Chautauqua County is not usually on the mind of the typical Upstate New Yorker when it comes to thinking about where to take your next road trip.  And that really is too bad. You're about to find out what's so special about this underrated Upstate New York County. And by the end of it, you just might be reaching out to some friends or family to hop in the car and take a trip on over.

The county is the most western county in all of New York state, so, yes, it is a long way from most of us (be sure to bring snacks for the car ride over).  And with just 125,000 residents in the county, there are a lot of wide open spaces with not much to see or do. But, as this gallery shows, there are plenty of fascinating nuggets to be mined on a first trip to this beautiful corner of the Empire State.

From great museums and festivals to beautiful lakefront properties and great beach sunsets (Lake Erie, remember), there is plenty to see for outdoor lovers, explorers, and history seekers alike. And don't discount famous places like the Chautauqua Institution top it all off is the land of the "Queen of Comedy," Lucille Ball.

Here are 13 places as a starter bucket list for you to look at the next time you're planning a visit to this special place. If you have any suggestions for stops to add, please leave us a comment!

Road Trip! Amazing Chautauqua County...For Fun, Beauty, and History!

Chautauqua County, in far western New York State, is an amazing place. Surrounded by gorgeous landscapes, this is a place one should definitely come to and explore. From wineries, to world class entertainment, to great museums, to history, and to "I Love Lucy," the county has something for everyone!

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