glassware (or Corning Inc.) is the primary industry in Corning, New York, and it is also what made this small city famous. Corning Inc. is responsible for every window on a U.S. space shuttle and is the one source of Steuben art glass . . . and its museum is the third biggest tourist attraction in the state. This museum, the Corning Museum of Glass, displays over 10,000 pieces of glasswork, some dating back to 14,000 B.C., and its Glass Sculpture Gallery is the largest of its kind anywhere.
The Rockwell Museum is another site of interest in Corning, although it has nothing to do with Norman Rockwell. This is an art museum that displays every type of Western art, from Navajo rugs to designs by Frederick Carder, co-founder of Steuben Glass. For the shop-browser, Market Street could not be more attractive. For the hiker and cross-country skier, the Spence Nature Center is a prime vacation spot.
Corning has its artistic glassworks. Elmira has Mark Twain and gliders. It's the national "Soaring Capital," and the National Soaring Museum is devoted to motorless flight. Visitors can experience what it's like to be in a sailplane cockpit via a simulator.
Mark Twain (born Samuel Clemens) penned his famous novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" while at his sister-in-law's farm in Elmira. This is where he and his wife spent their summers. And it is here that the author was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, his grave marked by a 12-foot monument. Why is the size of the monument significant? "Mark twain" is a nautical term referring to the 12 feet of water depth required before a river boat can enter a river.
Elmira is 175 miles from Albany via Routes 88 and 17. Corning is 17 miles from Elmira.