Vernon Downs and Casino is part of a thriving area in Upstate New York. Given its proximity to Turning Stone Resort Casino, you have more than just a smaller racino to add to your vacation itinerary when you frequent the spot.
You will also find its fair share of nearby attractions that don’t involve the resort. Other popular locations to visit during your stay at Vernon Downs and Casino include an entertainment outlet, a historical mansion, a golf club (also at Turning Stone), the Showroom, and the world’s smallest church.
Quite a diverse list, right? We thought so, too! Let’s get right to it.
Today’s post will give you an in-depth look at the following nearby attractions when you visit Vernon Downs and Casino.
1 – The Showroom
You will find the Showroom at nearby Turning Stone Resort, and throughout today’s post, three of our six nearby attractions are at the resort. You will probably find them during your trip to Vernon Downs, especially if you’re looking for table gaming, sports betting, and other real money casino gaming options.
But we’re starting today’s post with Turning Stone’s top entertainment option at the Showroom, which features the world’s greatest modern and classic acts in music and entertainment.
Acts like George Jones, Billy Ray Cyrus, and even Elvis tribute acts have frequented this venue, so you can see the sheer diversity that you will discover if you’re looking to complement your time at Vernon Downs with an entertaining evening.
So, if you’re looking for the finest entertainment in the area, look no further than the Showroom.
2 – Oneida Community Mansion House
The Oneida Community Mansion House is your top-rated historic site in the area and it holds a 4.5-star rating out of 58 reviews per TripAdvisor. With the overall rating and number of reviews, the 19th-century home to the Oneida utopian community has attracted tourists from all across America.
This is a great location to visit if you’re looking to take an hour or two off from the races at Vernon Downs, since you won’t spend too much time touring the house.
Within its walls, you will find numerous artifacts, photos, and books that replicate the time. And while reviewers love what they found on the inside, they also insist to stick around longer if you wish to explore the grounds.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a unique twist on accommodation while you’re in the area and you don’t want to stay at the nearby Turning Stone Resort nor any other area hotel, the Oneida Community Mansion allows you to rent out its rooms for the night.
Remember, you’re getting yourself into an old-school setting, so don’t expect the most up-to-date amenities. However, if you want to immerse yourself in history for the night, look no further.
3 – Kaluhyat Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort
We’ll talk more about Turning Stone Resort later in this post. But for the purposes of this section, I want to hit hard on arguably the location’s most prominent golf course, the Kaluhyat Golf Club. And based on several reviews over at TripAdvisor, this golf club ranks at a solid 4.5 stars and in the top five of things to do in the area.
Reviewers have commended the golf course for its challenging nature, stating that while amateurs can still come over and find a good golf game, it’s challenging for anyone who isn’t threatening the professional level.
So keep that in mind if you take your golf game to the Kaluhyat Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort. Fortunately, if you head over to the resort as part of your overall vacation that includes Vernon Downs, you have several options to choose from.
Other golf courses at the resort include Atunyote, Shenandoah, Pleasant Knolls, and Sandstone Hollow. You can also get some good practice at the resort’s Golf Dome, a state-of-the-art facility that includes three greens, two bunkers, a fairway, rough, elevation changes, and even a driving range.
Whether you choose to golf at Kaluhyat Golf Club or one of the courses listed above, expect a challenging game at some of Upstate New York’s finest courses.
4 – Villa Verona Vineyard and Bistro
This 3,200-square-foot winery and tasting room bistro carries 15 wines, ranging from dry to sweet. You can come in for a tasting every Wednesday through Sunday, and it’s the perfect place to indulge in the area’s local cocktails.
If you’re a wine-tasting enthusiast, that alone should give you enough reason to attend. But they just added a bistro featuring fresh farm to table fare. And while you’ll find excellent dining options at Vernon Downs and even more at Turning Stone, you won’t be able to beat Villa Verona Vineyard’s freshness.
So, come on down and enjoy not just high-quality wines, but top-of-the-line fare from perhaps the area’s finest gem.
Reviewers per TripAdvisor rate this venue 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 70 reviewers.
They rave about the cozy atmosphere and rich flavors in both the food and wine. They also commend the first class service, epic scenic views, and the clean, cozy interior.
You’re looking at more than just a place to try new flavors of fine wine; you will treat your eyes to stunning scenery that only Upstate New York can provide, plus your taste buds will find a few new items to crave if you return to the Vernon, New York, area.
5 – Cross Island Chapel
The World’s Smallest Church has a spot right here in the area, and it’s something to see when you’re passing through. First off, don’t approach it without a boat because they put it right in the middle of a pond.
Yep, Cross Island Chapel is floating on a wooden dock in the pond’s center, and to its left stands a cross on what looks like a bar. I suppose that’s Cross Island, as the name makes literal sense.
The church is a popular destination for weddings and its small structure allows for three people to enter, that being the soon-to-be newlyweds and the individual conducting the ceremony. Those attending the wedding must either witness the ceremony from their own boats or the shoreline.
It’d be a rather unique wedding experience to say the least. And if you’re looking for just a quick roadside attraction, as many reviewers have noted per TripAdvisor, Cross Island Chapel is a good place to attend and snap a few photos.
6 – Turning Stone Resort Casino
And finally, we’re looking at Turning Stone Resort Casino itself. Turning Stone Resort provides more gaming options than you will find at Vernon Downs, which has just a handful of real money slot machines next to its raceway.
Your best bet is to frequent Vernon Downs if you’re up for a day of pari-mutuel betting. But if you’re looking for the traditional casino feel, head over to Turning Stone Resort Casino. We already talked about the golf course, so this section hits home on the resort’s traditional gaming, dining side, and accommodations.
This casino not only boasts more options than Vernon Downs, it boasts more options than most casinos you will find anywhere not named Vegas or Atlantic City. They offer slot machine gaming, table gaming, real money poker, Bingo, Keno, plus The Lounge at Caesars Sports, which serves as the official sportsbook.
And if you’re looking for a place to stay when you come to Vernon Downs for the races, Turning Stone has more options than you can imagine. Their accommodations include five different hotel options ranging from The Lodge, The Hotel, The Inn, The Tower, and Sandstone Hollow Inn.
They also have an RV Park, so if you’re making the road trip to Vernon Downs, you can park your RV and lodge in the middle of nature if you so choose.
Honestly, nothing beats small-town America for hot vacation attractions. No, you won’t find too much pizazz near Vernon Downs unless you’re also looking to frequent Turning Stone as part of a dual-casino destination. But who cares?
Small-town America brings a unique flair to hot vacation destinations in terms of history and architecture. With the vineyard and bistro, the world’s smallest church, and an old-fashioned accommodation unit, these attractions epitomize small-town America.
Add in a historical horse racing venue like Vernon Downs and Casino, and you’re in business for a trip that will allow you to step back in time. Unless Turning Stone is also on your agenda, then you’ll get the best of both worlds.
Have you been to Vernon Downs? And if so, did you visit Turning Stone or the other listed attractions? Let us know.