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May 31, 2019

Chautauqua County, New York is the perfect first stop on the Empire State Road trip

A few weeks ago I was invited on the Empire State Road trip. It travels through Chautauqua, NY to Watkins Glenn, NY and finishes off in the 1000 islands area. A perfect collection of places, easily within driving distance, to visit and experience. We just arrived back home and I am so excited to share our travels with you! It is my hope YOU will be inspired to also take this road trip yourselves. 
Our first stop was checking into the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel. It has recently opened, just last August, to an inviting town. It is a combination of luxury, business class aesthetics mixed with a welcoming staff and modern amenities. 
I received a free stay to help facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
We had the pleasure of securing a room with a view of Chautauqua Lake, complete with a balcony! If you are interested in staying the night, I truly recommend the upgrade because the views both sunrise to sunset are absolutely amazing!
On the first day of exploring the area, we ventured to the National Comedy Center. Another new development in a pretty well known "city" called Jamestown, NY. Home to Museums, including one dedicated to "I love Lucy", a popular TV series, that offer homage to some of the most famous comedians known. 
The innovation, futuristic technology (A.I. Laugh battle by Microsoft for example) and general care they have put into the National Comedy Center is exquisite. You could easily spend hours, many visits and still not experience everything the Center has to offer. I hope to do a FULL review on this establishment as a mere mention just does not do it justice!! 
If you are in town, please, please, please, do yourself a favor and stop in! 
Next we popped in the Lucy-Desi Museum. Much as you would suspect they have costumes, memorabilia, photographs, replica "I Love Lucy" sets and the history of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. What I found fascinating was the ever growing collection complete with her car and numerous awards! If you are a fan, this is a great place to get some history.
Now, we had a choice to visit the Chautauqua Institute or Robert H. Jackson Center next. Both places, I would recommend but if you are touring the area pick what interests you! On a nice day, perhaps you could enjoy the beach, a delicious meal or listen to theatrical/musical shows at the Institute. On a rainy day perhaps a visit to "the historical center which features interactive exhibits, presentations, and media exploring the universal principles of equality, fairness, and justice". 
Nature is a huge interest to my family. I would be remiss if I didn't include great areas to explore just that! I have written a full review of the Panama Rocks Park, here, a place that might entice some of you hikers! You can also walk the trails at the Jamestown Audubon or perhaps bird watch at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. 
When our full two days of exploring had come to an end we all enjoyed a fancy dinner at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel! I ordered the Shrimp Scampi. It was hands down the best scallops I have ever tastes. Perfectly seared, with just the right amount of sauce👌.

Side note: If you do stop in for a meal, I recommend servers Darlene & Jamie they are rock-stars✨!  
With our first stop on the Empire State Road Trip complete we headed off to the next location Watkins Glenn, NY. I will be sharing, each stop, in the coming weeks.
Have you ever been to Chautauqua, New York. 
What attractions do you find interesting (museums, nature trails, hiking, adventures, golf etc)? Let us know in the comments below!!
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