Seneca Falls has received a lot of press lately due to its connection with the film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
But, there are other great things to do in this canal-side town. Seneca Falls is believed to be the inspiration for the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
It is known that the director, Frank Capra, visited Seneca Falls plus many of the names used in the movie are names familiar to the village.
The bridge is similar to the one in the movie. A plaque remembers another tragic account of what really happened on the bridge. While the connection to the classic holiday film is interesting there are other attractions in this Central New York village in addition to the “It’s a Wonderful Life’ Museum.
1. IDEA: Located in the same building as the Wonderful Life Museum, IDEA is a most unique museum dedicated to overcoming the stigma of leprosy. However, the greater goal is to eliminate social injustice worldwide by focusing on the dignity and value of each human being.
2. The Women’s Right National Historic Park: As part of the National Park Service the site preserves several locations associated with the 1848 First Women’s Rights Convention. In the main hall visitors will see the “First Wave,” statues of those who were among the first to promote women’s rights. A video explores the concept of equality.
3. National Women’s Hall of Fame: The Hall of Fame recalls and honors great American women through exhibit. The honored women come from all walks of life having contributed significantly to the fabric of American life and society.
4. The Cayuga-Seneca Canal: The canal gave birth to the village. Today it is a recreational area with docking facilities for boaters. Those without a boat can enjoy a trip along the canal on Mid-Lakes Navigation Company’s Emita II locking through to the Erie Canal.
5. Seneca Falls Historical Society Museum: Tour the 23-room 1880 Queen Anne mansion and step into the Victorian era. The house has much of the original fixtures and furnishings along with extensive lawns, a Seth Thomas clock poised atop a small clock tower, and an outbuilding called the Beehive.
6. Museum of Waterways and Industry: The museum is an orientation point for local and regional history especially exploring the impact of waterways and industry on the area. There are hands-on exhibits to help children experience an earlier time without today’s machines.
7. Finger Lakes Wine Trails: Seneca Falls is the perfect location from which to visit the more than 70 wineries located in the Finger Lakes Region. There are many nearby wineries offering tastings including Goose Watch, Montezuma, and Swedish Hill.
8. Clarence Hotel: The newly renovated and rebranded hotel is named for George Bailey’s guardian angel. The film plays throughout the day in the lobby. Located in the center of Seneca Falls it is within walking distance to most attractions.
9. Sculpture Trail: Follow the Frank J. Ludovico Sculpture Trail along the canal on an abandoned railroad bed. The art sculptures started as a tribute to the Women’s Rights movement but now there are statues that are associated with Seneca Falls in some way.
10. And: The home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the organizers of the Seneca Convention. Nature lovers will want to visit Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge with bald eagles and ospreys. Both are just a short drive away.
Mexico resident Sandra Scott and her husband, John, enjoy traveling and sharing that experience with others. She also writes everyday for Examiner.com (rotating on editions … Syracuse Travel, National Destination and Culinary Travel).