Windswept shores, beaches, and dramatic cliffs define Chautauqua County’s northern Lake Erie border. The microclimate created by Lake Erie supports more than 30,000 grape vineyards acres, generates lake effect snow that is essential for winter recreation, is home to popular migration flyways in the spring and fall, and harbors abundant walleye, bass, and trout fisheries. Just a few miles inland lays Chautauqua. At roughly 17 miles long with a surface area exceeding 13,000 acres, Chautauqua Lake is a destination for lake recreation enthusiasts who enjoy sailing, boating, fishing, paddlesports, and other water fun. Several smaller lakes surround Chautauqua, including Findley Lake to the southwest, plus Cassadaga and Bear Lakes to the north. There isn’t a single part of Chautauqua County that is more than 20 minutes from open water.