The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As a student at St. Bonaventure University, I definitely had a culture shock with the town and community size. Growing up in a populated area where every store and restaurant I could possibly want was a maximum 15 minutes away, moving Olean made it much harder to find things to do, and I couldn’t just waste my time walking around the mall. At first, I resented the small town vibe, but in a short time, I grew to love what was in Olean and in the surrounding towns. Here are four ideas for St. Bonaventure students and visitors when in the New York southern tier city:
Good Times of Olean
Good Times of Olean is a great attraction for college students and families in the area. This 16-lane bowling alley and restaurant is a great place to hang out in the winter and also includes some summer fun with volleyball courts, miniature golf and batting cages. Good Times of Olean is about a 12-minute-drive from the St. Bonaventure campus and a perfect opportunity to chat with friends, get dinner and bowl for a few hours. When the weather is warmer, be sure to take advantage of all the attractions that the destination has to offer!
About a 25 minute drive outside of Olean, Ellicottville is a cute, small town with plenty of restaurants and shopping. The town is known for the large ski resort in the area, Holiday Valley, which is not only a great place in the winter, but also in the summer. From music festivals to their Sky High Adventure Park, be sure to make the drive and visit this amazing resort. Skiing at Holiday Valley is one of my favorite things to do in the winter, and the resort also offers ski and snowboard lessons for those interested in learning. Skiing in Ellicottville draws in large groups of tourists for their events like the Intense Milk Rail Jam and the 13 different ski lifts that the resort has to offer. College students can buy Holiday Valley season passes and lift tickets at a reduced rate to allow for a more affordable trip!
Cuba Cheese Shoppe
Located 20 minutes from the St. Bonaventure campus, the Cuba Cheese Shoppe is a cool destination for a little day trip. When it opened in the late 1800’s the store was named the “Cheese Center of the World.” The shop is definitely a destination in itself selling over 450 types of cheeses. You can find their cheeses in over 200 different stores around Western NY. Don’t forget to try their most well-known cheese, the New York State Cheddar!
Allegany State Park
When looking for a good nature walk or hiking trails near Olean, Allegany State Park is where you should be! The state park is located in Salamanca, NY about 20 minutes from Olean and is known for its camping and gorgeous lakes, perfect for kayaking and canoeing. The park also has great hiking trails where you can see the diverse plant and wildlife and some beautiful caves! This state park offers a great weekend attraction but also a nice day-trip for a picnic. There are many pavilions and cabins throughout the park that can be rented for the day or the weekend. When the weather is warm, I highly recommend checking out this amazing state park!