What you will learn in this blog:
- Buffalo is well-known for its historical architecture, and tours of the most famous buildings are available to visitors.
- Tourists are welcome at many landmarks in Buffalo, including the Naval and Military Park, and are encouraged to learn about the Queen City’s history.
- Buffalo is undergoing a period of revitalization, creating many opportunities for fun in the Canalside district.
New York state’s second-largest city has much to offer, and you may be overwhelmed when trying to plan your vacation. What should you add to your list of must-see sites?
To help newcomers find their niche in the Queen City, we’ve created this handy Buffalo NY visitor guide. This list includes a wide variety of activities, guaranteeing you can find something fun to do no matter the time of year.
Buffalo is famed for its historical architecture, much of which dates back to its heyday as an industrial powerhouse. Many sites are open to the public or repurposed to benefit the community. If you’re a history lover or architecture enthusiast, you can spend a week touring Buffalo and still have more to discover.
Over 150 years old, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is a prime example of Gothic-Revival architecture. The stone clocktower evokes thoughts of foggy moors and ghostly hauntings, but the location itself is quite cheerful. Music lovers will appreciate the interior, which houses a Hook and Hastings Organ that’s over 140 years old.
Nearly 100 years old, Shea’s Performing Arts Center is a National Historic Landmark that preserves the luxury of 1920s movie theaters. If you make an appointment for a tour, you can view the stage on which legends such as Frank Sinatra performed.
Do you love the outdoors? Then you’ll enjoy the beautiful nature in and around Buffalo. Our city is dedicated to preserving the wildlife native to our area and ensuring visitors and residents can access the great outdoors.
Want to find nature a little closer to home? Buffalo has several green areas within city limits, allowing you to take a short visit without committing to an entire hike.
Though it may sound morbid to spend the day in a graveyard, the Forest Lawn Cemetery is a bright, beautiful swathe of green dotted with fountains, ponds, and walkways. With 250 acres to explore, fans of fresh air and scenic hillsides are sure to have a great time. History buffs can also get their kicks by checking out the many memorials and gravestones.
The Buffalo Botanical Gardens are impressive for their architecture as well as their flora. Inside, you can see all sorts of exotic plants in the various exhibits:
- Herb collection
- Bromeliad house
- Orchid house
One exhibit you absolutely must visit is the palm dome. Based on England’s Crystal Palace and Kew Gardens Palm House, it lets in sunlight through a massive glass ceiling.
Those who love seeing wildlife up-close and personal should plan a trip to the Tifft Nature Preserve. You can fish off the boardwalk at Lake Kirsty or explore the five miles of trails at your leisure. Guided walks are also offered for those who want to learn more about the Preserve.
Everywhere you look in the Queen City, you can find a piece of history. The most recent restoration efforts incorporate historic landmarks into the modern landscape.
As part of the effort to remember our roots, the city has several tours exploring Buffalo through the decades. If you’re curious about how Buffalo got its start, you should check out the various tour options.
The Naval and Military Park is a must-see for visitors interested in military history. This museum offers several exciting exhibits:
- The Maritime Simulator, a hands-on helming experience
- Aircraft displays
- USS Croaker submarine
- USS The Sullivans destroyer
- USS Little Rock guided-missile cruiser
The Queen City is home to many distilleries, breweries, and taverns, all of which are worth visiting. However, if you want a tour with historical flare, you should stop by the Tommyrotter Distillery. This production facility has been open since 2015 and occupies a 100-year-old factory, showcasing the best of Buffalo’s combined historic and modern sensibilities.
Buffalo visitor vacations are an excellent option for families, as we have many activities that people of all ages can enjoy. More businesses are opening all the time, fueled by revitalization projects to offer more entertainment and utility.
Additionally, many places combine fun and education. If you want to spend time as a family, the following are great options.
The zoo is always a hit with kids, and Buffalo’s has many exciting exhibits to offer. Located in Delaware Park, Buffalo Zoo has a petting area called the Delta Sonic Heritage Farm, as well as views of more exotic animals that reside behind glass and railings:
- Polar bears
If you’re not sure what you want to do, but you know you’re up for some sunshine, you should head over to Canalside. Once the center of industry and shipping, Canalside still boasts grain elevators and silos, but they’ve been repurposed as art and entertainment. The district has a lot to offer families in search of fun:
- Boat tours on the river
- Rock climbing walls
- Various restaurants
- Ice skating
Buffalo is home to dozens of galleries, but the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is one of the largest and best-known. Displayed art comes from a variety of artists and movements:
A family visit is a great way to expose kids to the wide world of art.
When you take a vacation in Buffalo, NY, you need a comfortable place to stay. Fortunately, you can find a great room at an Ellicott Development property. We own and manage a wide range of hotels, ensuring you can get a convenient location and comfy bed. If you’d like to see what’s available, you can visit our website. If you’d like to make a reservation, give us a call at 716-854-0060.