Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Buffalo, New York
Buffalo will make any visitor busy with the array of attractions, museums, and parks. Families with young children can head to the Buffalo Zoo, explore the Buffalo Museum of Science or join the outdoor activities in the Buffalo RiverWorks. Other notable sites to visit are Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House Complex, Theodore Roosevelt’s Inaugural National Historic Site, and the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum.
Downtown Buffalo has a bit of everything, and a city walk is a definite way to see it all. Explore Buffalo, a non-profit organization providing tours to Buffalo’s great architecture, history, and neighborhoods, has a series of Walking Routes provided for free.
Explore Buffalo Walking Routes (via explorebuffalo.org/walking-routes/)
Canalside is a waterfront area bordered by Lake Erie with many entertaining outdoor activities. Hundreds of different events and activities take place at the Canalside. Buffalo residents and visitors can enjoy pedal boating, martial arts classes, yoga classes, horse and carriage rides, history walks, live music, and many more. Canalside has plenty of space to enjoy the atmosphere, and there are lines of places to eat along the waterfront.
Location: 44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is a living museum designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The Botanical Gardens were created, so the public has a place to enjoy an extensive living plant collection. It was inspired by the Crystal Palace in England, where educational programs and exhibits are hosted. The glass house was designed by Lord & Burnham, and the different gardens were executed by botanist and plant-explorer John F. Cowell.
Location: 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218
The Buffalo Zoo
The Buffalo Zoo was founded in 1875 and is the third oldest zoo in the U.S. The 23.5-acre zoo houses more than 1,200 animals and takes care of over 320 different species of plants. The Zoo’s mission is to provide a source of education and recreation to the general public through wildlife conservation. Some of the programs offered in the zoo are Summer Camps, and Little Explorers, which exhibits at the zoo include Rainforest Falls, Otter Creek, and the Arctic Edge.
Location: 300 Parkside Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214
Buffalo Museum of Science
The Buffalo Museum of Science is a science museum that covers the fields of science, technology, and astronomy, as well as geology, biology, and space technology. The museum has several exhibits, including Seymour & Stanley, Artifacts, Antarctic Dinosaurs, Buffalo in Space, and In Motion. The Buffalo Museum of Science is one of the best places to visit with young children. The museum offers workshops, educational programs, a traveling outreach program, field trips, and guided tours around the museum.
Location: 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14211
Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park
The Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park honors the history and those who have served in the American Navy. The museum has several decommissioned US Naval vessels, including the USS Little Rock, USS The Sullivans, and the USS Croaker. The museum is also home to artifacts from multiple United States Armed Forces branches, some of the largest military equipment like an aircraft, a tank, the PTF-17 boat, and historic war memorials.
Location: Military Park 1 Naval, Marina Park S, Buffalo, NY 14202
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site is operated by the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Foundation and is dedicated to the life of Theodore Roosevelt. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts associated with Theodore Roosevelt’s 1901 inauguration, Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency and life, Buffalo’s Pan-American Exposition, and President William McKinley’s assassination and death. Visitors can take guided tours of the museum and learn about Theodore Roosevelt, the Pan-American Exposition, and other events that changed the course of history.
Location: 641 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House
The famous Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House, also known as the Darwin D. Martin House Complex or Darwin Martin House, is a National Historic Landmark and a premier heritage destination within New York State’s network of historic sites. The 1.5-acre Martin House Complex comprises multiple residences and interconnected buildings woven together within an integrated landscape. The House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, his quintessential Prairie house and one of his greatest works, and was built for Darwin D. Martin, an accomplished business leader, and self-made millionaire. The Martin House is committed to preserving the heritage site and offers educational programs, workshops, and lectures on architecture and design.
Location: 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14214
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery was established by the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy in 1862. The Gallery has an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, including the works of Vincent van Gogh, Joan Miró, and Piet Mondrian. Collection highlights include different object types like Artists’ Books, Collage and Mixed Media, Decorative Arts, Drawings, Film and Video, Land Art, Light and Sound Art, Manuscripts, New Media, Paintings, Photographs, Prints, Sculpture and Installation, and Textiles. The Gallery offers educational programs and like Art with Artists and Art of Jazz.
Location: 1285 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222
Burchfield Penney Art Center
The Burchfield Penney Art Center is a museum dedicated to the art and artists of Western New York. The museum has the largest public collection of the works of Charles E. Burchfield, as well as archives of more than 10,000 pages of handwritten journals and 25,000 drawings. The museum offers a variety of educational programs and activities for the community through outreach programs, workshops, and online activities.
Location: 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222
The Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum
The Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum is dedicated to the rich transportation history of Western New York. The museum opened in 2001 with a collection of vintage vehicles and transportation memorabilia, including the 1909 Thomas Flyer 6-40 Flyabout and the 1919 Pierce Arrow Intercity Bus. The museum’s main highlight is a replica of Frank Lloyd Wright’s filling station. Wright designed a filling station with a second story for customers to relax while filling; however, the station was never built.
Location: 263 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14203
Buffalo Harbor State Park
Buffalo Harbor State Park is a 190-acre with impressive views of Lake Erie. The state park features pedestrian and bicycle paths, picnic areas, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, a dock for personal watercraft, boat launches, a bait shop, and a nautical-themed children’s playground.
Location: 1111 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo, NY 14203
Buffalo RiverWorks is the city’s premier waterfront, boating, sports, music, and entertainment destination. Located along the banks of the Buffalo River, the complex offers several outdoor activities, like zipline, watersports, rope course, silo climbing, and roller skating. RiverWorks Brewing Co. is housed in old grain elevators and silos, becoming the first silo brewery open in an abandoned New York grain elevator.
Location: 359 Ganson Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
Erie Basin Marina
The Erie Basin Marina is a riverfront park and marina located next to the Erie Canal Harbor. The Marina is home to a public park, gardens with a waterfront observation tower, riverfront restaurants, and a pedestrian path that winds along the shores.
Location: 329 Erie Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
Join a Buffalo Tour
The Buffalo Pedal Tours and the Buffalo River History Tours are some of the popular tour operators in Buffalo. The Buffalo River History Tours take visitors on a boat ride along River Queen in a 48-seat boat, while the Buffalo Pedal Tours take visitors around the city in a pedal party bike. On these tours, visitors get to know the city’s history without leaving much carbon footprint. These tours are also popular options for birthdays, bachelorette parties, team bonding experiences, and corporate outings.
How to get there
Visitors can get to Buffalo by plane, car, train, and bus. The nearest airport to Buffalo is the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Private cars can enter Buffalo through Interstate 90 and 190. Buffalo’s main train stations are Buffalo-Depew Station and Buffalo–Exchange Street Station, served by Amtrak. The main bus terminal serving Buffalo is the Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center served by Coach USA, Greyhound Lines, Megabus, and Ourbus.
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