Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Buffalo, NY

  • Published 2022/10/21

Buffalo is a busy city in New York, brimming with diverse attractions and new adventures.

Incorporated in 1982, the city was closely connected to the Erie Canal, which marked it as a prime transportation hub.

The city thrived under those conditions.

Now, Buffalo is one of the largest cities in New York, holding the seat of Erie County.

It’s home to historic sites, distinct museums, pleasing destinations, and more.

Whether it’s a place to relax, a place to browse, or a place to interact, the city has almost everything.

Buffalo is the embodiment of a thriving city!

So, have a look at this list and see the best things to do in Buffalo, New York.

Enter Navy Vessels at the Buffalo Naval Park

USS little rock at Buffalo Naval Park

Paul Brady Photography /

Along the shores of Lake Erie, you may be able to find the Buffalo Naval Park.

This place takes learning about history to another level because you get to go onboard actual army ships.

A total of 4 former navy vessels can be explored within, each containing a different focus on the past.

You can browse airplanes, military outfits, country flags, and many other related artifacts from each museum.

Engine room of a ship at Buffalo Naval Park

RenownedRelaxation /

There are also outdoor exhibits of large military equipment and a peaceful memorial garden to honor fallen comrades.

It’s an immersive experience that can give insights into what life was like for military soldiers who fought through the oceans.

There are also veteran tour guides who can help make your trip to the park more convenient.

Since its opening in 1979, the Buffalo Naval Park has continued to be a top destination within the area.

Nave vessels at Buffalo Naval Park

Jeffrey M. Frank /

Immerse in the Buffalo Museum of Science

Interior of the Buffalo Museum of Science

Alex Harden, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Through immersive exhibits, the Buffalo Museum of Science thrives in teaching guests from across the region.

They include a variety of themes, such as space, dinosaur fossils, bugs, and other scientific topics.

With a mix of technology and old artifacts, the Buffalo Museum of Science creates a space for interactive learning.

A popular activity includes finding certain objects hidden inside the museum and asking about their purpose.

Exhibit in the Buffalo Museum of Science

Alex Harden from Harrisburg, PA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can also read from numerous infographics scattered around the premises.

No matter your age, there may be something new to learn at the Buffalo Museum of Science.

It features a great assortment of random topics that can cater to people of all tastes.

If you want this kind of learning experience, head to Humboldt Parkway!

Meet Rare Animals in the Buffalo Zoo

Entrance to the Buffalo Zoo

CiEll /

At Parkside Avenue, the Buffalo Zoo provides a safe space for animals to live in.

It was established in 1870 through the donations of Jacob E. Betrgold, beginning with just a couple of deer.

When more animals entered the premises, a permanent building was soon built to be their home.

Polar bear at the Buffalo Zoo

Kathleen Struckle /

They have an extensive assortment of animals—from mammals, birds, and reptiles to amphibians.

If you want to have a more personal experience, guests are allowed to encounter some of their friendliest animals and feed them some treats.

Sea lion at the Buffalo Zoo

Kathleen Struckle /

It’s an experience that can be fun for the whole family!

Other than that, there are all sorts of rides in the Buffalo Zoo.

Some examples include the carousel, the train, the boom zone, and a few seasonal exhibits.

Lion cub at the Buffalo Zoo

Wirestock Creators /

See Stars and Space in Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium

Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium is a cool modern venue that lets you see into the vast beauty of space.

Since 1964, the place has been a space for students and visitors to learn the intricacies of astronomy education.

It’s an advanced facility in SUNY Buffalo State College that opens to the public on certain schedules.

They employ high-tech projection systems, mechanical star projectors, laser technology, and systems for lighting and sound.

Couple with intriguing presentations, Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium offers a fun, fresh experience.

You can enjoy the shows in a comfortable setting, seated in soft chairs, and in an air-conditioned venue.

They’re also great for people of all ages!

Those who want to give this a shot can find it along Elmwood Avenue.

Admire the Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright Martin’s House

Exterior of Frank Lloyd Wright Martin’s House

JoanneStrell /

The features of Frank Lloyd Wright Martin’s House was known as one of the most innovative architectural styles of his time.

Built in the early 20th century, the place has hints of spatial openness, horizontal planes, and a natural color scheme.

Some fans call it his best work!

You can book different kinds of tours—basic tours, candlelight tours, mobile audio tours, and private tour experiences.

Facade of Frank Lloyd Wright Martin’s House

JoanneStrell /

You can also stop by the gift shop to buy a novelty souvenir.

There are also fun, lively events at Frank Lloyd Wright Martin’s House!

This includes family days, craft beer tastings, and interesting lectures.

See the intricate details of an esteemed architect’s prized home along Jewett Parkway!

Window details of Frank Lloyd Wright Martin’s House

JoanneStrell /

Discover the City’s Origins in the Buffalo History Museum

Entrance doors of the Buffalo History Museum

JoanneStrell /

With the city’s long origins, it’s important to drop by the Buffalo History Museum.

The museum has preserved many artifacts related to the city’s foundation, struggles, and development.

You’ll see old photos, vintage clothes, traditional tools, and other items representing the city’s culture.

All these were curated to ensure that the stories within could spark emotional and cultural moments within the local community.

Signage of the Buffalo History Museum

JoanneStrell /

The Buffalo History Museum is a splendid way to learn more about the city you’re visiting.

The friendly staff might also be able to help you pick out your following destinations.

Another highlight of the museum are the seasonal cherry blossoms, brightly blooming in shades of pink.

If this interests you, the venue can be found along Museum Court.

Exterior of the Buffalo History Museum

Fortunate4now, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Make a Bet in Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino

At Buffalo Street, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino is the place for nightlife, games, and entertainment.

It’s a three-in-one destination that offers modern gaming, delectable dining, and leisure golf.

The sports lounge is set within a dark atmosphere, illuminated only through vibrant neon lights and slot machines.

Other than slot machines, you can also play card games like poker and blackjack.

There are also televisions so those who want to bet on sportsbooks can immediately see the results.

For dining, the casino has an on-site restaurant that serves American comfort meals and refreshing drinks from the bar.

Test your luck in Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino!

You might just win one of their top prizes.

Vibe with the Locals at Canalside

Boats on the Canalside water

Spiroview Inc /

In Canalside, you’ll be able to get a glimpse of the local culture in its purest form.

Vibrant shops and restaurants line up the lively waterfront, embraced by a warm community ambiance.

There are infinite views of the sparkling waters together with the calming smell of fresh ocean breeze.

The revitalization of downtown Canalside was a project that began to make it a popular tourist destination.

Shark girl statue at Canalside

quiggyt4 /

More than its historical appeal, this waterfront area has also charmed visitors with its bright, modern allure.

Events are often held to gather the community.

They host roller skating activities, musical concerts, awareness walks, and other kinds of group-related ventures.

To be immersed within the local scene, Canalside at Prime Street would be a wise choice.

People at Canalside

Invest Buffalo Niagara, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unwind at Delaware Park

Japanese garden at Delaware Park

JoanneStrell /

Back in 1868, Delaware Park was designed to be the epitome of an ideal “country” park.

It’s positioned in a lush, idyllic setting that’s embraced with verdant trees, plants, and flora.

As one of the largest parks in the city, there are many gorgeous gardens in Delaware Park.

There’s the Japanese Garden, a beautifully curated venue with obvious inspiration from the Eastern country.

Couple admiring the view at Delaware Park

JoanneStrell /

Another attraction is the Rose Garden, a stunning place that thrives in blooming roses of all shapes, kinds, and colors.

Truly, Delaware Park is a place for peaceful leisure.

It’s a place you must visit for the diverse sights of the breathtaking natural environment.

At Parkside Avenue, the park showcases the results when people carefully nurture and care for the environment.

Fountain at Delaware Park's rose garden

Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Admire Artists in Burchfield Art Center

Facade of the Burchfield Art Center

Jwo3, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Those who are fans of Charles E. Burchfield will enjoy this destination!

From its name, you can tell that Burchfield Art Center focuses on the works of the legendary icon from the 19th to 20th centuries.

It has thousands of his artworks—handwritten journals, drawings, paintings, and other forms of his creativity.

Other than him, there are also pieces from other artists such as Bruce Adams, Bonnie Gordon, and Sylvia Rosen.

The Burchfield Art Center is a powerhouse for esteemed talents of the cultural world!

There’s also a museum store that sells unique souvenirs and trinkets for affordable prices.

Visit this museum at Elmwood Avenue!

Shop Local in the Broadway Market

Established in 1888, the Broadway Market has been a long-time source of fresh local groceries.

It began when immigrants flocked to Buffalo and hoped to preserve some of their cultural heritage and traditions.

They founded the market and grew the community with delicacies from Africa, Italy, Spain, and other countries in the world.

Their theme thrives with the concept of selling a mix of fresh products from local and international sources.

They have a wide assortment of common and exotic products to ensure variety on their shelves.

Whether it’s baked goods, farm produce, or various types of meat, the Broadway Market likely has a selection for you.

It’s an all-in-one destination for your grocery essentials in Buffalo.

Visit the venue along Broadway!

Wander around the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Exterior of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Hsa htaw /

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is an extensive venue with loads of pleasing views in store.

Opened in 1900, these gardens are home to a plethora of stunning flowers, lush plants, and verdant trees.

The buildings ooze with luxury since they were built in the likeness of the famous Crystal Palace in England.

Towering domes and exquisite glass materials give the greenhouse an architectural allure.

Flora inside the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Jeffrey M. Frank /

Inside, the venue is loaded with different kinds of natural treasures from local and international sources.

They have distinct species of mums, Panama-inspired forests, and fake dinosaurs hidden within the exhibits.

You can also join workshops, programs, and events to fully immerse in the venue!

Drop by the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens to fill your eyes with gorgeous imagery.

Checkers game in the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Jeffrey M. Frank /

Listen to Jazz in the Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo

Exterior of the Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo

Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo tells an inspiring tale of African American heritage, their journey, and their struggles.

It was formed in 1917 and served as a social club for African American men to meet like-minded people while smooth music surrounded the building.

At Broadway Avenue, it doubles as an informative museum and a spirited jazz club at night.

Through bright-colored exhibits and infographics, visitors can discover the history of African American men in the country.

You can also listen to pure jazz, one of the most iconic genres of their time.

This may not be the largest venue, but its charm and unique nature has kept guests interested in the destination.

The Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo offers a fun, musical night to remember!

Make sure to stop by if you’re ever in the area.

Take a Walk at Lafayette Square

Soldiers sailors monument at Lafayette Square

lev radin /

At the heart of downtown Buffalo, Lafayette Square sits as a park embraced by tall, historic buildings.

Once known as Court House Park, the place was renamed after General Lafayette’s visit in 1825.

This square is famous for its assortment of age-old structures, especially the prominent Civil War monument.

Many popular historical events happened right in the middle of Lafayette Square.

Daytime view of Lafayette Square

TonyTheTiger at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

US Presidents Martin Van Buren and Abraham Lincoln made important speeches in the same park.

It’s one of the best destinations for a leisure walk in the city!

You get to walk around an important part of history while also seeing splendid architectural masterpieces.

Watch the Sunset at Gallagher Beach

The waters of Gallagher Beach

Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You don’t have to visit rural areas to play on beaches!

Even in an urban city like Buffalo, you can enjoy the warmth of the sun on Gallagher Beach.

Located along Fuhrmann Boulevard, this hidden gem offers a place to relax and lie down on pristine sands.

It features a well-maintained boardwalk and provides access to water activities like kayaking and fishing.

The most popular activity in Gallagher Beach is watching the sunset.

With clear and open views of the vast sky, the sight will surely be remembered.

Final Thoughts

As a city in New York, Buffalo thrives with assorted activities and destinations.

Whether it’s for leisure or adventure, this place has something for everyone.

If you’re searching for a thriving city, look no more!

There are plenty of things to do in Buffalo, New York.

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