Ellicottville, NY

4-Season Adventure in Small Town New York

Washington St., the main street in the center of Ellicottville, NY

Ellicottville is the quintessential small town. Located just 1 hour south of Buffalo, NY, the town offers a multitude of activities for every season. Quaint shops and unique restaurants are centered along one main street, with side streets affording visitors a variety of different options. Year-round festivals turn the small town into a center for activity which only enhance the enduring locations such as breweries, distilleries, cafes, cupcakery, and winery.


Slopes at Holiday Valley Resort

Visitors come to Ellicottville for many different reasons, but first and foremost, the town offers the best skiing and snowboarding opportunities for hundreds of miles. Two resorts, Holiday Valley and Holimont, provide visitors with the chance to conquer the slopes in an area that receives plentiful lake effect snow totaling more than 100 inches per year. Additionally, the snow-making capabilities and cooler temperatures provide a great base for snow conditions. Although Holimont is a private resort, non-members are able to ski and snowboard Sunday through Thursday. These two locations are a short drive from the center of the village of Ellicottville, making it convenient to enjoy the slopes as well as spending time in town. Five minutes east of the village is Holiday Valley Tubing Company, where guests can slide down the snow-covered hill on an inner tube, making it a great alternative for those that are not inclined to ski or snowboard. (Minimum height requirement is 42″ tall for the “big” hill.) When not on the slopes, visitors to Ellicottville can wander the streets lined with restaurants, breweries, wineries, and cafes. There are many choices of places to have a drink in town, but Ellicottville Brewing Company and the Winery of Ellicottville have some of the best. Christmas in Ellicottville is a special time for families to come and celebrate the season. Visit with Santa, take horse and wagon rides, meet a real reindeer, and participate in many children’s activities.


View from teebox on hole 13 at Holiday Valley Golf Course

In the summer, Holiday Valley Resort offers an exciting and challenging golf course, with a back 9 that is dominated by severe elevation changes on almost every hole. Shoot over valleys and down the side of the mountain, but good luck trying to figure out how far the ball will travel on each hole. Also nearby is the Sky High Adventure Park, an adventure course in the treetops with rope obstacles and zipline runs. (Minimum age is 7 years old.) Also, at the adventure park, is a mountain coaster where you travel 4,805 feet in a single or double car, twisting and turning down the mountainside (this can also be done during the winter). The Ellicottville area is used for many different competitions as well. Half marathons and mountain biking races happen throughout the year, taking advantage of the hillsides and valleys of the Enchanted Mountains. Hiking trails wind through the area, one taking you to the top of the Holiday Valley resort, where Spruce Lake provides kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing experiences.

Balloons Restaurant and Nightclub, Cupcaked, Public House Restaurant


Throughout the year, Ellicottville hosts different events that attract people throughout the United States and Canada, temporarily increasing the population of the town exponentially. The town has several music festivals such as Winter Blues Weekend, Winter Music Jam, Summer Music Festival, Jazz and Blues Weekend, and Rock ‘N Roll Weekend. There are also big party events such as the Winter Carnival, Mardi Gras, the Beer and Wine Festival, and the EVL Halloween Half Marathon.But the highlight of the entire year is Fall Festival, taking place the weekend of Columbus Day each October. Hundreds of craft booths bring thousands of people to the town and after the booths close, the beer tents and nearby restaurant bars are jammed with activity.


Within a 30-minute drive are several locations and activities that will enhance your trip to Ellicottville. Allegany State Park has miles of hiking trails centered around Red House Lake. These trails are great for families to explore nature and witness wildlife. It is also possible to snowshoe and cross-country ski in the park during the winter. Just outside of the State Park, and on the complete opposite end of the tranquility spectrum is Seneca Allegany Casino. Located on the Allegany Indian Reservation, this casino offers constant entertainment and a spa and salon to relax from the excitement. The flashing lights and buzzing slot machines are a grand departure from the quaintness of Ellicottville. If you are visiting in the fall, there is also a pumpkin farm where family-friendly activities abound and nightmare hayrides are held in honor of Halloween for the older kids.

Ellicottville Brewing Company


No Excuses Travel is pleased to announce that we have our own rental home to offer to anyone interested in staying in Ellicottville. The 4-bedroom, 2 bath single family home allows visitors with up to 10 guests to stay in a relaxing countryside home. Located just 5-minutes outside of the village, and directly next to the tubing slopes, this location provides the convenience of the Ellicottville excitement but also the tranquility and peace and quiet of the Enchanted Mountains countryside. Check out our listing at the link below or scan the QR Code. If you send us a direct message through the website with the subject No Excuses Travel, we will send you a promotional offer discount for a stay at our place. Whatever your family’s interests are, there is something for you in Ellicottville, NY during each season. Plan more than one day, as this area necessitates a visit full of different activities that cannot be enjoyed in a brief one-day stop.

Rental property in Ellicottville, NY. Scan the QR code below or follow the link to see more photos or book your stay with No Excuses Travel.

A child’s playground – Baltimore, Maryland

Inner Harbor view

Opportunity abounds in the city of Baltimore for families of all interests and ages. The national aquarium is a staple of any itinerary, situated in the center of the Inner Harbor. The multiple levels of exhibits and the dolphin show offer children a multitude of varying experiences. I am not sure what was more amazing, watching the jellyfish majestically floating around their tanks, or watching my son’s face filled with awe and amazement as he stared at the tiny creatures. At one of the displays, my son and another boy began talking about the turtles in one exhibit. From that point on, the two of them went from tank to tank, pointing out each animal to each other, excitedly announcing when they had found each one. These are the experiences and moments that you don’t quickly forget and why it is important for families to put excuses aside and create memorable trips. Both of my children had the opportunity to touch horseshoe crabs and jellyfish on another floor of the aquarium, giving them a better appreciation for how delicate living things can be and why it is important for them to be protected. Yet, this enlightening encounter was contrasted by the dark walkway winding down through the shark tank. Children can also understand how small they are in the world compared to the mighty kings of the ocean and appreciate their magnificence and power.

Use the Inner Harbor as a springboard for many family activities around Baltimore. Paddleboard in summer for a differing perspective and family team-building. Take the water taxi to Fort McHenry for a better appreciation of the American flag and our national anthem. Stand with your children as the screen is raised after the historical video to see the flag flapping in the wind in all its glory. Salute the flag with your children to reinforce the patriotism that makes this country great. Visit a couple chain restaurants on the water like Bubba Gump Shrimp, Cheesecake Factory, or Hard Rock Café. Make sure to stop by the local favorite for breakfast, Miss Shirley’s Café. Ripley’s Believe it or Not and the Maryland Science Center are conveniently located at the Inner Harbor as well.

Port Discovery Children’s Museum

A short distance from the Inner Harbor is the Port Discovery Children’s Museum. You will discover four floors of interactive excitement with the most incredible slide and climbing contraption at its center. Children can enhance so many developmental skills participating in the various activities. Dig in sand for dinosaur bones. Operate a boom, loading and unloading train cars. Splash in water and manage a system of locks. Kick a soccer ball or throw a football. All this while incorporating the vital skills of cooperation, teamwork, and sharing with other children. The children’s museum is a great stop for families with younger children as they expend an abundant amount of energy built up from travelling. Make this your first stop after arriving and dinner that night should be a little bit less hectic.

No stop in Baltimore would be complete without experiencing the culinary delicacies of the area. Leave the Inner Harbor to encounter some of the best seafood around. Crab cakes are a must, but seafood paella, oysters and lobster should be on your list as well. The best way for children to expand their palate and learn the cultural dishes on their travels is to watch their parents experiment with different foods themselves. Set the example that new foods aren’t scary, and children will be more willing to venture away from chicken fingers and French fries. I remember my daughter watching in astonishment as my wife cracked apart crab legs, ripping out the meat before dipping it in a cup of melted butter. If you are lucky enough to be visiting at the right time, wander through a local farmers’ market where the variety of unique choices will broaden your horizons and expose your children to new people and culture. Overall, Baltimore is a city filled with diverse experience for families to grow and build their relationships. Precious family time can be reinforced in Charm City.

Crab Legs!

Next stop – Sagamore Hill