A short drive will deliver you to Chautauqua County, where outdoor fun awaits. With five lakes, waterfront dining, local arts, entertainment, and world-class cultural attractions, there is plenty to do whether your vacation M.O. is adventurous, laid-back, or something in between.
Visit Chautauqua Institution
Every year, thousands of people travel to Chautauqua County to visit Chautauqua Institution. Discover arts, education, religion and recreation all under one roof from June 22 to Aug. 25. This year marks the 90th anniversary of both the Chautauqua Opera Company and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. If you’re not staying on the grounds, take a day trip to explore everything the Institution has to offer.
Tour the National Comedy Center
Located in Jamestown — birthplace of Lucille Ball — the National Comedy Center features over 50 interactive exhibits that tell the story of comedy in America. Challenge friends to a Laugh Battle, try cartooning or insert yourself into a famous comedic moment. Snag tickets for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, happening Aug. 7 through 11. Headliners include Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. Fans of I Love Lucy will enjoy exploring the nearby Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.
Hang Out on the Lake
Those who love the relaxed atmosphere of a lakeside vacation must visit the shores of Lake Erie or Chautauqua Lake. There’s boating, sandy swimming beaches, sailing, and fishing. Lake Erie is one of the best bass and walleye fisheries in all of the northeastern U.S., and Chautauqua Lake anglers know it’s a musky hot spot. Explore the quaint village of Bemus Point for unique shops and the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Region’s largest collection of waterfront restaurants. Classic amusement rides, games, and putt-putt at Midway State Park are perfect for kids.
Go for a Wine Tasting
Sample regional flavors at 23 local wineries known collectively as Lake Erie Wine Country. The Grape Discovery Center tells the history of the local grape industry through interactive exhibits. The Center’s store stocks wine, grape juice, artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and grape-inspired art.
Climb to the Top of a Lighthouse
Tour the Dunkirk Lighthouse keeper's cottage and climb to the top of the observation tower to enjoy great views of Lake Erie. At the Celoron Lighthouse in Lucille Ball Memorial Park, you can snap a great sunset photo of Chautauqua Lake and also strike a pose alongside the two Lucille Ball statues.
Watch a Boat Race
The Great Lakes Offshore Grand Prix is back in Dunkirk Aug. 16 through18. Watch the speedboats cut through the waters of Lake Erie then take a break from the action to browse the Dunkirk Pier and Boardwalk Market.
Play a Round of Golf
Peek’n Peak Resort is a top destination. There are concerts, an aerial adventure course, outdoor pool complex, spa, and a championship golf course. This year’s LECOM Health Challenge, a Web.com PGA Tour event, takes place July 1 through 7 on The Upper Course and GA tickets are free.
Plan Your Week-Long Vacation Today
Can’t wait to get to Chautauqua County? Book your stay today. Lodging options include two brand-new hotels: the beautiful Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron and the DoubleTree by Hilton Jamestown. Want a place all to yourself? Many week-long visitors like to stay in one of the local vacation homes for added privacy and convenience.
Visit TourChautauqua.com to discover more things to do, sights to see and places to experience in Chautauqua County, NY.
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April 29, 2019