Bemus Point : New york


What It Is Like to Retire in Bemus Point

Bemus Point is a small, charming and historical village located along the shores of Chautauqua Lake in Chautauqua County, New York, and just a few miles from the Chautauqua Institute. It was first settled by William Bemus in 1806, who purchased land on both sides of the lake and made his home on the eastern side, now known as Bemus Point. The town was incorporated in 1911, and today has a population of 341 residents (2020 Census), with of median age of 58. Each summer the population swells to the thousands as seasonal residents return to enjoy boating, fishing and sailing. Its history dates back to the 1800’s and early 1900’s, when Bemis Point gained popularity as a tourist destination for its big band music and Bemus Bay Pops concerts. Today, the small village is still a popular summer retreat with cottages and homes lining the picturesque lake, and because of its proximity to the cultural events provided by The Chautauqua Institute.

Where to Retire in Bemus Point and Home Prices

Bemus Point offers single-family homes, cottages and condos. According to Zillow, the median home value was $137,816, in early 2022, up over 20% during the past year.

What Is Special about Bemus Point

Chautauqua Lake and all the outdoor recreation make Bemus Point special. Residents and visitors enjoy boating, sailing, fishing and swimming, along with pubs, restaurants, shops, and a nine-hole golf course. Long Point State Park is located here and offers fishing, boating, swimming and hiking, and nearby Midway State Park is one of the oldest continually operating amusement parks in the nation. The small town of Bemis Point boasts two state high school championships in football, and three state championships in girls cross-country.

What Is Not Special about Bemus Point

Winters are cold and snowy with an annual average of 152 inches; high real estate taxes

Who Will Like Retirement in Bemus Point

Retirees who want a small lakeside community may love it here. The close-knit community has historical buildings, a ferry that crosses the lake at Bemus Point, restaurants, a library, a historical society and volunteer opportunities.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism drives the economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

the community experiences all 4 seasons with January's average temperature 24 degrees, and July's average temperature 68 degrees.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

As a summer tourist destination, Bemus Point is home to several restaurants including The Fish that offers waterside dining, Guppy's and Ellicottville Brewing on Chautauqua, are also fun spots, and fine dining is offered in the historic Lenhart Hotel. Interestingly, there are several historic structures and venues that are over 100 years old, and are still standing and operating within Bemis Point. In the early 1900’s, the Casino was a dance hall known for its big band music, and today it remains on the same spot and is a restaurant known as The Village Casino; the Bemus Point Fire Department charted in 1920, recently celebrated its 100 Anniversary and continues to be a vital part of the community; Hotel Lenhart has been operating for over 140 years and owned by the same family for four generations; the Bemis Point-Stow Ferry runs from the same spot as it did over 200 years ago; The Lawson Center Museum preserves, displays, and presents a history of Chautauqua boating; The Bemus Point Historical Society was formed in 1997, and has established a museum that exhibits local archival items; The Bemus Point Library was started by Mrs. Elizabeth Bemis in 1907, which is an interesting story in itself, and the Bemus Point Study Club which was formed previously in 1903, has been the vital support group for the library continuously since that date.


The crime rate here is very low.

Medical Facilities

UPMC Chautauqua is in Jamestown, about 12 miles away, and there is also an out-patient VA Clinic located in nearby Jamestown.


The Bemus Point-Stow Ferry was founded in 1811, and was a raft that had to be poled across the lake. More than 200 years later the ferry is still used, but now it is paddle-wheel driven and runs on cables to transport cars, bikes, and foot traffic across the narrowest part of the lake, traveling 1,000 feet in about 7 minutes. The bridge on Interstate 86, built in 1982, travels across the lake and provides great views of in both directions. The nearest airport is in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles away, and Buffalo Niagara International Airport is approximately 70 miles away. The Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport is a small county-owned airport, located 10 miles from Bemus Point.

Valuable Links

The Village of Bemus Point

Visit Bemus Point

Midway State Park

Long Point State Park

The Chautauqua Institution


What people are saying about Bemus Point

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