100+ Adventures Around the Lake: New York
Bustle around Buffalo and engage in summer adventures at Peek'n Peak Resort or Holiday Valley before strolling the charming towns around Chautauqua Lake.
Renowned as a premier destination for winter sports, Peek’n Peak Resort (pknpk.com) in Clymer is also a place for summer adventures. Romance is in the air as couples soar over the countryside on side-by-side ziplines. Test your skill on one of eight aerial courses filled with 69 obstacles, including cargo nets and ladders; or cruise the resort’s hills and valleys Segway-style. Finish the day with a round of mini-golf or a dip in Peek’n Peak’s indoor/outdoor pool complex.
Holiday Valley (holidayvalley.com) in Ellicottville also celebrates the seasons in a variety of exhilarating ways. It’s not too early to plan a winter sojourn to the ski resort, which offers lessons for all skill levels. Summer means it’s time for mountain biking (or e-biking for those looking for a little boost to cruise around the trails), hiking to Spruce Lake and golfing on the challenging 18-hole par 70 course. Sky High Adventure Park also offers aerial adventures, including 13 courses and 43 ziplines.
Centered Around Chautauqua Lake
Located about 15 miles off of the Lake Erie coast, another epicenter of excellence exists. Chautauqua Lake is surrounded by a variety of destinations whose residents are ready to welcome visitors with open arms.
Chautauqua, home of the world-renowned Chautauqua Institution (chq.org), offers the ultimate destination to relax and recharge. Whether you prefer to swing away your worries at Chautauqua Golf Club (chq.org), get pampered at St. Elmo’s Spa (stelmospa.com), stroll through the many shops, including Gretchen’s Gallery (gretchengallery.com), featuring the works of around 50 regional artists, this area is filled with desirable ways to spend a day, weekend or entire season. Chautauqua Institution’s summer season (June 25-Aug. 28) features weekly themes that include a unique mix of lectures, programming and performances. Accommodations include the Chautauqua Inn (chautauquainn.com); Englewood Treehouse (theenglewoodhouse.com), located on the third floor of a historic boarding house; and Athenaeum Hotel (chq.org), which has overlooked the lake since 1881, as well as a variety of cozy, privately owned spots.
This lakefront countryside community is home to a variety of hidden gems. At Big Inlet Brewing (biginletbrewing.com), independent farm brewers bring you a variety of cold, refreshing pints in a family-friendly atmosphere complete with dancing and live entertainment. Flea market fans will appreciate the many treasures just waiting to be discovered at HFM Emporium. Open Thursday through Sunday, the prices can’t be beat — just don’t forget to bring cash. Before heading to Great Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast (greattreeinn.com) to rest your head for the evening, stop by Hartfield Bay Cafe Bar and Grill for a late-night dinner, dessert and drinks.
This summer getaway spot offers many ways to enjoy the region’s waterfront. Take a tour of Ellicottville Brewing on Chautauqua (ellicottvillebrewing.com) and taste a variety of locally brewed beer and upscale pub-grub. The Fish’s magnificent lake views are complemented with a mouthwatering menu of seafood dishes. A short stroll down the street reveals plenty of opportunities for shopping, from the Art Loft Too (theartlofttoo.org), Bemus Point Pottery (bemuspointpottery.com) and Bemus Bay Children’s Shoppe to Petals & Twigs gift shop and Musky Mall. Lakefront accommodations include Bemus Point Lodge (tourchautauqua.com) and Hotel Lenhart (hotellenhart.com).
Just a short trek from the lake is the bustling town of Jamestown, where appreciation for comedic history shines. Take the Lucille Ball driving tour, which includes murals, favorite destinations of the beloved actress, the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum (lucy-desi.com) and the National Comedy Center (comedycenter.org). Voted one of the world’s greatest places by Time Magazine in 2019, the comedy center features more than 50 exhibits and a gift shop full of one-of-a-kind finds for the jokester of your family. Here, also remember to indulge in some of life’s other pleasures, including a cold, frothy bubble tea at Sweet Pastry & Fudge (sweetspastryfudge.com), ice cream at the Sprinkle Cone (thesprinklecone.com), coffee or vegetarian fare at Labyrinth Press Co. or craft beer and wine at Brazil Lounge (labpressco.com) or Pearl City Hops (pearlcityhops.com). Looking for waterfront views? Head to Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron (thechautauquaharborhotel.com), located next door to Lucille Ball Memorial Park.
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