- Buffalo is home to some of the most scenic sites and historic monuments New York has to offer.
- Experience the views of Niagara Falls or enjoy a hockey game at the KeyBank Center.
- Music enthusiasts will have a ball at Nietzsche’s or Buffalo’s theater district.
Although the city has become famous for its wing sauce, Buffalo has a lot more to offer than that.
Dubbed the City of Good Neighbors, it offers a wide array of both summer and winter activities, plus an impressive selection of cuisine inspired from around the world.
I, a born and raised Buffalonian, have compiled a list of must-visit sites from across the city.
Canalside offers outdoor fun and cool breezes
Located on the shore of Lake Erie at the foot of downtown Buffalo, Canalside has some of the best waterside activities in the city.
Visitors can ride bikes, rent kayaks, take a tour of the famous USS Little Rock (a former US Navy combat ship), or just soak up the views on the lawn.
In the summer, the Canalside concert series usually hosts a variety of both big names and local bands.
Tip: Parking can sometimes be tough on busy days. Instead of driving in, leave your car farther uptown, hop on the metro rail, and exit at the Erie Canal Harbor station.
The theater district makes for a memorable night out
You don’t have to go to New York City to catch some of the finest live-theater performances in the state.
Tip: The theater district itself is on Main Street, but there are also plenty of walkable preshow dining options on Tupper, Pearl, and Allen streets.
See Frank Lloyd Wright’s elaborate, turn-of-the-century Martin House
For fans of famous architecture, Martin House is an exquisite, Prairie-style home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Built between 1903 and 1905, the house features beautiful woodwork and stained glass.
Tours are offered Wednesday through Saturday, and on Thursdays, the garden is open to the public. Book your tours in advance to ensure placement.
Tip: Nearby Delaware Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York City’s Central Park.
Architecture tours are a great way to see downtown
Buffalo is full of stunning architectural sights to see, and there are local guides who can show you all the best places.
See the art-deco details on City Hall, the towering grain elevators at Silo City, or the mansions around town — a reminder of Buffalo’s glorious Gilded Age.
Tip: Wear comfortable shoes for the tours as they mostly consist of walking. For those interested in “haunted history,” there are also ghost walking tours.
Sports fans will love catching a Sabres hockey game
You might hear locals joke that Buffalonians are honorary Canadians thanks to our close relationship with our northern neighbors, and that definitely includes a passion for hockey.
Tip: Similar to Canalside, it’s often easier to hitch a ride on the metro rail instead of looking for parking downtown.
Experience the power of Niagara Falls
It may seem touristy, but Niagara Falls is truly worth the trip.
Though closed for the moment because of pandemic restrictions, you can even usually walk across the footbridge to Canada (if you have your passport) to view the falls from the other side.
Most people visit in the summer for a refreshing mist from the roaring waters, but if you find yourself in Buffalo in the colder months, certain portions of the falls will sometimes freeze, creating a magical frozen view.
Tip: As a natural wonder, this spot can get packed. Try to get there earlier in the day to avoid bigger crowds.
Nietzsche’s is a prime spot for local music
For local music and a relaxed atmosphere, Nietzsche’s is a hip dive joint located in Allentown, boasting live performances every night of the week.
It features all kinds of music, from small jam bands to professional jazz musicians. Buffalo’s music scene really comes alive here.
The mural on the side of the building rightly puts it in the famous philosopher’s own words: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”
Tip: For a preshow dinner, there are plenty of options directly on Allen Street or around the corner on Elmwood Avenue.