14 Exciting Things to Do in Ellicottville, NY

Looking for a peaceful day with picturesque views and exciting activities to indulge in? Look no further than Ellicottville, NY!

This charming village nestled in the Enchanted Mountains of Western New York has something for everyone.

Whether you enjoy hiking, skiing, shopping or simply taking in the scenery, there’s never a dull moment here.

But with so much to do and see, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. Don’t worry; in this article we’ll cover all the best things to do in Ellicottville to help you plan the perfect trip!

1. Taste Local Flavors at Winery of Ellicottville

Ready to explore the hidden gem of Western New York? Check out the fabulous Winery of Ellicottville, where you’ll sip, savor, and swirl amazing local wines.

All their winemaking takes place right on the premises. Book a Taste and Tour combo or sweet-talk your way into a behind-the-scenes peek during your visit.

You’ll learn all about their vino production process, and who knows, you might become the next sommelier in your group.

This legendary winery is more than just tastings. They host events like potted herb garden workshops. Get your hands dirty, ask gardening gurus, and sip wine all at the same time. It doesn’t get any better than that!

If you’re a wine enthusiast or simply looking for a cool place to unwind with your friends, this little haven in Ellicottville is definitely worth a visit.

Winery of Ellicottville New York
Photo Credit: Winery of Ellicottville New York

2. Find the Perfect Pair at the Purple Doorknob

If you’re in Ellicottville, you have to swing by the Purple Doorknob. With over 1,000 styles of funky socks packin’ the place, you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.

The atmosphere? Think fun, quirky, and so darn cozy. You’ll find the wildest socks around – from funky patterns to zany colors.

The Purple Doorknob’s not just for sock fanatics. They dabble in accessories, women’s clothing, and lingerie too.

But let’s cut to the chase – socks are their star, and boy, do they shine. With a selection that’s off the charts, no wonder they’ve made their mark on Ellicottville.

If you’re not into sock couture, you might be a tad underwhelmed. But hey, we say life’s too short for boring socks.

3. Discover the Past at Ellicottville Historical Museum

Are you a history buff? Make your way to the Ellicottville Historical Museum during your trip – it’s a treasure trove of local knowledge that’ll take you on a journey through time.

Feel the charm of the past as you meander through the exhibits, learning about how Ellicottville came to be what it is today.

There’s a surprise around every corner, with unique artifacts and photos that shed light on fascinating stories. Who knew Ellicottville had such an enthralling history? You won’t find these tidbits in any guidebooks.

Take the opportunity to chat with the museum’s friendly historian, Mary Elizabeth Dunbar – trust us, she knows her stuff. Plus, lucky for us, admission is free (yes, you read that right)!

A little heads up, though – the museum is only open June through September, on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. So, time your visit wisely!

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4. Indulge in Sweet Treats at Watson’s Chocolates

While you’re exploring the charming village of Ellicottville, make sure you stop by Watson’s Chocolates, a little piece of chocolate heaven.

With four generations of candy-making expertise, these guys know a thing or two about satisfying your sweet cravings.

Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by the mouth-watering smell of freshly made chocolates. This place is like a playground for your taste buds!

You’ll definitely want to try their famous sponge candy – caramelized spun sugar coated in rich chocolate. It’s a local favorite and an Ellicottville must-have.

Besides their star treat, Watson’s offers plenty of other goodies. From Buttercrunch to delectable chocolate-covered pretzels, your sweet tooth is in for a wild ride.

Pro tip: sample their seasonal specialties for a unique twist on your chocolate experience.

Watson’s is a crowd-pleaser with glowing reviews praising their scrumptious chocolates and top-notch customer service. It may be the sweet cherry on top of your Ellicottville trip!

HoliMont Ellicottville NY
Photo Credit: HoliMont Ski Area

5. Ski in Style at HoliMont Ski Area

Ready for some stellar skiing action? Grab your skis and head to HoliMont, North America’s largest private ski area nestled in lovely Ellicottville. Expect a cozy, exclusive atmosphere for both skiers and non-skiers to enjoy!

HoliMont is a private ski area, but you can access the runs during the week, Monday through Friday, on non-holiday weeks. Summer lovers can indulge in some hiking, mountain biking, and fishing too!

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6. Soar High at Sky High Adventure Park

Ellicottville has got your adrenaline cravings covered with the Sky High Adventure Park. With the largest outdoor aerial park in New York under its belt (and third largest in the country), you’re in for one exhilarating ride.

You’ll find yourself swinging, climbing, and balancing tree-to-tree in no time. With 13 courses that range from mellow to downright demanding, there’s no doubt your inner thrill-seeker will thank you.

Suitable for kiddos 7 years old and up, this adventure-packed park is perfect for young daredevils too!

Apart from the adrenaline-inducing aerial courses, Sky High Adventure Park also offers a Climbing Forest, a Mountain Coaster, and even Gem Mining. You’ll never be bored in this neck of the woods.

Most visitors can’t get enough of the Aerial Park, especially navigating its thrilling zip lines and bridges.

However, don’t expect a walk in the park. Some courses can be quite physically challenging, so be prepared to break a sweat in the name of adventure. But hey, who doesn’t like a good challenge?

Sky High Adventure Park will bring pure joy to adrenaline junkies and fun-seekers alike. With mind-blowing aerial courses, a variety of adventurous activities, and a whole lot of excitement, there’s no denying that you’re in for an unforgettable ride.

7. Unwind at Madigan’s

If you’re looking for a chill spot to grab a meal with the family, Madigan’s is where it’s at. This lively joint is famous for its delicious grub and inviting ambiance, so get ready to kick back, relax, and enjoy a meal that’s sure to hit the spot.

Dig into Madigan’s mouthwatering menu filled with yummy eats, from savory sandwiches to sizzling steaks. Their wings are to die for so make sure you bring your appetite.

Madigan’s is pretty cozy, with its rustic decor and welcoming vibe. Pull up a chair, share some laughs, and feel at ease with the friendly staff and fellow patrons.

Do note, sometimes during peak hours service can slow down a bit. So, if you’re in a rush, plan your visit accordingly.

Madigan's Ellicottville NY
Photo Credit: Madigan’s

8. Learn the Ancient Sport of Falconry

If you find yourself in Ellicottville and looking for a thrilling experience, you have to check out American Hawkeye. Nestled in the picturesque foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, this hidden gem is a breathtaking spot to unleash your inner adventurer.

At their School of Falconry, you’ll learn all about the art of falconry, from the captivating history of these majestic birds of prey to the nitty-gritty of handling and flying them.

Picture yourself up close and personal with a live raptor, and get ready for your jaw to drop. At the end, snap some awe-inspiring photos with the birds as a reminder of your thrilling day.

Insider tip: Keep an eye out for seasonal experiences at American Hawkeye, they switch things up from fall to spring.

Though it’s hard to find any drawbacks to this exhilarating activity, keep in mind that this experience might not be ideal for those who are timid around animals.

But for the true adventurer, American Hawkeye is the perfect spot to test your falconry skills and make some incredible memories!

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9. Wander Through Nannen Arboretum

If nature is your jam, the Nannen Arboretum is where you should go. Picture yourself taking a leisurely stroll through this serene, green oasis. Just listening to the birds singing, inhaling that fresh air, and getting connected to Mother Nature is chef’s kiss.

You’ll find a man-made pond called Lake Nipponica which brings an extra dose of charm.

There’s also workshops on tree care and classes, like pruning, growing exotic plants from seed, and proper fruit tree care. If you’re a green-thumb enthusiast, get ready to flex those gardening muscles.

Nannen Arboretum is for people who appreciate a bit of peace and tranquility – sometimes we all need to stop and smell the flowers.

10. Hit the Slopes at Holiday Valley

Got a hankering for some winter fun? Ellicottville’s got you covered with Holiday Valley, a primo ski destination – just as cozy as it is exhilarating. Think ski lodge charm meets unbeatable slopes.

At Holiday Valley, you’re in for a treat with a variety of slopes catering to all skill levels, from first-timers to snow-sports veterans. The resort even boasts 58 trails, ensuring you’ll never tire of tearing up the slopes.

One unique feature is the magical night skiing experience that’s sure to leave you starry-eyed.

While Holiday Valley is a must-visit, keep in mind that the resort can get pretty crowded during peak season. If you’re all about that laid-back vibe, try their sister resort, HoliMont, for some more exclusive runs.

Don’t miss grabbing a bite (or a brew!) in the nearby village after a day on the slopes. You’ll find dreamy eateries, pubs, and all that good après-ski action.

Holiday Valley Ski Resort
Photo Credit: Holiday Valley

11. Savor Craft Brews at Ellicottville Brewing Company

Are you a beer lover? You’ve got to check out the Ellicottville Brewing Company while you’re in town. This spot is a heavenly haven for craft brew enthusiasts like you.

Ambiance? Cozy and oh-so-welcoming. EBC is known for its wide range of beer styles, with 15 on tap during any given visit. Can’t decide? No worries – grab a flight and sample their finest.

EBC’s got a few gems that may not be obvious at first glance. First, they’ve got fantastic menu offerings alongside their brews, from classic pub fare to inventive dishes. And their outdoor patio? Top-notch relaxation spot.

So, is EBC worth the visit? Absolutely. The beer selection is top-tier, and the vibe is everything you’d want in a craft brewery. But fair warning – weekend nights can get a bit crowded, so be prepared.

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12. Explore Art in Nature at Griffis Sculpture Park

If you’re looking for something to do outdoors, Griffis Sculpture Park is just the ticket for a day of adventure and whimsy. This park offers over 250 large-scale sculptures on miles of hiking trails waiting to captivate you and your Instagram followers.

As you stroll along the paths in the 425-acre park, you’ll stumble upon colossal grasshoppers, mosquitoes, praying mantis, and crabs.

Ever dreamt of climbing a giant sculpture? This is the place where you can! Now that’s what we call interactive art.

So why should you visit? This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill park; it’s an artistic haven where every sculpture has been carefully placed to blend with nature – a magnificent merger of creativity and the great outdoors.

And not just for the grown-ups; kids will have a blast crawling and clambering around the massive art.

Griffis Sculpture Park
Photo Credit: Griffis Sculpture Park

13. Pamper Yourself at Ellicottville Oasis Spa

So, you’re in town and feel like some TLC? Swing on by the Ellicottville Oasis Spa, nestled inside the Tamarack Club.

This cozy haven is a real treat for those cold winter days, or just when you need a little ‘me-time’. Picture soothing ambiance, top-notch services, and a friendly staff ready to serve up that much-needed pampering.

They offer a wide range of delights like massage therapy, Eminence Organic facials, and HydraFacials, plus mani-pedis and body treatments. Why not share the fun with a Couples DUO massage? This spot’s got something for everyone.

Try to snag a spot in the outdoor hot tub for the ultimate relaxation experience, as mentioned by past visitors.

Busy seasons can mean a wait, so booking ahead is a must. That being said, this spa experience is worth a little extra planning.

14. Hike at McCarty Hill State Forest

One magical spot to explore is the McCarty Hill State Forest. Appreciate nature at it’s finest with the trees swaying and birds humming as you breathe in that crisp, fresh air.

This hidden gem is home to an array of trails perfect for hiking enthusiasts. You’ll love how the Finger Lakes/North Country Scenic Trail weaves its way through the forest, offering captivating scenery along the way.

Heads up: the forest shares a border with Holiday Valley and HoliMont ski areas, so you might run into some friendly shredders here too.

Besides being incredibly picturesque, it’s challenging enough for seasoned hikers yet still approachable for newbies.

The Eagle Trail in particular boasts 550 feet of elevation gain over 2 miles, making it a crowd-pleaser for sure. Pro tip: best views can be spotted near the top of Holimont Ski slopes.

As charming as it is, McCarty Hill State Forest isn’t without its quirks. The forest roads can be a smidge treacherous, so a 4×4 vehicle is your safest bet to reach the trailheads. Who doesn’t love a little adventure before the adventure?

So lace up those hiking boots, throw caution to the wind, and embark on an epic journey through McCarty Hill State Forest!