Chautauqua County has been the go-to destination for vacation learning for over 140 years, boasting attractions like Chautauqua Institution and the National Comedy Center, the birthplace of national celebrities including Lucille Ball, Roger Tory Peterson, Governor Reuben Fenton and Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, as well as a host of entertainment venues from cruises on the Chautauqua Lake to comedy shows featuring up-and-coming and nationally renowned artists. From museums and history centers like the Dunkirk Lighthouse and Veterans Museum to mountain adventures and snow sports at Peek’n Peak Resort, and art galleries from Fredonia to Jamestown, Chautauqua County offers things to do and places to amuse all year long.
One of Chautauqua County’s most distinguished attractions is Chautauqua Institution, a unique and charming Victorian village located along the northwestern shore of Chautauqua Lake. Founded in 1874, the “Chautauqua Experience” continues a 144-year tradition as an extraordinary blend of arts, education, recreation and religion. This summer, engage your mind, body and spirits from June 23 – August 26, 2018. At nearby Lily Dale Assembly, the world’s largest center for the religion of Spiritualism, the summer program runs from June 29 – September 2, 2018 but mediums live on the grounds year-round and are available by appointment.
Lake Erie Wine Country is located along Chautauqua County’s approximately 50 miles of Lake Erie Shoreline. With 30,000 vineyard acres, this is the largest US grape region east of the Rocky Mountains. Stop at the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield to learn about a history exceeding 150 years of grape-growing tradition. Here you’re able to sample grape juice, local wines and grape products like grape jam, Concord grape vinaigrette, and grape berry topping before purchasing your favorites to bring home.
Jamestown, NY will soon be home to the National Comedy Center, the first US cultural center dedicated to the comedic arts. Its interactive exhibit experience will celebrate the best of contemporary comedy and honor the craft and its legendary contributors. The National Comedy Center produces the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy each August, which attracts the biggest performers in comedy as well as nearly 20,000 visitors from across the country to Jamestown’s downtown. The 2018 festival will feature over 50 events at more than a dozen venues over four days, August 1-5.