Jamestown Gazette readers in our region have been in pandemic mode for over three months now. And like many other aspects of our lives, Covid-19 has directly impacted the travel industry. Due to social distancing, quarantine, and company closures, families and individuals are opting for Staycations where they enjoy leisure activities at home or within driving distances.
Before Covid-19 vacations used to include lounging on the beach at an all-inclusive resort, wearing Mickey Mouse ears while walking around Disney, or setting off to another country. But many of those vacations have been cancelled or reschedule.
A Different Way
A Staycation gives families and individuals an opportunity to explore their very own backyard. To see just what their communities have to offer. Just because you are staying close to home doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do. There are many benefits and options when it comes to Staycations and Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Warren, PA counties are no exception. Even during this pandemic time.
One benefit is no worry about travel time. Ever start a vacation by either rushing out of the house or running through an airport? Or wish you could have just one more day to sleep in and feel refreshed? With a Staycation there is no time wasted sitting at airport or dealing with jetlag.
With a Staycation travelers are less likely to have any of that additional stress. Ever heard someone say, “I need a vacation from my vacation”? Staycations are all about relaxing and taking it easy. Some people find this by sitting in their backyards, reading a book, or sleeping in.
Follow the Money
The biggest reason Staycations are so popular right now is that they are less expensive. Staying home allows you to save money on travel, lodging, and dining. The cost of an average vacation could be in the thousands. Staying home cuts back on most of those costs.
Another benefit of Staycations is that they help to support local and regional businesses. Time and money are spent locally, which can help re-start the local economy.
So now that you know how great Staycations are, what can you do? What are some options that you have for “vacationing at home?”
Picnic night: Instead of cooking dinner one night, why not order take out from a favorite local restaurant and set up a cozy seating area in your own back yard. Some local places also offer family styles meals that can even include a bottle of wine, a growler, a bottle of beer, or even a custom cocktail. This is a great way to get the family together and to enjoy each other’s company.
Day by the pool: For folks who have pools, take a day or an afternoon and just relax at the poolside. For people who don’t have pools, feel free to stop by a public community pool. Be assured that community pools are taking all proper precautions when it comes to social distancing and cleanliness.
Back Yard BBQ: While large crowds are still banned, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a small gathering of family and friends. It probably been months since you last seen most of your family and friends. Why not host a BBQ to see the ones you may not seen in a while. Be sure to wear your masks and Social Distancing.
Go Golfing: This is a great option for people who want to get outside while maintaining proper social distancing. Many courses are now open but limiting the number of players, it would be best to call ahead.
Visit a state park: Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Warren, PA counties are filled with appealing and diverse landscape. In a statement from NY State Park Manager, Marla Connelly, she reassures that “State Parks are currently following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines regarding social distancing. Including, but not limited to: requesting all patrons wear masks when unable to maintain social distance, spacing of beach blankets 10 feet apart and only permitting 50% capacity on the beaches, parking and picnic table density reductions, and limiting numbers of patrons at a time in enclosed spaces such as restrooms.” Connelly advises that patrons should call and check current status of any amenities you wish to utilize. And don’t forget about the Kinzua Dam in Warren, PA. There you can enjoy several scenic overlooks with miles of hiking trails.
Go for a bike ride: Cycling is a very popular activity in Chautauqua county. Take a ride and enjoy the country roads, idyllic scenery, and climb the Lake Erie escarpment. The Chautauqua Rails and Trails is a biking trail that stretches from Sherman to Brocton, NY. Trail can be challenging at times and may require for the use of a mountain bike.
Spend a day by the pool: For those who have pools, just take a day or afternoon and just lay by the pool. For those who don’t have pools, feel free to stop by a public community pool. Be assured that community pools are taking all proper precautions when it comes to social distancing. Interests in pools have also been on the rise. With the cancelations of summer sports and vacations families adding these backyard oasis to not only keep children entertained but also take time to relax and refresh.
Visit a local attraction: As we enter Phase-4, or its equivalent in PA, (please check local schedules) many local attractions are planning on reopening. One of these locations is the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY, after enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing protocols will be put in place. Chautauqua Institution’s grounds have been open and patrons are encouraged to walk around the culturally rich facility. Most of Chautauqua Institution’s summer programs will be offered virtually. Visit the website for details (https://chq.org/).
Lily Dale Assembly will offer all of their workshops online but the gates will be opened allowing a limited number of gate pass holders in Visitors are asked to purchase a gate pass on the website before arriving.
Try out a new restaurant: A Staycation is the best time to try out that new restaurant, winery, or brewery that you keep thinking about. Most restaurants and eating establishments are allowing dinning in while practicing social distancing. And if dinning in isn’t your thing, don’t be afraid to call ahead and order some take out.
Take some time for self care: Salons and spas have recently reopened in some areas allowing some time for pampering. Some spas will provide one-day packages. Most places might be limiting the number of clients and requiring masks. It is always wisest to call a head.
If you want to sleep in, eat delicious food, enjoy nature, and enjoy the freedom to do nothing at all, then a Staycation is for you. A Staycation is a great way to get away from it all when a traditional vacation just isn’t in the cards.