Best Music of the Season

August 3, 2021 by Beth Peyton



The best music of the 2021 season is happening on Chautauqua Lake in August:  concerts on August 17th and August 20th. But it’s not happening at a club, a bar, a stage, or even at the acclaimed Amphitheater on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution.  Good music is definitely happening at all of those places in August, and the Innkeepers can fill you in on some details.  But the BEST music is happening on The Chautauqua Belle.

View from the water

Chautauqua Belle

Visitors to the Inn are used to hearing the low chug-chugging and haunting whistle as the Chautauqua Belle makes it’s way up the lake. The most unique vessel on Chautauqua Lake, the Belle is a replica of an old paddlewheel steamship – one of only five such ships in the country.  Guests at the Inn and visitors to the lake enjoy lunch or dinner cruises, fireworks and cocktails throughout the season on the Belle. But on special nights since 2013, passengers can take a ride on the Belle with outstanding musical acts on a Belle Bash.  And the music this year is truly special.

Must-See Events

Legendary blues guitarist and performer Ana Popovic will be entertaining guests on the Belle on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. Called “one helluva a guitar-player” by Bruce Springsteen and nominated for six Blues Music Awards, she is not to be missed.  Tickets are $59.00 in advance and $69.00 the day of the show.

Amy Helm and her band are appearing on Friday, August 20.  The boat will depart the dock in Mayville at 7:30 p.m.  Amy has spent her life in music.  She is the daughter of Levon Helm, the drummer for The Band, and rose to prominence in her own right as the lead singer in the gospel/rock band Ollabelle.  She continues to make her own music as she remains involved with managing The Barn, a music venue started by Levon Helm in Woodstock, NY.  Tickets are $69.00 in advance and $79.00 the day of the show.

Taking in a concert on the Belle is a unique experience.  The venue is quite intimate, and the performers really connect with the audience.  People can move about to grab a drink, stretch their legs or take in the view.  There is no such thing as a bad seat.  Perhaps the most fun is watching the expressions on the faces of the performers as they get a view of our beautiful lake or watch a magnificent sunset.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit It’s always fun to combine a stay at the Inn with a wonderful event like a Belle Bash. If you can’t make it this year, stay tuned for more wonderful music next year!





Funny You Should Ask About the National Comedy Center

July 2, 2020 by Beth Peyton

Comedy Delight

Fun Times at the National Comedy Center

The National Comedy Center, named best new museum in the country by USA TODAY in 2020, is difficult to describe.  It’s so different, so interesting, so FABULOUS, it simply must be experienced.  And experienced again.  It is a true comedy delight. With over 50 interactive, personalized exhibits, a single visit to this unique place only whets the appetite.

Housed in a beautiful old train station in Jamestown, the museum is about a 20-minute drive from the Maple Springs Lake Side Inn.  Many large rooms, spread over 37,000 square feet, hold memorabilia, film footage, stations where visitors can explore internet humor, late-night shows or hilarious roasts. Props, like whoopie cushions, bananas, and pies trigger film clips showing how they inspired comedy. Screenplays and notes showcase the craft of brilliant writers and comedians.

What to Expect

When you enter the National Comedy Center, you spend a few minutes identifying your favorite comedians, comedy shows, and funny movies. This introductory process whets your appetite, but its purpose is to record your selections on a wristband you will wear as you explore the center.  This gives you a personalized experience:  what you will see and hear is tailored to your own sense of humor.  Displays, memorabilia, interactive booths, theaters, and libraries allow you to enjoy the laughs, or to dig deeper and learn about the history of comedy, the trajectory of specific comedians, or to go behind the scenes.

There is a snack bar and lounge in the building, and visitors can enjoy food and drinks while in the facility.  You can try your hand at performing your own stand-up routine – a comedy karaoke – or take a ride with Lucy and Desi, Fred and Ethel.  The pictures will be emailed to you later!  You can have a joke contest with your companions – first person to laugh loses.  If you’re over 18, you can venture into the “Blue Room” to see the comedians and the acts that are a bit more provocative.

Like all good museums (and good comedy) you exit through the gift shop.  You won’t leave empty handed.

More Fun

Admission to the Comedy Center entitles you to admission at the Lucy Desi Museum, too.  You’ll enjoy experiencing the nostalgia and brilliance of Lucille Ball, who served as the inspiration for the development of the National Comedy Center.  She wanted her hometown of Jamestown to be a destination for comedy.  Now it is THE destination for comedy.

Although the 30th Annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival has been postponed until 2021, the Center is open for visitors.  There is plenty of room for social distancing, and the management and staff have worked with the renowned University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to implement state-of-the art safety and sanitation measures.

Now that travel restrictions are loosening, make sure your trip includes experiencing this comedy delight for some laughs while you enjoy relaxing on Chautauqua Lake.  Check the website for hours and updates.

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