Old-Fashioned Summer

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Old-Fashioned Summer

History and the good old days live on in this region, between friendly towns and villages, and scenic country roads that lead to fun attractions. Here, you’ll find New York’s largest state park, museums dedicated to heritage and humor, and roadside stands selling Amish crafts and fresh local produce.Day OneSprague’s Maple FarmsBegin the day with a sweet touch, in Portville, at Sprague’s Pancake House. After breakfast, follow the woodland trail up the hill for a picturesque view. At the top, you can tour the old sugarhouse with antique evaporators, sugar molds, and other equipment, and learn how syrup is made the old-fashioned way. Pick up some fresh syrup and other maple products in the gift shop and nature center.

Don’t worry if you get a late start; the restaurant serves lunch and dinner, too.Rock City ParkHead to Olean and find yourself in a world of bridges, crevices, and towering, house-size rock formations designed by nature. Paths lead over, under and even through ancient rocks that tower as high as 80 feet. Standing at the top of the stone formations, you can see for miles. Bring a few (smaller ones) home from the rock shop.Day TwoAllegany State ParkYou’ll find lots of active adventures in New York’s largest state park, recently named a Top “Amazing Spot” in the nation.

Family-oriented programs and activities all summer long include wildlife walks along the nature trails and swimming at the sandy beaches. This is great spot for boating, and there are some fine old fishing holes, too.Seneca-Iroquois Nation MuseumIn Salamanca, just down the road from Allegany State Park, you can learn about the history and culture of the Seneca Nation. See artifacts reflecting centuries of Native-American heritage and visit a reconstructed longhouse.Day ThreeLucy-Desi MuseumStep into television history with a visit to The Desilu Playhouse, in Jamestown. Replicas of sets from the 1950s comedy I Love Lucy include Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s New York City apartment and the Hollywood hotel suite where Lucy pantomimed with Harpo Marx and set her nose on fire with William Holden. See how well you can do on an “audition” for a Vitameatavegamin commercial.

The museum exhibits costumes, wardrobe, and personal memorabilia of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Bring home some nostalgic fun from the huge gift shop.Reg Lenna Civic CenterTake in a show at the former Palace Theater, where Lucille Ball once watched Vaudeville with her grandfather. The beautifully restored 1923 theater now features theater, concerts, and comedy shows.Jamestown Jammers BaseballEnjoy the old-fashioned pleasure of watching a ballgame in a small town park. Single A affiliates of the Florida Marlins, the Jammers play at Diethrick Park in Jamestown. Events at the field include fireworks, giveaways, and games for the whole family.

Their name and grape-cluster team logo represents the region’s grape-growing industry.Day FourFisher’s Amish Country Store & Guided ToursIn Amish Country you can experience an entirely different way of life that honors the old-fashioned. This store in Randolph features homemade Amish desserts, straw hats, and other traditional crafts. You can make a reservation for a guided tour or travel on your own to watch carpentry and blacksmithing demonstrations and shop for Amish items. Follow handmade signs that direct you to fresh baked goods and hand-crafted cheeses, quilts, toys, and furniture.

You will know you’re on the right path when you see blue clothes hanging on the line and buggies on the road.Chautauqua InstitutionTour the picturesque grounds or take a bike ride through a unique Victorian village. Chautauqua features a nine-week summer season of art and music workshops, world-renowned speakers, top entertainers, and religious programs. Register for a workshop, play a round of golf, or take in a performance.

To extend your visit, stay at the historic 156-room Athenaeum Hotel or one of the many charming hotels and B&Bs around the lake.