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Things to Do in Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY

Niagara Falls and many more attractions make Buffalo fun

By Kevin Litwin on July 9, 2014

Buffalo-Niagara Falls

World famous Niagara Falls and numerous other impressive sites grace the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area.

Frequent the Falls

Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls – American, Horseshoe and Bridal Veil – with American Falls situated entirely in New York. Peak visitor traffic occurs during the summer months, and the best viewing spots are from walkways along Prospect Point Park. One of the main attractions is a Maid of the Mist boat ride.

Get Wild

Founded in 1875 and currently the third-oldest zoo in the nation, Buffalo Zoo ranks second only to Niagara Falls in tourism popularity in Western New York, with the zoo welcoming 400,000 visitors a year. There are 1,200 animals along with exhibits such as Rainforest Falls, Sea Lion Cove, Otter Creek, Elephants, Giraffes, and Kookaburra Corner.

View a Van Gogh

Works by artists like Picasso, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Matisse, Pollock and Andy Warhol are on display at Albright-Knox Art Gallery, located across the street from Buffalo State College on Elmwood Avenue. The museum specializes in modern and contemporary art, and Albright-Knox Art Gallery celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013.

Wear Comfy Shoes

More than 250 stores and 1.6 million square feet of space are available to shoppers at Walden Galleria, an enclosed mall in nearby Cheektowaga. Anchor stores include JC Penney, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s and Sears along with other retailers like Best Buy, Forever 21 and Old Navy. There is also a Regal Cinemas multiplex.

Be a Good Sport

It’s easy to find major professional sports entertainment in Buffalo. The NFL’s Buffalo Bills were established in 1960 and still play at Ralph Wilson Stadium, while the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres have been around since 1970 and play at First Niagara Center. Also, the Class AAA Buffalo Bisons host baseball games at Coca-Cola Field.

Visit the Teddy

The Ansley Wilcox House on Delaware Avenue houses the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, where Teddy Roosevelt took the oath of office as President of the United States on Sept. 14, 1901, just after the assassination of William McKinley. The Wilcox House is a museum with artifacts related to both the assassination and inauguration.

Appreciate the Beauty

A massive 1890s Victorian glass-domed greenhouse is part of Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, a beautiful preserve in South Park designed by New York Central Park creator Frederick Law Olmstead. The botanical refuge is on the National Register of Historic Places and also features an arboretum and bog garden.

See Frank’s Design

Designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed from 1903-1905, the Darwin D. Martin House Complex ranks with the Guggenheim Museum in New York as Wright’s two greatest works. Open for guided tours, Martin House is actually a collection of two houses, several small cottages and a glass-roofed conservatory.

Catch a Production

A number of Broadway musicals and other big-name plays are still staged at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, which opened in 1926 and remains a successful venue on Main Street. Sometimes called Shea’s Theatre, the building was saved from demolition in the 1970s and then restored to its original architectural splendor.

Peek at the Pierces

Pierce-Arrow automobiles were manufactured in Buffalo from 1901-1938, and many of the vintage vehicles are on display at Pierce-Arrow Museum. Cars on exhibit include a 1902 Buffalo Electric Stanhope, 1909 Thomas Flyer Flyabout, 1918 Pierce-Arrow 7-Passenger Touring Car, and a 1948 Playboy, also manufactured in Buffalo by the Playboy Motor Car Co. from 1947-1951.

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