Summer courses, art festivals, local information & more
The Village of Alfred is a perfect example of a quaint, historic college town. Nestled between the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains and the Finger Lakes, Alfred is home to both Alfred University and Alfred State College. When classes are in session, the local population of about 1,000 more than quadruples. Downtown coffee shops and restaurants are filled with faculty and students — artists, poets, actors, linguists, counselors, engineers, athletes, business majors — who are energized by the community's vibrant intellectual and cultural life.
Local legend claims that the village is named after medieval England's King Alfred (noted for his commitment to educating his people). Retaining much of its turn-of-the-century charm, the downtown historic district is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Alfred's early terra cotta clay companies produced the roofing tile still found on many homes and barns, and inspired generations of ceramic artists and engineers at Alfred University.
Western New York boasts an abundance of cultural and recreational opportunities including:
Phillips Creek State Forest — offers a marked and mapped trail system for hiking, nordic skiing and horseback riding. The entrance to the park is 10 minutes from downtown Alfred on Rte 244.
Pine Hill Trails — 2.5 miles of densely wooded, hillside trails just behind the AU campus.
From monthly art walks to celebrations and traditions unique to the Alfred learning-living community, our area provides a wide variety of seasonal events for the whole family. Whether you enjoy outdoor activities, cultural events, or good food and wine, Western New York offers something for everyone.
Sponsored by Alfred University and Alfred State College, this annual event brings students and members of the community together for a day filled with games, crafts, inflatable rides, mud Olympics, live music, and (of course) hot dogs, vegetarian "not dogs" and more. Proceeds benefit local charities.
Experience something truly spectacular. Alfred University art students display their work each spring in early May. Open to the public.
Maple producers across NY host open houses to demonstrate maple production. The event is free to the public.
Great fishing (trout, bass, perch) is available year-round in the area, but this April event awards cash prizes to those who catch tagged trout in the Genesee River.
With events and festivals throughout the season, this growers-only market strives to make the market a fun local-producers shopping and entertainment destination for the entire family.
Alfred Summer Arts offers four weeks of interdisciplinary workshops, a new summer festival, as well as courses for credit.
The oldest continually running county fair in New York state, this annual summer event at the county fairgrounds in Angelica, NY, features all the traditional trappings, from carnival rides and popcorn stands to dairy cattle judging and arts and crafts competition.
An annual gathering for more than 125 years, the world-renowned 9-week Chautauqua Institution's summer programming offers symphony, opera, theater, lectures plus workshops on subjects from philosophy to pottery, as well as popular entertainment.
More than 75 wineries showcase their products. Cooking demos, hands-on culinary classes, wine seminars, live music, and gourmet foods can be enjoyed in one convenient location.
Help inflate and launch hot air balloons at one of the few rallies in the country that allows spectators on the field. The balloon rally, held every summer, is accompanied by a weekend of street fairs and craft shows. Held the third weekend in July each year.
Every October, local artists open their studios to the public. See artists working on glass, crafts, jewelry, metal, wood, ceramics, and candles. Most studios are within half an hour drive of Alfred, and maps are available at various locations to help visitors find the studios.
The ultimate pumpkin patch. Little kids enjoy hay rides, u-pick pumpkin patch, corn maze, petting zoo, pumpkin pies (and bread and ice cream) in Great Valley near Franklinville.
Follow trails through the fields, hillsides, and forests of western New York during peak foliage season. Trail lengths range from a 400m "fun run" for kids to a 14 mile walk or run.
For decades, this volunteer-based non-profit charitable organization has frightened its patrons in its centuries old Victorian asylum-turned-haunted attraction, all while giving back to the local community.
When winter finally hits New York, Holiday Valley turns into a ski resort with great skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Beginners and experts all love this NY ski area near Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Toronto. Other activities include the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster, kids' activities, multiweek ski clubs, cross country and snowshoeing.
The Alfred University campus is alive with activity all summer long. We offer Summer Term credit courses, residential and day academic and sports camps, workshops, the annual Most Arts Festival, weddings, conferences, and much more.
See below to see what activities are scheduled for Summer!
Credit and Non-Credit Courses:
Each summer Alfred University hosts a variety of Conferences, Seminars, Retreats, Workshops, Weddings, Reunions and other special events. Summer activities also include academic institutes and sports camps for high school students and a full schedule of summer school courses.
During the academic year, campus space is available on a very limited basis for special meetings, training sessions, and other similar gatherings.
Alfred University can be the perfect setting for your organization's summer conference, seminar, retreat or workshop. Our beautiful campus is located in a peaceful setting nestled between the Allegheny Mountains and the Finger Lakes in Western New York, offering modern meeting facilities and accommodations, state-of-the-art equipment, recreational facilities, a creative, award-winning catering service, and an attentive, efficient staff. Summer weather is temperate and very pleasant with warm days, cool nights, and low humidity.
Facilities and Accommodations
Meeting spaces, classrooms, lecture halls, auditoriums and conference rooms to accommodate small and large groups from 10 to 500 are available. Most offer state-of-the-art equipment.
The lovely Saxon Inn, located on campus, is open year-round and is recognized as the most luxurious small hotel in the area. Housing in residence halls, campus suites and apartments is also available from mid-May to early August.
Dining areas are located in two buildings on campus, Powell Campus Center and Ade Hall. Some are small and intimate for groups of 25-50, while others will accommodate larger groups and our banquet hall can seat up to 320. Our catering department provides delicious meals prepared in our main kitchens along with specialty items made fresh daily. The flexibility of our catering staff and their emphasis on personal attention allow conference planners to create their own menus or to choose from a variety of sample menus.
Free time can be spent exploring the beautiful Alfred area. Our village includes a course of pleasant streets for jogging, lined with lovely Victorian homes and restored buildings. McLane Physical Education Center offers a modern, fully-equipped Fitness Center and a competition-sized swimming pool. Tennis courts and playing fields adjoin the complex along with several miles of nature trails for the novice or expert hiker. Golf courses are located within easy driving distance for beginner or pro.
Those who prefer quieter activities can browse the world-famous Alfred Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University, enjoy special collections in two fine libraries, shop in the quaint downtown stores, stroll along the forest trails on our 230-acre campus, or visit any of the local artists' studios and shops.
Many cultural and social events are also available to groups visiting this area. During the summer months musical and dramatic productions are presented by members of the community, weekly carillon concerts add to the enchanting ambiance of the campus, and local towns and villages sponsor weekend fairs, hot-air balloon festivals and other enjoyable activities.
The large airports servicing the Alfred area include Rochester, Elmira and Buffalo. For a reasonable fee, arrangements can be made with us for scheduled transportation of conference participants to and from the Rochester airport. The campus is also easily accessible by car from east and west via Interstate 86 and from north and south via State Routes 390, 15, 19, 21 and 36.