An hour’s drive south of Buffalo on US 219, you’ll discover a treasure. You’ll find a Norman Rockwell painting come to life. It is a place where you’ll be welcomed, where you can rest, where you can find peace, and where you can find yourself. You’ll find Ellicottville.
This is a town of only a few hundred official residents – a village, really. But it is overflowing with charm, a quintessential Americana vibe, clean water, fresh air. It’s a serene ride as you approach its tree-lined streets, its quiet alleys, and at least a dozens shops filled with locally made handicrafts. Add to this award-winning restaurants and nearby ski slopes and spas. This is a place waiting to be discovered.
Ellicottville is home to ski slopes (Holiday Valley and HoliMont Ski Resort, the largest private ski resort in North America), spas (the Ellicottville Oasis Spa and Anew Beginning Massage and Spa, where you can enjoy a facial, massage therapy, a manicure, a pedicure, or a relaxing soak in a hot tub), a sculpture park (Griffis Sculpture Park, with over 250 statues gracing its tree-lined trails), an Arboretum (the Nannen Arboretum, part of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Home Grounds), and more.
You will be well entertained at restaurants, consignment shops, vintage clothing shops, ski shops, Saturday rummage sales, evening concerts, in the town square or its small parks – the list is endless. You’ll run out of time before you run out of things to do, things to see, and things to taste.
A dash into an antique store on a Saturday morning yields an unexpected rarity. A casual stroll into a book store on Washington Street permits you the opportunity of finding that one-of-a-kind treasure. Happening into the Ellicottville Brewing Company on Monroe Street, you will find yourself in Beervana. This part of Western New York is, after all, famous not only for its wines, but for its unrivaled breweries. Nature’s Remedy, right next door, is just the thing for your aching muscles. A block away, in Bruce Candles, where your senses are treated to fragrances wafting from its open door. Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood, Vanilla, and dozens of other scents have been fashioned into wax, ready to be welcomed into your home.
Exiting and turning to the left, you find the Ellicottville Bike Shop, home not only to bicycles and bike parts, but a friendly and attentive staff happy to answer your questions about cycling, cycling trails, local lore, and full of suggestions about where to eat. Across the street, you notice the yellow walls of Tangled Twigs, its several rooms filled floor to ceiling with the best in locally made and unique handicrafts, with goods one can find only here, pillows lauding the praises of wine, plaques that will be perfect for that empty space on the living room wall, cards to amuse (and possibly insult) your friends.
But perhaps before your afternoon is gone, you might avail yourself of a walk to the local EVL Cheese Company, an upscale retailer featuring locally-produced cheeses. Western New York is home to hundreds, if not thousands, of the finest dairy farms in America, producing the freshest, highest-quality dairy products from the happiest dairy cows in the country. This is the place to find the perfect accompaniment for the wine you just purchased. One weekend – much less one day – is hardly long enough to take in the sights, the sounds, the scents, the experience of Ellicottville. A second trip is in order.
Ellicottville speaks of a time past, of a kitsch that was always part of the American undercurrent, of warmth and hospitality, of fresh foods, of clean air, of wholesome goodness reflected in the smiles and handshakes of strangers. It speaks of an understated elegance, of a time past yet present, preserving the best of small-town life – that air of dignity, graciousness, and wholesome goodness, that speak to the body and soul. So, when you’re weary and need to rest, when the noise and complexity of life seem overwhelming, come to this hamlet in the hills where you’ll find exactly what you were looking for.
Come to Ellicottville.