- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
The Chautauqua Institution
The Chautauqua Institution Review
It all began in 1874, when John Heyl Vincent, a Methodist minister, and Lewis Miller, an industrialist, set up a training center for Sunday-school teachers here. The Chautauqua Institution rapidly grew into a summer-long cultural encampment. More than 2,000 events take place here in summer, including lectures, art exhibitions, outdoor symphonies, theater, dance performances, opera, and open-enrollment classes.
The village has small winding streets lined with gas lights and beautiful Victorian houses, which are often outfitted in bright colors, turrets, multiple gables, and gingerbread trim. The Miller Bell Tower is the most recognizable landmark on the lakeshore and has become the symbol of the institution; tunes are played three or four times a day, and the Miller Bell is rung manually 15 minutes before amphitheater lectures and evening programs.
Seats for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and other large events held at the 6,500-seat Chautauqua Amphitheater are on a first-come, first-served basis. Musicians as diverse as Peter, Paul, and Mary; 10,000 Maniacs; Glenn Miller; and Natalie Cole have performed in the theater, which has a roof and houses an enormous pipe organ. Norton Memorial Hall, a 1,365-seat art-deco building, is where the Chautauqua Opera Company presents four English-language operas each season.
The institution's recreational activities complement its cultural opportunities. You may fish, swim, play tennis, golf, or rent sailboats, motorboats, or canoes from the concessions on the lake. The village, a National Historic District, also includes B&Bs, hotels, inns, guesthouses, apartments, and condominiums, as well as several restaurants and eateries. You may use a car when dropping off and picking up your luggage, but otherwise car usage is extremely limited here. Lots near the entrance gates offer daily and long-term paid parking. A free shuttle bus and tram travel through the campus during the season. Narrated bus tours of the grounds are available.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- Jun deal: The Holiday Inn Niagara Falls Fr $270+/Nt Expedia
- 3-Star Quality & Suites At the Falls Fr $149+/Nt Save with Hotels.com, $10/night less
- Days Inn at the Falls Biggest Sale! 3 Nts + Air Fr $552 Travelocity
- $30.00 & up : Compact rentals in Niagara Falls Hotwire
- Quality Inn on Sale: Book 3 Nts in Jun Fr $175+/Nt — $175 Expedia
A little history
Back in the day, (I say that because I’d rather not think of just how long it’s been) I was going to New York regularly for work. Read more
Warning - this is pretty long!
My sister (60, from Rhode Island) and I (56, from Florida) decided it would be fun to spend Memorial Day weekend in New York City, specifically in Manhattan. She had bee Read more
Me and my wife are planning to visit USA on August, and trying to build 8 days round trip from NY by car that will include Niagra Falls and Toronto.
We are looking for a nice combination o Read more
· News & Features
You've heard of Lake Como (thanks to George's exploits), but halfway between Milan and Venice lies Italy's... Read more
Need we say more?... Read more
On the tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, sun-drenched Los Cabos draws in everyone from honeymooners and... Read more