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The Finger Lakes Travel Guide

  • Photo: Peter Guttman/

Seneca Falls

Seneca Falls is a classic. The former mill town has wide streets lined with century-old homes, 19th-century storefronts, and a sprinkling of small parks. Movie director Frank Capra visited Seneca Falls in the 1940s, and some say the Bedford Falls setting of It's a Wonderful Life was modeled after the village. (You might notice the similarities between the Bridge Street bridge and the bridge from which George Bailey ponders

his fate in the movie.)

The falls that powered many factories here in the 1800s were flooded long ago to create Van Cleef Lake and a canal through the village's midsection. In 1848, the village was the site of the first Women's Rights Convention, during which attendees declared that "all men and women are created equal." The convention was organized by reformer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who raised seven children here.

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