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What to Do in Buffalo: Must See Attractions

Buffalo Attractions

Immerse yourself in the rich history and character of Upstate New York in Buffalo, the state's second-largest city after the Big Apple. Due to its advantageous location next to Lake Erie and the Erie Canal, Buffalo underwent rapid economic growth in the 19th and 20th centuries that drew immigrants and industrial workers, who shaped it into the diverse, multicultural place it is today. From architectural treasures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright to contemporary art galleries and beautiful outdoor spaces, Buffalo offers a wealth of things to see and do to please all types of travelers.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Buffalo

As Buffalo's economy has evolved in the age of technology, the city has experienced a renaissance, creating a palpable energy and an enchanting mix of old and new. Set amidst historic buildings and homes, Buffalo's different neighborhoods beckon with vibrant restaurants, shops, and entertainment destinations that speak to the city's continued growth.

Downtown

Heritage landmarks and architectural gems meet up-and-coming businesses, eateries, and arts centers in the revitalized Downtown area. Stroll along the waterfront in the lively Canalside district, or catch a Broadway show at Shea's Performing Arts Center in the Theatre District.

Elmwood Village

Home to Queen Anne-style houses, independent boutiques, and open-air cafes, Elmwood Village brims with urban charm. Art lovers and creatives also flock to this neighborhood to visit the Albright-Know Art Gallery and the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

Allentown

Found just north of Downtown, the Allentown combines picturesque brick buildings with a bohemian feel. This historic district is known for its live music bars and local galleries, as well as landmarks like the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site.

Things to See in Buffalo

Buffalo's industrial past spurred a flurry of development, and the result is an incredible collection of distinct architecture from visionaries of the 19th and 20th century. Explore one of Frank Lloyd Wright's finest creations at the Darwin D. Martin House Complex, and then pay a visit to Buffalo City Hall to admire a stunning example of exquisite Art Deco style. For a taste of Buffalo's impeccable outdoor planning, revel in the peaceful greenery at Delaware Park, part of an extensive park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Olmsted also created the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, which feature one of the few large Victorian conservatories in the United States.

Sightseeing in Buffalo

When planning your trip to Buffalo, you'll find activities and adventures to please everyone in your group. The city has an avid sports fan base, so join in the fun with a hockey game at KeyBank Center, home of the Buffalo Sabres. If baseball is more your speed, head to the retro-classic Coca-Cola Field to cheer on the beloved Buffalo Bisons. While discovering Delaware Park, don't miss the Buffalo Zoo, which has housed a wide variety of exotic and endangered wildlife since 1875. Buffalo's waterways brim with interesting history, so consider a boat tour to cruise your way through the prolific Erie Canal while learning the many stories of the city. If you're in search of family-friendly things to do, set aside some time to explore the Buffalo Museum of Science, where hands-on exhibits on everything from animals to astronomy are sure to keep the kids entertained. Finally, no visit to Buffalo would be complete without a trip to the thundering Niagara Falls, which lies just 20 miles (32 km) up the Niagara River. With options for land, air, and water tours, you can choose your perfect excursion to this breathtaking natural landmark.

Free Things to Do in Buffalo

A vacation in Buffalo need not blow your budget. You can leave your wallet behind if you go to:

Buffalo Fire Historical Society - Approach the staff or curator and find out about the interesting collections held here.

Lafayette Square - Pay a visit to this local landmark and marvel at its impressive design.

One M&T Plaza - Stop by this historic attraction and learn a little about the cultural heritage of the area.

Niagara Square - Find out why tourists and locals alike are enchanted by the atmosphere of this place.

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library - If you'd love to see a few of the more important or unique places in the community, this is a good place to start.

St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral - Enjoy some quiet contemplation and learn a thing or two about this site's religious importance.

LaSalle Park - Revitalize your mind and body by spending a little time with Mother Nature.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Buffalo

Downtown Buffalo

Known for its lively bars and live music, there's plenty to explore in Downtown Buffalo. Top attractions like KeyBank Center and Shea's Performing Arts Center are major draws, and you can catch the metro at Allen-Medical Campus Station or Fountain Plaza Station to see more of the city.

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Allentown

Discover Allentown, memorable for its restaurants. Popular attractions in Allentown include Wilcox Mansion - Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site and Theater of Youth, and you can see more of the area by hopping on the metro at Allen-Medical Campus Station.

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Albright

While Albright isn't home to many top sights, Buffalo Zoo and Buffalo Museum of Science are some notable places to visit nearby.

Front Park

If you're spending some time in Front Park, Peace Bridge and Big Orbit Gallery are top sights worth seeing.

Waterfront

While visiting Waterfront, you might make a stop by sights like Canalside and Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.

Bryant

While you're in Bryant, take in top sights like Benjaman Gallery and jump on the metro at Summer-Best Station to see more of the city.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Buffalo on a sunny day?

What to do in Buffalo on a rainy day?

What should I not miss in Buffalo?

You'll want to put these sights high on your sightseeing list to get the most out of your visit:

  • KeyBank Center
  • New Era Field
  • Buffalo Zoo
  • Buffalo Museum of Science

Are there cheap things to do in Buffalo?

Keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket with these fun and thrifty experiences:

What can you do in Buffalo for free?

You could leave your wallet in the hotel safe for the day, because these great attractions can be seen for nothing:

  • Walden Galleria Mall
  • Canalside
  • Delaware Park
  • Peace Bridge