The town of Ellicottville, New York is best known for its excellent skiing during the winters, but it has a lot more to offer than that. It’s a popular location with both Americans and Canadians since it sits less than 100 miles from the border and Niagara Falls.
Actually, Ellicottville is really more of a quaint village than it is a town. About a quarter of the homes lie in a valley close to the foothills of the majestic Allegheny Mountains and are actually owned by Canadians.
(photo by Michael Bates)
It’s become a popular place with those who live north of the border because the village is easy to get to and pretty close, and because it offers a cultural melting pot for such a small place. And of course, a strong Canadian dollar is another huge attraction.
While the population quickly grows in size during the winters due to the influx of skiers, it’s relatively quiet in the summers and an ideal destination to explore on foot.
The village has an old-time charm to it with numerous historic wood and brick buildings which have been revitalized as trendy, colourful restaurants and shops.
There are also some excellent regional and local arts and crafts on display at a place called Earth Arts and if you’re into old-style toys you should check out Kazoo 11. You’ll also be able to taste and purchase the local wines at the Winery of Ellicottville, which is relatively new to town.
For those who prefer an ice-cold beer you can drop in to the Ellicottville Brewing Company and try out their wide selection of beers.
As with most quaint villages, you’ll find a picturesque church and in Ellicottville it’s the St. John’s Episcopal Church, which is Gothic style and was constructed back in 1837.
There are plenty of fine dining choices in town, with the Gin Mill being one of them. For the more adventurous eaters, you can try out the popular ostrich burger and one of the restaurant’s micro beers.
When you take a detour from Washington Street, which is the main artery, you’ll find yourself walking down old tree-lined streets that feature numerous homes that were built in the 19th century.
Some of these offer accommodations as charming bed and breakfasts. There are also several hotels in town to select from for an overnight visit. Luxury vacation houses are also available.
Things do get busier in Ellicottville at other times of the year, especially when there’s a festival going on and this is actually quite often. There are about a dozen held throughout the year with the most popular one being the Summer Music Festival which usually takes place in early July just before Independence Day.
The local area is just as interesting and you’ll find that Allegheny State Park is just a short drive away. Don’t be surprised if you pass some horse and buggies on the roads as the local Amish families often travel along them.
There’s plenty to see and do in Ellicottville and a trip there will make it easier to understand why it’s popular with residents on both sides of the American/Canadian border.