Olcott Beach may be closed for swimming this year, but the other summer attractions along the lakefront hamlet are open for business.
The Lakeview Village Shoppes, rows of candy-colored cottages located on the beach’s boardwalk, offer a unique shopping experience for locals and visitors to the area.
“We get a lot of tourists who come down from Niagara Falls- they follow the lake,” Karen Young, owner of one of the shops, “The Gift Box”, said. “We get a lot of tourists who want to see the water and get a small town, Americana feel and that’s really what we have here.”
Those who make a visit to the shops can find 11 different stores, offering antiques, hand-painted artwork, clothing, and other items.
While swimming might be off limits this season due to the beach being underwater, visitors can still get a great view of the lake, Young said.
“You can sit on the boardwalk, enjoy an ice cream cone, and look right at the water,” she said.
Starting Memorial Day, the shops are open seven days a week through Labor Day.
On Friday nights starting May 31, the shops offer free wine tasting from local wineries, live music, and a farmer’s market.
“Those have been getting more and more popular each week,” Young said.
Rising water levels have proven problematic for Olcott Beach this year.
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the Lake Ontario shoreline, stating that water levels are 21 inches above average.
To address the high water levels, a “no wake zone” has been issued within 1,000 feet of the shoreline, and boaters must adhere to a 5 mph maximum in the area.
The beach was also closed in 2017, due to record flooding.
“They did a lot of work to get it back beautifully last year, and it has washed it all away,” Young said of the flooding.
Still, Olcott’s other attractions- including the Olcott Beach Carousel Park, with its five-cent rides and upcoming events like the Olcott Beach Jazz Trail make it a great spot to visit during the summer.
“We have something totally unique to our area here,” Young said.