A few miles south of Elmira  lies the Newtown Battlefield Reservation (Lowman Rd. off Rte. 17, 607/732-6067) where Gen. John Sullivan won a decisive battle over a large force of Iroquois and Tories on August 19, 1779. Situated on a hilltop with wide-angled views of the Chemung Valley, the former battlefield is now a county park with hiking trails, a picnic area, and campgrounds.
Several miles north of downtown find the Lindenwald Haus (1526 Grand Central Ave., 607/733-8753, www.lindenwaldhaus.com  $85–115), a romantic Italianate mansion built in 1875. Surrounded by five acres, the inn features 18 spacious guest rooms, long creaky hallways, and an airy living room that stretches most of the length of the house. Rocking chairs and braided rugs are everywhere. Some rooms share baths.
Elmira’s Painted Lady Bed and Breakfast (520 W Water St., 607/846-3500, elmiraspaintedlady.com, $165–195) is located near the Westside Historic District. Guests can’t help but leave this lovely and lovingly kept 1875 historic Victorian feeling like family, due to the warmth of the excellent innkeepers who manage that perfect level of constant at-the-ready service without being overpoweringly present or in the slightest way obtrusive.
A truly stellar and generous hot breakfast, tailored to guests’ taste, in-room fresh flowers, whirlpool soaking tubs, romantic fireplaces, the wide sitting porch, and 1880s billiard parlor where Samuel Clemens himself once puttered about, make this a can’t miss spot. Modern amenities, flatscreen TVs with DVD, Wi-Fi, and spa robes add convenience to these Twain-themed suites.