Looking west over the vast fresh water expanse of Lake Erie and the swiftly moving current of the Niagara River, Buffalo is well positioned to offer visitors plenty of opportunities to enjoy glorious sunsets. Miles of shoreline that stretch from southern Erie County north into the city and beyond make sunsets easy to come by no matter where you’re staying. Here are six of my favorite vantage points to soak up the last rays of the day.
Gallagher Beach (map)
With a boardwalk and short jetty jutting into Lake Erie, as well as a sandy beach below, this is a lovely spot to take a golden hour walk that culminates in a sunset over the break wall beyond.
The Bell Slip (map)
Located on Fuhrmann Boulevard mid-way between the Coast Guard Station and Gallagher Beach, this is one of Buffalo’s sweetest walks on a summer evening. Dog walkers, roller bladers, skate boarders and bikers make regular use of this path, but it never gets really crowded, making it a perfect place to watch the sun go down.
Wilkeson Pointe (map)
Another Outer Harbor gem, Wilkeson Pointe has a sandy beach with plentiful Adirondack chairs for sunset gawkers and a set of stainless steel wind sculptures set on a small rise at the water’s edge that’s a perfect setting for the Instagram moment you’ve been waiting for.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Rowing Boathouse (map)
Located off Porter Avenue north of downtown, the Rowing Boathouse offers sunset lovers a quiet, contemplative spot with a great view of the Peace Bridge that connects Buffalo with Fort Erie, Ontario. This posthumously-built Wright building takes on a lovely reddish-orange hue as the sun gets lower in the sky and the Niagara River never looks better than when the sun dips beneath the Canadian horizon.
Unity Island (map)
Cross the Black Rock Channel on the turntable bridge off Niagara Street onto Unity Island. Park before you pass under the International Railroad Bridge and make your way to the top of the hill to your left. This spot offers majestic views up and down the Niagara River punctuated by the comings and goings on the busy railroad bridge.
Hoyt Lake (map)
Frederick Law Olmsted created what we now call Hoyt Lake on the Rumsey Woods side of Delaware Park knowing that this water feature would offer special views of the surrounding landscape. I prefer to take in sunsets from the far end of the lake near Delaware Avenue. Here you’ll find a fountain whose spray catches the light as the sun sinks just above the horizon offering lucky observers a dazzling sideshow to the main event.