The Best Area Pools and Beaches

By Alicia Dziak

Summer’s finally here, which means spending hot days cooling off in the water. Whether you prefer clear pool waters or swimming in a deep blue lake, the Enchanted Mountains offer an abundance of opportunities to get your swim on!


Looking for an afternoon of non-stop fun? Holiday Valley’s pool complex, located in the heart of the resort next to Tamarack Club, features three pools: a toddler pool, a lap pool and an activity pool with a slide and diving board. Multi-tiered sun decks lend themselves to spending a day catching some rays while easily cooling off, and the Cabana Bar, McCarty Cafe and John Harvard’s Brew House offer a variety of summer refreshments. Plus, guests can challenge their buddies to a variety of fun outdoor games, such as giant Jenga, corn hole and ping pong.

The pools are open daily, noon to 7 p.m. through September 7. Rates are as follows: Monday through Thursday— $10 for adults, $7 for kids age 5 to 17, and $6 after 4 p.m. Age 4 and under $4; Friday through Sunday— $12 for adults, $8 for age 5-17 and $7 after 5 p.m. Age 4 and under $5.

Live in Little Valley? The town offers a community pool, open Monday-Friday from noon to 7 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. While pool use is geared toward residents of the town, anyone is welcome. For more information, visit

Springville also has a community pool for only $1 daily admission. The pool, located in the village on S. Buffalo St. and maintained by Springville Youth Inc. (SYI), is open seven days a week from 1 to 8 p.m. (closed to the public at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for lessons). Everyone is also welcome to enjoy the playground area. SYI also offers a splash pad, complete with sprinklers and water features, located on the corner of N. Central and Franklin Streets, right in the village. For more information, visit

You can also head to Olean and check out its public pool at 551 East State Street. For more information, visit


There’s nothing quite like a day at the beach and, lucky for us, there are several nearby to choose from.

Head to Allegany State Park for your choice of two beaches, one on each side of the park, and both staffed with lifeguards.

The beach at Red House Lake features a wide sandy area surrounded by grass shaded by mature trees, so you can hop in and out of the sunshine. A concession stand offers the essentials of summer snacking, and if you need other things to do, you can rent a paddleboat or canoe at the adjacent boathouse or head across the street to the playground.

Quaker Lake offers a large beach off the beaten path and a grassy area and sand to spread out with your picnic blanket and beach umbrella. A playground also borders the sand. There’s plenty of parking, and a concession stand for hungry guests. There is also a jumping platform for advanced swimmers.

Looking for the best of both worlds? Head over to Franklinville’s The Woods at Bear Creek and jump into its Olympic-sized pool and 20-acre lake. A day pass, which includes access to both, as well as fishing and boating in the lake, is available for $30 during the week and $35 on weekends.

Finally, summer’s the perfect time to explore the region and take a short road trip to the many public beaches along the shores of Lake Chautauqua and Lake Erie. Check out Bemus Point Beach and Park and Long Point State Park on Lake Chautauqua, or Sunset Bay, Evangola State Park and Lake Erie State Park on Lake Erie. All of these parks are within an hour’s drive of Ellicottville.

School’s out and it’s time to feel like a kid again, whether you have kids or not. Splash your way through the region with fantastic swimming opportunities for all!