15 Best Things to Do in Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, New York, isn’t just a city; it’s an experience waiting to be discovered. From its rich history to its vibrant cultural scene, there’s something for everyone in the Queen City. Whether you’re a history buff, a sports enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie, Buffalo has you covered. So, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready for a whirlwind adventure as we explore the 15 best things to do in Buffalo, NY.

Naval Park, Buffalo
Photo credit: Jenn Allen

Thinking about a trip to Buffalo, New York? You might be surprised by what this revitalized city on the shores of Lake Erie has to offer. Known for its iconic architecture, thriving arts scene, and world-renowned cuisine, this city offers a captivating array of experiences for visitors to enjoy. From waterfront adventures to cultural discoveries and everything in between, I’ll walk you through the best that Buffalo has to offer and I’ll add my personal tips and suggestions along the way.

1. Visit the Buffalo Zoo

Animal lovers of all ages will delight in a visit to the Buffalo Zoo, home to a diverse collection of wildlife from around the world. Meet exotic animals, learn about conservation efforts, and enjoy family-friendly activities at this beloved local attraction.

2. Explore Naval History at Canalside Naval Park

Naval Park, Buffalo
Photo credit: Jenn Allen

History comes alive at Canalside Naval Park, where you can tour the USS Little Rock, a guided missile cruiser, and the USS Croaker, a World War II submarine. Learn about Buffalo’s naval heritage and get a firsthand look at these impressive vessels. For one low price, you can take a self-guided tour of the 2 warships and the submarine. These tours are not for the faint of heart! There are lots of nearly vertical stairs and tight, tricky hallways to navigate. However, if you do go, it’s a chance to see first-hand amazing history.

Take a minute to chat with the volunteers who are stationed near the entrance. They have amazing stories to tell of their own personal experience, as many of them are retired navy veterans.

3. Catch a Buffalo Bandits Lacrosse Game

Get ready to cheer on the Buffalo Bandits, the city’s professional lacrosse team, at the KeyBank Center. Experience the adrenaline rush of fast-paced action as the Bandits take on their opponents in front of a passionate hometown crowd. When we last visited Buffalo, we stayed at the Mariott right next to the KeyBank Center and I can vouch first hand for how much the locals love the

4. Stroll Along the Erie Canal at Canal Side Walk

The Erie Canal, Buffalo
Photo credit: Jenn Allen

Bandits! Embrace the beauty of Buffalo’s waterfront with a leisurely stroll along the Erie Canal at Canal Side Walk. Watch boats pass by, take in stunning views of the city skyline, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling waterfront destination. Even if the weather is chilly, you can’t beat the views of this lovingly restored area.

5. Discover Hidden Gems in Elmwood Village

Take a leisurely stroll through Elmwood Village, Buffalo’s hip and eclectic neighborhood known for its charming architecture, trendy boutiques, and vibrant arts scene. Explore local galleries, grab a bite to eat at a cozy cafe, or simply soak up the neighborhood’s unique atmosphere.

6. Take a Spin on the Historic Herschell-Spillman Carousel

Herschell-Spillman Carousel, Buffalo
Photo credit: Jenn Allen

Step back in time and experience the magic of the Herschell-Spillman Carousel, located in Canalside right on the boardwalk. Dating back to 1924, this beautifully restored carousel features hand-carved wooden horses and charming music that will transport you to a bygone era. We spent some time chatting with the carousel operator, and he told us a fascinating story about how the carousel came to be housed in this location. It was lovingly hand-resorted, and he pointed out which were original animals and which were added to replace missing or broken features. It’s also the first solar-powered carousel, and it’s enclosed in a building so you can enjoy this amazing taste of history all year long.

7. Explore the Buffalo History Museum

Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of Buffalo at the Buffalo History Museum, located in the city’s historic Parkside neighborhood. Discover exhibits highlighting Buffalo’s role in the Erie Canal, its architectural heritage, and its contributions to industry and innovation.

8. Sample Craft Brews at Southern Tier Brewing Company

Southern Tier Brewing Company, Buffalo
Photo credit: Jenn Allen

No visit to Buffalo would be complete without sampling some of the region’s finest craft beers. Head to Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Taproom to enjoy a flight of their award-winning brews, paired with delicious pub fare and live music.

9. Unwind at Delaware Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind in the tranquil surroundings of Delaware Park. Spanning over 350 acres, this urban oasis offers walking trails, picnic areas, and stunning views of Hoyt Lake – the perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon.

10. Attend a Hockey Game at KeyBank Center

Keybank Rink, Buffalo
Photo credit: Jenn Allen

Hockey fans won’t want to miss the chance to see the Buffalo Sabres in action at the iconic KeyBank Center. Join thousands of enthusiastic fans as you cheer on the Sabres and experience the thrill of NHL hockey firsthand.

11. Experience the Buffalo Botanical Gardens

Escape to a tropical paradise at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens, where you can explore lush greenhouses, exotic plant collections, and beautifully landscaped gardens. Don’t miss the iconic Palm Dome, home to towering palm trees and colorful tropical blooms.

12. Indulge in a Shopping Spree

Walden-Galleria Mall, Buffalo
Photo credit: Jenn Allen

From upscale boutiques to quirky independent shops, Buffalo offers a shopping experience like no other. Explore the trendy shops of Elmwood Village, hunt for bargains at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, or browse the eclectic stores of Allentown — the choice is yours! You also must stop by the Walden-Galleria Mall. This colossal mall has plenty of parking and shopping for everyone. Go hungry! It is anchored by restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s, Texas de Brazil, and more.

13. Attend a Live Performance at Shea’s Performing Arts Center

Experience the magic of live theater at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo’s premier venue for Broadway shows, concerts, and other live performances. Marvel at the theater’s stunning Art Deco architecture and enjoy world-class entertainment in a truly historic setting.

14. Savor Buffalo’s Culinary Delights

Anchor Bar, Buffalo NY
Photo credit: Jenn Allen

Buffalo is a food lover’s paradise, featuring a diverse culinary scene that reflects the city’s rich cultural heritage. Indulge in classic Buffalo wings at Anchor Bar, savor mouthwatering barbecue at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, or enjoy farm-to-table cuisine at local favorites like Marble + Rye.

15. Take a Day Trip to Niagara Falls

Just a short drive from Buffalo lies one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders — Niagara Falls. Spend a day exploring the majestic falls, taking a thrilling boat ride to the base of the falls, or enjoying panoramic views from the Niagara Falls State Park. Or, cross the border and check out the Canadian side of the falls and all there is to see and do in Clifton Hill. 

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it — 15 of the best things to do in Buffalo, NY. This city offers a wealth of experiences for visitors to discover and enjoy. Whether you’re interested in history, sports, nature, or culture, there’s something for everyone in the Queen City. So, pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Buffalo!

1 thought on “15 Best Things to Do in Buffalo, NY”

  1. Love NY! Buffalo has the best mix of food, drink, and sights. Adding Southern Tier Brewing Co to our must-visit list for next time! Sounds like a great spot to spend an afternoon!


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