Earlier this year, the New York Times revealed its 52 Places to Travel in 2018. Much to the delight of fans of the 716, Buffalo was featured among the likes of Colombia, Australia, South Korea, Italy and exotic locales across the globe.
“Buffalo is making a big comeback in large part by re-purposing its historic buildings and long dormant grain silos,” The Times noted. “Downtown Buffalo now buzzes with life thanks in part to the ever-expanding Canalside entertainment and recreation complex and a host of new dining and drinking establishments.”
To offer some insider knowledge to those prospective travelers who have had their interest piqued by the Times, we’ve put together this awesome list of 52 Ways to Enjoy the Unexpected Buffalo, in no particular order. From food to beer, art and culture, shopping, outdoor adventure and world wonders, this list only scratches the surface. So come join us in Buffalo. There’s never been a better time to visit!
1. Sample the Delicious Dozen on the Buffalo Wing Trail
A pilgrimage to the place where the wing was born is only appropriate, right?
2. Bite into a Beef on Weck Sandwich
Thinly sliced roast beef, piled high on a caraway and coarse salt encrusted roll. Drool away!
3. Smell the Roses on Garden Walk Buffalo
Colorful displays by Buffalo’s greatest gardeners await when you tour over 400 private and public gardens on the largest garden walk in the US.
4. Kayak Through Towering Grain Silos of Elevator Alley
You’ll find yourself gawking toward the heavens in this manmade canyon along the Buffalo River.
5. Watch a Performance at Shakespeare in the Park
BYOB&W (Bring Your Own Blanket & Wine) to this summertime staple of Buffalo theater.
6. Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex
Wright called this quintessential prairie-style home a “perfect composition.”
7. Explore the Mighty Niagara Falls State Park
You’ll get so close the the roaring power of Niagara Falls that you can literally reach out and touch it.
8. Take a Silo City: Vertical Tour
The remnants of Buffalo’s industrial prowess are now yours to summit on this adventurous tour.
9. Catch a Live Jazz Show at the Colored Musicians Club
A jazz club unlike any other, the CMC has been making music for over 100 years.
10. Watch a Movie at North Park Theatre
From classic favorites to modern masterpieces, a nostalgic movie-going experience is always playing at this beautifully restored, single screen theater.
11. Enjoy the Music of the BPO at Kleinhans Music Hall
The Grammy award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is always in tune at this magnificent concert venue.
12. Cheer on the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Field
Peanuts, Cracker Jack and the ol’ ball game are on deck for summer’s favorite pastime. Be sure to say hi to Buster Bison and the crew.
13. Carve up the Ice at Canalside
Skating, curling and the Buffalo-born ice bikes are yours to enjoy at our waterfront winter wonderland.
14. Experience Buffalo Bills Tailgating at New Era Field
Believe the hype! Nothing compares to the camaraderie and energy of tailgating before a Bills game.
15. Hike to the Eternal Flame at Chestnut Ridge Park
Nestled in the middle of the woods at this county park, a natural gas spring burns beneath a magical waterfall.
16. Climb the Silos at Buffalo RiverWorks
RiverWorks is Buffalo’s summertime playground! Test your climbing skill by scaling a towering concrete grain silo.
17. Hop on the Water Bikes of Buffalo
Pedal your way down the Buffalo River (yeah, you heard that right) on these floating bikes.
18. Watch a Sunset at Wilkeson Pointe
Situated along Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, a sunset at Wilkeson Pointe is the perfect way to cap off a warm summer evening.
19. Shop for Easter at the Broadway Market
Butter lambs, placek, horseradish, and polish sausage; Buffalo’s beloved public market is the place to complete your holiday shopping list.
20. Get a Taste of Nostalgia at Parkside Candy
Since 1927, the talented confectioners of this old-fashioned ice cream parlor have satisfied many a sweet tooth.
21.Get Your Fill at Food Truck Tuesday in Larkin Square
Tacos, poutine, pizza and shakes, there’s a food truck for everyone’s favorite flavor. And this is the place to taste them all!
22. Catch a Fish Fry in Buffalo
This ain’t your typical fish n’ chips. There’s a reason so many Buffalo expats crave this dish. Hint: it’s the huge portions served with all the fixins.
23. See the Sights on an Open Air Autobus
Seeing the architectural marvels of Buffalo AND feeling the summer breeze. What’s better than that?
24. Get Artsy at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
The Albright-Knox is home to one of the greatest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. That’s right, the world.
25. Take a Free Tour to the Top of City Hall
The Art Deco masterpiece of Buffalo’s skyline is free to tour every weekday at noon and culminates with an elevator ride to the very top.
26. Hike the Terrain of the Niagara Gorge
Just minutes from Niagara Falls you’ll find spectacular scenery and solitude on the trails that take you deep into the gorge.
27. Learn About Buffalo’s Presidential Past at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site
One of Buffalo’s many presidential landmarks, the TR site is one of only four places where the oath of office was spoken outside of the nation’s capital.
28. Have a Pint with a Side of Presidential Trivia at Founding Fathers Pub
Buzzfeed called this one of the 19 Bars in America You Should Drink at Before You Die. We agree.
29. Board a Ship at the Naval & Military Park
Ahoy! The largest inland naval park in the United States displays a decommissioned cruiser, destroyer and submarine.
30. See a Broadway Show at Shea’s Performing Arts Center
The crown jewel of Buffalo’s diverse theatre scene. Catch a performance in this opulent former movie palace.
31. Enjoy Top Speed Tobogganing at Chestnut Ridge Park
Whether you’re 8 or 80, you can plunge downhill on a toboggan on these retro sledding chutes.
32.Watch a Grain Silo Light Show at Canalside
Buffalo lives up to its title as the “City of Light” with a dynamic, colorful and dazzling projection display on the side of a grain elevator, visible every night until 11pm.
33. Indulge in Buffalo’s Very Own Sponge Candy
Crispy, airy, chocolatey and simply delicious, many cities have tried their hand at sponge candy, but you can’t beat the Buffalo recipe.
34. Explore Arts and Crafts Roots at Roycroft Campus
This National Historic Landmark where the American Arts and Crafts Movement was born has been restored to its former glory and invites you to stay, shop and eat.
35. Bite into a Chargrilled Hot Dog at Ted’s
Paired with an icy loganberry drink and order of handmade onion rings, a charred dog topped with the works is a Buffalo specialty tough to top.
36. Spend a Night at Hotel Henry
After nearly $100 million in renovations, the former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane is now an award-winning hotel and restaurant.
37. Visit the Burchfield Penney Art Center
Discover Charles Burchfield’s Buffalo roots and other Western New York artists at one of America’s finest regional museums.
38. Get Outdoorsy at Tifft Nature Preserve
Traverse the trails and paths of this natural wildlife sanctuary, all within the Buffalo city limits.
39. Visit Vidler’s 5 & 10 in East Aurora
Knick-knacks and tchotchkes as far as the eye can see (over 75,000 to be exact) at this famous five and dime.
40. Tour FLW’s Lakeside Masterpiece at Graycliff Estate
The summertime home of the Martin family, this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed retreat is the perfect bit of timeless architecture outside of the big city.
41. Set Sail on the Spirit of Buffalo
No matter the occasion, this 73-foot schooner offers themed cruises for families and lovers of wine, beer and sunsets.
42. Travel Back in Time at Old Fort Niagara
Dating back 300 years, history buffs will feel right at home among historic relics and reenactments in some of the oldest buildings left on the Great Lakes.
43. Geek Out at the Buffalo Museum of Science
Put on your thinking caps and venture from the microscopic to the interstellar at this multi-level museum.
44. Make it a 4AM Night in Allentown
Buffalo’s artful, eclectic Allentown neighborhood has some of the city’s best bars, dives and taverns, which benefit from one of the latest “last calls” in the nation.
45. Catch a Live Show at Sportsmens Tavern
Touring bands and local musicians frequent this unassuming Black Rock bar that boasts a live concert every single night.
46. Have a Day in the Elmwood Village
Shopping, cafes, breweries, awesome eats and historic charm, packed into just a few easily walkable Buffalo blocks.
47. Experience the Beauty of the Botanical Gardens
Built within Olmsted’s South Park, the botanical gardens bloom with an amazing array of exotic flowers and themed greenhouses.
48. Take a Walk on the Wild Side at the Buffalo Zoo
From the rainforest to the arctic, let your inner animal lover roar at one of the oldest zoos in the country.
49. Rev Your Engines at Buffalo Transportation / Pierce Arrow Museum
Within the walls of this museum is an impressive collection of cars, motorcycles, bicycles and even a replica of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed filling station.
50. Explore Buffalo’s Background at Buffalo History Museum
Relive Buffalo’s heyday and historic moments in politics, industry, innovation and sports at the Buffalo History Museum.
51. Snap a Selfie in Front of Buffalo’s Best Public Art
Local artists and international mural superstars have transformed the walls of Buffalo into colorful canvases all around town.
52. Sip on Craft Beer at Nearly 30 Local Breweries
From pilsners to IPAs and experimental brews, Buffalo’s booming craft beer scene offers great beer made by great people.