Finger Lakes is home to the best park in New York state.

Conde Nast Traveler Magazine named Watkins Glen State Park the best of the best.

Set in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Watkins Glen is an incredible park to visit year-round, but it most springs to life when the autumn foliage is at its peak around mid-October. Towering cliffs and a series of 19 rippling waterfalls will leave visitors spellbound on the 2.4-mile Gorge Trail Loop, the most popular in the park.

Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks. The glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course.

The gorge path allows hikers to walk over and under waterfalls, through the spray of Cavern Cascade, while overlooking the gorge. Visitors can also swim in the Olympic-size pool, camp, picnic or fish in nearby Seneca Lake or Catherine Creek.

This isn't the first time Watkins Glen was honored nationally. In 2015, the park was chosen from more than 6,000 state parks across the nation in the USA TODAY Readers' Choice Poll for Best State Park in the United States, winning third place

The park isn't the only thing Watkins Glen has to offer.


Watkins Glen International has been named the best NASCAR Sprint Cup track in the U.S., hosting a double header weekend of top tier events every summer racing season.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Home to Titanic survivor

Elizabeth Barrett Rothschild was born on February 10, 1858 in Watkins Glen, New York. She and her husband, Martin Rothchild, boarded the Titanic and set sail out of England on April 10, 1912. Four days later, her world would change when the ocean liner struck an iceberg just before midnight, 375 miles south of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic.

Elizabeth, safely made it onto a lifeboat along with her dog. Her husband, Martin wasn't so lucky. Two hours and forty minutes after impact, the Titanic sank with more than 1500 aboard, including Elizabeth's husband Martin on April 15th, 1912.

Martin's body was never identified from those recovered. So in 1921, Elizabeth bought an acre of land next to St. Mary's Cemetery in Watkins Glen and had a mausoleum built as a tribute to her husband.

Credit - John Kucko Digital

A three foot bronze plaque commemorates the Titanic tragedy that claimed the life of her dear Martin. In part, it reads “Be Thou Faithful Unto Death, I Will Give You a Crown of Life.”

Credit - John Kucko Digital

On October 29, 1943 Elizabeth passed away in East Orange, New Jersey, but her final resting place is beside her beloved Martin in St. Mary's Cemetery. Her remains were placed in a crypt inside the mausoleum that sits just a few hundred feet from the waterfalls and gorge of Watkins Glen State Park.

Credit - John Kucko Digital

Let's not forget all the wineries and breweries in the area where you can enjoy a tour, sampling and even buy a bottle or two to take home.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

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