Lovers of comedy should make it a point to visit Jamestown, home of the newly built National Comedy Center, the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, and Desilu Studios. In this small town, there are plenty of attractions and historic sites to keep visitors busy and entertained for a weekend.
7 pm: After your commute here, hit the Pub and unwind with some family-friendly fare, a top pick for regional specialty beef on weck.
9 am: Start your day off with a "Lucy Latte" and a bagel sandwich at Crown Street Roasting Company, a spot that roasts and grinds all its own coffee in-house. Fresh baked goods are also available.
10 am: The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum at the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy is a tribute to Jamestown's most famous daughter, offering a personal look at the lives and careers of TV's first couple of comedy. It features an array of permanent and interactive exhibits, as well as a significant collection of the comedy duo’s personal belongings. Costumes, gowns, photographs, letters, scripts, and awards are among the memorabilia on display. You can also visit Desilu Studios, which are devoted to I Love Lucy with complete re-creations of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s New York City apartment and other sets. The museum even features the Tropicana Room, a re-creation of the one and only Tropicana nightclub— although not open to the public, you can book any special occasion here! Leave yourself up to 2 hours to enjoy everything the museum has to offer.
12 pm: Continue your tour of Lucy’s life and legacy by stopping by her birthplace at 69 Stewart Avenue in Jamestown, as well as her childhood home at 59 Lucy Lane in Celoron. Jamestown also honors “America’s Favorite Redhead” with five larger-than-life murals painted by local artists Gary Peters and Gary Peters Jr., found all throughout town.
1:30 pm: Enjoy a hearty lunch at the Havana Cuban Café and Pizzeria, which serves authentic Cuban cuisine.
3 pm: The Fenton History Center, which was the former mansion of New York State Governor Reuben E. Fenton, who went on to serve in Congress and the Senate, is now a museum and research center focused on the heritage of Jamestown and Chautauqua County.
5 pm: If you’re looking for a vintage treasure (that may have once been worn on TV or in a movie!) to take home, be sure to stop by the Dykeman Young, Inc. Gallery and Vintage Emporium, which is a unique combination of an art gallery featuring local artists and a vintage clothing store. Many of the clothing items have appeared in several major motion pictures and popular television shows.
7 pm: Make reservations for dinner at Forte, a recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and included in a roundup on Thrillist of best restaurants outside of New York City. Forte offers many appealing options for a night out. It is a cocktail lounge and a wine bar. It serves great sushi as well as an all-inclusive steak and beer dinner deal. It’s also a dance club, a rotating art gallery and a part of the growing arts corridor in downtown Jamestown.
10 am: Have a brunch feast at Phil N’ Cindy’s Lunch, a classic hometown diner with large portions.
1 pm: The Audubon Community Nature Center is the ideal place for nature and animal lovers alike. Their 3-story nature center contains a small collection of live animals, interactive displays, and a gift shop. You can also visit a non-releasable bald eagle named Liberty. If the weather permits, set out on the wetland preserve’s five miles of beautifully maintained trails that include a native tree arboretum and several educational gardens. Admission is free for everyone on Sundays.
2:30 pm: The National Comedy Center opened in August 2018 and is the first of its kind, dedicated to the art of comedy, all of your favorite comedians, and laughter. With more than 50 interactive exhibits, special wristbands that let you into certain areas depending on your age and interests, and a variety of events, you'll definitely go home with a smile on your face.
From Buffalo Niagara Airport International Airport (BUF): 1 hour 30 minutes
From Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE): 2 hours 30 minutes
From Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT): 2 hours 45 minutes
By bus: Service from Downtown Buffalo and Amtrak Station to Jamestown on Coach USA Erie Line
By train: Travel Amtrak from Toronto, Albany and New York City to Buffalo’s Exchange Street station (BFX) downtown. Then take a bus or drive to Jamestown.
From New York City: 6 hours
From Albany: 5 hours 30 minutes
From Boston: 8 hours
From Philadelphia: 6 hours
From Montreal: 7 hours
From Toronto: 3 hours