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FOOD & TRAVEL

5 of the Best Things to do in Buffalo, NY this Summer

Sand, CEO, Buffalo, NY

7/13/2022

Western New York has countless activities and things to do year-round but we’ll highlight some of the best things to do in Buffalo, NY this Spring:

‘Keep Buffalo a Secret’ has been an unofficial slogan of the Queen City for a few years now and it’s getting harder and harder to do so with all the changes the city has been going through. I’m not talking about the great new restaurants, or the cool hip brewery scene (what city DOESN’T have that revival going on right now?!), I’m talking about new neighborhoods, the revival of a glorified history and river walks. We also have parks along the lake, turn of the century mansions and an art scene that continues to grow and impress. Below is our list of the 5 best things to do in Buffalo, NY this spring:

1) Best Thing to do in Buffalo, NY: Rent (or bring) a bike and cruise around Elmwood Village, Delaware Park & Parkside neighborhoods

The best way to view a city in my opinion…is on 2 wheels! Biking around a city can grant you so much more enjoyment over walking or driving, and it’s good exercise. Buffalo has a wonderful history that few US cities can compare with and the best thing; plenty of it still exists in original condition and style. Biking around here you get a true feel for an urban and suburban crossover which is one reason it was called the ‘best planned city in America’ by Frederick Law Olmstead. The city highlights century old homes packed tightly together (some without driveways as were build when carriages and streetcars were the preferred mode of transport) & beautiful street parks and parkways that make cruising on a bike a breeze.

A short hop from the EV, you get to Delaware Park designed by the aforementioned famed Architectural Duo, Frederick Law Olmstead & Calvert Vaux of NYC’s Central Park, and the neighborhood that surrounds it. To the south of Delaware Park on Lincoln Parkway, you see stunning mansions that housed some of the countries wealthiest families in the 1900s. Just to the north, you cut through Hoyt Lake to make your way to the Park Meadow & Parkside neighborhoods. Filled with a mix of old and new mansions, biking around these streets is so visually pleasing and typically car traffic is at a minimum. Do yourself a favor and rent a Reddy Bike from one of the numerous spots around town, you won’t be disappointed.

2) Go to an estate sale (Usually held Thursday-Saturday, & sometimes Sunday)

Piggy backing from #1, exploring beautiful neighborhoods of Buffalo, comes one of my favorite things to do once the weather turns, Estate Sales! If you’ve never been, picture a garage sale but for an entire home. You get to enter a home of either someone who is moving and can’t bring everything they own or more commonly it’s held in a home of someone who has recently passed. Then the family brings in an estate sale company to organize and price out almost everything left in the home. Half empty spray paint cans, gardening tools and old furnitiure are quite common BUT you really never know what gem you might find. I’ve seen incredible collections of trains, music and sound equiptment, jewerly, plants, kitchen appliances, artwork from Asian and South America and beautiful local prints or paintings and so much more.

Walk into one of these and not only will the collection impress, but if you’re lucky enough to find one in the neighborhoods mentioned in #1 (Elmwood Village, Parkside or Park Meadow), you’ll have a chance to walk inside and explore a 130+ year old home. Multiple fireplaces, art deco interiors, beautiful original stained glass and woodwork throughout. A real treat!

 

 

3) Visit one of the many River Parks

Whirlpool State Park, Lower Niagara River
One of the best things to do in Buffalo, is exploring our waterways. We have 2 of the Great Lakes on our doorstep and between them, a fascinating river with all sorts of wildlife and a cataract between it (Niagara Falls of course!). Beyond the Falls, is the aforementioned Niagara river, and I recommend checking out Niawanda Park, which is located in Tonawanda, NY and looks over south Grand Island or Broderick Park aka Bird Island Pier which overlooks Canada & the Peace Bridge. If you do go to Niagara Falls, a short hop down the river will take you to Whirlpool State Park. A moderate hike down some stairs and witness the power of the rushing waters as they make their way to Lake Ontario. (pictured above)

4) Explore the culture of the city by visiting an art gallery; K Art, Birchfield Penny or the Albright Knox

K Art gallery, newly opened at the end of 2020, is the first commercial art gallery in the country to be Native American owned, focusing on national-level Native contemporary artists. Birchfield Penny is centrally located attached to Buffalo State College while Albright Knox is directly across from it but is currently closed for renovation. They do have a second location that is currently open Fri, Sat & Sun. Their Spring exhibit Communidades Visibles (Visible Communities) features Latinx artists and their communities past and present.

5) Dine in at one of the many restaurants/bars with a patio

Now that winter is finally over, one of the best things to do in Buffalo is getting outside and enjoying some sun with a fresh pint or cup of coffee. I have always loved Five Points Bakery, they have transformed a corner lot & abandoned industrial building into a true gem in the city. Sit on one of their many outdoor tables and enjoy either their unique selection of toasts w accompaniments or sweets with a coffee or beer!

I mentioned at the top, “new neighborhoods,” well Chandler Street didn’t quite pop out from nowhere BUT it’s revitalized an area that otherwise would be missed by nearly all. Chandler Street, located between Elmwood Ave and Military Ave in the Black Rock section has impressed since opening back in 2019. There’s a Cider Hall with a great outdoor lawn, Thin Man/Tappo at Chandler with a brewery and pizzeria combo with plenty of outdoor seating. And lastly, the after-hours Market at Chandler Street caters to the after farmer market crowd, allowing visitors a chance to have some local eats and enjoy a beverage in a ‘small food fair’ setting. You don’t want to miss it!

Now it’s time to get outside and enjoy our beautiful city! If you are interested in exploring the Elmwood Village and eating some excellent food, join us @ Buffalo Food Tours. Certainly another option for best things to do in Buffalo in our humble opinion!

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