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Tips and Tricks for First Time Visitors

Updated: Aug 5, 2022

We are excited for you to join us on your visit to Chautauqua! There can be some surprises if you have never stayed with us before, so here are some tips and tricks:

Before your trip:

  • Be sure to purchase your gate pass and parking pass ahead of time from Chautauqua’s website at You will need your gate pass whenever you leave or enter the grounds and occasionally to enter certain venues on the grounds. It’s recommended that you have your gate pass(es) mailed to you, although you can also pick them up at Will Call when you arrive.

  • Weekly gate passes run from Saturday to Saturday. There are two types of gate passes: (1)The Traditional Gate Pass gives the greatest access to events on the grounds for no additional cost (with the exception of some limited fine arts performances). (2) The Grounds Access Pass (GAP) gives you access to limited events and allows you to purchase tickets to other events. See this link for more detail.

Arriving to Chautauqua:

  • When you first come to the grounds, you will either need to park at the Welcome Building to pick up your gate pass at Will Call OR, if you already had your gate pass sent to you, you can proceed to the gate to receive a 45-minute pass to drive onto the grounds.

  • For most of your visit, your car will be parked in the Main Parking Lot across the road from the Institution’s main entrance. When you arrive, you will be provided with a 45-minute pass to drive onto the grounds to one of our buildings (either Mayflower or Reformed Church House) to unload your car. At the end of your trip, you can request another 45-minute pass to reload at the end of the week.

  • Although the CUCCS has two houses with guest rooms (The Mayflower and the Reformed Church House), only the Mayflower has kitchen facilities where all of our guests are welcome to cook and eat their meals, as well as store any refrigerated or shelf stable food they bring. When you arrive on the grounds, regardless of where you’re staying, it is recommended you first come to the Mayflower kitchen to unload your food.

  • When you arrive to the Mayflower kitchen, the hosts will give you your refrigerator shelf assignment for cold foods and a pantry shelf for other food items. (Freezer space is also available on a first come-first serve basis.) There is limited space so plan accordingly.

During Your Stay

  • Bike and scooter rentals are available. There are laundry facilities on the grounds, although many guests find the hours of laundromats in Lakewood (close to grocery shopping) are more convenient.

  • As our guest, you are responsible for making your own food and cleaning up after yourself (including hand-washing dishes). We do not serve food. Our kitchen has all major appliances, many small appliances (microwave, toasters, toaster oven), cookware, plates, glasses, silverware, and cleaning supplies for guests’ use.

  • There are grocery stores off of the grounds within a 15-30 minute drive (depending on the store). There is also a farmer’s market on the grounds Monday through Friday mornings. The Institution also has several restaurants on the grounds if you wish to eat out. The complete list of cafes and restaurants is available here.

  • We recommend preparing simple meals. One idea is to make and freeze some meals ahead of time. You also may find it useful to plan out what you will make each day so as to best economize what food supplies you bring.

  • All guests are responsible for hand-washing any dishes used for cooking and eating. Bring a dish towel or two for drying your dishes.

  • The Mayflower does have an elevator, mainly for your luggage on arrival and departure days. Please remember, however, if there is an emergency or for some reason the elevator doesn’t work, you do need to be able to use the stairs.

  • We encourage all of our guests to participate in the UCC activities scheduled throughout the week. There is a worship service, an ice cream social, a community dinner together, a social hour and more. All the events are listed on a flier provided in your room. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the other guests as well your hosts, the Chaplain Administrator, and the Chaplain of the week.

Before you Depart

  • We request that everyone tidy up your room before they leave. Hosts will give you directions before the day of departure.

Things You May Not Think To Bring

  • Bed linens and towels (UNLESS you reserved them when you booked your room)

  • Zip lock bags or small containers for leftover food

  • 1-2 dish towels to dry dishes after washing

  • Raincoat/rainwear

  • Jackets and long pants for cooler evening weather

  • Seat cushions and lawn chairs come in handy if you have room to pack them. There are a few available here for your use.

  • Reusable water bottles - helpful to carry around on hot days

  • Lanyards for Gate passes - helpful to keep your gate pass handy

  • Bathrobe for trips to the bathroom at the end of the hallway

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