Filled to the brim with trendy boutiques, classic shopping centers and famous outlet malls, Western New York has formed a network of shopping districts only to be found in a retailer’s paradise.
Catering to a diverse array of locals and tourists, each region offers something different for each shopper. Whether it be a picturesque town that specializes in sporting gear, a city street with the best artisanal goods or a mall housing one of the largest concentrations of brand names out there, it is not hard to find somewhere to spend your time and hard earned cash.
So whether you are on the hunt for thrifty shops offering more bang for your buck or looking to treat yourself with a high-end piece, don’t loath trekking through each city to find the perfect retail therapy. We have broken down the best shopping locations and hidden gems in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Ellicottville, New York.
Boutique shops in East Aurora, Elmwood Village, Hertel Avenue & the Walden Galleria
Trendy neighborhoods, artisanal goods, public art and lots of pub and brewery pit stops – downtown Buffalo and its surrounding neighborhoods are great places to ditch your car and get out for a full day of leisurely shopping.
Start your retail journey in the stylish neighborhood of Elmwood Village – a vibrant street filled with open air cafes, vendors and artisanal boutiques. Forget box brands; Elmwood Village will have you finding that unique gift or one-of-a-kind piece of art in no time. Visit Everything Elmwood for the perfect gift for that person you left at home – including handmade trinkets, home décor, handbags, jewelry and more. It is all about looking good at Urban Leisure and Luxury; a modern apparel, accessories and fine gift boutique for both men and women, where you can treat yourself to the perfect outfit.
The honorary Little Italy of Buffalo, the lively Hertel Avenue is a bustling 24 hour mini metropolis. Known for its furniture and home décor stores, the busy district also features Italian grocers, antique stores, chic clothing boutiques [a must visit is Modern Nostalgia – a stylist women’s clothing store] and Middle Eastern retailers. In between this diverse array of restaurants and bottegas you’ll find tucked away treasure troves perfect for redecorating – including showroom and design studio Room, The Painted House – a refurbished furniture fusion boutique – and interior designer manned store Conley Interiors.
The village of East Aurora is a handmade enthusiast’s utopia sure to lighten your wallet – but fill your shopping bags. Incredible prices only add to the charm of this village. Roycroft Campus Copper Shop Gallery hosts over 60 local artisans all under one wonderful roof selling everything from hand knit scarves, handmade prints and hand-spun yarn [see a trend?]. Vidler’s 5&10 is a full day excursion on its own. 75 thousand different items reside under its roof from an old fashioned candy counter to whimsical toys; your nostalgia will run rapid.
But the shopping vacation would not be complete without a trip to the Walden Galleria – the largest mall in the area. Whether you’re stocking up on basics or looking for the perfect dress, the Galleria has the best in brand names to satisfy your shopping tooth. Featuring stores like Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Williams Sonoma and too many more to count.
Famed ski town with the highest concentrations of sporting stores in the Northeast
Annually, people from all over the globe flock to the town of Ellicottville for its ski hills and resorts. Though Ellicottville is known for attracting more snow bunnies than shoppers, its beautiful scenery and outdoor adventure landscape has been known to draw visitors far after the snow has disappeared for the season. This picturesque town is quickly becoming a destination for those looking for their next sports gear or apparel purchase.
The town is said to have one of the highest concentrations of sports gear and apparel stores in the Northeast; counting three full-gear shops right downtown and multiple other vendors that specialize in outdoor apparel, gadgets and equipment. Mud, Sweat N’ Gears Ski and Snowboard, a Ski Magazine Gold Medal Ski Shop Award Winner, features top of the line equipment, professional boot fitting, stance alignment and custom foot beds for the avid winter sportsman. City Garage is the area’s source for functional footwear. They now sell stand up paddle boards and glamping equipment alongside brand favourites Birkenstock, Salomon and Keen.
If you’re not in the market for a new set of skis, there are still a number of shops to discover. The Purple Doorknob is as cute as its name – selling over one thousand pairs of socks to suit every personality. Watson’s Chocolates and their chocolatiers have resided in the village for almost 70 years and have people travelling for miles to purchase their famous sponge candy. Tangle Twigs is any Pinterest lover’s home away from home – offering custom made floral designs, whimsical home accessories and even posh seasonal clothing.
Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Outlet Shopping at its Finest
If you are looking for more bang for your buck, look no further than the outlet shopping district of Niagara Falls. Offering designer labels at no-name prices, you are guaranteed to find your sought after designer duds at prices your credit card will appreciate.
The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, USA is an indoor outlet haven for shoppers looking to spend a day submerged in fashionable savings. Featuring over 150 high end factory outlets from designers such as Kate Spade, Le Creuset, Banana Republic, BCBG, J Crew and Burberry to name a few and outlet favourites the Cosmetic Company Store, Dress Barn and more. We can guarantee that you will have to hold back from running from one store’s sales rack to another.
By Gabrielle Tieman