Ellicottville, New York is a beautiful little town tucked away in the hills of western New York. While it is small, it is mighty. There are so many things to do in the area that you might as well start planning your second visit before your first has even been completed.
The town has been nicknamed the “Aspen of the East” by big names in the skiing world like Ski Magazine, so don’t just take our word for it.
Ellicottville is a great all-season destination with skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hiking, biking, and outdoor adventures during the summer.
There are plenty of reasons to plan a visit to Ellicottville, and we hope that you can find a few on this list.
The number one attraction in Ellicottville is certainly Holiday Valley Resort.
It’s the largest ski resort in western New York with 60 daytime trails and 300 acres of skiable area.
While the area averages 180 inches of snowfall per year and can accommodate more ski time with snowmaking capabilities, there are plenty of things to do in the summer, too.
Golfing, mountain biking, and exploring the adventure park can fill your summer days.
The pool complex is a great place to relax during the summer, as well, from around Memorial Day through Labor Day. Reservations are suggested, as there are capacity limits, and they do reach them on busy weekends.
You could spend the entire weekend at Holiday Valley, no matter what time of year, and find plenty of things to do without leaving the resort.
Pro Tip: Stay in one of the Inn’s rooms or villas on the Holiday Valley property for all the convenience of being close to the action.
HoliMont Ski Club
HoliMont is Ellicottville’s private ski area. The public, however, can access the runs during the week, Monday through Friday, on non-holiday weeks.
They also have hiking, mountain biking, and fishing during the summer months, which are open to the public.
Holimont is said to be America’s largest private ski club. They do a great job with snowmaking and grooming on the trails, so conditions are typically at least above average.
This wouldn’t be a place I’d suggest to beginners, as their runs trend toward more advanced ski terrain. Although they’re located just a few minutes from Holiday Valley, the experience is quite different.
If you have experience, plan to extend your long weekend and stay an extra day in Ellicottville. Enjoy the variety of terrain that HoliMont has to offer. Or better yet, stay a bit longer, and wander over to the Finger Lakes region for more winter fun.
Griffis Sculpture Park
Just 15 minutes north of the town of Ellicottville, you can visit the first sculpture park in the United States. There are over 250 sculptures in this outdoor garden art gallery.
There are 10 miles of trails that you can explore on the grounds, weaving through the different sculpture collections.
After paying a $5 per person admission fee at the entrance via QR code, you are free to explore the grounds at your own pace, only during the summer months. Things can become quite buried in snow during the winter!
The original 15 sculptures were created by one man, Larry Griffis, who purchased the land and started the park. There are now over 100 artists who have contributed a work of art!
You can certainly spend a few hours exploring the sculpture park. There are some hills to navigate, so small children and those with mobility issues may not be able to cover the whole thing.
Bring a picnic lunch and plenty of water to explore all of the corners of the Griffis Sculpture Park.
Visit the alpacas of Ellicottville, just a half mile outside of town at Sugartown Farms. This Farm and gift shop are open on the weekends, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the day.
You can visit the on-site alpacas and shop for their alpaca wool products. There are over 50 alpacas living on the farm.
Grab some alpaca wool yarn to make your own creations or purchase from a wide variety of socks, sweaters, scarves, and hats, among other goods.
Things made from alpaca yarn are extremely soft and warm, and they’re also very durable. I love my alpaca wool socks in the winter!
Grab some things as gifts or souvenirs to take home for others or for yourself. You’ll be happy that you did!
Sky High Adventure Park
Part of Holiday Valley’s summer attraction, Sky High Adventure Park offers a variety of activities to enjoy when the weather is warm.
The aerial park and ropes course in the park is the largest in the state of New York and one of the largest in the country. Navigate the platforms, bridges, and zip lines on your way through the ropes course.
Full disclosure: there is a minimum age and maximum weight requirement for this activity. You must be at least seven years old and under 265 pounds to gain access to the course.
There are 13 routes you can take, each with a different difficulty level.
While exploring the adventure park, you can also explore and enjoy a 3-D climbing wall, mountain roller coaster, or take a leisurely chairlift ride up to Spruce Lake.
Fall is the best time to enjoy everything that the Adventure Park has to offer while taking in the views of the beautiful foliage in the area from above.
Ellicottville Brewing Company
After you have spent your day exploring and adventuring, swing by Main Street in town and grab a bite or a brew at Ellicottville Brewing Company.
With a large menu and a variety of food options, you can certainly find something to satisfy your hunger.
They also have some great seasonal drinks on tap, including a blueberry wheat ale in the summer and a chocolate cherry bomb stout in the winter.
Relax and socialize with friends while enjoying the atmosphere at this cozy little joint. It’s a great place to unwind at the end of the day.
Winery of Ellicottville
If wine tasting is more your speed, the winery of Ellicottville is a beautiful little place tucked away to visit and sample some of their small-batch wines.
They have a wide variety from sweet to dry and an even more expansive menu to order by the glass.
Taste a few, enjoy a glass, or grab a couple of bottles to take home and enjoy later. The entire state of New York is known for its wine regions, including along Lake Erie, Niagara, and the Finger Lakes.
The Winery of Ellicottville is small-scale compared to some, but it’s worth a visit while you’re in town.
Ellicottville Salt Cave & Spa
Take the day off from skiing, hiking, or exploring to visit the Salt Cave & Spa. You’ll find a day of complete relaxation and leave feeling rejuvenated.
Have you heard of halotherapy? Commonly found in some European countries, salt caves are thought to provide more natural relief to inflammation and infection with their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The salts here are imported from Poland.
Groups of up to six people can enjoy the cave for 45 minutes at a time and hope to see improvements in various ailments.
The spot also offers massages, facials, and other typical spa treatments. If you want to experience a different type of spa environment, check out this Salt Cave & Spa to experience its halotherapy.
While the Ellicottville location is not the original, Watson’s Chocolates has been a western New York staple for over 50 years.
Originally opening in Buffalo in 1946, their Ellicottville location has been operating since 1985.
They’ve been voted to have the best sponge candy in western New York several times, and if you’ve never tried that sweet treat, be sure to do so during your visit.
The crunchy, spongy center covered in chocolate is sweet and different from anything I’ve ever tried. You’ll either love it or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be any in-between, but at least you can say that you’ve tried it. You just might find your new favorite candy!
There are plenty of other sweet treats to try. Watson’s only uses fair trade certified cocoa in all of their products, so you can feel good about the chocolates you’re enjoying.
Whether you just want a chocolate bar, some ice cream, specialty chocolates, or sweet fudge, you’ll probably find it at Watson’s.
Another great spot to enjoy the outdoors, especially during the summer is the Nannen Arboretum.
The Arboretum covers about eight acres and has hundreds of species of different trees and plants preserved for visitors to enjoy.
A nature trail winds through the property, leading along to some of the resident plants. Visit during the spring or early summer to see flowers in full bloom.
While this is a quick visit and would be best combined with other activities in a day, it’s a great little place to explore away from the crowds. It’s only a few blocks from town and it’s free to visit.
Visit Allegany State Park
Allegany State Park is a great destination for outdoor adventurers in New York.
Located in the southwestern corner of the state, not far from Ellicottville, it offers over 65,000 acres of forests, meadows, lakes, and streams to explore.
The park is home to two distinct areas: Red House and Quaker Lake.
Red House is the larger area with more miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
Quaker Lake is a smaller area but still has miles of trails for hiking and biking. Check out Thunder Rocks or hike the Mt. Tuscarora Trail to the fire tower lookout.
There are also plenty of opportunities for fishing, boating, camping, and swimming in the park. Allegany offers plenty of great outdoor adventures near Ellicottville.
The Ellicottville Oasis Spa
Located inside the Tamarack Club on Holiday Valley properties, the Ellicottville Oasis is a more traditional spa experience.
Services include massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, and seasonal offerings.
This is a great option for those who want to skip the more adventurous activities, but still, remain close to the action. Relaxation and rejuvenation are priorities for the Ellicottville Oasis Spa.
A Round of Golf at Holiday Valley
During the summer months, the base of the mountain showcases a beautiful 18-hole golf course.
While the front nine uses more of the base of the hill, the back nine definitely uses some of the elevations of the mountain.
The golf course is said to be an interesting mix of terrain.
While the price tag for a round of 18 with a cart is more expensive than many others in the western New York area, Ellicottville is quite beautiful and of course, it’s right in the heart of all the things to do.
Enjoy Sweets at The Tee Bar…
The Tee Bar, located right downtown in Ellicottville, is full of sweet treats, including ice cream, milkshakes, slushies, and candy.
You can find all kinds of sweet treats here. The shop also sells some souvenirs to remember your visit to Ellicottville.
Come with a sweet tooth, and you won’t be disappointed.
…or a Cupcake at Cupcaked Bakery
Specialty cupcakes like peanut butter chocolate and Oreo are on the menu! You can also enjoy a cupcake flight.
While there are also other sweet treats to try, including cookie bars and cheesecakes, the cupcakes are obviously the stars of the show.
If you really have a sweet tooth, try one of their loaded milkshakes. You’ll probably want to share one with a couple of people because they’re just so sweet!
Axe Throwing at Ratchet Hatchet
While they have closed temporarily to relocate, the Ratchet Hatchet will be a great spot to get out and try your hand at axe throwing, as well as enjoy some delicious food and drink.
When they reopen, during the summer, they’ll have a beautiful outdoor patio to enjoy, too.
Enjoy a sandwich, snack, or pizza with a creative selection from the bar. For a great night out with friends, there are a couple of axe-throwing bays to accommodate group parties.
Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes for this one!
Visit the Purple Doorknob for Cozy Socks
Have you ever been to a store that really only sells socks? The Purple Doorknob is your place if that’s what you are looking for!
They have hundreds of different sock designs, with everything from holiday themes, to pets, to more functional varieties.
If you’re looking for a specialty sock design or a fun gift for someone special, this is the place to go.
The storefront is quite recognizable and painted in bright purple. You won’t be able to miss it.
Create Something at Artventures
Whether are you looking to purchase or create your own work of art, Artventures Studio has all this and more to offer.
There are canvas painting, pottery, glass, and mosaic options.
Private parties are available, so plan your birthday or bachelorette outing to include a visit to the Artventures studios which are open all year round, while offering seasonal craft designs and classes. The space is open by appointment only.
Be sure to book ahead of time to ensure your preferred time can be reserved and accommodated.
The Gin Mill
After your visit to all these places, you’re sure to be hungry. The Gin Mill is a great place to stop for a bite to eat.
It has been family owned and operated since 1976! Whether you want to watch a game, listen to a live band, or just grab a sandwich and a drink, this is a place for you.
The atmosphere is very casual. There’s plenty going on. You won’t be disappointed by the juicy burgers offered on their menu.
Where to Stay in Ellicottville, NY
Larger groups will love this large chalet on 5 acres, just a short distance from town. There is an outdoor hot tub and a beautiful indoor fireplace.
Smaller groups and couples can enjoy this cozy little 2-bedroom cottage situated on 250 acres with a little stream running through the backyard.
Plan Your Ellicottville, NY Trip Now!
Ellicottville, NY is a great place to visit for a variety of activities. Whether you’re looking for a round of golf, some sweet treats, axe throwing, art classes, or outdoor adventures, Ellicottville has something for everyone. After all the fun and excitement, be sure to stop by the local restaurants in town for some delicious food and drinks. With so much to do, you surely won’t be bored with all the things to do in Ellicottville, NY!