escape to: ellicottville, new york

tucked away in the hills of western new york is a little gem of a ski town that i simply adore called ellicottville, home to holiday valley and holimont ski resorts. in addition to skiing, snowboarding, or thrill-seeking on their new mountain coaster, you can also après-ski in style at the yodeler lodge, the tamarack club, or in town at dina’s. the walkable downtown boasts all sorts of fun shops to poke around in, and there is a nearby sculpture garden and alpaca farm to investigate in case you’re not a skier.

(photo via flickr)

summers in EVL are also pretty great. over at the mountain, you can golf, zip line, or test your tree climbing skills. (take a look here.) the roads leading in and out of town are perfect for long (and hilly!) bike rides. my personal favorite summer event is the fourth of july pet parade. pet owners lead their animals through main street – often in costume. i have seen dogs, a guinea pig in a cage perched on a wheelbarrow, a trio of baby goats, alpacas, horses, and something called a Zee-Donk (hybrid zebra and donkey!) march down main street. the animals all gather near the gazebo at the end so people can pet them. it’s totally fantastic, as are the fireworks and evening concert at the base of the mountain performed by the buffalo philharmonic.

these places are also on my “must-do” list:

– a massage at falling waters spa

-a trip to the salamanca antiques mall

-going to Dom’s Butcher Block in town if we’re cooking something meaty. amazing.

-a walk up Greer Hill Drive to see some pretty houses

(bottom photos by laura kinsey)

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