If you haven’t visited this southwestern-most region of New York State, you don’t know what you’re missing. Natural beauty, outdoor recreation, history, and unique cultural attractions abound throughout the region’s three counties. This well-kept secret of a vacation land is easy to reach from New York City or Erie, Pa., via Route17 (I-86), the Southern Tier highway that passes through it. It’s also the perfect stop along Route 219 when traveling from Washington, D.C. or New York City to Niagara Falls, Toronto, Cleveland, or Chicago. The Chautauqua-Allegheny region offers some very fine Bed & Breakfast lodging accommodations to enhance your visit to this New York State area.
The region boasts New York’s largest state park: Allegany; largest ski center: Holiday Valley; Lake Erie wine country, the largest grape-growing region in the East, along the Lake Erie shoreline; largest old-order Amish community; and largest spiritualist community, at Lily Dale on Cassadaga Lakes. If that’s not enough to entice you, how about the fact that here you’ll find the only city in the nation built on Native American Indian lands, Salamanca. Once here, you’ll want to stay a few days.
For generations of families, Chautauqua County has been a vacation tradition. For more than 125 years, the world-renowned Chautauqua Institution has been attracting visitors seeking intellectual, cultural, and spiritual growth and renewal. A lakeside village of Victorian homes, the Institution offers a nine-week summer program of lectures, seminars, concerts, theater, and entertainment. Start your own family tradition by coming to Chautauqua County for a weekend or a week, summer or winter. You can enjoy cycling, golfing, fishing, a steamboat ride or a dinner cruise on Chautauqua Lake. You can also launch your boat on its waters or on Lakes Findley, Cassadaga, or Bear, or go birding at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute or the Jamestown Audubon Nature Center. There are miles of hiking trails in scenic Panama Rocks Park and along the Eastside and Westside Overland Trails. Take in a staged production at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House or the Lucille Ball Playhouse, or the rides and amusements at Midway Park. Visit the Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown, which celebrates the lives and careers of entertainers Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Displays include clothing, letters, and other personal effects of the famous couple, as well as a computerized exhibit of Lucy trivia created by their daughter. The Chautuaqua-Allegheny Wine Trail, a 50-mile drive along Lake Erie offers views of spectacular waterfront areas, vineyards, and farmland, and many opportunities to stop to explore antique shops, fruit and vegetable stands, and wineries.
Cattaraugus County is home to Holiday Valley, a thriving year-round resort and the largest public ski resort in the state, located near the picturesque village of Ellicottville. Day trips abound when you stay at an Ellicottville, NY bed and breakfast. Take the antique trail along Rte. 219 where several cooperatives of more than 100 dealers display unique furniture and collectibles. Enjoy the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum or take a leisurely drive through Amish country and visit homes with unique handmade quilts and beautiful handcrafted wooden furniture for sale. If art appeals to you, experience 200 colossal sculptures at the 400-acre Griffis Sculpture Park in Ashford Hollow, where you are welcome to picnic and hike. For the outdoor enthusiast there is Allegany State Park with its lakes and trails, mountain biking, cycling, camping, or cross-country skiing. Try hiking the Finger Lakes Trail, whitewater rafting in the Zoar Valley, or golfing on one of the county’s seven courses.
Allegany County’s pristine lakes and streams, abundant wildlife, and scenic countryside offer endless possibilities to nature lovers, photographers, hunters, and anglers. There are designated wildlife areas and forests with hiking trails, boating on lakes, canoeing on the Genesee River, scenic plane rides, and a hot-air balloon rally. Hunters and anglers will feel at home in the county. Twenty-three state forests beckon fly-fishing fans, and the county is home to some of the state’s largest populations of white-tailed deer, turkeys, bear, and small game. In addition, Allegany County has an abundance of charming Victorian villages and towns, including the historic districts of Alfred, Angelica, and Cuba, which feature impressive historic buildings in a variety of architectural styles. Small museums and artisans creating handcrafted wares will take you back to another era.
Once you’ve discovered the special charm and diverse attractions of the Chautauqua-Allegheny region, you’ll want to return again and again. And our ESBBA member innkeepers look forward to helping make your visit memorable.
Come stay at an Enchanted Mountains bed and breakfast in Cattaraugus County for skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, horseback riding, golfing, and mountain biking. Experience the Amish Country with their many rural shops. Golf, ski, or snow tube at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville. Visit the exhibitions at The Regina, A Quick Center for the arts at Saint Bonaventure University in Allegany village. Angelica in Allegany County is one of many designated as National Historic Districts. View the evening skies from Alfred University and its Stull Observatory. Try your luck at the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca. Visit Allegany State Park. Fish in Chautauqua Lake or Lake Erie or visit the world famous Chautauqua Institution or the Lucille Ball Museum in Chautauqua County.
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Let's not forget the World's Largest Exposure of Quartz Conglomerate Pudding Stone at Rock City Park near Olean, NY, which formed about 320 million years ago during the Pennsylvanian Period. These gigantic rock formations, along with the scenic views, makes Rock City Park one of the great natural wonders of the United States. Visitors ranging from the Seneca Indians, to the first visitors of the Park in 1890, through today, will agree that it is a great wonder to see.
ESBBA offers a variety of lodging accommodation options from quaint inns to rustic cabins and lovely bed and breakfasts.