Auburn is a charming town tucked in the heart of Cayuga County. It’s home to historic sites, professional theater and baseball, park access to Owasco Lake, and a plethora of fun activities for visitors of all ages.
Tourist Attractions And Things To Do In Auburn
There are a lot of things to do in Auburn NY! The city is a melting pot of culture, history and nature. Its theatres, museums and historical buildings are a must see!
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Harriet Tubman National Historic Park
You can visit the park to learn about the life of a woman who played a major role in the American Civil Rights Movement. Here, you can take a guided tour to hear about her inspiring story and find out how she helped to break the chains of slavery.
Seward House Museum
The house of a former Governor of New York is now a museum that features interesting exhibits on the life of this influential figure. It also houses several artifacts that will give you a glimpse of 19th-century America.
New Hope Mills
This 190-year-old mill has a fascinating history. It has a mill building, storage barns, sawmill, two concrete dams and dwellings.
Located on one end of Owasco Lake, this park is an ideal place to relax. It has a mile-long trail that hugs the shoreline of the lake and lets you enjoy the natural beauty of this area.
Auburn Public Theatre
The public theatre in Auburn is a fun destination for the whole family. It offers a variety of shows that will appeal to different age groups & tastes.
The Cayuga County Museum is a must-visit for history buffs and art enthusiasts. The museum houses exquisite artworks from renowned and emerging artists.
You’ll love exploring the city’s many historical landmarks like the Seward House Museum and Harriet Tubman Home. You can also take a tour of Willard Chapel, which is the only remaining church exclusively designed by Tiffany and Co.
Seward House Museum #1
The former home of politician William Henry Seward is a must-see place to visit in Auburn. It has been on the list of national historic landmarks since 1964 and features original furnishings, paintings, and personal belongings from the Seward family.
Tours of the historic house are offered year-round. Students, scouts, and homeschool groups can combine their field trip to this site with learning activities that teach essential history lessons in an interactive way.
A stop on the Underground Railroad, the Seward House Museum is an official Path Through History site and offers guided tours to visitors from 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday. The historic home also has two acres of luscious greenery and garden areas that guests are encouraged to explore before they leave.
During the tour, visitors can view masterpieces of American art and special exhibitions in both the historic house and its gardens. Admission is free and the museum also offers rentals for parties.
|Address||33 South St, Auburn, NY 13021, USA|
|Added to NRHP||15 October 1966|
|NRHP Reference Number||66000504|
|Designated NHL||January 29, 1964|
Harriet Tubman Home #2
The Harriet Tubman Home is a former residence for the renowned abolitionist and conductor of the Underground Railroad, who settled in Auburn in 1857. She lived there for most of her life and died in 1913.
During her time in central New York, she helped her family and other friends achieve freedom. She also served as an abolitionist, promoter of black education and advocate for women’s rights. Her accomplishments are so great that she’s known as “The Moses of her People.”
In addition to leading 13 rescue missions, she became a cook, spy and armed scout for the Union during the Civil War. When she returned to Auburn in 1869, she met and married Nelson Davis, a young Civil War veteran who would spend the next 19 years of his life with her.
When she died in 1913, Tubman donated her property to the AME Zion Church. The church has since moved to a different location and is now part of the national park. The house she lived in is still used as the resident manager’s residence.
|Located in||Harriet Tubman National Historical Park|
|Address||180 South St, Auburn, NY 13021, USA|
|Added to NRHP||30 May 1974|
|NRHP Reference Number||01000073|
|Designated NHL||May 30, 1974|
CJS Vineyards #3
CJS Vineyards is a family-owned winery that produces vinifera wines. They are located in a small Finger Lakes town in central New York. They offer tastings by appointment and vineyard tours. They specialize in Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc among others.
You can visit their establishment during the day or during the evening. They also host events. This is a great place to take your significant other, or for a date night out with the kids. There are plenty of activities and attractions to choose from, including movies and theater performances.
The area around Auburn is incredibly scenic. The rolling farmland and lush growth create an atmosphere that’s hard to beat. The city also offers many historic monuments and cultural attractions. Visitors can visit the Harriet Tubman Home and Seward House Museum or explore Owasco Lake.
|Service options||Kerbside pickup · Delivery|
|Address||6900 Fosterville Rd, Auburn, NY 13021, USA|
Emerson Park #4
Located on the northern shore of Owasco Lake, Emerson Park features a number of activities and attractions. The park offers boat launch areas, playgrounds, paddlecraft rentals, disc golf course and picnic shelters. It’s also home to the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum and the historic Emerson Park Pavilion.
A beautiful 66 x 253 foot Colonial Revival structure, the pavilion is situated on the lake and boasts panoramic views of Owasco Lake from its spacious veranda. The building was recently restored to its original beauty.
The venue can host a variety of events including weddings, receptions and bridal showers. Their all-inclusive packages include a wedding coordinator, catering services and community vendor discounts.
Another popular activity is fly fishing, which can be enjoyed by a family member of any age or level of physical fitness. Discounted tickets are available to overnight guests of the hotel. In addition to its outdoor sports offerings, Emerson Park also has an alighted sand volleyball court and a playground area. There are also restrooms and a parking lot.
|Address||6877 E Lake Rd, Auburn, NY 13021, USA|
|Opening Hours||Open 24 hours|
Willard Chapel #5
Auburn NY is one of the top destinations in the Finger Lakes and offers visitors a wide variety of attractions to keep the entire family entertained. You can learn about two famous residents, tour a Tiffany designed chapel, and more.
The Willard Memorial Chapel and Welch Memorial Hall are located on the former seminary campus in Auburn, New York. The two buildings are asymmetrically composed, linked by a hyphen and unified by materials, construction technique, and style.
Both the chapel and the hall are masonry structures constructed over a poured concrete foundation. The exterior of both buildings is largely comprised of rock-faced gray limestone with red sandstone trim. Copper coping accents the gable ends and the ridge of the roof.
Both the east and west gable-ended elevations of both the Willard Chapel and the Welch building are broad in proportion and pierced by square-headed windows corresponding with the primary story and round-headed windows lighting the half-story. Sandstone chimneys with coursed ashlar bases and squared pots rise from either side of the gable peaks.
|Address||17 Nelson St, Auburn, NY 13021, USA|
|Opening Hours||11 am–4 pm|
Auburn Public Theater #6
APT is a not for profit corporation located in Auburn, NY, with the purpose of enriching the social, cultural, and economic growth of our region through live performance, cinema, arts education and community events.
Featuring a multi-venue performing arts space, APT provides affordable access to the arts for everyone in our region and makes downtown Auburn a place where art is an important part of everyday life. APT has been an important hub for theater, music, art, and education since its founding in 2005.
The organization has welcomed more than 100,000 patrons to experience year-round programming in its multi-venue performing arts and community center. As a hub for the arts, APT has brought new life to downtown Auburn by offering key programs that have touched thousands of local patrons and their communities.
These include producing and presenting a series of performing arts events, independent cinema, arts education, and community partnerships and events. APT has also embraced teaching the arts to children through their Auburn Public Studio program, which offers free classes and workshops at a variety of studios across Central New York.
One of the APT’s most memorable projects involved a class of young actors who were given the opportunity to travel to Central Park for a live performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
|Address||8 Exchange St, Auburn, NY 13021, USA|
Schweinfurth Art Center #7
The Schweinfurth Art Center is a non-profit gallery and museum located in Auburn NY. It houses changing exhibitions featuring works by local children, seniors and contemporary New York artists. It also has a well-stocked gift shop and offers art classes for kids and adults alike.
The art center has one of the best collections of modern and contemporary art in the area, showcasing more than 200 pieces by prominent local and regional artists. It also boasts a state-of-the-art studio with a full-sized pottery wheel and other hand tools.
The Schweinfurth has a number of other interesting offerings, including a fiber art exhibit, an internationally renowned quilting conference, and a plethora of art and craft classes for children and adults of all ages.
During the winter and spring seasons, a few of the more intriguing classes include two clay throwing classes and a hand-building clay class that culminates with a garden sculpture. The newest addition to the art center’s roster is an upcoming three-day workshop on the art of Shibori resist dying, which involves folding and bunching fabric to create a design.
|Address||205 Genesee St, Auburn, NY 13021, USA|
|Opening Hours||10 am–5 pm|
Fort Hill Cemetery #8
The cemetery offers a variety of attractions and activities, from tours to walking trails to historic grave sites. You can visit the graves of William Seward, who was Secretary of State under President Lincoln, Harriet Tubman and Myles Keogh.
This burial ground has a unique history that dates back to the mid-1600s when it was a fortified village of the Cayuga Indians. It was built around a massive stone shaft monument dedicated to Chief Logan, a famous Cayuga leader.
Many of the stones in this cemetery have lost their luster due to air pollution and frost damage. Some have even broken off and fallen to the ground. In the spring, volunteers clean up the cemetery. They rake, cut grass and use leaf blowers to uncover buried gravestones.
They also take on the daunting task of restoring a lot of gravestones that have been damaged by the weather and air pollution. The process involves filling out a burial marker survey, taking a before and after photo and documenting the work they did.
|Address||19 Fort St Cemetery, Auburn, NY 13021, USA|
|Burials||Harriet Tubman, William H. Seward Jr., MORE|
|Opening Hours||9 am–1 pm|
FAQs about Auburn NY
What is Auburn NY famous for?
Auburn, NY is famous for its history as a major center of Underground Railroad activity and the home of Harriet Tubman, who helped free over 300 slaves. It is also known for its beautiful architecture, including the Willard Memorial Chapel and the Seward House Museum. Additionally, the city has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous theaters and art galleries.
Is Auburn NY A good place to live?
Auburn, NY can be a good place to live, depending on individual preferences. The city offers a low cost of living, good schools, and a strong sense of community. It also has beautiful parks, lakes, and outdoor recreation opportunities. However, some may find the winters harsh, and the job market and overall economy may not be as robust as in larger cities.