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The Best Things to Do in Buffalo, NY This Summer

Summer is quickly approaching, and it’s a great time to explore the wonderful Buffalo-Niagara region including Buffalo itself. Take advantage of those longer days and warm evenings to see what the city has to offer.

Whether you’re a local looking to explore something new or an outsider checking out Buffalo for the first time, here are some of the top things to do this summer: 

Explore Canalside

The newly revamped Canalside along downtown Buffalo’s waterfront is the perfect place to start – or end – your exploration of the city. There are markets, restaurants, an ice rink, activities, and more. In the summer, you can take a kayak or water bike onto the canal or take a boat ferry across the river. On the Outer Harbor side, you’ll find more than 200 acres of winding bike paths, kayak rentals, greenery, and more to explore.  

Go on a brewery crawl

For beer lovers, Buffalo is a great place to be. There are many craft breweries in and around Buffalo, ranging from small operations to nationwide breweries like Southern Tier Brewing Company. And at the end of June, indulge in the New York State Craft Brewers Festival, held at Canalside. You’ll find craft beer from more than 50 breweries in every corner of the state!   

Stroll through the theatre district

Buffalo’s historical theatre district is home to art galleries, shops, restaurants, and – you guessed it – multiple historic theatres. Stroll through this area to see the lovely buildings and do a little shopping, and grab a bite to eat while you’re at it. It makes for a wonderful afternoon or evening in the city. 

Indulge your foodie side

Buffalo has a lot more to offer than wings (more on that later). Throughout the city, you’ll find all sorts of incredible food spanning every culture and creed out there – Mexican, Thai, Ethiopian, European, and much more. If you’re looking for a Buffalo classic (besides the wings), head to Schwabl’s for a Beef on Weck sandwich – this delicious combo of roast beef on kümmelweck bread is sure to be a highlight of your time in the city. 

Take in the history

For the presidential history buffs, a visit to the former home of President Millard Fillmore is a must-do while in Buffalo. Located in East Aurora, you can visit the home to learn more about America’s 13th President. Speaking of Fillmore, history fanatics might also enjoy visiting the Forest Lawn Cemetery, where you can find the graves of Fillmore himself, musician Rick James, and congresswoman Shirley Chisolm, among others. 

Check out Niagara Falls

While it’s a little bit outside of Buffalo itself, taking the 40-minute car ride to Niagara Falls is well worth it. Whether you stay on the American side or cross over to the Canadian side of the border to take in this majestic natural sight, you can’t help but be impressed by the sheer size and power of the falls. Remember to bring a bathing suit – the flimsy poncho you’ll receive when you take the boat tour isn’t guaranteed to keep you dry!  

Visit one of the country’s oldest zoos

The Buffalo Zoo in the northern part of the city is the third-oldest in the country. Home to about 1,200 animals from all around the world, the zoo is a great attraction for animal lovers of any age. Learn about a variety of species and habitats as you stroll through the zoo’s incredible indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Take in the science museum

The Buffalo Museum of Science is located just north of downtown and makes for a wonderful morning or afternoon for the whole family. The museum is part science museum, part natural history museum, and part children’s museum, so visitors of every age can find something to enjoy. There are dinosaur fossils, cultural exhibits, interactive science exhibits, and much more. 

Peruse the Botanical Gardens

Nature lovers will enjoy strolling through the Buffalo Botanical Gardens and soaking in the greenery. This giant greenhouse contains themed rooms with plant life from all around the world, and there’s even an indoor waterfall.  

Get your wing on

Buffalo is, of course, famous for its buffalo wings. They were invented here, after all – visit Anchor Bar to enjoy some wings in the place credited with creating them, and visit any number of the city’s excellent wing spots to keep up with your cravings. And if you’re visiting the city for Labor Day weekend in September, you’re just in time for the 2022 National Buffalo Wing Festival! 

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