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Although you may never want to leave the quiet comfort of the Inns of Aurora, the Finger Lakes region offers a wealth of natural beauty, recreation and entertainment opportunities. This section introduces a small sampling of what awaits.
Broadway in the Finger Lakes
A scenic 30-minute drive from Aurora, the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival & Merry-Go-Round Playhouse presents Broadway-quality shows from June through November. Situated directly on the northern tip of Owasco Lake, the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse is in the heart of the recently restored Emerson Park — a truly stunning setting for an evening of fantastic entertainment.
As a proud supporter of the arts, the Aurora Inn Dining Room offers 15% off your meal, excluding alcohol, with the presentation of a ticket stub from any Finger Lakes Musical Theatre performance.
Kayaks & Canoes
Borrow one of our boats for an early morning paddle through glassy waters or an afternoon exploration of the village’s shoreline.
Our staff is happy to provide you with information about half and full-day private boat rentals.
Relive your childhood. Hold your nose, take a deep breath, and leap off of our dock into the refreshing waters of Cayuga Lake!
Our dock is open to the public, so why not arrive in style in your own boat? Please call for availability and policies.
What’s biting in Cayuga Lake? Depending on the season, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Lake Trout and Atlantic Salmon!
Borrow a bicycle from the Aurora Inn or bring your own and explore the countryside. The area has no shortage of fantastic rides full of beautiful vistas.
Wells College Golf Course
This nine-hole course, designed in part by Robert Trent Jones, is located less than a mile from the Inns of Aurora and offers sweeping views of Cayuga Lake. Open to the public.
The Inns of Aurora are within an hour of several ski areas (both downhill and cross-country). Please call us for more information.
MacKenzie-Childs, the celebrated maker of hand-crafted tableware, home furnishings and accessories is located less than one mile from the Aurora Inn. Visitors can tour the Victorian Farmhouse, view artisans at work in the new Visitors Center, stroll through the gardens, or shop in the retail store.
Whether you’re looking for wine, clothing, gifts, art, or antiques, you’ll find it in the heart of the village. Jane Morgan’s Little House has been a mainstay in the community for its selection of fine women’s apparel and accessories. Bet The Farm, a regional wine shop and a gourmet market, offers a comprehensive selection of Finger Lakes wine and weekly wine tastings.
The Aurora Arts & Design Center features the work of local artists and artisans as well as a stunning collection of antiques. Don’t miss Vintage Lighting, with its fascinating collection of old lamps and lighting, and Shakelton’s, an old-fashioned village hardware store that sells both hardware and antiques. Cleaveland’s Antiques, located just outside of the village, has long been a favorite destination for antiques dealers and collectors alike.
Aurora and the Finger Lakes region have an unusually rich history. Following is just a small sampling of some historic places you may want to visit during your stay with us.
Village of Aurora and
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Aurora is home to Wells College, which was founded in 1868 by Henry Wells of Wells Fargo stagecoach fame. The college has a beautiful campus overlooking Cayuga Lake.
The new home of the Aurora Historical Society and Village History Center is now open to the public with two displays. “The Hands that Built Aurora: The Life and Work of Martin Maloney Sr., 1829-1918” features selections from the recently donated Maloney Collection as well as text and photographs by the late William Maloney. The 1795 map of Aurora drawn by Gen. Benjamin Ledyard is also being shown, possibly for the first time on record. The map, framed with the 1794 map by Seth Phelps, is on loan from the Wells College Archives until November 1. The Ledyard map, drawn in February 1795, is the first known document to use the name “Aurora.”
The Aurora Historical Society is located behind the Aurora Arts and Design Center, 371 Main St., on the courtyard with Vintage Lighting; it is fully accessible by the walkway along the white wooden fence. Regular hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Women’s Rights National Historic Park, Seneca Falls
The birthplace of the women’s rights movement, Seneca Falls is home to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the residence of suffrage leader Elizabeth Cady.
Harriet Tubman Home, Auburn
A conductor on the Underground Railroad who led hundreds of slaves to freedom, Harriet Tubman settled in Auburn after the Civil War and operated this home for aged and indigent African-Americans.
William H. Seward House, Auburn
A registered National Historic Landmark, this grand home was the long-time residence of William Henry Seward, Governor of New York, Secretary of State to Presidents Lincoln and Johnson and leading figure in the purchase of Alaska.
Willard Memorial Chapel, Auburn
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 1894 chapel is a masterpiece of Tiffany design. It is the only complete and unaltered Tiffany religious interior in the world with a nine-panel rose window, a three-paneled stained glass window, 14 opalescent nave windows, nine leaded glass chandeliers and more.