As summer draws to a close, now is the perfect time to plan some fun activities for your perfect Western New York Vacation. From wine tasting to outdoor excursions, Western New York has something for everyone.
Ellicottville and Chautauqua are small towns that offer limitless options for your Western New York vacation. Only an hour away from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, your winter vacation is only a short drive away. For those in New York City, Western New York is easily accessed by several airports and Amtrak, meaning that your perfect getaway is a relaxing trip away.
Given the convenience of winter in Western New York, you might be wondering what is there to do? We have a perfect bucket list of fun winter activities to do during your Western New York vacation! So, start planning your next vacation getaway here in Western New York and we know you are wondering… what are some fun things to do in Upstate New York?
What are Fun Things to do in Ellicottville, NY?
Ellicottville is the hub for outdoor winter activities in western New York. This charming town offers an abundance of things to do outdoors. Why not use this chance to getaway and do something different?
As a small quaint village in Western New York, we rely on you, tourists, to come and make our economy thrive. Come enjoy the beautiful cold-weather activities here that locals get to enjoy at their leisure. We’re a hidden village known for our 2 ski resorts, cross-country skiing, and Holiday Valley. What are the top attractions to visit in Ellicottville?
1. Let’s Play 18 Holes!
Golf here in Ellicottville is a wonderful outdoor experience at our many golf courses. You have a chance to choose your favorite course from Holiday Valley to Cardinal Hills, Concord Crest to the Elkdale Country Club. Holiday Valley even has a great golf outing. It may be your last chance to hit the greens before the season ends so make sure to come and play their front 9! It’s a great day to come no matter what your experience or skill level is. Just come have fun! That’s the whole point.
2. Allegheny State Park is just 15 miles south!
Taking this tiny sojourn will bring you to the 3rd largest state park in the country. It hosts a plethora of things to do in all seasons including camping, hiking, swimming, biking, hunting, fishing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling. It’s a great way to spend the day out and away from other people. So, take this chance to enjoy a breath of fresh air, fun outdoor activities, or just bring a picnic and a camera to enjoy your surroundings.
3. The Nannen Arboretum is still up and running.
Take a walk through some beautiful trees right here in downtown Ellicottville. They have 8 acres of rare and exotic trees in this non-profit, completely volunteer ran arboretum. They’re dedicated to showing appreciation of nature, natural resource education, and simple leisure. As a peaceful place to walk and enjoy some fresh air make sure you take a minute to disconnect and visit! You’ll be happy you did.
4. Pumpkinville is getting ready to open again.
Every fall from September 12 to October 31 you can come to enjoy pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and good ol’ fashioned fall family fun. They have baked goods, BBQ, ciders, farm animals, and outdoor dining on-site! Make sure to grab the whole family and stop by for some classic fall activities at Pumpkinville.
5. Cross Country Skiing is where it’s happening this winter!
Head over to Holiday Valley to enjoy some great cross country skiing and snowshoeing. There are miles and miles of trails to be explored in Ellicottville that are great for all levels. You can also rent snowshoes or ski equipment for $20 dollars a day! Dress warm and head outside into the crisp New York air for a great day of exercise, site seeing and fun.
6. Peak n’ Peak ski resort is your hub for winter sports.
With 26 trails and 5 separate terrain parks, Peak n’ Peak resort is the go-to place in Ellicottville for winter sports. There are beautiful glades and hidden trails just waiting to be explored. They also have great snow tubing with 7 tubing lanes! This ski resort is fun for the whole family. Don’t forget to visit the Serenity Spa at the end of your day on the slopes to fix those sore muscles you forgot you had.
What are Fun Things to do in Chautauqua, New York?
Chautauqua, New York is an all season wonderland that rests peacefully in the Lake Erie region. There are 5 wonderful lakes in this region including Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake. It’s a destination that is cherished for its outdoor activities, adventure, entertainment, the arts, and of course history. Chautauqua is a great place for the whole family and it’s just resting and waiting for you to come explore this winter! Click here to view Chautauqua Lake Vacation Rentals
Even if Chautauqua is close by to you–it doesn’t mean it can’t be a haven to escape to! Close to home but far in feeling is all that matters during a crazy time like this.
1. Let’s talk about the lake.
This region is unrivaled in New York for its natural beauty. Chautauqua is the best destination for anything lake related: boating, water skiing, fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing… if it happens in a lake we have it! Take this time to go out on the water, away from other people, and enjoy some family fun time in the sun before fall hits us in full swing. There are plenty of great places to rent boats and equipment on Chautauqua Lake including Lawson Boat and Motor LLC. They offer a variety of easy boating options for your enjoyment. They’re still open, so come support this local business and enjoy the end of your summer vacation here in western New York. Winter is around the corner and that’s when the real fun can begin! I’m talking ice skating, ice fishing, hockey, you name it!
2. Outdoor Adventure awaits you!
There is a vast variety of outdoor adventures in Chautauqua County, New York. This county boasts everything from hiking and biking to horseback riding and golf. Make sure to check out Long Point State Park while you’re here! It is a 320-acre park with a beach, hiking and biking trails, ice fishing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling. Don’t forget to come take in the beautiful fall foliage that western New York offers in the later parts of the year. Come watch New York change from a summer escape to a crisp autumn painting and then a winter wonderland.
New York is a great place to experience Mother Nature doing what it does best–creating beautiful landscapes to breathe in and enjoy. One of the best natural places to visit is the Panama Rocks Scenic Park. It’s a great place to get out into nature but make sure you wear good shoes. You’re going to be climbing rocks reaching up to 60 feet in height. Make sure to reserve your spot beforehand. Try to help Panama Pete find his gold… even though he might be the one who stole it, or try your hand at axe throwing! Either way, adventure is waiting to be had at Panama Rocks Scenic Park. Don’t forget to try out cross country skiing in Chautauqua. There are many places to rent equipment offering miles of beautiful trails and sites. It’s a great way to spend a winter day, so bundle up and hit the trails this winter!
3. Adults only! Wine tastings, breweries, and acres of the Lake Erie wine trail.
Open year-round, Chautauqua County offers a variety of breweries and wineries that remain open through these strange times, with some changes to the procedure of course. Growers in Chautauqua County make up for 65% of New York’s total grape harvest. There are so many wineries and breweries that are here for you to enjoy!
Come through for us and support these local businesses that provide wine for 35 countries!
- Liberty Vineyards and Winery
- 21 Brix Winery
- Grape Discovery Center
- Johnson Estate Winery
- Lake Erie Wine Country
- Mazza Chautauqua Cellars
- Five & 20 Spirits & Brewery
- Noble Winery
- Sparkling Ponds Winery
- Willow Creek Winery
4. Take a trip to Findley Lake
Resting quietly in the town of Mina in Chautauqua County, New York sits this quaint man-made lake. It was named when the settler, Alexander Findley built a dam to power his mill in 1815, which made the 2 ponds form into the lake we know and love today. The main thing to take away from Findley Lake in the winter, besides amazing fishing, is eating.
The number of restaurants in this tiny hamlet vary greatly and are all well worth the visit. Alexander’s on the Lake is a fantastic local spot that’s open daily with a beautiful view of the lake. They have beer on tap, events, and deals going on constantly so it’s always worth checking out. French Creek Tavern is a great place for classic tavern food, deals on drinks, and atmosphere! Pine Junction Tavern is another great place for atmosphere and delicious food. With an open kitchen set up, you get to see everything that’s going on. It’s a family-owned and managed business so there’s no better option in Findley Lake to support our local businesses. Click here to view all Findley Lake Vacation Rentals.
5. It’s all for laughs
While visiting Chautauqua County make sure you visit the National Comedy Center and the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum. This iconic space is in honor of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s hometown: Jamestown, New York. It really is the I Love Lucy experience that you can’t miss! People travel here from all around the country and that includes famous comedians. Come enjoy the unique museum dedicated entirely to the world of comedy. Take in everything you can about comedy from Charlie Chaplin to Dave Chappelle. We’re here for the laughs, so come laugh with us!
If you want to read more about things to do on Chautauqua Lake, you might also enjoy our travel guide, Chautauqua County Vacation Rentals & Travel Guide.
Need to book the perfect Vacation Rental for your next Western New York vacation?
As crazy as it sounds winter is right around the corner! We need to break up the monotony of our everyday lives and now is the time to plan on where and when you want to do that! Pack up the family and get them off those screens! It’s time for everyone to be active, outside and in the fresh winter air.
Fall is coming hard and fast and we need to make sure we’re focused on the important things. Health, mental and physical, family, education, and keeping our minds fresh, open, and healthy. Use our beautiful seasons and winter sports to your advantage and come to western New York to enjoy the upcoming fall and winter! There’s plenty of things to do and we’re here waiting with open arms.
One of the best places to book direct a vacation rental by owner in New York is on New York Rental By Owner. You can find hundreds of different New York vacation or cabin rental properties for far less than other booking sites like Airbnb and VRBO/HomeAway. For your next vacation to Western New York, book your stay from the website that will provide you with “same vacation rentals for less.”