17 Best Things to Do in Owego, NY

Owego, NY
JWCohen / shutterstock.com

There's nothing like getting your family together to get away from the stresses of work.

However, you'll need to know where to go, and we've got the place for you.

Owego, New York, is home to plenty of family-friendly activities begging to be explored.

Located in New York's Tioga County, Owego is a small town, settled in 1786 and incorporated as a village in 1853.

Owego came from the word Ahwaga, an Iroquois expression that translates as "where the valley widens."

You can find Owego in New York's Southern Tier, with the eastern town line forming the border of Broome County and the southern town line bordering Pennsylvania.

Check out the best things to do in Owego, NY.

Take Instagrammable Photos at Owego Riverwalk

A wooden bench overlooking the river at Owego Riverwalk
Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take a short walk along the Owego Riverwalk to reconnect with nature and find peace.

This trail connects Draper and Ahwaga Parks and offers a great view of the Susquehanna River.

Spiral staircase on one of Owego Riverwalk's building
Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can take photos of the chirping birds or sit and observe the river.

Wait, there's more!

The riverwalk also gives you stunning views and opportunities to see waterfowl, river wildlife, and eagles.

Bald trees during the winter at Owego Riverwalk
Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Be a Historian for a Day at Tioga County Historical Society

County residents established the Tioga County Historical Society in 1914 to preserve its history.

The museum exhibits relics from every town in the county to educate the public about its history and significance in American history.

Located at 110 Front Street in Owego, the museum features a diverse collection to entertain you.

Discover events and check out well-known collections and genealogy and research services in the library, educational programs, etc.

After seeing the four beautiful galleries, purchase something from the Tioga County Historical Society's gift shop.

Explore the Bement-Billings Farmstead Museum

Suppose you enjoy farming and are interested in learning about Owego's traditional farming practices.

In that case, head to the Bement-Billings Farmstead Museum and experience life on a farm in the early 1800s.

The museum features a farmhouse constructed in 1796, which has evolved throughout the nineteenth century.

The home typifies the Federal and Greek Revival styles, featuring a wraparound front porch on two sides.

On February 19, 1990, the National Register of Historic Places added it to its record.

This historic mansion tells the narrative of its original owner and the area's history.

Asa Bement, Jr., a Massachusetts revolutionary war soldier, was among the first settlers in the area.

He arrived in Owego Creek in Newark Valley to claim his new land.

After clearing the wilderness, he built a log cabin for his family.

Enjoy Family Day at Hickories Park

Hickories Park is a must-see site in Owego, and it's one of the most popular places in town.

The town enacted a "Carry In-Carry Out Trash Program," stating that parks will no longer provide trash receptacles to encourage visitors to bring their trash bags home.

Hickories Park has a welcoming picnic area with tables and grills and walking and bicycling routes.

It also has a Pavilion that can accommodate 100 to 200 people, allowing you to hold your celebrations right here in the park.

This park doesn't provide an average park experience.

The Rebecca Weitsman Memorial Dog Park, a state-of-the-art dog park created in 2015, is in Hickories Park.

They also have RV sites with amenities for your convenience if you wish to stay overnight.

If you want a unique story, stay at the campsite and enjoy the fire to warm your night.

Grab Books at Riverow Bookshop

Rekindle your passion for books at the Riverow Bookshop and immerse yourself in their one-of-a-kind selection of classic literature.

This family-owned bookshop opened in 1976 and currently boasts three fabulous floors filled with literary delights, including nearly 86,000 titles.

Additionally, it features antique architectural motifs on the walls, a plethora of locally made items, rare books, and gorgeous bookends.

What more could you want from a bookstore?

You don't simply read a book here; you also get an excellent cup of tea or glass of wine.

Riverow sells books online but recommends visiting in person to understand Owego's culture.

Immerse in Nature at Hiawatha Island

Enjoy nature at its finest in the Hiawatha Island Riverfront Park Complex.

This 112-acre island in the Susquehanna River between Owego and Apalachin is home to hundreds of plant and animal species.

Several types of plants and animals call the island home, including species that the state has designated as endangered.

Remnants of hotel and farm buildings are visible on the island.

The island is the largest in New York State's Susquehanna River.

It's home to several enormous specimen trees, including sugar maple and white ash.

Native Americans had used the island for recreation and cultivation but did not appear to establish permanent communities.

Drink a Glass of Wine at Glen Park Vineyards

Owego, New York's Glen Park Vineyards is a small, family-run winery established in 2014.

Craft beer, artisanal dry wines, and hard ciders are available by the glass.

Local artisans built the winery, featuring lovely personalized touches.

The winery has a manufacturing section, a tasting room, and a loft for your enjoyment in this facility.

You can find the best views in the Finger Lakes region in the tasting area, where you can savor handcrafted wines and other delicacies.

Buy Gifts at the Early Owego Antique Center

Are you looking for a distinctive present for a loved one?

Downtown Owego, which includes the Early Owego Antique Center, features roughly 21,000 square feet of antique vendors on two levels at JJ Newberry's.

The Early Owego Antique Center, located in Downtown Owego on Lake and Main Streets, is a multi-vendor marketplace for exquisite antiques.

The shop opened to the public in 2013, with over 90 vendors filling two floors.

They have a wide variety of antiques ranging in size from jewelry to furniture!

Additionally, vintage clothing and a range of musical instruments are available.

If you're a fan of figurines, you'll find a wide range of options at this shop.

Wear Creatives at Katie's Kreations

Katie's Kreations is a family-owned and operated boutique that has operated since 2002.

They offer various products, such as furniture, presents, jewelry, and house accessories.

Wearing Katie's Kreations apparel is a great way to show your personality.

These stores have an extensive selection that will match your taste and decor.

Front and Lake streets and the side street parking lots provide ample places to park your car during your visit.

Dine at the Cellar Restaurant & Bar on the River

Late in 2003, two people with a shared love of good food opened The Cellar Restaurant & Bar on the River in downtown Owego.

Sandy and Bob Layman opened the restaurant believing that the combination of their strengths and abilities would ensure its success.

This well-known restaurant has gone through a lot to get to where they are now.

As a result of several floods in 2004, 2005, and 2006, the Layman family chose to rename the Cellar.

They bought the historic building and started street-level improvements.

Even though Sandy manages the restaurant's marketing and advertising, she also finds time to keep the restaurant's interior design fresh and fascinating.

Eat Mexican Food at Las Chicas Taqueria

If you're seeking a real taste of the West Coast, Las Chicas Taqueria is the place to go.

This taco cafe, located on the picturesque River Row in downtown Owego, NY, serves delicacies to make your mouth water and crave more.

They offer a casual dining experience in a friendly environment where you can unwind and enjoy yourself.

They provide fresh Mexican cuisine in a family-friendly setting and have an extensive range of craft beers from local breweries.

On the menu, you'll find nine different homemade tacos, salads, build-your-own burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and Chile Rellenos.

Sample Local Fare at the Owego Kitchen

You don't want your Owego adventure to end without a visit to the Owego Kitchen.

Breakfast, lunch, coffee, and sweets with fresh contemporary twists are served at the Owego Kitchen, a quaint, family-owned restaurant.

Gathering with friends and family for lunch here is a fantastic way to spend time together.

Salads, sandwiches, soups, and desserts are just a few menu items.

They also have an extensive beverage selection: coffee, tea, smoothies, milkshakes, and more.

Stay the Night at the Belva Lockwood Inn

The Belva Lockwood Inn is a well-recommended place to stay in Owego.

Enjoy the best service experience while learning about Belva Lockwood, a notable woman in the area's history.

There are five rooms in the delightful inn, run by a local couple who renovated a gorgeous 1872 house into a fantastic lodge.

This inn takes care of every lodging aspect, from custom-designed rooms to breakfast in a picnic basket delivered to your door.

Likewise, the hotel features the story of Owego native Belva Lockwood, who began advocating for equal rights for women at age 14.

She was also the first woman who ran for president of the United States.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Finger Lakes on a Boat Tour

Boats on the waters of Finger Lakes
Ray Van Cuyck / Shutterstock.com

Ithaca Boat Tours is 43 minutes from Owego.

The 2-hour boat tour includes a picnic lunch in Ithaca.

On the boat, you can also explore Cayuga Lake, the longest of central New York's glacial Finger Lakes.

It is also the second-largest lake in terms of surface area and volume.

Swim at Waverly Glen Waterfall

Put on your bathing suit and marvel at the majesty of this place!

Waverly Glen Waterfall is a great place to relax and take in the area's natural beauty.

Located at 85 Moore St, Waverly, this attraction is 21 minutes away from Owego.

There are tennis courts, pathways, pavilions, playgrounds, parking, and restrooms.

The park encourages picnics with the family, games with friends, and simply enjoying the outdoors.

Some paths connect directly to Two Rivers State Park's hiking and mountain biking sections.

Explore more of the area when you're ready.

Place Your Bet at Tioga Downs Casino Resort

Are you game for one of the most exciting parts of your Owego adventure?

A trip to New York is not complete without a stop at Tioga Downs Casino Resort.

More than 800 slot machines are available at the casino, including Blazing 7's Hot Shot Progressive and Big City 5's Progressive.

The denominations of the games range from $1 to $5, and there are 28 table games on the gaming floor.

You can join their Tioga Rewards Club if this is your first visit!

You'll get invitations to VIP concerts and tournaments and VIP parties and parties when you join.

Final Thoughts

Owego is a culturally diverse city with over 18,000 residents.

The place provides the opportunity to live in a city with a dash of the rural vibe.

Visitors to Owego will feel right at home because of the city's many attractions and activities.

Don't miss an unforgettable vacation, and book your Owego trip today!