Top 10 best things to do in Buffalo, NY

Written by Leah Ruiz, MBA ‘24:

You’re considering a graduate program at the University at Buffalo or you just moved to Buffalo, NY to start your graduate school journey. . Congratulations! You are about to begin such an exciting new chapter of your life! But now you may be thinking, “I am about to spend the next few years in an entirely new environment, what’s there to do for fun in Buffalo? How can I find good places to eat or hang out outside of campus?”  

Worry no longer, I’ve got you covered. Here are 10 things you definitely don’t want to miss during your stay in Buffalo: 

1. Visit Delaware Park  

Delaware Park is a national historic park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same architect who designed Central Park in New York City, and Calvert Vaux. This 350-acre park system is home to many beautiful attractions such as the Delaware Park Rose Garden, the Albright Knox Art Gallery and Hoyt Lake where you can ride a canoe, go paddle boating, or simply have a picnic in the park with a beautiful view of the water. 

2. Spend the Day at Niagara Falls 

Niagara Falls is a set of two breathtaking waterfalls where the waters of four Great Lakes flow into the Niagara River Gorge. Not only is viewing this natural beauty completely free to the public, but they also have multiple fun attractions that create unforgettable memories. With the Cave of the Winds, visitors can get an even closer look at the falls by descending into the Niagara Gorge and experiencing the power of the falls from the Hurricane Deck. With the Maid of the Mist, visitors can hop on a boat ride to experience the falls from the bottom. Visitors can also grab a bite to eat here at the Top of the Falls Restaurant

If you wish to visit the falls from the Canadian side, I recommend visiting the infamous “Street of Fun by the Falls,” also known as Clifton Hill, completely free of charge. This area is only about a 30-minute ride from UB’s North Campus and houses tons of fun amusement park-like attractions and restaurants. 

3. Visit Canalside 

Canalside is located downtown at the heart of Buffalo’s waterfront, and it hosts hundreds of events, live concerts, festivals and more. In the winter you can visit The Ice at Canalside for ice skating or curling, along with the option to rent an Igloo, ice bike or ice bumper car. In the summer, you can take a walk along the water and view their historic Naval & Military Park

4. Go to a Buffalo Bills Game 

Now that you can call Buffalo home for the next few years, it’s only right to support our football team by going to a Bills Game. We are the #1 fans in the NFL, and we’re not called the Bills Mafia for nothing! Tickets are a bit on the pricier side; however, you can still watch the game at any sports bar or restaurant for free. With tailgates starting at 7 am, cookouts and table breaking, yes you heard that correctly, this will definitely be an experience unlike any other. Go Bills! 

5. Visit Food Truck Tuesdays at Larkin Square 

Every Tuesday in the summer, Larkin Square is home to over 50 different food trucks. They offer food from the best local restaurants around Buffalo, and it’s the perfect place to try unique foods and discover your new go-to places to eat while you are here. Additionally, while you sit and enjoy your food, you can listen to music from a different live band each week. My personal favorite trucks are Lloyd for Mexican street food, Niagara Café for traditional Puerto Rican food and #GetFried for Buffalo-style poutine.  

6. Attend Various Festivals in the Summer 

Buffalo has numerous festivals every year including cultural, art, and food festivals. If you are interested in spending the day exploring other cultures, try visiting the Italian, Greek, or Puerto Rican Festival & Parade. If you want to discover the best wings in Buffalo, attend Wing Fest to taste hundreds of different styles and flavors. If you are interested in the arts, be sure to visit the Allentown Art Festival or the Elmwood Village Art Festival to view all types of art such as handcrafted pieces, paintings, portraits, jewelry, clothes and more! 

7. View a Broadway Show at Shea’s Buffalo Theater 

Shea’s Theater opened its doors in 1926 and has a beautiful architectural design inspired by opera houses and European palaces from the 17th and 18th centuries. Shea’s Theater showcases Broadway musicals, films and other special events. Recent shows include but are not limited to: Hamilton, Les Misérables, The Lion King, Cats, The Sound of Music, Annie, The Wizard of Oz and The Phantom of the Opera. 

8. Go on a Cultural and Historical Bike Tour  

Tour around the city of Buffalo to learn about its diverse history while getting some exercise and having fun.. On the tours you will explore Canalside, City Hall, the Richardson Olmsted Complex, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, the Erie Canal and more! As an added bonus, you will pass by some of Buffalo’s most infamous murals and have the opportunity to capture epic selfies. 

9. Visit Elmwood Village and Hertel Avenue 

These two areas are home to many great places to eat, shop and hang out. Whether you are looking to go out and explore, or are searching for something specific, Elmwood and Hertel have hundreds of restaurants, shops and relaxing spots to fulfill just about any craving. If you are looking for energetic night life, there are tons lively bars and clubs in these two areas, along with Chippewa and Allen Street. Be sure to check out these four areas as they have the most active nightlife in Buffalo. 

10. Visit Glen Park 

Glen Park is a walking park in Williamsville that has a beautiful scenery as it is bordered by the Glen Falls waterfall on Ellicott Creek. This is the perfect place to have a picnic, read a book, hang out with friends or simply relax by yourself. There’s even a Yotality nearby if you’d like to have ice cream in the park. 

Bio – My name is Leah Ruiz and I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I aim to follow in their footsteps and be my own boss in the future. After I graduate, I want to become a Social Media Marketing Manager, and hopefully one day be able to open my own marketing agency. Outside of school, I am a freelance makeup artist, and I love traveling, watching movies and spending time with friends and family. 

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