Chautauqua is basically a walking community with very narrow streets. The use of automobiles on the grounds is very restricted.

You will, however, be given a free, limited-time street permit to unload and load luggage at your accommodations. Visitors may park in lots the main lot across from the Main Gate Welcome Center for a daily fee. Special long-term parking rates are also available. The Institution provides regularly scheduled complimentary shuttle bus and tram service on the grounds during the season.


On Grounds


Bicycles are an efficient way to get around the grounds. They must be equipped with a bell or other signaling device and have brakes in working order.

After sunset a headlight and rear reflector are required, and New York State law requires that bicyclists under 14 wear a safety helmet. A bicycle rental shop is located on the grounds during the season. Bicycles may be rented from the Jamestown Cycle Shop's Chautauqua location on Massey Avenue, next to the Chautauqua Fire Department, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday, Sunday, noon-6p.m. (716-357-9032). Skateboarding is not permitted on the grounds. Rollerblading is allowed on perimeter streets.

In order to better regulate bicycle traffic at Chautauqua and to provide for better enforcement of our rules and regulations about bicycles, the Institution has adopted a new policy which requires the registration of all bicycles. There is no charge for registration and registration stickers can be issued and mailed by the box office along with your ticket order.

Electric Scooters 

All scooters must be registered. Long term scooter rentals available through the information booth at the Main Gate Welome Center.

Please check our Scooter Registration for details.

Handicapped Accessibility

Each season, Chautauqua Institution has a large number of people with disabilities attending its events. We work very hard to accommodate those needs by offering a number of options to help with accessibility. Following, is a list of options for patrons with disabilities visiting the grounds of the Institution.

1. Park in the large section of the Main Parking Lot reserved for those with disabilities, directly across the street from the Main Gate Welcome Center. You will need a state issued handicap parking permit to park in this area. You must then cross the highway where you can board a bus or tram to your destination.
2. A limited number of spaces for those with disabilities are reserved behind the Main Gate Welcome Center. Again, a state issued handicap parking permit is required to park in these spaces. Buses and trams are available, just inside the Institution gates.
3. Enter the grounds using a 20 minute “handicap drop off” pass. These passes are available at the Main Gate automobile entrance, just behind the Main Gate Welcome Center. After all passengers with disabilities are dropped off, the car must be parked in the Main Parking Lot.
4. Electric scooters may be rented at the Main Gate Welcome Center. Wheelchairs are also available for rent. Scooters may be reserved in advance by calling the ticket office (716.357.6250). Wheelchairs are rented on a first come, first-served basis. 
5. Those whose disability or personal situation precludes them from using the options above should visit the Main Gate Welcome Center upon arrival and request the assistance of a Supervisor.