Before the snow flies, celebrate the grape harvest in America’s Grape Country with Lake Erie Wine Country’s annual Harvest Wine Weekends, November 3-5 and 10-12. Guests will savor delicious foods prepared with local ingredients and paired with inspired wines at each of the 23 wineries. While there, be sure to stop by the Grape Discovery Center to learn about our heritage as the largest grape-growing region in New York State. Plan to return February 16-18 with your Valentine for the luscious Wine and Chocolate Weekend.
If you fancy yourself a craft beer enthusiast, schedule an adventure to Peek’n Peak Resort on November 4 for their Wurst Party Ever. Brats, bands and brews is the theme! Local and import craft brews will be on tap and dirndl clad servers on the ready. Play outdoors on Peek’n Peak’s Mountain Adventure zip line, aerial, archery and mountain bike courses, or venture out to other local craft beverage producers like Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing and Southern Tier Brewing Company.
Christmas comes to Bemus Point November 4-5. On November 18-19, the charming villages of Fredonia and Findley Lake will celebrate the holidays with shopping and family fun. Join Johnson Estate Winery, New York State’s oldest estate winery, on December 2 for Christmas hors d'oeuvres and a tree lighting celebration. Just when you thought all the excitement has ended, Lake Erie Wine Country celebrates Holiday Week at the Wineries December 26-31.
Enter into American holiday traditions of past and present in the grand 1863 mansion of New York State Governor Reuben E. Fenton (1865-1868.) For almost 40 years, the Holiday Exhibit at the Fenton History Center in Jamestown has been a favorite local tradition. The elegant display begins after Thanksgiving and continues through mid-January and features fresh greenery, holiday decorations and an upside down Christmas tree. Stop by for a candlelight tour of the mansion on Saturday evenings in December. Another beautiful estate, now called the McClurg Museum, was built by wealthy pioneers from Pittsburgh in 1818. The museum is home to the Chautauqua County Historical Society and each year hosts a Holiday Victorian Tea. This year’s event will take place on November 18, reservations are recommended.
Proximity to Lake Erie and lake effect storms mean snow for Chautauqua County, totaling an average of 200 inches annually! For downhill and cross country snow sports, head to Peek’n Peak Resort and enjoy 27 slopes and trails, state-of-the-art snowmaking, eight chairlifts, four progressive terrain parks and a renowned ski and snowboard school. There’s even a tubing area with seven lanes and a “Magic Carpet” lift.
Make plans for the President’s Day Weekend Winter Festival in Mayville’s Lakeside Park, February 16-18, 2018. The annual winter festival along Chautauqua Lake features ice and snow-themed events and activities, including an Ice Castle and snow sculptures when weather permits.
For a full schedule of events and winter attractions, call the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau at 866-908ILNY (4569) or visit tourchautauqua.com.