Chautauqua named No. 1 on America’s Best Small Towns to Visit list

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Smithsonian Magazine has named the Town of Chautauqua as No. 1 on its America’s Best Small Towns to Visit list for 2014.

The authors of the list looked at towns or cities with less than 15,000 residents but still feature abundant cultural opportunities. Part of the reason Chautauqua made the list is because of the Chautauqua Institution, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Company and the School of Dance.

The magazine notes the number of lecturers who visit the town, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last summer, and this year filmmaker Ken Burns.

It also cites the Food for Thought cafe, the Bestor Plaza, the Miller Bell Tower, golf, swimming, ice cream, ferry rides, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle book talk, and performing arts classes, like ballet.

Chautauqua is the only town from New York to make the list. To see the full list, click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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