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going to chautauqua for the first time

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going to chautauqua for the first time

My husband and I are meeting my brother's family at the institute for a week. We will be flying into Buffalo and renting a car. We are going to dirve the scenic route along Lake Erie down to Westfield. Any places you would reccomend to have lunch in Westfield or Mayville? Also, any suggestions on must dos for 1st timers to the area. We will be renting a house inside the institue. Any great pakrs or hikes?

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1. Re: going to chautauqua for the first time

There are so many options depending on what you like. Spending time at the Chautauqua Institution (www.ciweb.org) is a must. They still have their summer season of music, recreational opportunities, dining, and all types of concerts.

Panama Rocks State Park is not to far away and that is a nice park. Over an hour away is Griffis Sculpture Park near Ellicotville as well as Allegheny State Park.

Jamestown has a minor league baseball team should that interest you.

LilyDale is a place that I think is great but that is an individual decision. It is not to far from Chautauqua. LilyDale has a summer season of meditiation, clairvoyancy, spiritual healing, and workshops. It is very laid back and noone tries to get to their way of thinking.

Have a great trip and let us know how it goes.

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2. Re: going to chautauqua for the first time

Since you are staying for a week, I advise you leave your car in its parking place (they are hard to find)and do everything by foot within the institution (we've been going for 17 years). There is nothing as interesting outside the walls of the inst. as there is inside! Restaurants, however, are not so hot, but we make do with what is available (Tally-Ho, St. Elmo and The Refectory). If hiking is what you are after, you will miss a lot of what the institution has to offer, and what you have paid for!

In the Country, NY
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3. Re: going to chautauqua for the first time

When we drive in from Buffalo, we like to follow either route 20 or 5. On route 5 you will get some great lake views, (my husband and I saw a bald eagle about 2 weeks ago), but in my opinion route 20 is in much better shape, more smoother. I still perfer route 5.

There are many places to eat along the way, are you looking for a more casual place or more on the upper end. Our area has them all.

As for Chautauqua and surrounding area, there is much to see and do.

We have the Chautauqua Rails to Trails, these are trails throughout the county for biking or hiking, all non-profit. www.chaurtt.org

The Chautauqua Belle and the Summer Wind are both boats that offer different types of activities on the lake.

Jamestown has many activities also, Jamestown Audubon Nature Center has a nature center and 600 acres of land. www.jamestownaudobon.org

The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnes Center offers a museum and fesitvals throughout the summer. www.lucy-desi.com

The Chautauqua wine trail is always a fun thing to do, even crossing the border and going into Pa., North East Pa. has a lot of award winning wineries.

Right down the road from the institution is Red Brick Farm, a nice place to spend the afternoon. Quaint little shops that offer everything from ice cream, miniture doll houses and furniture, to a gourmet shop, that is very generous with their samples.www.redbrickfarm.com

We also have many golf cources in the area.

Please feel free to ask about any of these or more specific questions.

Have a great trip.

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4. Re: going to chautauqua for the first time

We just returned yesterday from a quick trip--just spent one day/night at Chautauqua but we had a wonderful time.

You don't say when you are arriving, but if you look at the schedule, this week, which started Sun.7/13 is Week 4. There is a different theme each week and the Institute features speakers during the day. I guess last week, they had their largest crowd ever--it was authors week. I am thinking of getting a group of girls together to do a night there during their food themed week in Aug. (we live 3 hrs away)

Every evening, there is a show--the symphony, ballet, opera. We saw the Chinese Acrobats--it was family night--it was an impressive show.

This last Tues. was also the popular home tour that included entry to 12 homes. The homes there are all different, with lovely cottage gardens. The grounds are beautiful and you will want to rent a bike(our friends brought their bikes but they must have rentals)

It killed me to leave Chautauqua without getting out on the lake. I would have loved to rented a boat.

We stayed at the Chautauqua Suites, (outside the Institute) since we just made our reservations last week. The reservation included a pass that was valid for the duration of our stay. I will have to write a review. I would be interested in hearing how you liked your rental home there--they all looked lovely.

I think you will have a great time. Our friends were happy that we had beer in our cooler though. They had wine but if I understand it, they could not buy beer there.

Our friends had won a week there at a Silent Auction. They were staying at the Catholic House. There is also a Methodist House, Episcopalian House etc...pretty interesting.

5. Re: going to chautauqua for the first time

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