Let’s laugh our way to Lucille Ball’s annual Comedy Festival this August! Everyone remembers this famous funny gal as the crazy, accident prone, loveable Lucy who was always faced with a major catastrophe. Believe it or not, this same Lucy was first turned down by a dramatic school for being too shy. Learn other fun and interesting facts about Lucille and see her hometown of Jamestown, New York where we’ll tour her old stomping grounds, explore the National Comedy Center, ride on an historic steamboat for a Lucy inspired luncheon cruise, dine at Ricky’s Tropicana, and party down at an evening block party.
There’s not just comedy here. We’ll also explore the wonders of Chautauqua and Niagara County including the amazing Panama Rocks, an exhilarating ride through the Niagara Gorge and Whirlpool, views of the majestic Niagara Falls and picturesque Dunkirk Lighthouse. Hold onto your ribs and get ready for a hilariously good time!
Day One: Owego, New York
North is our direction as we make our way to the lantern and flag lined bridge spanning across the scenic Susquehanna River that leads to one of “America’s Coolest Towns”, Owego, New York. Here we stop to stretch our legs, and wander through this charming town with its picturesque town hall to try one of the amazing eateries for lunch on your own, go antiquing, browse at classic bookstores or go for a scenic river stroll.
Day One: Ellicottville, New York
Onto the foothills of the Allegany Mountains where we’ll find our home for the next four nights in the charming town of Ellicottville. Best known for its ski resorts, this cute village is also a great summertime destination that is filled with fantastic restaurants and eclectic shops. After checking into our comfortable hotel, the night will be yours to spend among the town exploring and finding a great place for dinner on your own.
Day Two: Steamboat Cruise
Today we board the historic 1776 Chautauqua Belle steamboat for a 2-hour, scenic river cruise past Jamestown and Celoron while hearing local history about the area that Lucy loved and grew up in. Included is a lunch inspired by the I Love Lucy “Building A Bar-B-Q” episode with hamburgers, mac and cheese, potato salad, franks & beans, and mini cheesecakes.
Sit back and relax and enjoy the ride. Whoever finds Lucy’s missing wedding ring wins the grand prize, along with the best dressed Lucy, so don’t forget your red wig!
Day Two: Panama Rocks
At Panama Rocks the twisted tree roots snaking down through the rocks and the delicate ferns, mosses, and lichens give the area a unique, jungle-like charm. We’ll gaze in awe at our surroundings as we wander the loop trail that traverses around stunning rock formations dating back about 400 million years ago.
*There is uneven ground here, so walk as little or as much as comfortable for you. As you stroll, keep your eyes peeled for the lost hidden gold from a bank robbery in the mid-1800s. You may be the one to find this long time lost hidden treasure!
Day Two: Block Party
Tonight we’ll make our way back to the National Comedy Center for a party like no other. We’ll spend the evening enjoying live music, beer, wine, food trucks and more at the festive comedy block party.
Day Three: Lucy's Hometown Tour
This morning we’ll have the pleasure of touring Lucy’s hometown of Jamestown. A friendly and knowledgeable local guide will hop on the bus and take us past place significant to Lucy including the house she was born in and the one where she grew up, while relating fun, interesting stories of her life.
Day Three: Lunch at the Tropicana
After, we visit Desi’s Tropicana for an included lunch. In this recreation of Ricky Ricardo’s famous Manhattan nightclub, we’ll be entertained by a retrospective screening of great musical moments in the vast TV and film career of Desi Arnaz.
Day Three: Dunkirk Lighthouse
This afternoon brings us to the scenic banks of Lake Erie where we find the historic working Dunkirk Lighthouse. Climb the lighthouse spiral stairs to the top for magnificent views, walk through the restored 1800 lighthouse keepers’ home, browse the museum with its special surprises including a wedding dress made from two WWII parachutes that four local sisters were married in, and wander the lovely grounds.
Day Four: Niagara Whirlpool
Today will be filled with excitement and adventure! Niagara County, home of the infamous Niagara Falls will be our destination, yet we will experience it in a unique way. We’ll travel through the Niagara River, navigating the rapids, into the Niagara Gorge where 175-foot walls ascend from above the water line that ends in the famous Niagara Whirlpool where we’ll swirl counterclockwise in this natural whirlpool that formed 4,200 years ago.
Then we return through the Devil’s Hole Rapids back up the Niagara River, so we won’t be going over the falls. Don’t worry, we’re not whitewater rafting and we won’t be soaked; our enclosed “Dry Freedom Jet Boat” will safely and dryly take us on our journey through this fantastic river.
Day Four: Lunch in Lewiston
After our excitement, there will be time to wander through the historic and quaint town of Lewiston to find lunch on your own.
Day Four: Niagara Falls
Since we didn’t experience the falls on our boat ride, we’ll make a stop at the observation deck to gaze in awe the majestic Niagara Falls before heading back to Ellicottville, where we’ll enjoy an included dinner on our last night here.
Day Five: Corning, New York
As we journey home, we’ll make a stop in America’s Crystal City, Corning, well known for its impressive glass museum. Here we’ll spend some time exploring the Gaffer District, named after a master glassblower, filled with boutique shops, art galleries, studios, and many restaurants serving fabulous food including our favorite, Donna’s Restaurant. From here we make our way back to home sweet home New Jersey.
Pricing & Departures:
Departs from South Plainfield High School at the end of Lane Avenue at 7:15 AM and returns at approximately 7:00 PM. As you enter from Lane Avenue, park on the left side along the fence between the two schools.
Departs the Chatham Middle School at 480 Main Street (park in the lot behind the Methodist Church in non-numbered spaces) at 8:00 AM and returns at approximately 6:15 PM
Departs from Ridgewood’s Graydon Pool South lot, across Linwood Avenue on the field side at 8:45 AM and returns at approximately 5:30 PM
Tour cost per person is $1,550 Twin & $1,895 Single. No reservations accepted without a deposit of $350 per person. Make checks payable to Group Tours & Travel, and mail to the above address. Final payment is due June 23, 2022. Deposits are fully refundable if cancellation occurs on or before June 23, 2022. There are no refunds if cancellation occurs after June 23, 2022. Travel protection/cancellation coverage is available and recommended, but not included. One piece of luggage per person and one carry-on are permitted. Group Tours is not responsible for any delays, cancellations, injuries or circumstances beyond its control and reserves the right to change this itinerary. All trip components are subject to change in accordance with Government, State and Local guidelines and/or mandates. This tour will run rain or shine.
The Educated Wanderer
Group Tours & Travel
1710 E. Lancaster Ave. #319 Paoli, PA 19301