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Formed in 1805, the western NY resort town of Chautauqua is home to the famous Chautauqua Institution and scenic beaches along Lake Chautauqua.

1 Ames Ave
Chautauqua, NY 14722
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Formed in 1805, the city of Chautauqua is one of the largest towns in Chautauqua county, and in years past, all other towns in the county were once a part of it.


This scenic lakeside resort town is perhaps most famous as the home of the Chautauqua Institution, the birthplace in 1875 of the Chautauqua Movement of educational and cultural centers. Originally a training ground for Methodist Sunday school teachers, it went on to demonstrate the important role of learning in the preservation of democracy. It was, President Theodore Roosevelt said, “the most American thing in America.” The institution’s Lewis Miller Cottage was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and the Chautauqua Institution Historic District was listed in 1974.

The leafy 750-acre lakeside campus of the Chautauqua Institution draws 8,000 people for its nine-week summer season, and thousands more attend art openings and performances of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Company and the School of Dance.

There are four public swimming beaches within the Chautauqua Institution grounds, all open during the summer season. The Children's Beach, located near the Miller Bell Tower, provides a shallow swimming area and sand beach perfect for families with children. Pier Beach, adjacent to the Children's Beach, is an adult, deep-water swimming area. And, of course, there are all the other water activities a lake holds like fishing, kayaking, canoeing, standup paddle boarding, fishing, sailing, waterskiing and more.

Another not-to-be-missed warm weather activity is a boat tour of beautiful Chautauqua Lake aboard the historic Chautauqua Belle. Journey just four miles to Mayville to climb aboard the lake’s largest tour boat, replete with a full-service on-board bar, to enjoy a lunch cruise, evening cocktail cruise, firework, dinner cruise, private charter and more. In the fall, enjoy a colorful leaf-peeping excursion with breathtaking panoramic views from the mariner’s eye of the gorgeous fall colors that makes Chautauqua County famous.

Chautauqua, NY

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