Buffalo is a vibrant city with many fun things to do. One of the most recent additions to its activity list is the Buffalo River Works. Once industrialized, this area has been updated to provide endless entertainment to locals and tourists alike.
The waterfront is the perfect place to visit for a day outdoors while the nearby restaurants offer delectable delights suitable for a special occasion or personal treat. The historic site around Buffalo River proves that, as cities grow, there’s plenty of room for change; in fact, beautiful things can come from embracing what makes a location different.
The History of the Buffalo River Works
The Buffalo River is lined with silos, grain elevators, and warehouses, all testaments to the booming industry that once took place there. For many years, the river was used to ship a variety of products, from chemicals to steel. Today, General Mills still uses the grain elevators in this area to store materials used in the nearby factory.
A household name, General Mills is famed for its production of cereals and other food products:
- Lucky Charms
The plant which uses the grain elevators has been in operation for over 100 years, employing some families for generations. Over time, the plant has made many improvements and upgrades to stay competitive.
Eventually, industries died or moved, leaving the Buffalo River with many empty buildings. In the 1950s, shipping routes changed, bypassing the area. The loss of both these sources of revenue led to a decline in the area’s prominence. However, in 2015, innovative entrepreneurs realized the location wasn’t a relic of the past — it was an opportunity to build something new.
Over the past few years, the private sector has invested millions of dollars into renovating and repurposing the many buildings that litter the waterfront. The result? A gorgeous location that offers a unique experience to all who visit.
The River Works Today
The enormous amount of care and work that’s gone into the Buffalo River Works has created a vibrant space with so much to offer; there’s something for everyone packed into this corridor.
That includes learning about this area’s history. One of the many fun offerings is the History Tour, which is conducted by boat. You can learn all about the river while enjoying sunshine out on the water.
One of the area’s biggest attractions is the potential for live events. The newly built concert center means fans can spend the day on the waterfront, then watch their favorite musicians at night.
The outdoor ice rinks will also impress hockey enthusiasts and provide reliable access to an arena. Fans can cheer for their team during tournaments, then enjoy a beer after the game at the nearby beer garden.
The rinks aren’t just for ice hockey — they’ll also serve for summer sports, such as roller hockey and lacrosse. This versatility means that no matter the season, sports fans will have something to get excited about.
Additionally, the rinks can be used in the winter for curling competitions, creating a new center for the sport. No longer will U.S. fans have to visit Ontario to get their curling fix — they can cheer on fans right at home.
Queen City Roller Girls
The Queen City Roller Girls are tough and beloved for it — after all, when it comes to roller derby, if you get knocked down, you have to get right back up. The Buffalo River Works boasts its own roller derby track, home of this high-energy team. If you love fast-paced sports and competition, you may be a Queen City Roller Girls fan.
A variety of restaurants have sprung up along the river, ensuring that visitors have a wide range of menus to choose from. Whether you’re craving pizza or pot roast, there’s something in the River Works to tickle your tastebuds.
Since the area is still growing, there’s also the promise of more eateries to come. Locals are encouraged to keep up with the newest developments so they can be the first to try a new restaurant. After all, the best part of living in such a vibrant area is knowing the best places to snag a bite.
Being right on the waterfront means the opportunity to enjoy the river itself. As a result, there are many kayak and paddleboard rentals available. You can go alone and partake in a day of quiet adventure or bring a group along for a day of fun memories.
Or you can make it a date with a tandem kayak. No matter how you choose to paddle, you’re sure to have a great time.
If you’re not much for getting your feet wet, you can instead take a tour of the gorgeous art the River Works has to offer. Buffalo has many art galleries to visit, so it’s no wonder that art also has a huge presence here.
Even some of the remaining industrial rubble has been repurposed into art. For example, you’ll want to see Medusa, a rebar-and-concrete fixture that embodies the area’s history and the renewed vision for the future.
Who says silos have to hold grain? These towering, empty structures have been reimagined as rock climbing walls for daring adventurers to conquer. There are options both inside and outside the buildings, allowing you to climb in the shaded interior or outside in the sun. Additionally, you can choose the height based on your experience:
- 50 feet for high difficulty
- 40 feet for medium difficulty
- 35 feet for low difficulty
The very first establishment in the new Buffalo River Works was none other than the RiverWorks Brewery, which is located inside a group of refurbished silos. Here you can enjoy locally brewed beer and ales, as well as the unique architecture created by the “six-pack” of cylindrical buildings.
If you love thrills and puzzles, then you’ll adore the escape rooms in this area. You get to unravel a mystery in real life as you hunt through the rooms for clues and keys. This is a great option for a birthday party, office retreat, or just a fun weekend with your friends. See how fast you can solve the puzzles and aim to break the current record for bragging rights on social media.
Beautiful Views and Delightful Beers
Connected to the RiverWorks Brewery is a delightful beer garden, dubbed Stonehenge by the staff due to the lingering industrial columns. There’s ample seating with a wonderful view of the Buffalo River, creating an inviting atmosphere you’ll want to share with friends.
The Buffalo River Works is a magical place that grows more extraordinary every day. There are so many opportunities to start a business, set down roots, or plan a great vacation. As it turns out, Ellicott Development can help with any of these endeavors as a property management company. To find out more about our services, give us a call at 716-854-0060 or contact us online.
Featured Image: Atomazul / Shutterstock