50 Free and Low Cost Things to Do in Chautauqua County this Summer

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Learn, Laugh, Play & Stay
Take a traditional summer vacation to Chautauqua County and spend a week or two by a lake – we have five! Bring the family or friends and stay at a cottage or vacation home. Experience Chautauqua Institution, the 2017 program season runs June 24-August 27. Rent a boat and enjoy fishing, sailing, waterskiing or cruising on the water. Hike Chautauqua Rails to Trails, the Overland Trails, or the Audubon Nature Center in Jamestown. Cycle a number of suggested routes around Chautauqua Lake, Findley Lake or Amish Country. Visit the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum and Center for Comedy. Go wine tasting at 23 wineries in Lake Erie Wine Country to choose from. Tour our many breweries or distilleries. Climb the steps at the Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse. There is so much to do, see and explore!

Fun That Doesn’t Break the Bank!

50 FREE and Low-Cost Things to Do in Chautauqua County this Summer
There is so much to do in Chautauqua County, New York this summer! The staff at the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau has assembled a list of FREE and low-cost activities to experience in the coming months. While you could easily spend more at some of the suggested attractions, everything on this list costs $15 or less per person!

Uncover Details of our Rich History
Could there be treasure hidden at the bottom of Lake Erie? There have been 2000 documented shipwrecks on Lake Erie since 1679. Many blame the wrecks on this Great Lake’s quickly changing conditions.

It is said the Erie people, a Native American people who lived along Lake Erie’s southern shore, called the lake “Erige,” meaning cat, due to its unpredictable and sometimes violent nature. The 4th largest and shallowest of the Great Lakes is know for its quickly changing water surface.

View other locations of historical significance in Chautauqua County, NY.
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Path Through History Weekends
Discover the people and places that shaped American history June 17-18 and October 7-9, 2017!

Upcoming Openings
Midway State Park: Open Weekends 12pm-7pm now through June 25 with limited weekday hours of 9:30am-2pm on June 14-16 only. Open 12pm-10pm on Saturday July 1st for their Independence Day Celebration with fireworks at 10:15pm. Regular weekday hours begin July 5-August 25. During this time, the park is open Wed-Sunday 12pm-7pm. More Information

Chautauqua Institution: The 2017 season begins June 24 and ends August 27. For more information on programming and ticketing,  visit here.

Bemus Bay Pops: The 20th season of the Bemus Bay Pops is June 24-September 2. There will be live entertainment on the Floating Stage every Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon with additional programming like free Water Ski Shows and Praise on the Lake. More Information

Chautauqua Belle: Daily cruises begin June 24-August 27. Additional cruises are scheduled to take place before and after the main season.  More Information

Lily Dale Assembly: The 2017 Summer Season will take place June 30-September 3. More Information

Upcoming Events

Chautauqua lake fishing
Free Fishing Weekend
June 24-25, 2017
Take a friend fishing for the first time or invite a friend to NY to fish our waterways sans license. Recall the joy of catching a fish again for free!
Dunkirk Lake Shore Air Show
July 1-2, 2017
Watch professional pilots showoff daring tricks hundreds of feet off the ground and over beautiful Lake Erie. The show features wing-walking, aerobatics, sky divers and more!


 
26th Annual Great Blue Heron Music Festival
June 30-July 2, 2017
Three days & nights filled with national and regional acts on three stages highlighting American roots, rock, reggae, zydeco, swing, old time, hip-hop, Celtic and bluegrass styles. Swim at the pond, hike or attend a workshop between show.

LECOM Health Challenge, a Web.com PGA TOUR Event
July 3-9, 2017
Known as “The Path to PGA TOUR,” players will compete for their PGA Tour Cards and a cash prize. The tournament, WNY’s only professional golf event, will take place at Peek’n Peak Resort’s Upper Course.
Daily General Admission Tickets are only $10 or watch all week for $25. Treat yourself to the VIP experience for $75.
Craft Alliance Show at Bestor Plaza
July 7-9 & August 11-23, 2017
This annual festival at Chautauqua Institution will feature 67 craftsman & artisans of all media including jewelry, clay, fiber, leather, wood, painting, metal and more. A Gate Pass is required for admission onto the grounds Saturday, but not Sunday
Wild America Nature Festival
July 29-30, 2017
Co-hosted by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) and Panama Rocks Scenic Park. Festival features nationally-renowned speakers; a juried fine nature art and craft show and competition; local food cook-off competition & farmer’s market; live music; workshops, and more!

Request a Guide
Plan your vacation with the help of the 2017 “I Love NY” Chautauqua County Visitors Guide.
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Download an APP
The Visit Chautauqua County APP is available through iTunes or
Google Play.
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Chautauqua Golf Club
Special Offers
Find vacation packages and special offers for  winter getaways.
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