New York State is an area of magnificent natural beauty, plus it is a terrific destination if you are looking for holidays for disabled groups. This is thanks to forward thinking and the integration of wheelchair friendly areas at all the major highlights. Unquestionably, one of NYS’ greatest highlights is the Finger Lakes in Central New York; a collection of 11 narrow lakes with beautiful natural surroundings.
Anna Pakman, a personal contact of mine, has travelled the entire state in a mobility scooter and found the Finger Lakes to be superb. These are her recommendations for wheelchair accessible things to do in the region.
New York State Fair
A world famous fair held in Syracuse, here you will find a showcase of entertainment, technology, education and agriculture with rides, exhibitions and concerts which will all amaze. As New York’s largest event and a historic fair, it attracts one million visitors from all around the globe each year. This creates an electric atmosphere that is not to be missed. Wheelchair and scooter rentals are available and the fairgrounds are accessible for guests. To enjoy the fair, holidays for disabled travellers will need to be planned for the end of summer as it runs for just two weeks from late August.
Taughannock Falls State Park
Situated near Ithaca, this wonderful State Park features the highest single-drop waterfall (215 foot) east of the Rocky Mountains and is a hotspot for camping, hiking and picnics. In addition to the waterfalls, there are picturesque surroundings and a stretch of Lake Cayuga’s sublime shoreline. Anna has recommended taking a wheelchair friendly hike to the base of the waterfall, but there is also a road where you can drive to the top for breathtaking views (although this includes a few steps).
Corning Museum of Glass
A charming artistic city in Steuben County, Corning is home to this marvellous museum which houses one of the biggest collections of glass objects in the world. Dedicated to the history, science and art of glass, you are sure to be blown away by the incredible objects on display – with some over 3,500 years old. You can also observe live glassmaking, or even learn to make it yourself which can be great fun and extremely rewarding. The entire museum is wheelchair friendly and there is even a shuttle which takes you from the welcome centre to the museum.
Thirsty Owl Wine Company
The Finger Lakes are home to many exquisite wineries which line the shores of the lakes, including the Thirsty Owl Wine Company which is found halfway up Cayuga Lake. The producer of high-quality wines, here you will find 150 acres of stunning vineyards and mesmerising lakeside views. This can all be enjoyed with wine tastings, plus there is a splendid bistro with delicious food and a fun atmosphere. The winery and bistro are both accessible and highly recommended.
These are Anna’s recommendations for the best wheelchair friendly things to do around the Finger Lakes (in addition to exploring the Fingers, of course). Holidays for disabled groups can be difficult to arrange, but this is an area that my team and I specialise in. Contact me today and we can discuss your trip to the great state of New York.
Philip Scott is the owner and founder of Can be Done, a fully licensed UK tour operator specialising in worldwide holidays for disabled individuals and groups. With over 31 years’ experience organising long and short breaks for disabled travellers, Philip has built a reputation for helping his clients select hotels and accommodation that offer high standards of accessibility, to ensure that those with special needs can experience truly relaxing and carefree holidays.
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