Chautauqua is primarily a pedestrian community with very narrow streets. The use of automobiles on the grounds is tightly restricted.

Guest with Main Lot parking can obtain a 45-minute pass at any gate to unload or load the content of the vehicle at their accommodations.

The Institution provides regularly scheduled complimentary shuttle bus and tram service in the Main Lot and on the grounds during the season.


On Grounds


Bicycles are an efficient way to get around the grounds. They must be equipped with a bell or other signaling device and have brakes in working order.

After sunset a headlight and rear reflector are required, and New York State law requires that bicyclists under 14 wear a safety helmet. A bicycle rental shop is located on the grounds during the season. Bicycles may be rented from the Jamestown Cycle Shop's Chautauqua location on Massey Avenue, next to the Chautauqua Fire Department, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Saturday, noon–6 p.m. Sunday (716-357-9032). Skateboarding is not permitted on the grounds. Rollerblading is allowed on perimeter streets.

In order to better regulate bicycle traffic at Chautauqua and to provide for better enforcement of our rules and regulations about bicycles, the Institution requires the registration of all bicycles. There is no charge for registration and registration stickers can be issued and mailed by the Ticket Office along with your ticket order.

Accessibility for People with Disabilities

Accessibility Information for Guests

There are no entry or parking fees from September through the beginning of the 2020 season in June, and all our entrances are open until 6 p.m. each day (after 6 p.m. all traffic must route through the main entrance at 1 Massey Ave.). Visitors are welcome to park and walk the Institution grounds. All around Bestor Plaza, a handful of inns, restaurants and shops, plus the post office and library, are open limited hours during these quieter months.

Year-Round Dining & Shopping

Year-Round Dining

Afterwords Café

Located on Bestor Plaza, above the bookstore.
Daily • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Afterwords Café offers fine private roast coffee (Crown Street Roasting Co.), pastries, soups, paninis and desserts.

Year-Round Shopping

Chautauqua Bookstore

Post Office Building | 716.357.2151
Daily • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Open year-round excluding major holidays)

Gretchen’s Gallery

Colonnade | 716.969.1268

Open by appointment

Original fine art and handcrafted gifts by regional artists, unique vintage/antique finds.

St. Elmo Day Spa

St. Elmo concourse | 716.357.2224

Open by appointment 

Vincenza Salon & Spa

Colonnade | 716.450.1081

Open by appointment 

Challenge yourself. Discover a hidden talent. Share the memories. Inspire a new generation.
Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 visitors will stay at Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages — all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village.

The Chautauqua experience is based around one’s engagement in five program areas: arts, education, religion, recreation, and youth. While people visit Chautauqua Institution for all different lengths of stay — the most popular length of stay on the grounds is one week.

Are you staying overnight or longer?

DSC 0830If you're planning a trip, you'll need to find accommodations, purchase gate and parking passes and choose what programming you'd like to attend.

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Planning a day trip?

070318 MorningLecture JelaniCobb AD 3To experience all that Chautauqua Institution has to offer in one day — including daily lectures, concerts, the beautiful grounds, two art galleries and so much more — you’ll need a gate pass for the duration of your stay and to park your car in our Main Lot.

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Are you coming for one event?

0720 Straight No Chaser BCH 4If you're coming for a single event, buy tickets, parking passes and registration.

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Buy Tickets, Passes & Registrations

0711 ushers7 AJM masterTo enter the Institution grounds, a gate ticket is required for all visitors ages 13 to 90; a youth ticket is available for ages 13 to 25.

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Dining and Shopping

heirloom rp 08222014 0040View the dining options on and off the grounds, as well as the unique stores that complement Chautauqua Institution's offerings.

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Maps & Directions

062214 Molly MB58 MasterChautauqua is basically a walking community with very narrow streets. The use of automobiles on the grounds is very restricted.

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Group Tours and Road Scholar

DSC 0478Make your next group tour destination Chautauqua Institution located in western New York.

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Chautauqua on a Budget

DSC 6694Chautauqua on a Budget, formerly known as the 55+ Residential Week, is a weeklong dormitory accommodation special that is only available during Weeks Eight and Nine.

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Tour Chautauqua County

20170816 gf 00733For more than 140 years, Chautauqua has been a destination for vacation learning, a place for personal growth, a place that engages the mind, body and spirit.

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