Planning Your Stay
Finding accommodations should be your first priority when planning a visit to Chautauqua. Accommodations can fill up long before gate passes even go on sale.
All accommodations within the Institution’s grounds are privately owned except for the Athenaeum Hotel and Bellinger Hall dormitory.
Buy Tickets, Passes & Registration
Register for a class
Chautauqua’s Special Studies program continues to create distinct new learning opportunities for the 10,000 lifelong learners of all ages.
Before you arrive for the summer assembly season:
Bring groceries. Many of the rental properties have kitchens or kitchenettes. There are limited grocery options on the grounds.
Be prepared for our weather. Most days are warm. On cloudy days, the temperature can be more moderate, so be prepared with a light jacket, long pants and an umbrella to keep you dry! It’s always a good idea to pack an extra sweater or a heavier jacket for chillier evenings.
Chautauqua is casual. Bring plenty of casual clothes and active wear. Many visitors wear casual clothes during the day and may dress up in the evening for dinner or a performance.
Bring your bike. Bring your bike or rent one when you arrive by visiting the Bike Rent on Massey Avenue (operated by Jamestown Cycle Shop). Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes! Chautauqua Institution is a pedestrian and cycling community.
Bring a seat cushion. Seat cushions come in handy in our Amphitheater, which has bench seating.
Pack a flashlight. Don’t forget your flashlight. It comes in handy for an evening walk by the lake or heading home after your nightly ice cream cone at the Brick Walk Cafe.
When you arrive during the summer assembly season
Weekends are a busy time at our entrance gates as many people arrive and depart from their stays. Traffic can become delayed at our Main Gate entrance. Here are some tips for avoiding a delay:
- If you’ve already received your passes in the mail you may opt to avoid Main Gate traffic by entering the gate nearest to your accommodations. Click here to view the map of the grounds and find your entrance.
- Are you are picking up your passes or purchasing them when you arrive? While advance purchase is strongly recommended, you may also buy passes at the Welcome Center when you arrive.If we are holding your passes for pick-up, they will be waiting for you at our Main Gate Welcome Center Will Call window. Please pull into our Main Gate entrance and use the 30-minute parking adjacent to the Welcome Center and follow the posted instructions for curbside pick-up.
Unpacking and parking
- For the duration of your stay, you will likely keep your vehicle in our Main Parking Lot (across from the grounds on Route 394). When you first arrive, you may enter the grounds with your vehicle to unload. At the main gate auto hut, you will be issued a 45-minute drop-off pass. Head down to your accommodations to unpack your vehicle and transfer your groceries to the refrigerator. (Please be careful not to block the road for other traffic.)
- Once you finish unloading, park your vehicle in our main parking lot, take the lot tram back to the grounds, then catch the shuttle to return to your accommodations. Make sure to present your green unloading pass to exit the auto gate. ALSO, bring your gate pass with you for re-entry to the grounds.
Summer Assembly Season Tips
What to do once you’re settled in:
Pick up a copy of our newspaper. The Chautauquan Daily is available at Logan Hall and Chautauqua Bookstore, from boxes at the Main Gate Welcome Center, Amphitheater Gate 2 or from sellers around Bestor Plaza. Each issue provides a full events schedule, coverage of many programs and important contact information.
The Visitors Center welcomes you!
Where: Bestor Plaza • Sunday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Saturday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Visitors Center will provide you with all the information you need to create the best Chautauqua experience. Our staff will help you learn the ins and outs of this unique place!