Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in West Seneca, NY

  • Published 2023/01/31

Situated in Erie County, New York, West Seneca is a middle-class suburban town in Erie County that offers a slow-paced yet exciting lifestyle.

Hailed as “the best place in New York State to raise kids,” the town offers plenty of family-oriented events, festivals, and recreational facilities.

Located less than 20 minutes from Buffalo, you can easily visit West Seneca on a day trip or a weekend getaway for a longer stay.

Does it sound enticing?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in West Seneca, New York!

Explore Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Art Center

Boardwalk at Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Art Center

Fortunate4now, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Immerse yourself in nature and spend the day at Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Art Center, a nature park along Union Road.

Named after the American painter and visionary artist, the park spans 29 acres and is open from dawn to dusk all year.

This is the perfect place to escape from the hasty city life and has facilities like picnic tables, children’s playgrounds, a gallery, art installations, an amphitheater, and more.

A garden at Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Art Center

Fortunate4now, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Across Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Art Center, follow the trails and boardwalks that lead to Buffalo Creek, wooded areas, sprawling meadows, and gardens.

The park is also dog-friendly, so you can bring your pet here and go for a walk.

As you explore the park, numerous placards and signs provide information about Charles Burchfield and the meaning behind the art installations.

Browse Local Goods at West Seneca Farmers’ Market

Check out West Seneca Farmers’ Market for healthy and homegrown produce, food items, and other products.

Visiting the seasonal farmers’ market is a great way to support local growers and maintain a healthy and sustainable lifestyle by purchasing organic produce.

At West Seneca Farmers’ Market, find freshly harvested tomatoes, corn, pumpkin, blueberries, apples, and more.

You can also shop for a fresh bouquet, potted cacti, herbs, and plants to grow in your garden at home.

Other food and non-food items sold at the farmers’ market include homemade jelly, peanut butter fudge, raw honey, home decor products, and homemade soaps.

As you browse through the stalls, sample some snacks, drink coffee or alcohol, and enjoy the live entertainment provided.

Get Your Daily Essentials at Southgate Plaza

Nestled in the heart of West Seneca, Southgate Plaza is your go-to place for all your day-to-day needs, whether it’s groceries or late shopping trips.

The shopping center was once a post office with eight stores and now occupies over 500,000 square feet with over 100 retailers.

In addition, Southgate Plaza sponsors community events in West Seneca, fostering a sense of community among residents while helping its economy.

Some retailers at Southgate Plaza include Bath & Body Works, AT&T, T-Mobile, Dollar Tree, and Market in the Square.

The mall has various dining options, including Applebee’s, Subway, Paula’s Donuts, and more.

Enjoy the Best Craft Beer at Ebenezer Ale House

After a day exploring West Seneca, head to Ebenezer Ale House for the best craft beer paired with mouthwatering dishes.

Housed in a cozy space with an outdoor patio, the restaurant has an accessible location near Mill Road Park and Southgate Plaza.

Customers love the relaxed ambiance of the alehouse, the generous serving, and the wide selection of drinks.

Unwind in the indoor dining area or on the patio over fish fry, a slice of pizza, pasta, and a bottle of ice-cold beer or a cocktail.

Not in the mood for late-night drinks?

You can still have a chill Sunday brunch at the restaurant, try their breakfast pizza, corned beef hash, or build your breakfast meal.

Unwind at Mill Road Park

Mill Road Park is a quaint park located along the banks of Cazenovia Creek, providing locals and tourists a quiet respite from the city.

The park is also near places of interest, like Southgate Plaza and the West Seneca Soccer Complex, so you can drop by after grocery shopping or watching a soccer match.

Go on a nature walk along the short trails of Mill Road Park and see Cazenovia Creek up close.

The vast green space at the park allows recreational activities like frisbee and football.

You can also bring a blanket, chairs, and small tables for a leisurely picnic while enjoying the scenery.

This is one of the few dog-friendly parks in the area, so you can bring your dogs for a short walk or run.

Feast on German-American Dishes at Schwabl’s

Exterior of Schwabl’s

Fortunate4now, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can’t visit West Seneca without having a meal at Schwabl’s, a landmark spot for German-American cuisine.

The restaurant has been around since 1942, and celebrities like Alton Brown and Anthony Bourdain were some of its famous customers.

Aside from its casual ambiance, friendly staff, and delicious food, the restaurant takes pride in sourcing ingredients from local producers and vendors, helping support the community.

At Schwabl’s, don’t miss their famous roast beef sandwich on a kummelweck sandwich and other signature dishes like Hungarian goulash, turkey sandwich, and poutine.

They also have an impressive set of signature drinks crafted with homemade syrups and freshly squeezed citrus, perfect to pair with your sandwich.

Savor American and Mediterranean Dishes at Olive Branch Family Restaurant

For a casual and relaxed dining experience, visit Olive Branch Family Restaurant along Union Road for all-day comfort food.

The family-style restaurant is open from breakfast to dinner and serves straightforward dishes for those who want a simple yet fulfilling meal.

Start your day with a heavy breakfast at Olive Branch Family Restaurant and try their breakfast sandwich, specialty omelets, western egg wrap, or chicken souvlaki breakfast.

Not sure what to try? Go for their favorites, such as their Polish platter combo, French onion soup, stuffed cabbage rolls, and California turkey melt sandwich.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a plate of rice pudding, baklava sundae, NY-style cheesecake, and other desserts.

Hang Out at Sunshine Park

Sunshine Park is a community recreational park offering various leisure sports and activities for everyone in the family.

It may be relatively small compared to other parks in West Seneca, but it’s packed with amenities and facilities.

The park has seven softball fields, a basketball court, a baseball field, a children’s playground, a sledding hill, and walking paths.

These amenities make it the perfect place for a fun family bonding day.

Sunshine Park also has dog mitts available so you can bring your furry companion for a relaxing walk around the park.

Admire the Scenery at Cazenovia Creek Wildlife Management Area

If you’re looking for a quiet place to relax and detach from the world, spend the day at Cazenovia Creek Wildlife Management Area.

This park in West Seneca spans around 127 acres, including two miles of Cazenovia Creek, perfect for nature lovers and those looking for a change of scenery.

Some activities at the Cazenovia Creek Wildlife Management Area include fishing, wildlife spotting, and hiking.

For anglers, fall through spring is the best time for fishing when migratory steelhead traveling from Lake Erie enters the West Seneca area of the creek.

Follow the trail leading to the creek and spot deer, songbirds, mallards, turkeys, and wood ducks along the way.

Visit the Historic Mayer Brothers Cider Mill

Mayer Brothers is a household name in the area since it is one of the oldest family businesses in New York, offering apple-based food products.

The Mayer Brothers Cider Mill is one of the highlights when visiting West Seneca, offering guided tours of its famous apple cider production.

Visitors can also check out the pumpkin patch, ride hay, and sample home-style baked goods like strudels and pies.

When you visit West Seneca in autumn, drop by the Mayer Brothers Cider Mill and see how their products are made in the old mill.

Drop by the shop and take home a jar of homemade jam, apple butter, apple cider donuts, and other gourmet products.

Join the Queen of Heaven Carnival Festivities

The Queen of Heaven Carnival is an annual event that brings together the residents of West Seneca and tourists.

The event includes carnival rides, games, food and drinks, and live entertainment every summer.

This event is also a great way to immerse in the local scene and mingle with West Seneca locals.

Bring the family to the annual Queen of Heaven Carnival and browse the stalls selling homemade snacks and food.

You can also check out the carnival rides, win games at the booths, and dance the night away.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Take a Day Trip to Knox Farm State Park

Barns at Knox Farm State Park

Alicia Shields /

From West Seneca, travel 13 minutes to East Aurora, New York, where you’ll find Knox Farm State Park.

Explore the former country estate of the Knox Family, one of the most influential families in Buffalo, New York.

The park spreads over 633 acres with various habitats, including 400 acres of grasslands, 100 acres of woodlands, ponds, and wetlands.

Birds at Knox Farm State Park

Pierre Williot /

At the Knox Farm, you can observe wildlife and find farm animals such as horses, sheep, chickens, goats, and llamas.

Visit Knox Farm State Park and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, wildlife spotting, cross-country skiing, and joining nature walks and programs.

If you’re traveling with your dogs, the state park also houses a six-acre dog park where you can let your pets run off-leash and socialize with other dogs.

The grounds of Knox Farm State Park

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

Enjoy Winter Activities at Buffalo Ski Center

Located 22 minutes from West Seneca, Buffalo Ski Center provides many activities for families and individuals spending the holidays in Colden, New York.

Also known as Buffalo Ski Club, the ski center brings together three different ski clubs—Buffalo, Sitzmarker, and Tamarack Ski Club—for a more expansive terrain and more space to explore.

Buffalo Ski Center covers 300 acres with two chair lifts, two T-bars, two handle lifts, and 43 trails with varying difficulty levels.

Do you have little to no ski or snowboarding experience?

The ski center offers a top-notch snowsports school that offers private and group alpine skiing, telemark skiing, and snowboarding lessons.

At the end of your skiing excursion, hang out at any of the three lodges, feast on a well-deserved meal, or enjoy live entertainment.

Marvel at the Waterfalls of Chestnut Ridge Park

Waterfalls at Chestnut Ridge Park

Kylecody /

Chestnut Ridge Park is a gorgeous nature park in Orchard Park, New York, a 14-minute drive from West Seneca.

Spanning 1,151 acres, the park is the perfect playground for families and outdoor enthusiasts, offering various leisure activities for all seasons.

In addition to its miles of hiking trails and sports fields, one of the park’s highlights is the Eternal Flame Falls, a secluded waterfall with a small cave that emits a small “eternal light,” hence the name.

Trail at Chestnut Ridge Park

Pierre Williot /

Take a day tour of Chestnut Ridge Park, take a scenic drive, hike, and take in the natural surroundings.

If you’re visiting in winter, some activities include tobogganing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing on the designated trails.

Wooden bench at Chestnut Ridge Park

Dave Domino /

Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff

Exterior of Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff

Debrak1221, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Aptly nicknamed “The Jewel on the Lake,” Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff estate is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts and those who appreciate a beautiful house with an equally stunning view.

Designed for Wright’s close friends, Darwin and Isabelle Martin, the summer estate spans 8.5 acres and features three structures and gardens overlooking Lake Erie.

Out of the three buildings, the Isabelle R. Martin House serves as the property’s crowning jewel, with its pavilion-like center made of transparent glass boasting lakeside views.

Facade of Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff

Marjoram51, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Join a guided tour of the Graycliff estate and admire Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural prowess as you explore the buildings and well-kept gardens.

Graycliff is in the hamlet of Highland-on-the-Lake, New York, and is a 30-minute drive from West Seneca.

Final Thoughts

One might think West Seneca is just a sleepy town a few minutes from Buffalo, but it has plenty of activities and places to offer.

Besides its annual carnival, the city has quiet creekside parks, local breweries, and family-owned restaurants.

Its slow-paced living is an ideal weekend getaway if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities in New York.

If this is your kind of vacation, plan your itinerary with these best things to do in West Seneca, New York!

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