48 Hours in Buffalo
A Visit to Nearby Niagara
Add a trip to nearby Niagara Falls to the 36 Hours itinerary.
Head north on the New York State Thruway (I-190 North) to the Robert Moses Parkway. This half-hour ride will lead you directly to the lovely Niagara Falls State Park. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, it is the oldest state park in the United States. Here you'll be able to experience two of the world's great tourist attractions: the Maid of the Mist boat ride and the Cave of the Winds.
The Maid of the Mist has been operated continuously since 1846 and deserves its reputation in the pantheon of things you absolutely must experience before you die. The boat takes you to the heart of the Horseshoe Falls for a truly amazing up-close-and-personal encounter with nature at its most magnificent.
The Cave of the Winds takes you to the base of the American Falls for a breathtaking tour along a catwalk that is constructed every spring after the ice melts. Don your poncho and dare to brave the furious blast of the Hurricane Deck and the full force of the accumulated water of four Great Lakes. (Be forewarned, despite the poncho and other precautions, you will get wet. Be sure to bring a change of clothes.)
You'll also want to walk out to Terrapin Point. This is the classic vantage point that has been the subject of millions of photographs. Ask a passing stranger to take your picture. You may also want to take a stroll around Goat Island and find the series of bridges that lead to the Three Sisters Islands. Said to be Frederick Law Olmsted's favorite place in the park, a walk across the footbridges will take you into the middle of the onrushing waters, at once serene and terrifying. Finish your visit with a meal at the nearby Top of the Falls Restaurant, a safe, dry and entirely satisfying way to end your stay in Buffalo Niagara.