The Industrial Revolution's innovation and muscle come to life during cruises aboard the "Chautauqua Belle," a historic open-air steamboat. The eponymous vessel glides across the calm surface of Chautauqua Lake as guides educate guests of all ages on the lake's colorful history. Guests can enjoy snacks and libations from the full-service bar as they glimpse picturesque beaches and lush forests during dinner, fireworks, and private charters or narrated history tours.
The beautiful and informative tours take place in association with the Chautauqua Institution, a historical society located in an even more historical building. Formerly known as the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly, the society first perched itself on the edge of the lake in 1874, and by 1880 was a nationally recognized forum where intellectuals discussed global politics, scientific developments, the arts, and favorite fishing holes. The name may have changed, but the Chautauqua Institution carries on that spirit of inquisitiveness and community development today in educational programs, artists' outreach, and religious services.