Things to Do in Jamestown, NY

Comedy, nature, WWII history, intellectual institutions, and small town charm. There are so many things to do in Jamestown!

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Jamestown, NY

If you’re looking to come to Jamestown, NY for the National Comedy Center (which you definitely should!), then you might be wondering what else there possibly could be to do around there…

And the answer is quite a lot! As a Jamestown native, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite things to do in Jamestown, AND my favorite places to eat, as well as some incredible nearby day trips.

So go ahead and add Jamestown, NY to your bucket list of places to go and check out all that this small town with big city attractions has to offer.

About Jamestown, NY

Jamestown, NY is a small town of about 30,000 people. It was established in the early 1800’s by James Prendergast (who supposedly discovered the area on accident when searching for his runaway horses!), who used the river running through the city to power his sawmill.

Where is Jamestown, NY?

Jamestown is located in western NY. It’s about an hour and a half south of Buffalo, NY. It is in Chautauqua County, near the beautiful Chautauqua Lake, and the famous Chautauqua Institution.

And before you ask, no, it is not close to NYC! It’s about an 8-hour drive to the other side of the state.

How to Get To/Around Jamestown

The closest airport to fly into for Jamestown, NY would be the Buffalo Airport.

There is not a lot of public transportation in Jamestown. The best way to get around town and to all of the things to do would be to rent a car at the airport (unless you live close enough to drive your own car, of course!).

There are plenty of things to do in Jamestown that make it a multi-day destination, or you can visit it as part of an epic 8-day road trip through all the best of western NY!

What is Jamestown, NY known for?

Jamestown, NY is actually famous for a lot of different things!

  • Furniture-it was once the “furniture capital of the world.” Seriously. The WORLD.

  • Pearl City-Jamestown, NY is nicknamed the Pearl City after the fact that it was one of the largest producers of pearl ash in North America when it was founded in the early 1800’s. For those of you who don’t know (probably anyone born after the invention of baking soda) pearl ash was basically baking soda before baking soda was invented.

  • Robert H. Jackson-the lawyer from Jamestown who presided over the Nuremberg War Trials. He also served on the Supreme Court during the unanimous Brown v. Board decision.

  • 10,000 Maniacs-Famous for that one song: “These are the Days.”

  • Roger Tory Peterson-An artist and naturalist from Jamestown, NY, he’s the “father of the modern field guide.”

  • Lucille Ball-Our most common claim to fame is that Jamestown was the birthplace and growing up area of Lucille Ball! We have lots (seriously, LOTS) of Lucy themed attractions to check out.

Things to Do in Jamestown

So now that you know all there is to know about Jamestown, here are some of the best things to do in Jamestown, NY on your visit:

Trip map created with Wanderlog, an itinerary planner on iOS and Android

The National Comedy Center

I love wearing my Comedy Center shirt when I go to visit the museum. Of course, that’s what all the staff members wear too, so everybody thinks I work there…

Of course, the National Comedy Center is one of the main things to do in Jamestown, NY. This really is a fun and unique museum, and well worth the visit. It takes about 3-4 hours to walk through and appreciate the whole thing.

The Lucy-Desi Museum and Studios

This is the original comedy museum in town, and well worth a visit. There are two sides to the museum, the Lucy-Desi Museum and the Desi-Lu Studios.

The museums have old photographs, costumes, TV sets, and even a spot for you to try to act out the famous “Vitameatavegemin” commercial!

  • Your ticket for the museum will cover both sides. Go in either entrance.

  • You can also get a dual-admission ticket for the Comedy Center to save money.

Find All the “Lucy” Murals

Not only does Jamestown boast the birthplace of Lucille Ball, it is ALSO home to the world’s largest Lucy mural.

And about a million other murals.

One of the most unique things to do in Jamestown is to try to spot them all as you walk around to the different museums downtown.

  • I’m not sure if we made it, but we also tried to set a record during one of the “Lucy” festivals for the “most people in one place dressed like Lucy.” We love our Lucy.

Visit the Lucy Statues

The world famous “Scary Lucy” as well as the beautiful replacement statue they added can be found at the Lucille Ball Memorial Park in nearby Celeron.

The Robert H. Jackson Center

Moving on from Lucy to one of our other famous residents, you can check out the WWII history exhibits and the Free Mason mansion at the Robert H. Jackson Center (maybe you will find some clues to a hidden treasure in the mansion…).

This museum, dedicated to one of our very own lawyers who ended up conducting the famous Nuremberg Trials of WWII, is also located in downtown. The museum has rotating and permanent exhibits that show history from an often overlooked or unique perspective.

Be sure to sign the guestbook like Ruth Bader Ginsburg did when she visited!

The Fenton History Center

One of the Fenton Mansion rooms decorated for the Halloween tour.

Bottom left: Me trying super hard to be an intimidating Queen of Hearts.

Bottom right: The amazingly decorated Queen of Hearts cookie.

Housed in Gov. Reuben Fenton’s mansion, the Fenton History Center is focused especially on the history of Jamestown, including the once-booming furniture factories, involvement in the Underground Railroad, and (of course) Lucy. Plus, it’s a super cool mansion to explore, even if you’re not into history (especially the basement)!

The best time to visit would be during one of their many special events (you might even find me acting as one of the characters on the Halloween cemetery tours or the Victorian Christmas tour)!

Visit Lucy’s Grave

Her again!

Since we’re already at Lakeview Cemetery for the spooky graveyard tours (or even if we’re not), be sure to stop by the gravesite of comedy’s leading lady.

I’m not usually one for visiting famous people’s grave sites (or being left alone in the dark in the middle of a cemetery while I’m waiting for the tours to show up!), but Lucy’s gravestone is actually really pretty, and engraved with a heart.

So if you love Lucy (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), check out her gravesite while you’re in the area. She even has a “Lucy” themed garbage can to go with it.

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute

Roger Tory Peterson was born in Jamestown, NY, and went on to become a famous naturalist and inspiration for the environmental movement.

The beautiful Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown seeks to continue his legacy of using art to connect people to nature. They have rotating exhibits, scenic walking trails, and many special events.

  • Admission fees on Sundays are “pay what you can” donation only!

The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts

The Reg Lenna (pronounced Redge Leh-nay), commonly referred to as the “Reg,” is an old Palace Theater that retains much of its original charm, even with the updated concession stand (which now sells wine!).

They bring in a variety of world-renowned entertainers throughout the year, as well as showing movies. It is a beautiful and historic place to visit for a nice evening out on the town, making this one of the best things to do in Jamestown.

Lucille Ball Little Theater

Another theater downtown, though not as historic and fun to look at, is the Lucille Ball Little Theater (can you guess who it’s named for??). Members of the local community put on shows here throughout the year, so if you enjoy local theater, definitely check it out for some entertainment while you’re in town.

The Spire Theater

One more theater to mention in Jamestown is the Spire Theater, housed in an old church building downtown. Check out their upcoming events for music, shows, and Chautauqua’s Got Talent.

Northwest Arena

Well… I guess this picture is pretty old. This is when it was still called “Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena.” Now that’s a mouthful.

Northwest Arena is a beautiful ice arena right in downtown Jamestown. If you’re in town for the annual comedy fest, this is where you’re going for the evening comedy performance. They also host other performances throughout the year, both on and off the ice.

You can also check out a local hockey game while you’re in town, stop by during the open skate hours, or walk the track for a little exercise. Be sure to book a 10 minute slot on the ice bumper cars while you’re here!

  • Fun Fact: I always want to watch movies about local people or places first before I visit. So here’s a fun movie night idea: The star of Ice Castles (the remake) actually grew up skating at this arena. She was originally cast as a stunt double, to film the skating parts. But her acting was so good, she played the whole role herself!

Pearl City Clayhouse

Pearl City Clayhouse is a new studio in downtown Jamestown. Check out their many events where you can throw pottery on the wheel, build with clay slabs, have tea with artists, or even do yoga! Yes, yoga.

The River Walk

Another one of the things to do in Jamestown is to stroll along the river walk.

You can access the river walk trail at any point along the river downtown, and follow all across the city. It runs behind the Comedy Center, which you can reach by crossing one of the pedestrian foot bridges.

It’s a beautiful place to walk at any time of day. Except when it’s snowing…

Audubon Community Nature Center

See a bald eagle, hunt for lightning bugs, walk the trails, or meet a turtle intent on biting off your nose… These are all things you can do at the Audubon Community Nature Center.

The walking trails through the woods are very easy to walk on, and great for everyone. Be sure to check out their upcoming events, like the enchanted forest or lights at the Audubon.

Panama Rocks

Panama Rocks is a fun, outdoor adventure, even if you’re not an avid hiker. The impressive rock formations are fun to climb on (or through).

And if you’re really looking for a challenge, try to figure out all the clues on their scavenger hunt to be able to find (and open) the treasure chest at the end of your excursion!

This park is very affordable, and not far from downtown Jamestown, making this another one of the great things to do in Jamestown.

Martz Observatory

About 20 minutes outside of town, on the highest point in Chautauqua County, is the Martz Observatory. The observatory houses several large telescopes, and is a great place for star gazing.

Wednesdays are “public nights,” when it’s open for everyone to come visit, look through one of the telescopes, and tour the facility. Admission is free, but they ask for a $5 donation. The third Wednesday of every month is usually some sort of event or lecture, some of which you can even tune in on virtually!

  • Be sure to wear a jacket; the telescopes have to be kept at a certain (chilly) temperature all year.

Chautauqua Institution


World famous Chautauqua Institution is a popular place to visit in the summer.

During the summer season (the end of June-the end of August) there are all sorts of fun events happening on the grounds. From lectures by well-known artists, authors and intellectuals (like Sean Astin!), to original theater productions, to shows and concerts by famous artists.

You need a gate pass to enter during “season.” You can buy a gate pass for the day, which will get you onto the grounds and into any amphitheater events that day, or you can buy a ticket for a specific event, which will also allow you on the grounds for a few hours for the event.

It is free to enter on Sundays, but you will still need to stop at the main gate to pick up your free gate pass for the day. It is completely free to enter the grounds at any time during the off-season.

  • During the summer season, pay for parking in the large parking lot across the street.

  • In the off-season, you can park on the grounds for free.

Bemus Point

Bemus Point is a cute little town on the lake that’s just over a 15 minute drive from Jamestown. It’s full of cute boutiques, a coffee shop, a little market with an ice cream window, and quite a few restaurants on the water. It is also one of the best public places for views of Chautauqua Lake.

For a unique thing to do, you can ride the ferry for free across the lake to Stow and back (more info below).

Midway State Park

Midway is the perfect place to take young kids for the day. There are all sorts of kiddie rides (adults can fit on some too!), an arcade, a small museum, a large playground, and my favorite mini golf course around (see the next item).

Even if you don’t have young kids, its location right on the lake makes it a perfect picnic spot. Then take a ride on the historic carousel after lunch.

Mini Golf

It’s not exactly unique to the area, but we have several options if you want a fun (and outdoor) activity to end your day with.

Lakewood Golf Center

Lakewood Golf Center is the closest mini golf course. It’s just your average run of the mill mini golf course, but they’ve actually done a really nice job updating it recently, so this is a really fun place to hang out with the family.

After your round of mini golf, grab an ice cream from their extensive flavor list, relax on the rocking porch chairs, or play a round of corn hole.


If you want to pretend that you’re a real golfer, but you only have the skills of a mini golfer (or no skills at all…), Webb’s is the course for you. There are hills, sand traps, and a little flag in each hole.

  • If you go here, be sure to stop by Boxcar Barney’s down the street for some ice cream, and head across the street to the park on Chautauqua Lake to eat it!

Put ARound Chautauqua (PAR) at Midway State Park

This is a bit further out of town, but it’s definitely my favorite mini golf course. This is the fun one, with the windmill and the… you know… that red tube that goes around in a circle (you know what I mean?). All the classic mini golf obstacles. It’s in a beautiful location next to the tiny amusement park by the lake.

  • If you do make your way out here, head over to The Spring’s restaurant across the street for dinner. It’s delicious!


If you want to get outdoors and get some exercise, or just enjoy the beautiful scenery, kayaking is a great way to spend some time.

To rent kayaks:

Head across the border to Conewango Kayak Canoe Rental, off Route 62. They will drive you to a spot up in Frewsburg, and from there you can paddle (kayak or canoe) your way back to their shop.

There is a little island about halfway through which is a good stop for a picnic lunch. It is not a good spot for fake proposing (like my friend did once!). Because fake proposing is never a good idea.

If you have your own kayak:

Head to McCrea Point park & boat launch. There is a parking area with bathrooms, picnic tables and a boat shaped playground. You might even see the beautiful Chautauqua Belle docked there.

Take a Cruise on Chautauqua Lake

What better way to see the lake than from right in the middle of it? Here are a couple ways to get out on the lake:

Chautauqua Belle

Cruise along the beautiful lake in the historic Chautauqua Belle, and imagine what it might have looked like back in the 1800’s. Afternoon trips or dinner cruises are available.

Bemus Point-Stow Ferry

If you want to enjoy the lake, but don’t want to pay for a ride on the Belle, you can cross the lake on the free Bemus Point-Stow Ferry. The ferry runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the summer.


I’m really not an avid hiker… But we do have some beautiful places to hike! If you’re interested in hiking, be sure to check out the trails in nearby Allegany State Park.


One of the things to do in Jamestown is to go shopping!

There are lots of independent shops to explore in the downtown area of Jamestown (and throughout the area), but I want to specifically point out a couple. But be sure to check all the other local shops too!

Big Tree Maple

Buy homemade maple syrup products at Big Tree Maple off of Big Tree Rd. Just drive up to the barn and go in the door that’s marked on the left hand side of the barn.

There may or may not be anyone inside, but there is a locked cash box and a log to record what you bought. You can pay cash, check, or card, just make sure you have exact change if you are paying cash (also be aware, it’s super cold inside to keep the maple syrup products fresh!).

CHQ Plus

CHQ Plus is a cute shop in downtown Jamestown that sells products from local artists while employing and supporting adults who are developmentally disabled.

It is also a great place to buy a local delicacy—Aunt Joan’s Pearl City Popcorn. This popcorn comes in many different rotating flavors, and also happens to be handmade by… my mom! But I swear, this is THE BEST caramel corn you will ever taste. Ever.

Places to Eat in Jamestown

There are so many great places to eat in Jamestown, NY (including, in my tried and tested opinion, the best donuts ever)! There are even more restaurants than what is listed here, and trust me, this is a pretty good list.

Crown St. Roasting Company

Crown St. is my favorite coffee shop. Not that I’m really into coffee. But according to people I know who are really into coffee, they have good coffee.

They also have good pumpkin lattes, if you’re into that!

  • Fun fact: the bar in front of the window used to be the bowling lane from a local bowling alley that closed down!

Labyrinth Press Co. & Brazil Lounge

If you’re more into the vegan scene, or just want to try ALL the pumpkin spice lattes, check out Labyrinth Press Co. at their super cool location on 4th Street.

Or in the evenings, check out their sister spot just up the street at Brazil Craft Beer & Wine Lounge for a fun night out on the town.

Ecklof Bakery

This is THE BEST place to get donuts (and trust me, I’ve tried a lot of donuts).

Ecklof Bakery is a family owned, Swedish bakery, and you can find all sorts of traditional Swedish desserts, as well as amazing cupcakes, donuts, and their famous pink stripe cookies.

They also serve lunch, so you don’t have to just fill up on donuts (I might though).

Gypsy Moon Cake Co.

Gypsy Moon Cake Co. is one of two cupcake shops (with “moon” in the name) downtown. They also have wraps, which they used to sell at the farmer’s market, and I can vouch that they are delicious (minus the cilantro!). They don’t have a booth at the farmer’s market anymore, because their shop is right on the same street!

They also decorate amazing cookies. The cookies (pictured above!) for the Fenton Halloween tours were made by them.

Full Moon Rising Bakery

I’ve taste tested both bakeries’ cupcakes, and I will say that they are pretty much equal. Although I might actually lean more toward Gypsy Moon as far as tastiness.

But as far as epic decoratedness, Full Moon Rising wins by a long shot. Jason says it looks like a unicorn threw up inside. I say it looks like sugar heaven (and smells like it too).

Honestly, the cupcakes aren’t anything to sneeze at, but the frosting is what’s really good. And they sell frosting shots, soo…

El Jarocho

El Jarocho is a Mexican restaurant conveniently located right downtown. They have really good, authentic tasting Mexican food.

La Cocina

La Cocina is another Mexican restaurant located a bit further out, in Lakewood. They have a HUGE menu, so the choices are practically endless. And also delicious.

La Cucina Della Nona

La Cucina is like the sister restaurant of La Cocina, except it’s Italian. And also delicious. Prepare for some very big helpings of chicken parm.

They are located just across the Third St. bridge from downtown.

  • There is an upcharge for paying with a credit card.


The Art of Flavors

We have no lack of Mexican restaurants for sure, but Art of Flavors is my favorite! The Art of Flavors is an appropriate name, as their dishes are full of flavor! My personal favorite is the fajita quesadilla.


If you want fancy Italian, or another option that’s right downtown, Sauce is the place for you. A bit more expensive, but it’s a great atmosphere to hang out in on the weekend and pretend you’re in a big city or something. At least that’s what I do.

The BEST thing on the menu (unless you’re a vegetarian) is by far “the butcher” pizza. A half size pizza is six huge (thick!) slices, and easily feeds two people, and probably three.

  • Their hours are very limited, Wed.-Sat. 4-7:30 pm.

  • There is a discount for paying with cash.


Davidson’s is another classic Jamestown restaurant (although it’s also out in Lakewood). They are famous for their fish fry. The peanut butter pie is pretty popular too. Unless you’re allergic. Like me…

Farmer Brown’s Beef and Mooore

Farmer Brown’s is only open in the nice weather (so not very long out of the year…). This is an outdoor food stand in Lakewood. It’s great for barbecue and more or less the sorts of foods you would find at a fair. It always smells amazing when we drive by.

Johnny’s Lunch

If you’re in the mood for simple, classic American dining (AKA-a really good hot dog!), then head to the ultimate classic Jamestown restaurant, Johnny’s Lunch. Famous for the “special sauce,” they also serve hamburgers and milkshakes.

I had never been to Johnny’s before I was in college, and one of my high school classmates told me that was “un-Jamestownian.” How dare I not go to Johnny’s!

Don’t be like me. If you’re in Jamestown, go to Johnny’s.

Fifties Grille & Dairy

If you just want a classic burger and shake (with black and white photos of Lucy on the wall) Fifties is the place to be (poodle skirts optional). They have two locations, on Washington St., just outside of downtown, or out in Lakewood by the movie theater.

Perfect Pizza

If you have a hankering for pizza and wings while you’re in town, Perfect Pizza is our favorite place to go! They have fantastic wings, and thick crust pizza.

Pace’s Pizzeria

If you’re more of a thin crust sort of person, check out this local pizza joint right on the edge of downtown Jamestown. Pace’s Pizzeria has thin crust pizza, pasta dishes, and don’t forget to save room for cannolis for dessert!


If you’re in western NY, you have to check out Wegmans. Yes, it’s a grocery store, but it’s so much more! If you have never been to a Wegmans, do yourself a favor and CHECK IT OUT!

They have a pizza shop, sub shop, coffee shop, sushi bar, and a full salad bar and buffet. Stop by and hang out in the café for lunch.

Ice Cream

There are so many good places to get ice cream! Big Tree has always been my favorite, but I actually really like going to the golf center to get ice cream now!

Sprinkle Cone

Sprinkle Cone is the downtown spot for ice cream. The ice cream is homemade, and so creamy and delicious. They have a small variety of flavors, some of which stay the same and some that rotate.

It’s a really cute location and good ice cream, but be aware that you are getting the worst deal around as far as portion size vs. cost.

J Willy’s Q & Cream

Another ice cream spot in downtown is J Willy’s, in case you don’t want to cough up the cost of Sprinkle Cone. They serve Perry’s ice cream, as well as some delicious looking barbecue items. And their prices are fantastic!

**Big Tree Ice Cream

Big Tree is the best place to go for ice cream. They have soft serve and hard ice cream. The flavors are all amazing, and the BEST part is if you get the soft serve, you can mix and match from the gigantic list of flavor options to mix in.

My favorite flavor combo is mint and brownie batter.

This shop is in Lakewood, so about a ten minute drive out of town.

  • Please note—they only accept cash! No credit cards! They do have an ATM.

Lakewood Golf Center

We used to always go to Lakewood Golf Center to play mini golf, then drive 2 minutes down the road to Big Tree for ice cream. But now I’m conflicted… Because over the past year they’ve actually really updated the area around the golf course and basically quadrupled their ice cream options.

You can also play a free game of corn hole or other yard games. Or just sit on the rocking porch chairs and enjoy your ice cream. So this might actually be my new favorite option…

Cafes on 4th St. in downtown Jamestown, NY.

There are a ton of other shops, cafés & restaurants to check out, and new ones all the time! So be sure to explore!

Day Trips from Jamestown

There are so many great places to day trip to from Jamestown, NY!

Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Falls State Park is about a 2 hr. drive from Jamestown, so it makes a great day trip from the area, or an add on, if you want to drive up there and stay for another couple of days.

Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park is consistently recognized as the best state park in the country. It is known as “the little grand canyon of the east,” which I thought was impressive, until I realized that everything that is not the Grand Canyon is known as the “little grand canyon of somewhere.”

But Letchworth actually is impressive, and well worth a visit! It’s about a 1 hr. 40 min. drive from Jamestown.

Sprague’s Maple Farms

Sprague’s restaurant is an experience all in itself! Definitely worth the just over 1 hr. drive from Jamestown, it is the best place to get the “maple syrup” experience.

Their restaurant is HUGE, and decorated all over with carved wooden bears, hanging geese whose wings actually fly, and a little raccoon who periodically pops up his head while you’re enjoying dinner. Kids will love trying to spot the animals that move.

In addition to the restaurant, there is a store full of local products, a caramel corn kitchen, a playground, and if you’re there in the fall, hay rides up the hill to their sugar shack, where you can treat yourself to free apple cider and doughnuts (be sure to save room!).

Presque Isle State Park

Located about an hour away, just past Erie, PA, Presque Isle is a fun beach day, bike day, volleyball day, or giant motorcycle shaped paddle boat day. There are so many things to do here, but mostly I just like to sit and relax on the beach.

  • Drive all the way through the park to get to Beach 11. Since it’s further back, it’s less crowded.

  • If you want to play volleyball, stop at Beach 6.

Peek’n Peak Resort

Peek’n Peak is Jason’s and my “go to” spot. We love the medieval European atmosphere, and outdoor sauna! There is a lot to do at this beautiful resort:

Themed Dinners

Jason and I went here for a murder mystery dinner for our first anniversary. And since I solved the mystery, we won a free night and came back for the medieval dinner theater!

They were both fun, but I would definitely recommend the medieval dinner! It was so much fun (although occasionally risqué). We were literally given NO silverware, which was really awkward at first, but ended up being so much fun (and messy!).


Peak n Peak is known as a ski resort, but they also have an impressive golf course to enjoy in the warmer months. They even sometimes have major competitions here.


(And snow tubing!) I’ve never been skiing, but if you like skiing (or would like to try!) definitely check out the hills at Peak n Peak.

Or if you would prefer to head down the hill sitting down (so you can’t fall over), check out their tubing hill.


Check out their website for all the different events. One of the most popular is the annual Fall Fest, which is an absolutely beautiful time to visit.

Festivals in Jamestown, NY

Need more things to do in Jamestown, NY? Why not visit during one of these fun festivals?

The Comedy Festival

“Lucy Under the Stars”—watching “I Love Lucy” during one of the annual Comedy Festivals.

Undoubtedly one of the best times of year to visit, the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival usually takes place around the first weekend in August.

Join thousands of people to celebrate Lucy’s birthday, try your hand (foot?) at grape stomping, and enjoy one of the comedy shows by world famous comedians (AKA: people you’ve actually heard of!).

The Farmer’s Market

The farmer’s market takes place downtown on Saturdays from June through October. It’s fun to walk through the booths on your way to Crown St. to get a pumpkin latte, or to get lunch at one of the local cafés grilling out, while enjoying the outdoor music.

The Scandinavian Festival

Jamestown, NY has a large population of Swedish descendants (Even the famous Ecklof Bakery is Swedish!). You are just as likely to see the Swedish flag flying as you are the American flag.

So it comes as no surprise that the Scandinavian Festival is one of the largest (and one of the best) festivals in town. It’s usually held in July, which is not exactly mid-summer, but we still celebrate with the traditional dance around the Maypole. It’s so much fun to join in with all the participants and learn some traditional Swedish dance moves.

They also have archery and axe throwing, a Viking ship replica, and all sorts of traditional food. Of course, me I went with the ice cream sundae for lunch, but you know…

Places to Stay in Jamestown

Sunset on Chautauqua Lake from the Harbor Hotel in Celeron.

DoubleTree by Hilton

Double Tree is the fancy place to stay right downtown. It’s perfectly convenient, has a nice restaurant, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about staying here. It’s just gonna cost a bit.

La Quinta Inn & Suites

La Quinta is the less expensive (but still nice!) spot to stay, right downtown.

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express is just off the highway. This affordable hotel is outside of the downtown area, but being a small town, is really not that far from anything.

The Harbor Hotel

The Harbor Hotel is the most expensive, but absolutely beautiful place to stay, right on the lake. You can look out on the park in Celoron and imagine what it was like when Lucille Ball worked at a hot dog stand at the Celoron Amusement Park.

  • Even if you don’t want to shell out the money to stay here, come by at night and enjoy one of the fire pits and watch the sun set over the lake (it’s free!).

What to Read & Watch

before coming to Jamestown, NY

I can’t help myself. If I’m going somewhere, I want to read books and watch movies about it first. So here are a few ideas to get you excited about your trip to Jamestown:


Love, Lucy

The autobiography of comedy’s leading lady, Love, Lucy is a heartfelt, humorous yet serious look back on her life and how she ended up fulfilling her dream. It describes the old Celeron park near where she grew up, the furniture boom of Jamestown, and so many other local places.

It’s not all happy, but it’s a good read, especially if you’re coming to see the “Lucy” stuff. And if you don’t have a copy, we have at least 6 at the local library (we love our Lucy)!


I Love Lucy

I mean, duh! You can’t come to Jamestown and not watch I Love Lucy. You just can’t. Plus it’s just a really fun show, even if you’re not on your way to the area.

Other Lucy Movies

Most people don’t know that Lucy made a lot of other movies and TV shows besides just I Love Lucy (or even who she is at all!! Yes, I’m talking to you Jeopardy contestants who all drew a blank on Lucille Ball!!!).

Here are a few good ones to starts with:

  • Fancy Pants

  • Dance Girl, Dance

  • Stage Door

  • Yours, Mine & Ours

Lucy and Desi

This Amy Poehler directed documentary tells the story of Lucy and Desi’s rise to fame and its effect on their relationship. You’ll learn a lot of Lucy’s early history from New York State, and see plenty of local locations featured in Lucy and Desi.

Liberty Under Law

Liberty Under Law is an inspiring documentary about the life and work of Robert H. Jackson. You can periodically catch it on TV (does anyone watch actual TV anymore???) or purchase a copy of the DVD (does anyone watch actual DVDs anymore???) from the Robert H. Jackson Center in downtown Jamestown.

I highly suggest it if you are a fan of history and want to learn more about the legacy of this remarkable man.

Separate But Equal

This moving 1991 film follows the NAACP lawyers through the process of bringing the “Brown v Board” case to the Supreme Court (on which Jamestown’s Robert H. Jackson was serving).

It originally aired as a TV mini series, and is just over 3 hrs. long. You can watch the whole thing (at once or in pieces) for free on Youtube!

Ice Castles (2010)

As mentioned earlier, the star of this movie grew up skating at Northwest Arena (then called the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena). So definitely check it out before heading to the arena and trying out the ice bumper cars!

Fall Activities

Fall is one of the best times to come to come visit western NY.

Check out my whole list of fall specific” activities to do in Jamestown and the surrounding areas!

Some ideas of the fall things to do in Jamestown include:

  • Pumpkintown

  • Apple picking

  • Haunted hay rides

  • Fall foliage train rides

  • & so much more!

So there you have my HUGE list of things to do in Jamestown, NY. I hope you come visit soon!

Any more questions?

If you have any questions about visiting Jamestown, don’t hesitate to email me.

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