12 Places to Swim and Splash this Summer

By Alicia Dziak

Summer’s flying by and the time to splash away your worries is limited. With so many options, it’s easy to take advantage of all the swimming opportunities in the region before it cools off.


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 yummy food and refreshments. The pools are open daily, noon to 7 p.m. through Sept. 7, with a range of rate options.

Monday through Thursday the cost is $8 for adults and $6 for kids age 5–17. Come after 5 p.m. and it’s only $5, with kids age 4 and under only $3. Friday through Sunday you only pay $10 for adults and $7 for kids age 5–17. Come after 5 p.m. and it’s only $6, with kids age 4 and under only $4.

In addition, in July and August, one pool and the Cabana Bar are open until 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. From 5-8:30 p.m. on those nights, admission is only $6.

Little Valley has a community pool open daily noon–7 p.m., and 10 a.m. –7 p.m. on weekends. The best thing about this pool? It’s free! While pool use is geared toward residents of the town, anyone is welcome. For more information, visit

Springville also offers a community pool for only $1 daily admission. The pool, located in the village on S. Buffalo Street and maintained by Springville Youth Inc. (SYI), is open seven days a week from 1–8 p.m. (closed to the public at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for lessons). The park also houses a new playground area, just steps away from the pool. SYI also has a splash pad in Springville that’s open daily — great for the younger set. The splash pad, located on the corner of N. Central and Franklin streets, is comprised of a series of sprinklers with an adjacent playground, and admission is free. For more information, visit

Olean also boasts a community pool complex. Their ceramic tile wading pool and L-shaped swimming  are open to the public through Labor Day at 551 East State Street at low cost. Swimming lessons and family swim nights are offered for a nominal charge. The Franchot Park wading pool is free of charge. For more information, visit


Do you dream of alternating time in the water with bouts of fun in the sand? You don’t have to be at the ocean to enjoy some old-fashioned beach time. Allegany State Park has two beautiful beaches, one on each side of the park.

Quaker Lake, the largest of the lakes within ASP, offers a large beach, complete with a bathhouse, 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. The beach area is roped off and supervised, and there is a jumping platform for advanced swimmers.

Red House Lake, closer to Salamanca, features a scenic beach on one side that combines sand with mature trees for great shady areas. A food stand offers the essentials of summer snacking. A playground, open spaces and sports courts are located across the street at the Beehunter Rec area.

Of course, if it’s sand and surf you’re after, and you don’t mind a little driving, many public beaches are scattered along the shores of nearby 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.

All these great options mean there’s so much fun to be had in so little time — get your swimming in before summer is out!