Finger Lakes Surprise: A Day in Owego, New York

This past fall, I somewhat unexpectedly had the opportunity to visit the small town of Owego, New York, located in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Since that time, I’ve rolled around those experiences in my mind and shared them repeatedly with many friends. From the beginning, I knew I should shine a light on this jewel with all of you but, as time has gone on, I now realize I MUST share this special little corner of the world. Truth is, some places just stay with you. Here’s a few of the reason why this one sticks with me.

Passion to make a change and preserve history. My first stop in Owego brought me to the, still under restoration, Belva Lockwood Inn. I was greeted and given the fascinating grand tour by owners Julie and Ike Lovelass, who also own local eatery, The Owego Kitchen. As Julie began to describe the importance of this historic building and the female trailblazer for whom it is named, she actually became a little choked up. It’s my experience, any venture entered into with this level of passion is bound to deliver a care and experience beyond compare. It so touched me, I’ve watched in delight from afar as they’ve opened their doors for business, hosted special events and created one of a kind moments for locals and visitors alike. I simply cannot wait to return and see, in person, all that’s been accomplished!


Excitement to build something meaningful and new! Next stop, what do you get when a couple of restaurant industry pros have the opportunity to purchase a basement level eatery that then proceeds to flood three times in three years causing them to purchase the historic building in which it’s located, renovate and move to higher ground? Flexibility! And…some pretty delicious food. Whether it’s adapting their location or their menu to accommodate a gluten-free awakening, the family-owned The Cellar Restaurant & Bar is up for the challenge. I loved their welcoming atmosphere, obvious care and, certainly not to be overlooked by all the charm, THE FOOD!


All the doggone adorable! One of my favorite things to do in any town I’ve never visited before is to just walk around and look at it. I know the words “quaint” and “charming” can sometimes have a negative, belittling connotation, but not in this case. Owego is just downright beautiful to look at!

John's Fine Foods

In addition to the finds I’ve mentioned here, there’s so much more to see and do in Owego! I was fascinated by the Tioga County Historical Society Museum and the treasures within.

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I was drawn in by the street-piped live music and perfect for mid-September pumpkin bar at Carol’s Coffee & Art Bar.


I was deliciously tempted by local craft beer from The Farmhouse Brewery.


So here’s my little reminder/small message for today. There are so many undiscovered and incredible places in our vast world. When you have the opportunity to explore somewhere new, whether big or small, sometimes it’s fun to stay with the road less-traveled because often times it will stay with you too.

This article was written in partnership with Experience Tioga. The views and opinions expressed here are entirely the author’s, based on personal experiences when travelling, and are honest and factual without any bias.



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