Mention New York, and what springs to mind for most of us is New York City. It's Manhattan and Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty. But there's more to New York State than the five boroughs. One of the state's most underrated cities is just 62 miles from our northern neighbor, Canada. Buffalo is famed for its proximity to Niagara Falls; however, there's so many things to do in Buffalo, NY, that have nothing to do with the falls. It's called the "City of Good Neighbors" for a reason!
What is there more glorious for a trip to any American city without a glance at its nature? Found in Buffalo's South Park, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is a living museum dedicated to maintaining our human connection to the natural world around us. The highlight of the gardens is definitely the glass atrium. Inspired by the now-lost Crystal Palace in London, the house and its surroundings are full of wonder and harmony. As well as just wandering the gardens, there are also plenty of events that take place there. Why not make a day of it?
The Buffalo Zoo was founded in 1875, meaning it's been providing entertainment and education for thousands of visitors for nearly 150 years. It's also the third-oldest zoo in the US and home to hundreds of different species. The Buffalo Zoo has every animal you can think of, from polar bears to chimpanzees and toads to sea lions, and it's a great day out for the whole family. Some of the best exhibits contain some of the world's most endangered animals the zoo strives to protect.
Bicycles and scooters might be all the rage in big cities, but have you ever considered using a segway? Segways have been discontinued in several cities around the country. As much of a shame as that is, the Buffalo Touring Company still provides segway tours for residents and visitors alike. The segway tour will take you around all of the most notable Buffalo landmarks, allowing you to see the sights in an entirely brand-new way. You'll pass the zoo and the Darwin Martin House and learn about the city from expert guides along the way.
You've tried ferries and other such vessels, but what if we told you you could ride a sailboat? The Spirit of Buffalo is just that; a 73-foot vessel with recognizable red sails that was built in 1992. On the Spirit of Buffalo, you'll find yourself going back in time, sharing sails around Lake Erie at all times of the day. As well as just sailing around, grown-ups can also take wine-sampling tours while kids can make their games come to life as pirates.
Exhibiting since 1862, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is one of Buffalo's true gems. The vibrant museum stands in the heart of the city's cultural district and holds thousands of artistic treasures inside its walls. Artists from Frida Kahlo, Edgar Degas, and Vincent Van Gogh have pieces there, and with each visit, you'll find yourself discovering something wholly new. This is Buffalo's premier art gallery, and it's an exciting place to visit for all members of the family. Kids especially seem to enjoy the guided tours, and the fun doesn't stop inside. The grounds are full of interesting sculptures for you to discover.
Although its name might be confusing, Delaware Park is in Buffalo and an ideal place for a romantic picnic. It's also where the Albright-Knox Gallery and the Buffalo Zoo are located, potentially allowing you to hit two birds with one stone. You can find Delaware Park in North Buffalo, and it was originally known simply as, The Park. Since its foundation, it's been divided into two unique areas: Meadow Park on the east and Water Park on the west. Delaware Park is, essentially, Buffalo's own version of Central Park. With so much to see and do, you might find yourself in the park every day.
Forest Lawn Cemetery covers 269 acres of land and houses over 150,000 burials. Some of the most famous burials there include President Fillmore and Rick James. Although not everybody sees cemeteries as good places to visit, their popularity is rising every year. One of the highlights of this particular cemetery is also the Blue Sky Mausoleum by Frank Lloyd Wright, who died before its completion. You can wander this site for hours or take one of the multiple expert tours that take place there. Either way, Forest Lawn is one of Buffalo's biggest attractions, and who'd want to miss out on that?
Shark Girl is one for the Instagram lovers out there, but she's worth everybody seeing at least once. One of the Albright-Knox sculptures, Shark Girl, is a little girl in a blue dress with a shark's head. Since she was constructed, she's become one of the most visited parts of Buffalo, with thousands of people stopping to take pictures of and with her on a yearly basis. One look at her, and it's easy to see why Cincinnati residents were peeved that she left the Ohio town for good old Buffalo.
The art deco architecture of Buffalo City Hall is one of the standout parts of the Buffalo skyline. Although it looks like a work of art, the city hall is the actual seat of government for the city. Visitors can marvel at its exteriors and interiors, scale to the top of its 28 floors for free, visit the observation deck, and more. From the deck, on a good day, you'll be able to see the water vapor from Niagara Falls, the old Buffalo Central Terminal, and plenty more of the surprises lying in Buffalo's streets.
Shale Creek Preserve is hiding something wholly unique to Buffalo. Hikers can set out to find the Eternal Flame. While these days there are signs to help you locate the strange flame hidden inside one of the preserve's waterfalls, the journey to finding it can still be an exciting adventure. Hidden inside the rock face of Eternal Flame Falls is a natural gas leak that causes a fire that will never go out. If you're looking for unique things to do in Buffalo, it really doesn't get any more unique than this.
If you're passionate about great architecture, Buffalo is a city you need to visit. The city features a number of famous buildings as well as stunning landmarks that can be seen prominently from its streets. From the gorgeous Art Deco design of Buffalo City Hall to the starkly modern Brutalism of the Buffalo City Court Building, you'll encounter buildings constructed from a wide variety of architectural styles.
Buffalo has become a household name due to its distinctive style of chicken wings, a style that has come to define the dish for many. If the buffalo wing is among your list of favorite foods, you have to sample what its originating city has to offer. According to Alex Delany of Bon Appétit, the best three places to grab wings are Gabriel's Gate, Elmo's, and Mammoser's.
Buffalo's rich sports culture and history will not disappoint sports fans. Practically everyone has heard of the Buffalo Bills, who have conquered their division for the past three years. Buffalo also has a hockey team, the Sabres. Make sure to catch a Bills or a Sabres game while you're in town.
In addition to football and hockey, Buffalo is also known for its connection to the world of autosports. If you love autosports or cars in general, the Pierce-Arrow Museum is a wonderful addition to your itinerary. Founded in 1997 by two individuals as passionate about the sport as anyone, the museum offers a rare view of Buffalo's industrial heritage. Featuring vintage vehicles on display with an extensive collection of vehicles, the museum is a unique experience that can't be found elsewhere.
Built in the early 20th century for businessman Darwin D. Martin and his family, the Martin House Complex still stands in Buffalo, where the public can openly view beloved architect Frank Lloyd Wright's work. With its iconic exterior, spacious modern interior, and stunning walkways, the estate is a vast complex of gorgeous buildings you won't want to miss out on seeing.
When visiting a new city, sometimes the best way to see what it has to offer is to simply immerse yourself in it. The Buffalo Waterfront is a perfect spot to do just that. Take a bike ride through this scenic atmosphere and absorb the beautiful views of the cityscape and the Eerie Canal.
If you're passionate about naval history, you won't want to miss out on a visit to the Buffalo Naval & Military Park. The site is home to several decommissioned US Naval vessels that you can capture an up close and personal view of. With planes, tanks, and massive battleships, the park is something like a militaristic theme park that will please anyone passionate about the Navy and its history.
After a day spent exploring a new city, sometimes the best course of action is to relax with a good beer. Buffalo's vibrant beer culture ensures the city is a great one to grab a cold one. There are several breweries and taprooms in Buffalo where you can sample what the city has to offer and get a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process.
If you're passionate about theater, Buffalo is the place for you. The city has over 20 professional theater companies, such as Shea's Performing Arts Center and Torn Space Theater. Whether you're in the mood for drama, comedy, or a good musical, you'll find no shortage of engaging and lively productions to catch while in town.
In addition to its numerous architectural landmark, the city of Buffalo has many important historical sites scattered through its streets. The Elmwood Village Neighborhood is densely packed with such locales, featuring beautiful and significant buildings such as the Albrigh-Knox Art Gallery and the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church. Take a stroll through the neighborhood and absorb what it has to offer.