Chautauqua County Vacation Rentals & Travel Guide

Chautauqua-Allegheny


Discover Chautauqua County, New York

Chautauqua County, New York is located in western New York offers small town charm and the picturesque scenery of lakes and rolling hills. This four-season destination delights visitors year-round. Whether you are looking for pure relaxation, active recreation, culture or education, Chautauqua County appeals to all ages and a wide variety of interests. 

Chautauqua Lake, Findley Lake, and the Lake Erie coast draw in summer visitors for water recreation, fishing, and scenery. Lake Erie’s grape-growing microclimate nurtures a bustling wine region called Lake Erie Wine Country. More than 20 wineries are open year-round (closing only on major holidays) for wine tasting and events. In the winter, the area transforms into a winter wonderland for snow sports.

Chautauqua Vacation Cottage Rentals

THE BEST PLACES TO STAY FOR YOUR CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY VACATION

Chautauqua Lake is an inland lake located in the center of Chautauqua county about 70 miles southwest of Buffalo, New York. At 17 miles long, and up to two miles wide, this boating, kayaking, and fishing haven is especially known for its muskellunge fishing. The Village of Mayville is at the north end of the lake, the city of Jamestown is at the south end, and Bemus Point is about midway between the two. The town of Chautauqua, near Mayville, is home to Chautauqua Institution, which comes alive with art, religious, educational, and recreational programming each summer. Book your Chautauqua Lake Cottage Rentals  today.

Mayville cabin rentals are located near Chautauqua Lake. Getaway for a quiet, peaceful and adventurous getaway in the heart of Western New York countryside. Your perfect cabin getaway is waiting! Choose from a variety of  vacation homes located in Mayville, NY.  Discover the balance of outdoor adventure and solitude, while nearby Mayville and Chautauqua still offer the convenience of civilization when you want it.

Clymer, New York is home to Peek’n Peak Resort & Spa with year-round recreational opportunities and events. Snow skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing are popular winter sports during the high season at Peek’n Peak. Golf, an adventure course, lift rides, and zip lines are popular during the summer and fall. A gorgeous spa is open year-round. Spending a holiday or special occasion in this area? Peek’n Peak offers an amazing Sunday Brunch worthy of your celebration. Vacation rental condos and homes in Clymer, NY surround the resort and include some of the larger accommodations in the area. Discover cabin rentals  near Peek’n Peak.

Findley Lake, New York is a smaller picturesque inland lake surrounded by vacation lake homes, and anchored by the town of Findley Lake with shops and restaurants. Rent a vacation rental home in the Findley Lake area for scenic lake views and recreation such as boating, kayaking and fishing, while also being just a five mile drive to the Peek’n Peak Resort  and Spa. Browse vacation rentals at Findley Lake, New York. 

Ripley, Westfield, Pomfret, Brocton, Dunkirk, and Silver Creek, New York are the small Lake Erie towns with beaches, bluffs, lake views, breathtaking sunsets, water sports, boating, and fishing. Lake Erie and its streams are also a big draw for their world-class fishing nearly year-round. Walleye, bass, lake trout, steelhead, and perch are among the popular fish caught in Lake Erie. The wineries of Lake Erie Wine Country are a fun way to explore this area. Learn about homes along the Lake Erie coast of New York. 


THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, NEW YORK

  • Hiking: Panama Rocks in Panama, New York is a family-friendly hike through dense woods full of unusual and beautiful rock formations, caves, crevices, and massive tree roots. Axe throwing is offered as an additional activity. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after your hike. The Audubon Community Nature Center in Jamestown, New York offers 5 miles of easy hiking trails. 

  • Water sports: Kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, waterskiing, tubing, and fishing are fun ways to enjoy Chautauqua Lake, Findley Lake, and Lake Erie.

  • Chautauqua Institution: During the summer months, this gated community offers arts, religious, educational, and recreational programming. A schedule of events including family entertainment, musicians, theatre, dance, and educational lectures is offered for a nine-week period. A daily gate pass can be purchased by visitors allowing you to stroll through the enclosed community, its shops, bookstore, library, restaurants, ice cream store, and the charming blocks of Victorian homes. Discover rental homes in this community.
     
  • Winery tours: More than 20 wineries of Lake Erie Wine Country offer wine tasting and events year-round, except on major holidays.

  • Winter sports: Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing make winter a high season for parts of Chautauqua County.

  • The National Comedy Center: Do you love Lucy? If so, you will not want to miss this museum in Jamestown, New York that tells the story of comedy in America. Inspired by Lucille Ball, the Center’s location in western New York is a nod to her nearby hometown of Celeron, New York.

  • Midway State Park: This vintage amusement park in Bemus Point delights young children, ages three to eight.

  • COMING SOON:  Watch for the re-opening of Cockaigne Ski Resort. As new owners rebuild Cockaigne, watch for some snow sports to begin in winter 2018-19, and summer concerts and events to start in 2019. With a new 3,000 square foot stage facing the slopes, there is not a bad seat in the house for concerts!   

THINGS TO DO IN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY IN WINTER

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Snow tubing
  • Ice fishing
  • Stream fishing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Sleigh rides
  • Winery tours
  • Comedy

THINGS TO DO IN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY IN SUMMER

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Winery tours
  • Live outdoor entertainment
  • Horse trail ride
  • Amusement park
  • Mountain adventures
  • Zip lines
  • Comedy
  • Golf

THINGS TO DO IN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY IN FALL

 Fall is a wonderful time to visit for several reasons:  1) brilliant leaf colors, 2) locations closer to Lake Erie benefit from the warmth of the lake, 3) the sweet aroma of ripened grapes on the vines is indescribable, 3) harvest time for many of the local vineyards, orchards, and farms is a beautiful time for a drive where you can see the harvesting machinery and plan around local harvest events.

Popular things to do in fall include:

  • Winery tours
  • Hiking
  • Leaf peeping
  • Horse trail ride
  • Mountain adventures
  • Zip lines
  • Fall festivals
  • Comedy
  • Golf

THINGS TO DO IN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY IN SPRING

  • Winery tours
  • Early spring skiing and snow sports
  • Hiking
  • Horse trail ride
  • Comedy
  • Golf

THINGS TO DO NEAR CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY

Ellicottville, NY: This quaint town of shops and restaurants is a destination by itself. But it is also home to Holiday Valley known for its Nordic skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, mountain adventure park, ziplines, and mountain biking. A well-kept secret is HoliMont, a private ski resort that is open to the public on weekdays. If you desire a less-crowded slope experience, consider HoliMont.  

Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino: 52 miles from Mayville, New York in Salamanca, NY, this casino offers gaming, spa, restaurants year-round, and snocross snowmobiling racing in the winter.

Presque Isle Downs & Casino37 miles from Mayville, New York in Erie, Pennsylvania, table games, slot machines, restaurants, and live entertainment are offered year-round. The “Downs” refers to the live outdoor horse racing, a popular event for all ages during the summer months. Even children enjoy the horse-racing. 

CHAUTAUQUA, NY ANNUAL EVENTS

  • Wine & Chocolate Weekend, Lake Erie Wine Country, mid-February
  • Fire & Ice Celebration, Celoron, mid-February
  • President’s Day Weekend Winter Festival, Mayville, mid-February
  • New York Maple Weekend, Lakewood, Forestville, and Mayville, late March
  • Westfield Farmer’s Market, Westfield, Memorial Day to end of September
  • The Great Blue Heron Music Festival, Sherman, early July
  • Chautauqua County Fair, Dunkirk, mid-July
  • Westfield Arts & Crafts Festival, Westfield, late July
  • Findley Lake Harvest Festival, Findley Lake, late August/early September
  • Fall Fest, Peek‘n Peak Resort, mid-October
  • Findley Lake Fall Festival, mid-October
  • Harvest Wine Celebration Weekends, Lake Erie Wine Country, early November
  • Wurst Party Ever, Peek’n Peak Resort, early November
  • Winter Village at Chautauqua, Chautauqua Institution, late November through late December
  • Holiday Week at The Wineries, Lake Erie Wine Country, between Christmas and New Years

TRANSPORTATION TO CHAUTAUQUA

  • Plane:  The closest commercial airports to Chautauqua County are the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Erie International Airport in Erie, Pennsylvania. The Buffalo Airport is 74 miles to Mayville, New York. The Erie Airport is 49 miles to Mayville, New York.

The Chautauqua County Airport in Jamestown offers service for private planes only. Please check directly with the  Chautauqua County Airport for updates on commercial services under consideration.

  • Drive:  Chautauqua County is easily accessible by Interstates 90 and 86. Chautauqua County is also part of the Seaway Trail, a scenic driving route in New York and Pennsylvania along the shores of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River.
  • Bus:  Bus service is available for visitors to and from Buffalo daily by the Chautauqua Area Region Transportation system. Scheduled and on-demand services are available. Private shuttle services are available as well. 

TRANSPORTATION WITHIN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY

  • Drive: If you plan to venture out for day trips and sightseeing, the best way to get around Chautauqua County is by car. Rental cars are available at the Buffalo and Erie Airports.
  • Ferry: The Bemus Point – The popular Stow Ferry on Chautauqua Lake was not in operation in 2018. Watch for updates in 2019. 
  • Bus: The Chautauqua Area Regional Transportation system (CARTs) is the public bus system offering routes throughout Chautauqua County.
  • Limousine:  Limousine service is a popular way to groups to tour Lake Erie Wine Country with a designated driver. 
  • Taxi:  There are taxi services in the region.  However, they receive mixed reviews.  So, do your homework before relying on a taxi service.
  • Uber/Lyft: Ride sharing services are newer to this region. It is unknown how many drivers are active. 

SEASONS IN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY

  • Summer is high season for recreation on the lakes, for visiting the Chautauqua Institution, and hiking at Panama Rocks. 
  • Spring, summer and fall are popular times for the wineries. Wineries are open year-round with winery events offered throughout the year.
  • Winter is high season at the ski resorts and snowmobiling trails. Wineries continue to be open except on major holidays. 

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