ELLICOTTVILLE-The town of Ellicottville is the perfect place for a winter "stay and play" weekend. Encompassing small town shops, Ellicottville offers the Holiday Valley and Holimont ski resorts, cozy lodging and restaurants of every kind; something for everyone.
According to Heather Snyder of the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, the secret to Ellicottville's charm is "the fact that it has maintained the small town American feel. It is a real, genuine ski town."
If shopping is your pleasure, there are a number of unique shops worth visiting. For the latest ski equipment and apparel, enter The City Garage, Dekdebruns or Mud, Sweat n' Gears ski shops for authentic ski town shopping environments. For a more eclectic experience, The Purple Doorknob offers a wide selection of U.S. manufactured, colorful socks and is one of the most recognizable storefronts in town. When you need a break from shopping, Watson's Chocolates has a wide selection of treats to suit your tastes.
For a small town, Ellicottville has no shortage of quality restaurants. The Ellicottville Brewing Company, a local favorite, specializes in craft beer and offers a wide variety of lunch and dinner options. Other dining choices include the warm environment of The Barn, which has prime rib specials on Fridays and Saturdays and the lively Gin Mill, which hosts a variety of live music many nights of the week. Specials, menus and schedules of events for these restaurants can be found at www.ellicottvillebrewing.com, www.thebarnevl.com and ellicottvilleginmill.com. For information on the other restaurants of Ellicottville, visit ellicottvilleny.com.
While skiing is Ellicottville's passion, there are upcoming events to fill a weekend getaway even before the snow flies.
Holiday Valley will host its much anticipated 10th annual Beer and Wine Festival on Nov. 9, featuring live music from Big Lemma Emma. The festival will feature more than 100 hand-crafted beers from local and national craft breweries. On-site lodging for the weekend is available through the Inn at Holiday Valley, the Tamarack Club or one of the resort's rental condominiums. Lodging packages include a complimentary shuttle pass (providing transportation at the resort and to/from the village of Ellicottville) and a $5 food voucher for the festival. Book packages now before they sell out by calling Holiday Valley Central Reservations, 699-2345. Tickets to the festival are $50 pre-sale through Oct. 31 and available on the Holiday Valley website (holidayvalley.com) and at Wegmans of Jamestown.
The night before the festival, Thursday, Nov. 8, will be the Brew Masters Dinner. The Brew Masters Dinner will feature locally sourced cuisine and provide an informal and intimate opportunity for individuals to sample craft beers. Brewers will be in attendance to discuss their specialty beverages with attendees during the dinner beginning at 6 p.m. in the resort's Tannenbaum Lodge. Tickets are $65 for the dinner and also available on the Holiday Valley website (holidayvalley.com) and at Wegmans of Jamestown.
Jane Eshbaugh, Holiday Valley's director of marketing, said, "One of the unique things of Holiday Valley is that it is ... right in your backyard. There is lodging right on the slopes, spas, restaurants, bars - the whole village of Ellicottville." She also notes that it is "a really great place to get away, even if you're just from Jamestown. It is simple to get here, so you can start having your vacation right away."
Outdoor enthusiasts may also enjoy cross-country skiing through the Alleghany State Park or trails at Holiday Valley and Holimont during their stay in Ellicottville once this season's snow arrives. The Nannen Arboretum, part of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Home Grounds and Community Horticulture, a nonprofit organization providing natural resource education, is also an option for exploring the outdoors in Ellicottville. The site includes 8 acres of trees, shrubs, flowers, nature walks and a Japanese meditation garden. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. While the Nannen Arboretum is generally a fair weather, summer location, it is open year round.
Between Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, "Christmas in Ellicottville" will be taking place, a family-friendly event. "It's a very nice, smaller event," Snyder said. "It's a quaint weekend - an old-fashioned Christmas with strolling carolers and the lighting of the village Christmas tree." For three days the village gets into the Christmas spirit. Included in the festivities is a live reindeer and the opportunity to have breakfast with Santa. Forthcoming details of the event will be available in the coming weeks at www.ellicottvilleny.com/Christmas-in-ellicottville.
A complete list of events, restaurants, and ski resort information is available at www.ellicottvilleny.com. For more information contact the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, 699-5046, or visit at 9 W. Washington St. Ellicottville, New York 14731.