Smithsonian Magazine's third annual rankings of the best small towns in the USA to visit has a Western New York gem rated at the very top.  The list included towns of less than 15-thousand residents and according to the magazine, Chautauqua, New York is "more than ice cream cones and ferry rides. The Chautauqua Institution draws 8,000 people each year for its nine-week summer season, and thousands more attend art openings and performances of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Company and the School of Dance."

Chautauqua is the perfect place to relax and be entertained.  It draws high profile lecturers including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and filmmaker Ken Burns last summer.  Burns called Chautauqua "a celebration of lifelong learning in a marketplace of ideas."

Located along the shores of Chautauqua Lake you can start your day with coffee and a doughnut at Food for Thought café, then enjoy the 10:45 lecture in the 4,000-seat amphitheater, an 1893 landmark that features a pipe organ. Later in the day play a round of golf, go swimming, get together with a group to talk about books or take a class on such wide ranging things as gardening, Greek art or even politics and ballet.

Completing the magazine's Top 5 this year; Healdsburg, California, Williamsburg, Virginia, Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Woods Hole, Massachusetts.