Dunkirk, one of the few harbors along the east coast of Lake Erie, was named after Dunkerque in northern France, and in 1851 became the terminus of the longest railroad in the world. Dunkirk's historic lighthouse was built in 1875 and is still operating. The town has a tiny boardwalk with a few craft and gift shops fronting the marina, next to the Clarion Hotel, but not much else.
About 4 mi inland across Interstate 90 is
the pretty village of Fredonia. It's home to Fredonia State University (better known as SUNY Fredonia), a provider of several cultural opportunities.
Fredonia and Dunkirk lie in a grape- and wine-producing area. The Chautauqua–Lake Erie Wine Trail begins just north of Fredonia along Route 20.