Lake Erie lies to the west of the Southern Tier, and the north or bordered by the Niagara region and the Finger Lakes. The region is bordered to the south by the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania, and together these regions are known as the Twin Tiers.
The majority of the region between the Allegany Mountains and the Catskill Mountains is "dissected plateau" split by a few large river valleys. Most of the population centers are clustered in these valleys, particularly in the east. West of the Allegany's the land slopes gently down to the shores of Lake Erie. Climate is typical humid continental with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The region experiences some lake effects snows, with 24 inches of snow from a single storm not uncommon.
Known as the Parlor City for its collection of mansions and neat streets, it has some fantastic examples of Romanesque Revival Architecture downtown. The Binghamton area is also the Carousel Capital of America, home to 6 of the remaining 150 antique carousels in the nation. Other historic attractions are the Roberson Center, Kopernik Observatory, and the Ross Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the nation.
The regional sandwich known as the "spiedie" was born here. It is celebrated at the annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally, held at Otsiningo Park.
Civil War reenactments are conducted occasionally near the Revolutionary War monument at Newtown Battlefield State Park. The Commemoration of the Battle of Newtown--an annual event that has been observed for over 225 years-- is usually scheduled for the last weekend in August.
Locations in the Southern Tier often take their names from Native American and early Colonial history. Many places and features, such as Chautauqua (sha-TAW-kwa) County, retain their original Indian names and can require a clever tongue to pronounce.
The Southern Tier is served by two regional airports with limited flights:
The nearby airports of Syracuse, Scranton, and somewhat farther away, Albany are considerably larger and offer more in the way of connections and services to the eastern portion of the Southern Tier. The western portion may be better served by airports in Buffalo and Erie, PA:
There currently is no passenger rail service offered in the Southern Tier, although there are some efforts to change this. . However, there are Amtrak stations in nearby cities of Syracuse, Buffalo, and Erie.
The Southern Tier is a large, mostly rural region. As such, the best way to experience it is by car. There are several rental companies that service the area, particularly at the airports.
Public transportation is limited to the major metropolitan centers, with some interconnection between cities by private bus lines.
Skydiving, mountain climbing and gliding are popular activities among the fearless in the Southern Tier. The National Soaring Museum in Elmira has an extensive collection of sail planes and is home to the Soaring Hall of Fame.
The Southern Tier has a great deal of agricultural industry and is a great place to find locally grown produce. Almost every town or city has at least one farmers market
Spiedies of course, Endicott's great pizza
Before Prohibition, New York was the leading producer of Hops in the US. The western section of the Southern Tier has a rich tradition in beer craft and there are a number of breweries and brewpubs to be found here. The aptly named Southern Tier Brewing Company  is located in Lakewood, NY (just west of Jamestown). STBC brews some very fine craft beers and a number of season beers.