Welcome to The Local!

Welcome to The Local hostel! We are proud to offer a new way to stay in the Finger Lakes for all travelers. We have designed The Local for your maximum comfort and fun, without breaking your travel budget. Relax knowing that we are local experts and we want to make your visit to Upstate New York the best.

Located in beautiful downtown Watkins Glen, The Local is one block south of the world famous Watkins Glen State Park Gorge. The southern tip of Seneca Lake is less than ten minutes north on foot. Take a quick walk to the entrance to the Catherine Valley hiking trail. Start your Finger Lakes Wine Trail excursion from Watkins Glen, when you are done for the day you can walk to shops, restaurants and bars.


  • Hand made bunks with some memory foam mattresses available.
  • Three bunk rooms each named after a finger lake!
  • Three bathrooms, two with showers.
  • Handicap accessible building, including bathroom and bunk room.
  • Free towel rental
  • Wireless Internet
  • Air Conditioning in the rooms.
  • Easy walk to many local favorite businesses.
  • Bunk rooms range from 2-6 people
  • Luggage storage available before and after check out.
  • Beautiful kitchen for guest use with a fridge and a stove.
  • Limited parking in our lot, free street parking is available just beside our building
  • 24-hour locked facility
  • Access to local discount programs

Book your next getaway through our website by clicking here, Hostel World or call us today! We are now accepting reservations through June 2017. Truly experience the Finger Lakes and Watkins Glen while you stay at The Local.

Happy Travels


Let yourself
be silently drawn
by the strange pull
of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.

5 Reasons to Visit the Finger Lakes in the Winter

Hundreds of thousands of tourists pass through Watkins Glen, April through October every year. During those months they swim, camp, hike the Watkins Glen Gorge (standing room only), crowd wineries, make traffic a nightmare, cushion the pockets of bartenders and servers, and promptly leave to return to their homes. We love tourists, they bring an outside perspective to our town, and are usually very appreciative for our hospitality. Once the leaves fall off the trees, the tourists disappear until next April. Then, the locals come out to play. For those of you looking for the true local experience, the winter is time to visit the Finger Lakes, I am here to tell you why.

1. Live Music – For such a remote and rural area, we are incredibly FORTUNATE to have an abundance of local bands, and live music hot spots. Two Goats Brewing features original artists ONLY, no cover bands. A quick drive to Ithaca and you have the choice of The Haunt or The Dock for regularly scheduled concerts. In Ithaca you can find local artists as well as more notorious bands such as Rubblebucket, Lake Street Dive, Old Crow Medicine Show, Big Mean Sound Machine, John Brown’s Body and many more. Every wednesday at The Dock is Reggae night, featuring a rotating line up of local/regional musicians coming together to make magic happen.

2 Frozen Waterfalls – Have you ever seen a frozen waterfall? NO!?! It’s majestic, put that on your bucket list.

3 Low Lodging Rates – The hotels, hostels, motels, inns, B&B’s owners really rely on their income from rentals, and tend to maximize their earning potential in the summer by inflating their prices. That is their prerogative. It is also their prerogative to drop their prices to as low as they want in the winter just to make a buck. If you have been waiting to plan a weekend getaway because your budget is tight, Winter in the Finger Lakes is definitely a good time to negotiate or barter with the lodging establishment owners.

4 Nearly Empty Wineries – The winter is a great time to get the all star treatment and a private winery tour and tasting. Wineries are overrun with visitors during the summer and fall months tasting room employees and vintners are unable to give their undivided attention to one group of customers. In the winter on the other hand you are likely to find at least one winery where you can meet the owner, the wine maker, and tour the facility with a glass of wine in hand.

5 The Locals come out of hiding – This should not come as a surprise but the locals work like crazy during the busy tourist season, they are the life blood of the industries that draw the visitors in. Most locals work multiple jobs and over 60 hours a week April through October. November is when the majority of locals come out of hiding and start to play. You will find them drinking at Hector Wine Company and Two Goats Brewing in Hector. They will catch live music at The Dock in Ithaca or The Rongovian Embassy in Trumansburg. They eat breakfast at The Harvest Cafe, Glen Mountain Market, or Toni’s Diner.

The Finger Lakes have so much to offer in the Winter months, don’t let the cold keep you away.

Are you planning any winter trips? Where are you going?

Our Finger Lakes Fall Favorites

An unusually warm fall has prolonged the leaves from completely changing colors and falling off the branches. This means you can still get your chance to peep the leaves and experience our favorite Finger Lakes Fall activities.

#1 Visit Reisinger’s Apple Country in Watkins Glen, NY. Their u-pick is over for the season, but they still have an amazing assortment of apples available, apple cider donuts, jams & jellies, and maple syrup from their trees.

#2 Take a drive on one of the many scenic routes in the Finger Lakes. Our personal favorite is to drive all the way around Seneca Lake, but you could drive along any of the Finger Lakes and be satisfied. Cayuga Lake, Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Honeyoye Lake, etc. Added bonus, there will be wineries on most of these routes.

#3 Eat a seasonally inspired meal at some amazing local restaurants. Our favorites are Stonecat Cafe, Hazelnut Kitchen, and Just a Taste.

#4 Plan a wine tour with friends. The Finger Lakes winery and brewery business is constantly expanding and gaining prominence among the wine producing regions of the world. Hire a driver and go explore some of the best wineries in the Finger Lakes. Our favorites are in Hector, NY, including Hector Wine Company, Ryan Williams Vineyard, Damiani Wine Cellars, and Two Goats Brewing.

Now take these suggestions and plan your weekend getaway soon!

Have you been to the Finger Lakes before? Where did you visit and what did you love?

2017 Advanced Reservations

We are happy to make ALL of the major 2017 events available for booking now, through our website or booking.com. Don’t wait to start planning your Finger Lakes adventure.

The major events available include:

Opening Weekend at The Glen
Ithaca College Graduation 2017
Cornell University Graduation 2017
SCCA Majors Super Tour
Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen
Finger Lakes Wine Festival
Nascar Sprint Cup
Watkins Glen Italian American Festival
IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen
U.S. Vintage Grand Prix
Columbus Day Weekend
Finger Lakes Beer Festival
Deck The Halls

Book now and hold a spot for yourself or you can rent out the entire facility.