Chautaqua County, New York: the seventh in a series on the best sections of North America in which to pursue rural life, including population, jobs and crime, real estate and taxes, and education and health.
Tourism, the county's "other industry," is drawn largely by the fine artistic and cultural programs of world-famous Chautauqua Institution (which hosts 10,000 visitors a day for summer programs of drama and music, as well as theological and political debates) and by the geographic good fortune of picturesque, 2-mile-long Lake Chautauqua and a 40-mile Lake Erie shoreline on the county's northwest border.
PHOTO: MICHAEL SOLURI
County farms sell for as little as $250 per acre.
Inland acreage is less productive than lakefront land.
Fertile lakefront land supports many vineyards.
Historic homes in Chautauqua County.
Map of Chautauqua County, New York.
Many rural roads are open to snowmobiles in winter, and summer fishing is both a business and a pleasure.
Chautauqua County is studded with stately historic homes and public buildings.