Western New York is not only a great place to live, but it’s also full of history and fun things to do all year round. Whether you’re visiting or living here, whether you’re interested in sports, art museums, dining, or shopping, there’s something for everyone to discover in the Buffalo/Niagara region of Western New York.
Niagara Falls (New York and Ontario, Canada) – one of the original Seven Wonders of the World, Niagara Falls is still a top tourist destination. In a rebuilding phase on both sides of the border, there are a number of new hotels on the Canadian side, plus new casinos on both sides.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery – long known as one of the top cultural draws in Buffalo, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is world-renowned as a center for modern and contemporary art. Located at 1285 Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo, the Gallery features post-war American and European art, a research library, and public classes and workshops for all ages; you can also host an event in parts of the Gallery.
Buffalo Zoo – another of the top cultural attractions in Buffalo, the Buffalo Zoo is located at 300 Parkside Ave., part of Delaware Park, one of the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks in the area. The third-oldest institution of its kind in the U.S., the Zoo is being transformed through its master plan, with new exhibits and improvements completed and in the wings. In addition to animals, the Zoo also features the Boehm Gallery, one of the largest collections of Boehm porcelain in the U.S.
HSBC Arena – the home of the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres and the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits, the HSBC Arena is located near the Erie Canal Harbor area. In addition to sports, concerts, and other events, the Arena is home to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the temporary home to the Ira G. Ross Aerospace Museum (formerly Niagara Aerospace Museum).
The Elmwood Strip – home to some of the trendiest shops, hippest restaurants, and coolest places in general, Elmwood Ave. is home to restaurants like Bistro Europa (484 Elmwood), Blue Mountain Coffees (509 Elmwood), and Cecelia’s Ristorante (716 Elmwood); stores like Clutch (814 Elmwood), Everything Elmwood (740 Elmwood), and Lotions and Potions (798 Elmwood); and the aforementioned Albright-Knox Art Gallery, as well as the Stuyvesant Gallery (245 Elmwood).
Chippewa – if you’re into the bar scene, this downtown street is the place for you – even Big and Rich mentioned it in their song “Comin’ to Your City.” Dozens of bars line both sides of the street, with live music, DJs, and televisions showing the night’s games. Of course, there are specials galore, but if you choose to take advantage of them, bring a designated driver.
Shea’s Performing Arts Center – located on Main St. in downtown Buffalo (just as the Metro Rail goes above ground), Shea’s has been bringing Broadway-caliber productions to the area for over 20 years. In addition to touring shows, Shea’s also brings music, comedy, and special events to the area.
National Buffalo Wing Festival– a Labor Day weekend tradition at Coca Cola Field, the Wing Festival celebrates Buffalo’s top contribution to popular culture. Over 20 restaurants from around the country come to the Festival, which also features live entertainment, cooking demos, and contests. Proceeds from the Festival benefit local charities, to the tune of over $125,000 so far.
Erie County Fair– this annual event has been going on for over 170 years – one of the longest-running in the country. Agricultural and animal presentations, concerts, demonstration, food, and parades are all part of the Fair, which takes place in mid-August at the Hamburg Fairgrounds on McKinley Pkwy.