Anchoring the other end of New York is this state’s second largest city, Buffalo, home to an impressive array of architecturally rich buildings, a couple of well-loved but long suffering pro sports teams, and the birthplace of one of the most ubiquitous pub appetizers there is. Buffalo had its heyday back in the early 20th century, as the busy Erie Canal, which terminated at the foot of lake Erie within city limits, fueled the growth of many industries.
However, this metropolis went through some hard times once the St. Lawrence Seaway opened north of the border in Canada, but it has stabilized in recent times, becoming a mid-sized city that has developed a tech and financial services industry that it credits for its rebound.
It is the relics of its past and its cultural heritage that make Buffalo a city worth spending a couple of nights in though, proving to be more than just a rest stop for those making their way towards Midwest destinations such as Detroit or Chicago. On these merits alone, you might find yourself extending your stay for just a couple night more!
While the design of the buildings and skyscrapers of the downtown core might be ornate enough to be an attraction on their own (Buffalo City Hall is worth checking out in particular), some of them contain treasures worth venturing inside to investigate further.
One of these places is the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which ranks up with other A-list art museums in the nation with regards to its permanent collection. Inside these walls, the works of creatives such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock can be found, a fact which does justice to the exquisite Neoclassical building in which they are found.
Those wanting to delve deeper into this cities’ heady past should spend some serious time at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Museum, where the exhibits go into great detail on the economic boom which built all the magnificent buildings within this metropolis.
Also situated in a Neoclassical building that was originally constructed for the Pan American Exposition in 1901, artifacts dating back to the days when native tribes inhabited the area can be found, as well as others that tell the story of the growth of this trade and industry hub. This includes inventions like the cardiac pacemaker and the Pierce-Arrow roadster, the latter of which was conceived and built in Buffalo for many years.
While its much bigger brother further south and east has one of the world’s most famed theater districts, Buffalo has a theater district of its own, which is sizable considering the cities current population. Preserved in their vintage design when they were constructed in the early 20th century, most of these performing arts houses still put on shows part of the year (most theaters here break for the summer … check locally for further details), drawing crowds from across Western New York to see touring shows, many of whom started in Broadway in NYC!
When you are out at your local pub, what appetizer do you find yourself gnawing on? Many people pick up an order of wings to go with their tall frosty mug of draft beer, so while you are in Buffalo, you may as well enjoy them where they were conceived about fifty years ago at Anchor Bar. If you’re hungrier than that, word has it that their pizza is also an excellent choice for those seeking a main course.
Being on the ocean-like Lake Erie, Buffalo hasn’t been deprived of the chance to host a museum ship from the ranks of ships that the Navy has decommissioned over the years. Military fans therefore will enjoy a couple of hours at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, where three ships are moored to explore at their leisure.
The USS Little Rock (guided missile cruiser), USS The Sullivans (destroyer), and the USS Croaker (submarine) will keep the war buff(s) in your party busy for a while you explore nearby Delaware Park. This park is the most favored public space by locals in Buffalo, and its not hard to understand shy, as it was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect behind Central Park in New York City.
A central lake is the centrepiece here, a popular Shakespeare festival draws crowds here in the summer, and the cherry blossoms that break out in spring make this park a pleasant place to be at almost any time of year.
For horticulturists that crave more after strolling through Delaware Park, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will go a long way towards calming their appetite for a diverse range of flora. Composed of indoor and outdoor sections, this institute combines Japanese gardens outdoors with Panamanian cloud forest indoors, giving green thumbs everywhere an experience that will make their vacation in Buffalo a most pleasing one!