As the leaves change from green to vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red, so do the desires of area residents and visitors of Chautauqua County.
According to Andrew Nixon, executive director for the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, although fall isn't the busiest visitor season of the county, there are still a multitude of events and activities to enjoy.
"There is so much happening," Nixon said. "This includes agriculturally based festivals, recreational activities, leisure learning courses and tours. In addition, most of the region's outdoor amenities and visitor services are significantly less crowded than during the summer. Fall is a more relaxed time of the year, and visitors can take more time to explore."
While exploring, area residents and visitors may enjoy a number of outdoor activities which are enhanced by the colors and beauty of the fall season. Because temperatures are moderate, autumn is a great time to enjoy canoeing, kayaking, golf and fishing, Nixon said.
"Area golf courses offer specials, particularly on weekdays and in the afternoon, to entice golfers," Nixon said. "Fishermen can go after trout on inland lakes until mid-October, but the Lake Erie tributary trout fishing is particularly good in the fall, and bass fishing is still open until the end of November. There are a lot of kayakers and road cyclists that enjoy the uncrowded waters and the well-maintained roads in the area. Cyclists comment on the wide-marked shoulders that are found on most of the area's rural roads."
Along Chautauqua County's rural roads many local farms can be found, including those of the Amish, most of whom operate shops year-round. A countryside drive of the rolling farm and forest lands located throughout the hills overlooking Westfield, Brocton, Clymer and the 40-mile stretch between Gowanda, Cherry Creek, Ellington, Conewango and Randolph are likely to present opportunities to interact with Amish shopkeepers, craftsmen and artisans, Nixon said.
Up & Coming
What: Mister Benny
When: Friday, 8 p.m.
Where: JCC Scharmann Theater, 525 Falconer St. in Jamestown
For More Info: 338-1187 or www.sunyjcc.edu
What: Acoustic Gypsies
When: Friday, 9 p.m.
Where: Peek'n Peak, Regency Pub, 1405 Olde Road in Findley Lake
For More Info: www.pknpk.com
What: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
When: Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m.
Where: Willow Bay Theater, 21 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Cost: $10 adults and $5 for children 12 and under
For More Info: 483-6405 or www.facebook.com/TheWillowBayTheater
What: Shakespeare In The Farce - Hamlet
When: Friday And Saturday, 8 p.m.
Where: The Spire Theater, 317 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Cost: $15 presale and $20 day of show
For More Info: 450-7357 or in-spire.us
What: Smokey Joe's Cafe
When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
Where: The Reg Lenna Center For The Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Cost: Tickets start at $20
For More Info: 484-7070 or www.reglenna.com
"The lands make an idyllic backdrop for the quaint farms and shops," Nixon said. "Though the Amish do not want visitors to take their photographs and are initially careful about strangers, they usually open up quickly when they recognize a shopper. Many visitors have stories about the long conversations they have had with the Amish."
The Amish aren't the only farmers in the county though, and with autumn recognized as a time of harvest, visitors and area residents will find many events which celebrate Chautauqua County's rich agricultural history. Each year a Festival of Grapes is held in Silver Creek, which took place Friday through Sunday.
Those who missed the Festival of Grapes still have much to choose from, such as the Busti Apple Festival, which is set for Sunday. Area wineries also host weekend tours and vineyard walks, plus the entire Lake Erie Wine Country trail will celebrate Harvest Wine Weekends on Nov. 1-3 and 8-10. Locally grown produce is celebrated at farmers markets and at the Peek'n Peak Fall Fest, which is set for Oct. 12-13 and 19-20. Ellicottville Brewing Company West, of Fredonia, will also host a beer pairing dinner on Oct. 17.
"Since fall time is also harvest time, visitors and local residents will find a lot of agriculturally based events and festivals," Nixon said. "The CCVB itself hosts a season-long festival promotion that highlights all the great things to do in the area during fall. In addition to showcasing the many recreational and harvest-related activities and events, Colors of Chautauqua features several leisure learning experiences. Examples include harvest vineyard walks with a winery owner, a leaf printing workshop at the Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary, a natural healing workshop at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, a course on Lake Erie shipwrecks offered at Jamestown Community College, and much more. This year's Colors of Chautauqua will run for the entire fall period, Aug. 30 through Nov. 24."
Nixon also pointed out that there are several fitness events held during the fall, including: The Muddy Viking, a 4-mile trail run set for Saturday, Oct. 5; and the Lucy Town Half Marathon and 5K, which will take place Oct. 12-13 and will feature comedian Martin Short.