Include Letchworth State Park when en route. Take some time to visit the Corning Glass Museum in Corning.
We have always stayed in Corning rather than Watkins Glen. It’s an easy drive to the track. However, I consider the current hotel rates in Corning to be an outrage. Horseheads seems to be a bit more reasonable. Pick your poison!
We always go to the Market St Brewing Co. and Restaurant on the main street one night for dinner. There are plenty of alternatives along the Corning main street.