Top Things to See and Do
In the last several years, Buffalo has gone through quite a transformation. It has slowly become a destination in and of itself; there are plenty of things to do and places to go. The city has everything covered, from craft beer to award winning architecture, so make sure to get out and explore this exciting city during your visit, chances are, you’ll soon be planning your next trip back.
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
Located at 2655 South Park Ave, this place makes for a lovely retreat from the city. There is a palm tree dome, as well as numerous ecosystems you can walk through, such as the Florida Everglades, the cloud forest of Panama, a desert, ancient rainforest, and more. There is also a medicinal plant house where you can learn all about how plants have been used for health reasons throughout history. Park is open Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. More information is available at buffalogardens.com
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
This contemporary and modern art museum was founded in 1862, and is one of the oldest public art institutions in the U.S. Numerous exhibitions are currently on display including Screen Play: Life in an Animated World (running until September 13), Jeff Koons: Gazing Ball (running until August 16), Shayne Dark: Natural Conditions at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens (running until October 4), Dan Colen: Shake the Elbow (running until October 18). The Gallery is located at 1285 Elmwood Avenue. More info at albrightknox.org
Buffalo City Hall
If you want a beautiful view of Buffalo, you can take an elevator up to the 25th floor (and then walk up an additional three) for the best view in town. The best part? It’s free! Located at 65 Niagara Square.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex
This unique residential complex was designed by world renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright for a Buffalo businessman, Darwin D. Martin. It is a national historic landmark, and is considered one of the greatest achievements of his career. The complex is made up of several buildings, and were designed to be a unified set of structures. There is the main house, a conservatory, a carriage house, another smaller residence, the Barton house, and a cottage. These buildings exemplify Wright’s, “Prairie House” style, which was made up of a lot of strong horizontal lines, overhanging eaves and more. The renovations and upkeep of all the buildings is an ongoing project.
Tours are available on a year round basis, and reservations are highly recommended. All tours are led by a docent, and take place several times per day (with the exception of Tuesdays, when the site is closed.) There are numerous types of tours available, all of which are detailed on the website. Check out darwinmartinhouse.org for more information. Located at 125 Jewett Parkway in Buffalo.
Forest Lawn Cemetery
There is one of America’s most historic cemeteries, and is a beautiful place to visit. In addition to a fascinating history, the cemetery is also full of sculptures, lakes, creeks and gardens, and it’s beautiful to wander through. There is tours available from June to October, that take place on the Forest Lawn Trolley, or alternatively, you can participate in walking tour if your legs are up for it. Various other events take place during the year, including concerts and lecture series. The cemetery is located at 1411 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. More info at forest-lawn.com
Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park
This park which sits right on the waterfront, is the largest inland park of it’s kind in the country. You are able to tour a missile cruiser, destroyer and WWII sub. This is also an exhibit of uniforms and other memorabilia. There is also small vehicles and airplanes on display. The park is open daily from April until October, from 10 to 5, and then on Saturdays and Sundays in November. It is closed December through March. Park is located at 1 Naval Park Cove, and more information is available at buffalonavalpark.org
Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum
This museum features cars that were made in Western New York, including Pierce-Arrow and Thomas Flyer. Cars from 1903 to the 1960s are on display, and the museum also includes a Frank Lloyd Wright designed gas station. Located at 263 Michigan Avenue, the museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from 11am to 4pm. More information is available at pierce-arrow.com
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
This museum will immerse you in Teddy Roosevelt’s world, as you step back in time to the Pan-American Expo, and follow in Roosevelt’s footsteps. Through the years, the building itself served as an army barracks, a private residence, a restaurant, was abandoned at one point, and it is now a National Park site. This is the place where Theodore Roosevelt was sworn into office, essentially changing the face of U.S presidency. The site is located at 641 Delaware Ave. More information at trsite.org
The Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo
This interactive museum is a great place to go if you are interested in the history of music. The museum portion is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11am to 4pm. There are live musical performances in the evenings, as well as various other events that go on during the year. The club is located at 145 Broadway. More info at coloredmusiciansclub.org