9 Ways to Tour the Unexpected Buffalo

It’s hard to keep up with everything new in Buffalo these days. In the last several years, we’ve witnessed the restoration of some of our most iconic buildings, the redevelopment of our waterfront and a host of new hotels, restaurants, shops, breweries and distilleries.


Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building

It’s possible to explore all this on your own. But the story of our revitalization is often best told through the capable hands of a tour guide. A wide variety of tours launched in recent years provide visitors more options than ever for exploring our city.

Here are 9 ways to tour the Unexpected Buffalo:

On Foot
Explore Buffalo offers the widest variety and highest frequency of walking tours in Buffalo, from climbing to the top of our grain elevators at Silo City to taking a peek inside some of Delaware Avenue’s most beautiful mansions.  Their tours take visitors past downtown’s most iconic buildings, through Buffalo’s most beautiful neighborhoods and along the city’s revitalized waterfront.  Check their calendar for all tours, which are offered regularly through October.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara’s Buffalo Tours also continue to be popular, especially their free daily tour of City Hall at noon and their Queen City Downtown tour of architecture, offered Fridays and Saturdays through November.

On Wheels
A little bit of British in the BUF, the Buffalo Double Decker Bus is the newest way to explore Buffalo’s heritage, engage with your “Bobby”-dressed tour guide and have a little bit of fun. The Double Decker Bus offers a 90-minute Canalside tour, a two-hour Best of Buffalo tour and specialty tours such as Murder Mystery, Drunk Buffalo & Historic Taverns. All tours start at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor near Wilkeson Pointe.

The Open Air Autobus may be one of the best ways to survey Buffalo’s best architecture. The 90-minute “Whirlwind tour” includes masterworks by H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright; Kleinhans Music Hall, Shea’s Performing Arts Center and the city’s Olmsted Park System.

The best way to see all of Buffalo’s Frank Lloyd Wright sites may be the All Wright, All Day Tour, which connects the Martin House Complex, Graycliff Estate and posthumously designed boathouse, mausoleum and gas station all in the same day by trolley.

Get the best view from any seat on Nickel City Tours, whose tour vehicle offers nine rows of stadium seating for their Downtown & Waterfront tour and Neighborhoods & Parks tour.

Forgotten Buffalo’s bus tours takes visitors on an off-the-beaten path journey into some of the city’s old gin mills, church social halls and taverns that have been woven into the fabric of Buffalo’s neighborhoods.

Explore Buffalo also offers several tours on bike, which are now more accessible for visitors through our new bikeshare program.

river history

Buffalo River History Tours

On a Boat
The Buffalo River History Tour may be one of the best ways to tour the tremendous progress made along the waterfront in recent years. The 90-minute tours, which run from  through mid-October, go past recent developments like Canalside and RiverWorks before reaching one of the world’s largest collection of grain elevators at and around Silo City. A longer tour offered daily also stops at Silo City for a walking tour.