With an extensive and scenic waterfront, CHQ has always celebrated its connection to the lake, and swimming has remained a popular past-time. The 25 yard indoor pool at the Turner Community Center is open daily throughout the year for lap swimming, open family swims and private rentals.

Members of Chautauqua Health & Fitness receive complimentary admission to the pool. Separate pool memberships may also be purchased. Children 6 and under must be accompanied in the water by a responsible adult (18 years or older).

Chautauqua Institution maintains two public beaches, open daily (see hours & phone numbers below) and supervised by certified lifeguards during the summer season. Swimming is only allowed at our swim areas when lifeguards are on duty. Children must pass a deep end test unassisted at each beach in order to swim in deep water.

Beaches & Waterfronts

Beaches & Waterfronts

Lifeguard must be present to swim in designated beaches.


Children’s Beach, by the Miller Bell Tower, provides a shallow swimming area and sand beach for youth and their families. Children unable to stand alone with their head above water or in need of flotation devices must be accompanied in the water by an adult.

Closed for the season


Pier Beach, adjacent to Children’s Beach is a deep water swimming area. All children must pass a deep end test in order to swim here. New this season: Water X at the Waterfront will be offered at Pier Beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 a.m.–10:15 a.m. It serves as a fun way to get in shape in the midst of a beautiful setting. Check out the Special Studies catalog for more details.

Closed for the season


Heinz Waterfront, located on South Lake Drive in front of the Heinz Fitness Center. 

This waterfront area is provided for sunbathing and fishing purposes. Fishing poles can be rented and nightcrawlers purchased at the Sports Club located on the shoreline in front of the Athenaeum Hotel.

Closed for the season


University Waterfront, located on North Lake Drive directly below the President’s Cottage, has a shallow and deep end. Water shoes are recommended due to the mostly rocky bottom and presence of zebra mussel shells.

This waterfront area is provided for sunbathing and fishing purposes. Fishing poles can be rented and nightcrawlers purchased at the Sports Club located on the shoreline in front of the Athenaeum Hotel.

Closed for the season