Are you booking your first trip to Lakeside Chautauqua this summer? Let us help take the stress out of planning your vacation.

We asked Lakesiders, new and old, what they wished they would have known on their first trip to the lake. With their help, we compiled a list of tips to help you plan your first Lakeside Chautauqua getaway.

Booking Your Stay

  • Lakeside Chautauqua is full of a variety of unique and charming accommodations, from the historic Hotel Lakeside to weekly cottage rentals.
  • Book your trip early. Reservations are available in February and go fast, so plan well in advance.

Chautauqua Passes

  • Because Lakeside Chautauqua is a gated community, you will need to purchase a Chautauqua Pass. This entitles guests and residents to participate in most programs taking place inside the gates, including spiritual services, educational lectures, cultural arts eventsand recreational activities.
  • There are several different Chautauqua Passes to choose from, depending on how long your family is visiting.
  • An Auto Pass is required to park on the Lakeside grounds, the South Gate Parking Lot or the Danbury School Lot.
  • Learn more about the benefits of your Chautauqua Pass, and while you’re there, purchase your passes online ahead of time. (Please allow 1-2 weeks for processing.) But don’t worry, Chautauqua Passes are also available upon arrival at the Lakeside gates.
  • Once you have purchased your Chautauqua Pass, keep it in your purse or wallet for easy access throughout the day. You will need it for access to programs in Hoover Auditorium and every time you enter and exit the gates.


  • Lakeside is a small community that doesn’t require a car to get from one end to the other. However, there are numerous options for traveling from place to place around Lakeside.
  • Guests are invited to bring their own bike or comfortable walking shoes. Golf carts and bikes are also available for rent at Sypherd’s Cycles.
  • Lakeside Chautauqua provides a free shuttle service to all guests. Lakeside has golf cart shuttles and a handicap accessible bus to transport guests. The shuttles run a continuous route from South Gate Parking Lot, to Hotel Lakeside and the Fountain Inn, to Hoover Auditorium, to Chautauqua Park (upon request) and back to the South Gate Parking Lot.

Before You Visit…

  • If you plan on attending any Rhein Center classes during your visit, sign up early. There are a limited number of spaces, so look ahead into the week of your visit and have your classes already picked out. Registration for classes is available online and guests can begin registering at 12 p.m. Thursdays the week before they arrive.
  • Make sure you have received your hotel confirmation via direct mail or email before arriving. Bring the confirmation with you for a speedier check in at the hotel front desk.

Things to keep in mind…

  • Many restaurants and shops in the downtown business district do not take credit or debit cards, so make sure to have cash on you. However, if you forget to bring cash, there is an ATM located just inside the Fountain Inn.
  • There is no grocery store inside the gates. You should purchase groceries before your visit to bring along with you or take advantage of our downtown dining options and bi-weekly Farmers’ Market, which takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays during the Chautauqua summer season.
  • If you plan on fishing off the dock or around Lakeside, be sure to get your fishing license before your trip.

While you’re here…

  • Pick up a Lakeside Map, Calendar of Events brochure and Lakesider newspaper at the South Gate Welcome Center, Lakeside Chautauqua Administration Office, Lakeside Information Center, hotels or any of the businesses. This will help you become familiar with Lakeside and all of the events happening during your stay.
  • People you have never met will say hello to you as you walk by, so wave or say hello back. Ask about their Lakeside story. Everyone has one and loves to share their story with first-timers.
  • Drop your burdens off at the gate. It will be hard at first and your mind will still be focusing on work, phone calls, appointments, meetings, school and deadlines. But you have to let it all go at Lakeside.
  • Don’t try to do it all in one day – visit us again soon!