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  • Iconic Memphis Belle Boeing B-17F showcased at the National Warplane Museum
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    Livingston County: Natural Beauty and History

  • Whimsical air balloon glides over Middle Falls at the Genesee River
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    Wyoming County: Outdoor Adventure Awaits

  • Colorful Jell-O Barn welcomes visitors
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    Genesee County: Americana at its Finest

  • Sail boats cruise along calm harbor waters
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    Orleans County: Year-Round Fun

Serene sunset at the Oak Orchard Lighthouse on Lake Ontario
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Drive and Discover New York State’s Scenic Country Byways

  • Route distance:
    317 km
  • Suggested Time:
    5 days

Pack your bags for a laid-back road trip that reveals an unexpected side of New York State.

Found between Niagara Falls and the Finger Lakes, New York State’s Country Byways wind through a tranquil landscape of rural living and photo-worthy scenery. Along the way, you’ll connect with friendly residents and enjoy memorable experiences, from arts and culture attractions to outstanding natural wonders, historical sites and regional dining.

Iconic Memphis Belle Boeing B-17F showcased at the National Warplane Museum
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Larry Tetamore

Livingston County: Natural Beauty and History

The Buffalo (BUF) and Greater Rochester (ROC) international airports are both within an hour of the start of your road trip through New York State’s Country Byways Region. Begin your day with quiet meditation at Abbey of the Genesee, a community of contemplative monks commonly known as Trappists. Their Monks’ Bread Store sells a variety of products made in their bakery.

Forge ahead to the National Warplane Museum, home to Whiskey 7, a restored C-47 that flew over Normandy. This can’t-miss museum boasts aircraft and military relics from World War II and the Korean War. The museum also hosts an annual air show in July, and you can even take a ride in one of the planes; check the museum’s calendar for details.

Head to Main Street in the quaint village of Geneseo for seasonal dishes and local beer and wine at the historic Big Tree Inn. The surrounding area was named by the Seneca Indians after a huge white oak tree near the banks of the Genesee River.

Soak in the scenic views on your way to Conesus Lake, the westernmost of New York’s 11 Finger Lakes. Save time to taste wine at Deer Run Winery before checking in to Allegiance Bed and Breakfast in Mount Morris. This elegantly restored mansion was built in 1838 and feels like a step back in time, but with modern amenities. Up next is outdoor recreation in Wyoming County.

3 km
0.08 hour by car
Whimsical air balloon glides over Middle Falls at the Genesee River
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Wyoming County: Outdoor Adventure Awaits

You can practically walk from your hotel to Letchworth State Park, where you’ll spend the first half of your day. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” USA Today readers chose Letchworth as the No. 1 State Park in the USA in 2015 and the No. 1 Attraction in New York State in 2017. Explore 106 kilometers of trails, take a dip in the pool, join a guided walk or go whitewater rafting, kayaking or hot-air ballooning. Eat lunch in the park at the historic Glen Iris Inn, which overlooks the Middle Falls on the Genesee River.

For more fun in nature, go to Hidden Valley Animal Adventure to see more than 400 exotic animals. Feed zebras, bison, elk and camels during a guided safari tour through the park.

Next, climb aboard one of New York State’s only excursion trains, the Arcade & Attica Railroad. During the 90-minute ride, enjoy Wyoming County’s beautiful forests and farmlands in the countryside, virtually unchanged since the 1880s.

Nestled in the woods you’ll find River Spring Lodge. The boutique inn is known for a sumptuous four-course dinner of locally sourced produce, premium meats and homemade desserts. Your next destination, Genesee County, is full of charm and history.

25 km
0.5 hour by car
Colorful Jell-O Barn welcomes visitors
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Mark Gutman

Genesee County: Americana at its Finest

After a short drive through quiet rural towns, the energy ramps up at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel. With live harness racing, more than 780 gaming machines and four onsite restaurants, it’s all about casino-style action.

Indulge your sweet tooth with unique chocolate creations and handmade ice cream at Oliver’s Candies. Be sure to pick up a box of sponge candy, a regional specialty with a tasty molasses flavor.

On tap for lunch is delicious food and drink at Eli Fish Brewing Company. Eli Fish made history in 2018 as the first commercial brewery to open in Batavia in nearly 100 years. Choose from 20 taps of local brews and order burgers, fries and other pub food. You can opt for vegan fare made in its Eden Café and Bakeshop.

The small town of LeRoy is the birthplace Jell-O, known as “America’s Most Famous Dessert.” Visit the Jell-O Gallery Museum to learn the history of this wiggly treat, invented in 1897.

Settle in to Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn for the night. The building is nearly 200 years old, but has been restored into luxury accommodations with a casual tavern and fine-dining restaurant. The best part might just be the view – the outdoor dining space sits above the beautiful Oatka Creek. Your final stops are just north in Orleans County.

59 km
0.8 hour by car
Sail boats cruise along calm harbor waters
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Scott Thomas Photography

Orleans County: Year-Round Fun

The relaxing, one-hour drive through forest and farmland brings you to Oak Orchard Lighthouse. Walk along the pebbly shore and soak in the expansive views of Lake Ontario, one of North America’s five Great Lakes. Just a few minutes away is the Cobblestone Museum, where you can discover the history of all things cobblestone. The stonework is truly remarkable. Explore eight historic buildings from the 1800s at this National Historic Landmark.

Sample Irish food and local beer at Fitzgibbons Public House in Medina, then enjoy a wine tasting at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery. In addition to wines for sale, the market features local food and craft specialties for the perfect memento or gift.

Wind down for the evening at the Hart House Hotel. Opened in 1876, this historic building first served as a hotel and then a shirt factory. Today, it houses the boutique hotel, a café and meadery.

Buffalo Niagara International and Greater Rochester are equally convenient for your flight home.

Official Country Byways Travel Site

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