Chautauqua, New York

Let’s escape from the snow and cold of January by viewing some summertime pictures of Chautauqua Institution in southwestern New York, which I visited a few years ago. Each summer, this beautiful lakeside resort offers nine weeks of thought-provoking presentations on religious, social and political topics. The topic for the session I attended was healthcare.

At 17 miles long and 2 miles wide, Chautauqua Lake is long and skinny, and takes its name from a Seneca word meaning “tied in the middle.” It’s a good spot to fish, sail or kayak.

We took a riverboat cruise on the Chautauqua Belle. Here I am with the captain.

Visitors can stay at the Athenaeum Hotel or at numerous privately owned houses on the property.

athenaeum hotel

The resort also houses the stately Packard Manor, built in 1915 for William Doud Packard and renovated in 1999. Packard founded the Packard Electric Company and the Packard Motor Car Company, which were later bought by General Motors. Notice the antique Packard car parked in front of the manor.

We were impressed by the carefully landscaped gardens throughout the resort.

I was working on my financial thriller Money Grab while I was there. Our group had a lot of fun identifying places on the property that would be good for hiding a body, including under bridges, tree stumps and shrubbery.

tree stumps

A local policeman contributed to my research for Money Grab by telling me about a murder at Chautauqua (1940’s, in the kitchen, with a knife) and giving perspective on how long it would take a submerged body to float to the shoreline, and what the body would look like once it was discovered. Fortunately, there were no murders while we were at the resort.

What are some of your favorite travel spots? I look forward to hearing about them on Facebook.


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