Wander by the Water
The focal point of Buffalo’s renaissance is at Canalside, the city’s revitalized $300 million waterfront entertainment district. Canalside’s footprint grew by 40 percent in December of 2014 with the opening of a set of historically aligned canals where the Erie Canal once ran through downtown Buffalo. This summer, the canals and surrounding area host hundreds of events and activities, from historic walking tours, free weekly concerts and children’s programming to paddle boats, water bikes and remote controlled sailboats.
Saunter Among the Silos
One of the world’s largest grain elevator collections has evolved into a most unusual – and popular – event space. The grain elevators at Silo City are a living reminder of the Queen City’s industrial heritage and have been re-purposed as a gathering place for craft beer festivals, theatrical productions, literary readings, flea markets and more.
Drink a Buffalo Brew
A half-dozen craft breweries have opened in and around the Queen City just in the last 18 months. Quaff an Aviator Red or Rusty Chain at the newly opened Flying Bison Brewing Company or Excavator from Big Ditch Brewing Co. Or guzzle a sponge candy stout or loganberry wit from Resurgence Brewing Co., housed in a former warehouse on Buffalo’s West Side. The possibilities are delicious.
Do The Wright Thing
Did you know there are over a half dozen structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in greater Buffalo? Admire a Frank Lloyd Wright designed gas station (built 87 years after Wright first sketched it out), boathouse, mausoleum, lakeside estate and the magnificent Martin House Complex on an All Wright, All Day Tour.
Feast Among the Food Trucks
Hula hoop and play pickle ball as you dine among dozens of food trucks at Larkin Square’s Food Truck Tuesdays, one of the largest weekly food truck rodeos in the Eastern United States. Larkin Square is a former industrial area that now hosts craft breweries, beer gardens, restaurants and one of the city’s most popular event spaces.
Get your Game On
The brand new (716) Food & Sport is a sports fan’s dream, boasting over 70 televisions and a 38-foot tall screen over two floors. The sprawling sports bar and restaurant is just one part of the new $170 million HarborCenter complex on Buffalo’s waterfront that also features two NHL-sized ice rinks for college and amateur hockey tournaments, a unique Tim Horton’s that honors the restaurant chain’s founder, as well as a 200-room Marriott Hotel opening later this summer.
Meet the Press
Tim Russert, the late moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, loved his hometown of Buffalo. See the NBC News workplace of Buffalo’s favorite son in a new exhibit at the Buffalo History Museum.
Stand Where Teddy Stood
Theodore Roosevelt began his renowned American presidency in Buffalo. Relive the inauguration of a great President at the recently expanded Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, located in a beautiful mansion along Buffalo’s “Millionaire’s Row” on Delaware Avenue.
Jam Among Jazz Legends
The likes of Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis once played at Buffalo’s Colored Musician’s Club, celebrating its 80thanniversary this year. See a big band perform there, or wander around the recently opened jazz museum downstairs.
Bond With the Bard
Set on a lovely hillside in Delaware Park, Buffalo’s annual celebration of Shakespeare is one of the largest and longest-running in the country, celebrating its 40th anniversary this summer. And it’s free, every Tuesday through Sunday! Romeo and Juliet runs through July 12, while Twelfth Night follows from July 23- August 16.
Buffalo’s summer is jam-packed with festivals. Highlights include the Taste of Buffalo, the largest two day food festival in the United States (July 11 & 12), Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest self-guided tour of private gardens in the country (July 25&26) and the National Buffalo Wing Festival (September 5 & 6)
Stay Somewhere New
Hundreds of new hotel rooms have come online in the last 18 months, with many more to come. These include everything from new corporate properties like downtown’s Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn to smaller inns and bed and breakfasts within the city’s restored historic architecture.
Dine Around Town
A flurry of restaurant openings has occurred across Buffalo in recent months, ranging from a raw seafood bar to a toast café. Come for Buffalo’s famous chicken wings and beef on weck; stay for the city’s new and innovative cuisine.
Expect the Unexpected
Be amazed by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s collection of the masterworks of modern art. “Screen Play: Life in An Animated World,” an awe-inspiring survey of modern animation, runs through mid-September.
Smell the Flowers
Buffalo is becoming one of America’s premier gardening cities. Visit an impressive collection of private gardens and meet the green thumbs behind them at events throughout the summer like Garden Walk Buffalo, Open Gardens, and the Beyond the Flowers tours.
Step Back in Time
From a sprawling five and dime to the handcrafted elegance of the Roycroft Inn, the nearby village of East Aurora transports visitors to a simpler time. Experience the restoration underway at the Roycroft Campus, home to one of the original communities of America’s Arts and Crafts Movement.
Fall for the Falls
One of the natural wonders of the world is less than 30 minutes from downtown Buffalo. Spend a day in Niagara Falls on once-in-a lifetime experiences like the Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist and Whirlpool Jet Tour.