A Day in Ellicottville: Things to do, must-see places in this idyllic village in western New York



There are more hidden gems in western New York than you might think. Nestled between the foothills and valleys of the Allegheny Plateau lies the small village of Ellicottville.

Founded in 1820, Ellicottville is known as a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding in the winter, but is quickly becoming a year-round tourist destination with other attractions such as golf, swimming, hiking, biking. , local shops, wineries, breweries, fine dining, chill out dining and more. The city will soon be celebrating its bicentennial in mid-July with free festivities including street dances in the park square, a reunion of the descendants of the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Civil War memorabilia on display and a barbecue chicken. . But even if you miss this anniversary, the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce website keeps track of all the city’s upcoming events and festivities, so you can plan a trip for any season.

While Ellicottville is the closest route south of Buffalo about 55 minutes along Route 219, it’s about two hours from Rochester and three hours from Syracuse, making it a long but doable trip to do in a day if you are a travel enthusiast or just have a taste for travel to see something new in upstate New York.

So whether you’re looking for a laid-back getaway or a fun and exciting weekend getaway with friends and family, Ellicottville has plenty of options for everyone, but we’ll be highlighting a few of our favorites for a one-day trip. in the city.

Chair lifts the mountain at the Holiday Valley Resort.

Vacation Valley Resort

You don’t have to be a winter sports enthusiast to visit Ellicottville, but the Holiday valley is a must see if you are interested in something outdoor and recreational. While winter brings skiers and boarders to the mountains, the resort also offers summer tourists a variety of packages that include play golf on a private golf course, mountain bike and e-bike rental and trails, and chairlift rides to Spruce Lake. The four-season ski resort also offers a number of different accommodation options for those who want a quick and comfortable stay at the Inn at Holiday Valley, a luxury condominium at the Tamarack Club or even an accommodation property for short or long term rentals through their rental management office.

Sky High Adventure Park at Holiday Valley Resort

Chairlifts to Sky High Adventure Park at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville, New York.

Sky High Adventure Park

But in the Holiday Valley are some of the most alluring attractions for kids and families. Sky High Adventure Park, New York City’s largest outdoor aerial adventure park and the country’s third largest, is designed for our fun hours with 13 tree courses of varying difficulty that reach heights of up to 68 feet and at least 43 zip lines. Children must be at least 7 years old to climb the park, but all guests are fitted with harnesses with special safety guards. Sky High also has a climb in the forest along real trees, the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster, where cyclists can control their speed as they zigzag through trees and up the mountain, and Mister Happy Gem Mining, where kids as young as two can search for gems or fossils in a lock that mimics the old-fashioned gold panning.

The ratchet ax

The Ratchet Ax in Ellicottville, New York.

The ratchet ax

If you’ve never tried it but always wanted to, one of the most popular, exciting, and trendy activities to book for you and a group of your friends is ax throwing because bar games like darts and billiards got the green light to resume in New York earlier this year. Ellicottville’s only ax throwing lounge bar, The ratchet ax, is open Thursday through Sunday and by appointment only with different package options, and they allow you to sign their waiver in advance on their website prior to your reservation. A very detailed FAQ list on cost, age limits, alcohol and cancellations is also available to view before “chopping” staff for any additional questions.

Ellicottville Brewing Company

European-style beer garden outside Ellicottville Brewing Company in Ellicottville, New York.

Ellicottville Brewing Company

For beer lovers passionate about supporting local businesses, Ellicottville Brewing Company offers more than twenty seasonal and specialty beers in the heart of Ellicottville. It is also one of the oldest craft breweries in upstate New York since 1995, and EBC now has three locations in western New York for their commercial sales and two breweries for their production since the Ellicottville Brewing opened in Little Valley in 2018. But in the small ski town where it all started, EBC is a year-round brewery with fresh American cuisine, authentic German brewery tanks where they continue to produce their beer and a European style beer garden to sit outside in the summer. Whether you like hops or not, their menu has a flavor for all tastes this summer, from a crunchy blueberry wheat beer and blood orange Hefeweizen to a classic Ellicottville IPA.

The tea bar

Ice cream is supposed to make you smile, and The tea bar is probably one of the best and only ice cream shops in Ellicottville to get a scoop of soft ice cream in a homemade waffle cone. With a trendy and fun logo, a stock of Ellicottville branded t-shirts and hoodies for tourists, and plenty of photos of young people enjoying their ice cream on their social media, this place appeals to millennials or families with young people. kids who want a refreshing treat this summer when visiting the village.

Watson Chocolates in Ellicottville

Handmade chocolates from Watson’s Chocolates in Ellicottville, New York.

Watson’s chocolates

There is no shortage of chocolatiers in upstate New York who make their own artisanal candies specific to their region. In western New York City, Buffalo was named one of the top six candy capitals of the world, according to a 2017 SmarterTravel ranking, for its abundance of sponge candy makers. In Ellicottville, the best place to buy your sponge cake, pieces of caramelized spun sugar coated in melted chocolate, is Watson’s chocolates. This local confectionery business has a long history of over 75 years and four generations of family experience in the chocolate business. Their Ellicottville location is one of eight stores statewide with online orders on their website. In addition to the sponge cake, there are chocolate creams, caramels, truffles, turtles, buttery crunchies, nut clusters and more. If you’re a chocolate lover, you can’t pass up an opportunity to stop by Watson and make your own assortment of favorites right from the candy counter.

The purple doorknob in Ellicottville

The Purple Door Handle in Ellicottville, New York.

The purple door handle

Have you ever dreamed of finding an entire store just to buy a pair of fun socks? Then you can walk to the bright purple exterior of The purple door handle in the village of Ellicottville. Whether you are physically in their store or online on their website, you can browse their collection of fancy socks for men, women and kids for any occasion, emotion, activity or hobby. There are Christmas socks, socks with alcohol jokes, cat and dog lover socks, food socks, superhero socks – and that’s just to name. only a few. With so many colors and designs, you’re bound to find something fun and quirky that will suit your feet and your personality.

Nannen Arboretum in Ellicottville

A family fishing in Lake Nipponica, a man-made pond inside the Nannen Arboretum in Ellicottville, New York.

Nannen Arboretum

If you are more interested in a leisurely stroll in a peaceful setting, the Nannen Arboretum could be the perfect place to reflect and explore nature a bit. Managed by the Nannen Arboretum Society and the City of Ellicottville, this eight-acre garden was designed to provide natural resource education and an appreciation of nature to people of all ages. Trees everywhere are planted along the main trail with numerous signs and markers to inform visitors of their origins. It is open from dusk to dawn, 365 days a year and donations are welcome to promote the support and conservation of the arboretum and the volunteers who maintain it. People can also plan a wedding or special event under the Chapman Shrine, an outdoor chapel inside the arboretum, or donate a commemorative brick to the Celebration Walkway that leads there.

Ellicottville Salt Cave & Spa

Some tourists may come to Ellicottville just to relax, but if you want to experience an innovative but old-fashioned form of therapy that few spas can offer, you can book a session at Ellicottville Salt Cave & Spa. Halotherapy, or salt therapy, involves breathing tiny particles of salt in a confined space, which many healthcare professionals believe may be an alternative treatment for people with asthma, bronchitis, cough and other lung problems, as salt can help decongest or widen airways. Inside the spa’s European-style cave built by Polish architects are over 20 tons of Himalayan salt for people to sit inside and explore the cave. A 45-minute cave session costs $ 40 per person for up to 4 people in a private party and $ 35 for seniors and children under 10. And if you don’t believe in the healing powers of the Salt Cave, the spa also offers different packages with their infrared sauna, foot scrubs, massages and facials to relax you however you like during your stay in Ellicottville.


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