Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Jamestown, NY

  • Published 2023/02/14

Explore a plethora of historic venues for entertainment and experience the vibrant art scene at Jamestown, New York.

Located in the southwest of New York is the vibrant town of Jamestown, boasting its rich entertainment history and a variety of world-class attractions.

Stroll along the scenic downtown, catch a show at restored theaters, and get to know the hometown of comedy’s leading lady Lucille Ball.

If you’re planning a trip to Jamestown, here are the 20 best things to do on your trip:

Stop by the Celoron Lighthouse

Exterior of Celoron Lighthouse

Steven Wright /

If you are looking for a picturesque attraction in Jamestown, the Celeron Lighthouse’s rustic atmosphere will surely captivate you with its laid-back surroundings.

The small and classic lighthouse is placed on a little lake offering Jamestown’s serene, secluded space.

The Celoron Lighthouse is a must-visit for those who are looking for a romantic spot in Jamestown where you can chill and enjoy the rustic view.

This area is the perfect location to take beautiful pictures to capture the beauty of Jamestown and make sure to spot the nearby Lucille Ball statues and pose with the comedy legend.

Daytime view of Celoron Lighthouse

Dr. Blazer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore the History of American Comedy at National Comedy Center

If you are looking for a unique exploration experience, Jamestown is home to the National Comedy Center.

The National Comedy Center is a museum dedicated to celebrating the history of American comedy and the notable figures who have contributed their influence to the development of comedy in the United States.

The museum features several interactive exhibits, and they customize your experiences according to your preferences in a personalized wristband.

There are various preserved comedy archives like unpublished comedy material, rare photographs, and scripts written by world-renowned artists.

The combination of exciting history and laughter from the exhibits will surely delight the young and the old alike—whatever your preference may be, the National Comedy Center has got it all.

The National Comedy Center also organizes events, like the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and plenty of live stand-up comedy shows that will complete your experience.

Score a quirky souvenir from the Comedy Shop as a remembrance of your fun experience at the National Comedy Center.

A trip to the National Comedy Center is truly an enjoyable experience, so make sure to plan your trip and interact with the exhibits to get the most out of the entertainment center.

Visit the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum

Delve deeper into the history of comedy by getting to know the pioneer couple of comedy, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum features the lives, careers, and legacies of the power couple in comedy through a dedicated place to commemorate their impact on the world.

The museum houses one-of-a-kind artifacts, screen-used costumes and props, and rarely scene footages to celebrate Lucy and Desi’s story under the limelight.

Lucy and Desi fans will also appreciate the close-up experience on the recreations of studio sets from the popular TV sitcom I Love Lucy.

If you’re planning on visiting both the National Comedy Center and the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum, you can avail a ticket for dual admission to see the two attractions.

Stroll Along the River at Jamestown Riverwalk

The waters of Chadakoin River Walk

Robert Allen Photography /

If you want to spend a quiet time without leaving the community center of Jamestown, a stroll at the Jamestown Riverwalk is the ideal place for you.

This 5-mile urban trail course through Downtown Jamestown following the Chadakoin River, you can spot some turtles along the river while listening to the calming sound of water and birds chirping.

Whether you want to walk, jog, bike, or just sit under the canopy of lush trees, this place is a sweet escape from the busy downtown.

You can stop by Jamestown Riverwalk any time of the day for a peaceful haven surrounded by nature.

Go for a Picnic at Chadakoin Park

Geese at Chadakoin Park

AWhitmorePhotography /

Located just a few minutes away from the Jamestown Riverwalk is the perfect family gathering spot, Chadakoin Park.

The park features a pavilion for gatherings, a basketball court, and a huge playground with various playsets that are fun for all ages.

Enjoy the vibrant open space in the park where you can watch birds, play with your furry friends, or simply relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Make sure to pack some snacks and head out to Chadakoin Park for a fun day out with the family.

Appreciate the Beauty of Naturalist Art at Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History will surely pique your interest in naturalist artworks for its variety of exhibits dedicated to educating about the natural world.

The museum was once Roger Tory Peterson’s home, but in commemoration of his artistic naturalist works, they decided to open its doors to the public.

Roger Tory Peterson is known for his contribution to the American Conservation Movement, where he utilized the power of art to inspire and educate people about the natural world.

Make sure to stop by at Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History and seize the opportunity to walk inside the beautiful building that houses the display of Peterson’s original artworks and memorabilia.

Discover Robert H. Jackson’s Life at Robert H. Jackson Center

Exterior of Robert H. Jackson Center

R.H.J.C. Jamestown, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to delve deeper into Jamestown’s history, visit the Robert H. Jackson Center to discover the legacy of the notable figure of justice.

A wide array of exhibits and archives of important history are housed in a beautiful old mansion in Jamestown, a historically important venue to educate the people.

This historical center showcases Robert H. Jackson’s scholarly work and political contributions dedicated to the principles of equality, fairness, and justice.

History buffs will appreciate the expansive collection of historically significant exhibits.

If you are interested in learning about America’s history, a trip to Robert H. Jackson Center is worth a few hours of your time when you visit Jamestown.

Make sure to stop by and tour the historical center with an informative guide that will walk you through a lot of historical information.

Hop on a Time Capsule at Dykeman Young, Inc. Gallery and Vintage Emporium

Dykeman Young, Inc. Gallery and Vintage Emporium is another ideal destination for the old souls, featuring an eclectic collection of vintage memorabilia, arts, and more.

This museum features a variety of vintage wardrobes worn by famous artists who starred in popular Hollywood movies and a collection of local arts.

Amp up your fan experience to the next level and score one of your favorite Hollywood artists’ theatrical costumes, and you can also get dibs on a unique piece from local artists.

Make sure to plan your visit for a nostalgic experience and support the local artistic community of Jamestown showcased in the art gallery.

All displayed items are available for purchase for a reasonable price, so make sure to bring home a gem you find from your visit to Dykeman Young Inc., Gallery, and Vintage Emporium.

Learn About Chautauqua’s History at the Fenton History Center

Visit the historic Italian Villa mansion built in 1863, located just a few blocks away from downtown Jamestown.

The Fenton History Center is home to an extensive collection of historical artifacts showcasing the history of Chautauqua County, ranging from the county’s industrial development up to the notable people of Jamestown.

The four-story mansion was once the residential home of Reuben Eaton Fenton, a notable politician from the 19th century.

Make sure to plan a visit to Fenton History Center, so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn about the development of Jamestown into a flourishing city.

Catch a Live Performance at Lucille Ball Little Theatre

Exterior of Lucille Ball Little Theatre

Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A trip to Jamestown wouldn’t be complete without being part of world-class entertainment from Lucille Ball Little Theatre.

The theatre is home to creative expressionism through live performances and education, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to appreciate the talent of Jamestown performers.

Witness the artistic community of Jamestown on-stage at Lucille Ball Little Theatre.

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre also hosts events collaborating with famous performers and artists; check for updates and meet these successful people in theatrical arts.

Nothing beats watching a live performance with the family, be sure to plan your visit to the theatre on your trip to Jamestown.

Visit the Burial Grounds of Jamestown’s Notable People at Lake View Cemetery

Go for a walk at Lake View Cemetery for an interesting stroll through the well-maintained land of the final resting place of Jamestown people for over 160 years.

The Lake View Cemetery is also visited by tourists who want to pay tribute to the late, leading lady of comedy, Lucille Ball, in her final resting place with a heart engraved headstone.

You can stop by their office to get free maps and guide booklets of the cemetery, so you can stroll around the cemetery on a self-guided tour and be fascinated with the intricate designs of headstones from the 1860s.

Go Ice Skating at Northwest Arena

If you’re looking for a cool, fun thing to do in Jamestown, this multi-purpose arena has got it all for you!

Northwest Arena is Jamestown’s heart of indoor recreational activities,

located across the National Comedy Center.

The multi-purpose facility features an entertainment space, public skating rink, ice bumper cars, and a lounge cafe.

Whatever activity you find enjoyable, the Northwest Arena has a lot to offer—you can go skating, watch hockey tournaments, drive a bumper car, or grab a drink from the cafe that overlooks the facility.

The Northwest Arena has a lot of exciting activities to offer for the young and the young-at-heart, so make sure to stop by for some thrilling indoor fun.

Try Lake Rowing at Chautauqua Lake With Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association

View of Chautauqua Lake

Jeffrey M. Frank /

If you want to try out a new water sport, stop by the big red rowing barn at Jones and Gifford Street in Jamestown.

The Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association offers a learn-to-row program dedicated to introducing the sport of rowing to ages 14 and above.

The association is home to a group of rowing enthusiasts dedicated to maintaining the tradition of rowing that became popular a popular water sport in the 1870s.

Boats docked at Chautauqua Lake

aceshot1 /

This unique experience will fill your vacation in Jamestown with an exciting exploration of the calm Chautauqua Lake and learn an exciting new sport.

Aside from the thrilling water sport, you’ll also get acquainted with the amazing community of Jamestown, so make sure to plan to book a lake rowing course with the Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association.

Delve Deeper Into Jamestown’s Performing Arts Community at Reg Lenna Center for the Arts

Jamestown is truly a haven for artists and art enthusiasts, so visit the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts if you want to be inspired by artistic performances.

Located in the heart of Jamestown’s arts and cultural district is a restored theater established in 1923, the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts has been home to a generation of talents in Jamestown.

This historic theater hosts live performances, film shows, lectures, and various exhibits throughout the year.

Nothing beats a time spent watching a spectacular performance at a gorgeous historic venue, so make sure to catch a show at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.

Shop for Local Craft at Jamestown’s Biodome Project

A trip to Jamestown wouldn’t be complete without a bit of shopping, so head out to the Biodome Project and support the local vendors in Jamestown.

The BioDome Project is a locally-owned business dedicated to promoting sustainability and artistry in the community of Jamestown.

The BioDome Project houses an art gallery, artisans’ market, and gardening projects—you get to walk around a building surrounded by bright natural lights and bursting green plants for a unique shopping experience.

Not only will you score unique items and fresh produce, but you’ll also be supporting the businesses of local vendors in Jamestown.

Reconnect with Nature or Have a Picnic at Audubon Community Nature Center

The waters of Audubon Community Nature Center

Pierre Williot /

The Audubon Community Nature Center covers 570 acres of wetlands.

Almost five miles of nature trails, a native tree plantation, picnic spaces, an outdoor play area, and educational gardens are all waiting for you to explore every day from sunrise until sundown.

You may have access to public events, wildlife ambassadors, and tour guides to enhance your experience.

A deer at Audubon Community Nature Center

Pierre Williot /

The Blue Heron Gift Store and three floors of immersive displays, such as live animals that educate and captivate visitors of all ages, are located inside the Nature Center grounds.

At the center, outdoor activities are a common part of several events, programs, and courses.

Audubon believes that creating a bond with the planet involves direct exposure to the natural environment.

Nature trail at Audubon Community Nature Center

Pierre Williot /

Know more about the Stories of Athletes at Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame

One of the numerous must-see sights in Jamestown’s downtown is the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.

Discover the histories and experiences of 220 inductees using news articles, pictures, recordings, films, and other artifacts.

Two posters for sale at the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame showcase athletes who frequented Jamestown’s ballpark from 1939 through 2014.

Throughout their careers, baseball athletes were members of Major League Baseball groups.

The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame features an exhibit hall accessible Monday through Friday from noon to three o’clock.

Grab a Drink at Labyrinth Press Company

In the summer of 2007, Labyrinth Press Company was established as a coffeehouse and espresso bar.

After an extensive renovation, the area above the coffee shop was transformed into the craft beer and wine bar, the Brazil Lounge.

The pub attracted customers from near and far, thanks to its casual home-gathering atmosphere, interesting appetizers, and unique events.

Lunch and dinner are served from the same kitchen in which the two areas merge.

Labyrinth and Brazil recently completed a full reopening, adding a full-service patio for al fresco dining, drinking, and fun.

Treat yourself to a fantastic dinner and pair it with your favorite alcoholic drink.

Indulge in a Sweet Treat at Peterson’s Candies

The delectable confections of Peterson’s handcrafted sweets have been a favorite among Western New Yorkers for almost 90 years.

Since 1931, Peterson’s Candies has been a neighborhood cornerstone, and many of its first recipes are still being used.

The confectionery store is ideal for stopping after a bike through Western New York’s stunning highlands.

Wafers, caramel popcorn, chocolate delights, creams and jellies, hand-rolled candy canes, and many more sweets are among their areas of expertise.

Don’t skip out on trying their beloved peanut butter cream candies and renowned sponge candies!

Visit the vintage candy shop Peterson’s Candies to get some personalized presents and baskets for special occasions.

Watch a Game at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park

Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park is a 3,000-seater stadium in Jamestown, New York, devoted to Mr. Diethrick, who has supported professional and amateur baseball as a player, a coach, and a fan.

Jamestown High School and the Jamestown Community College baseball teams call it home.

The facility, mainly used for baseball, housed groups from the New York-Penn League from its beginning until 2014.

Numerous Babe Ruth League World Series has taken place at the site.

A brand-new audio system and scoreboard were added in 2006, while the present press box was refurbished in 2010.

Don’t miss out on watching a sporting event at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park.

Final Thoughts

A trip to the lovely city of Jamestown will never be a dull one because the city offers a lot of entertainment and exploration opportunities that the whole family will surely enjoy.

Whether you’re looking to have a laugh at a theatre or go for some outdoor exploration, Jamestown offers the best experiences for visitors.

Make sure to reference this list on your trip to Jamestown, and don’t miss out on the opportunity for a lively vacation.

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