Buffalo is the second largest city in New York State and lies at the southern end of Lake Erie, just across the border of Ontario, Canada. Rich with history and scenic beauty, there is no shortage of things to do in Buffalo.
Popular Buffalo attractions include the iconic Niagara Falls, the Buffalo Zoo, and the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House. Attractions in Buffalo also include lesser-known gems such as the Niagara Wine Trail, the Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum, and Tifft Nature Preserve.
No matter what brings you to Buffalo, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city - tourists and locals alike. The rest of this article will highlight 25 unforgettable Buffalo attractions.
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With a total of five houses built by the iconic architect, Buffalo is the city with the second-highest number of houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The most famous, however, is the Martin House - a landmark house that is still considered one of the most outstanding achievements of Wright's career.
Completed in 1905 as a private residence for Buffalo native and business executive Dwight D.
Martin, this sprawling estate totals nearly 15,000 square feet - not including the Barton House, a 4,400-square foot home that Wright built for Martin's sister and brother-in-law.
After being abandoned and falling into disrepair during the Great Depression, restoration attempts began in 1992 to save this national gem and were finally completed in 2019.
The Martin House is now a National Historic Landmark and a source of civic pride, included on a list of New York State's national historic places.
Address: 125 Jewett Pkwy, Buffalo, NY 14214
No list of things to do in Buffalo is complete without a trip to the breathtaking sights of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.
Visit this incredible collection of plants from around the world and learn all about the unique botanic species.
Open year-round; the gardens consist of a sprawling network of interconnected greenhouses.
While there are also many outdoor garden exhibits, including the Peace Garden Roses and the fun and sizeable Outdoor Children's Garden, they are seasonal and may not be available to tour during the winter months.
Peruse the Orchid House on your way to the Carnivorous Plants and Medicine Garden.
Feed the colorful koi fish in the Aquatic Garden II, just beyond the Asian Rainforest.
Since feeding the fish is only available on select mornings, make sure to inquire about the feeding schedule before planning your visit.
If at all possible, plan your visit to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens during the spring or summer so you can get the most out of your visit.
Address: 2655 South Park Ave, Buffalo, NY 14218
Ranked one of the most relaxing Buffalo attractions, Canalside is the Buffalo waterfront, where you can unwind and kick back after a day of sightseeing.
With food and lodging available directly on the waterfront, you could potentially walk from your hotel door to the shore and enjoy the sights.
With a selection of walking and biking trails available along the water, Canalside is the perfect place to unwind and collect your bearings after a long day of exploring Buffalo.
Seasonal events, including music, games, yoga, and outdoor fitness events are open to the public - just keep in mind that Canalside events are seasonal, so plan your visit during the spring or summer to get the most out of your visit.
Address: 44 Prime St, Buffalo, NY 14202
A must-see in Buffalo, the unforgettable Buffalo Zoo was founded in 1875 with a single pair of deer.
Now, it is the third-oldest zoo in the nation and a vital lifeline to local, national, and global conservation efforts.
Each of the world's major biomes is represented with authentic species from around the world in their natural habitats.
Buffalo Zoo is committed to educating the public about the importance of animal and habitat conservation.
Check out this zoo's extensive and diverse collection of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
For locals, summer zoo camps are available for children aged 6 - 12 to learn more about the zoo's exotic species and the importance of conservation.
Student programs are available year-round for children and teens to learn more about specific animals, and private sensory-focused classes are available for toddlers aged 1 - 3 during the spring and fall.
Have a teenager interested in life sciences? Check out the Teen Life Sciences Career Lab, where your teen can gain hands-on experience in 6 different life science fields and even meet with a career mentor.
Address: 300 Parkside Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214
Located at Buffalo's waterfront, the unforgettable Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park is the nation's largest inland naval park.
With a focus on patriotism, inclusion, history, and what it means to be an American, Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park is one of the most unique places to visit in Buffalo.
The park features four decommissioned naval vessels from various periods in the nation's history:
Address: 1 Naval, Marina Park S, Buffalo, NY 14202
Niagara Falls is unsurpassed as the top natural site for sightseeing in Buffalo.
Open year-round, this national park features not only awe-inspiring scenic beauty but also miles of hiking trails and a visitor's center featuring interactive exhibits for children and adults of all ages.
For those who want to get up close and personal with the Falls, consider a Maid of the Mist boat tour - a ride on the double-decker ferry named Maid of the Mist.
During the tour, visitors are given a souvenir poncho to keep them dry while the boat takes them to an unparalleled view of the falls that can't be experienced on land.
For those wishing to experience the roaring falls but may be squeamish at the thought of getting on a boat, check out the Cave of the Winds.
Address: 24 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY, 14303
With 350 acres of rolling meadows and towering trees, Delaware Park is one of the best attractions in Buffalo to enjoy during the autumn months.
Stroll along the winding paths and soak up the natural beauty that will make you question whether you are still in a major American city.
Also known as Olmsted Park due to its distinction as a part of Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Delaware Park is nationally recognized.
In 2014, it was named by the American Planning Association as one of the Great Places in America, and in 2015 was ranked by The Guardian as one of the world's top 10 parks.
Explore Hoyt Lake with a self-guided tour and view the park's protected wildlife.
Take your family on a rowboat tour around Hoyt Lake - an adventure that both children and adults will enjoy.
Just make sure to reserve your tickets online, as reservations fill up quickly!
Address: 84 Parkside Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214
Open daily from 10 am - 4 pm, the Buffalo Museum of Science is one of the best places in Buffalo for science and nature enthusiasts.
Enjoy unforgettable exhibits on amazing arthropods, interactive displays on geology, and an up-close lesson on the science of animal skin preservation - and this event is only scheduled for one month!
Peruse the enormous collections of natural history, including life-size replicas of dinosaur skeletons and collections of insects, stones, paleolithic artifacts, and more amazing features from earth's history.
Explore science's inner workings with interactive exhibits for children and adults of all ages.
If you find yourself visiting Buffalo attractions in the fall, don't miss the museum's annual Bubblefest - a fun and interactive exhibit for the whole family to experience the science of bubbles, family-friendly bubble activities, and bubble crafts.
Address: 1020 Humboldt Pkwy, Buffalo, NY 14211
Forest Lawn Cemetery is a non-profit cemetery in New York that features not only beautifully maintained graves, historic buildings, and burial plots but has also been acclaimed for the award-winning tours of its sprawling grounds.
This idyllic park features breathtaking sculptures, art, and architecture that reflect the unique history and culture of the area.
Visitors can opt for a self-guided walking tour or sign up for a group tour (with a maximum of 20 people) by renting a private trolley or tour bus.
Tours are available from June to October and include the following:
Address: 1990 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14208
Situated at the heart of downtown Buffalo and often rated as one of the top things to do in Buffalo, the Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum features vintage automobiles from historic periods throughout the nation's history.
The museum is open Wednesday - Saturday from 11 am - 4 pm, where visitors have the option of either a self-guided tour or a group tour.
Check out everything this incredible museum has to offer.
With dozens of historic vehicles restored to their original conditions and fun facts about these cars, take a walk back in time with this family-friendly museum that adults and children of all ages will enjoy.
Address: 263 Michigan Ave, Buffalo, NY 14203
As the name of this historic monument suggests, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site is the iconic site where Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th President of the United States following the tragic death and assassination of President William McKinley in September 1901.
Tour the expansive grounds of this incredible museum and view collections and artifacts related to Theodore Roosevelt's life and presidency.
Also, check out the special exhibits and those dedicated to the social issues of Theodore Roosevelt's day - many of which parallel those of our own day and age.
Address: 641 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202
Art enthusiasts will enjoy this 19,000-square-foot monument to the late, great artist Charles E. Burchfield (1893 - 1967).
The Burchfield Penney Art Center features the largest public collection of art by Burchfield, with more than 25,000 drawings and 10,000 personal journal entries from the famed artist.
But Burchfield isn't the only artist honored in this incredible museum, despite its namesake.
Sixteen individual art galleries showcase the talents of other great American artists, such as Anthony J. Sisti, Charles Cary Rumsey, Margaret L. Wendt, and many more.
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am - 5 pm, except for Thursday, which is open until 8 pm.
Address: 1300 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222
Explore Buffalo's unique history with a visit to Buffalo City Hall, one of the most scenic man-made Buffalo attractions.
The 32-story building towers above the city and is an iconic piece of Buffalo's skyline, having been completed in 1931 in the Art Deco style of the period by architects John Wade and George Dietel.
A bronze tablet memorializing the late Mayor Roesch was sculpted by William Ehrich and added to the foyer of Buffalo City Hall in 1937, shortly after the building's completion.
Standing just shy of 400 feet tall, Buffalo City Hall is one of the tallest buildings in the western part of New York, and in 1999 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo, NY 14202
Among the most scenic spots in Buffalo is the Peace Bridge - an international 5,800-foot-long bridge that spans the Niagara River and effectively connects Buffalo, New York, with Port Erie, Ontario, Canada.
Every year, visitors flock to see this awe-inspiring wonder, with its five arches that seem to rise from the water with strength and grace effortlessly.
It is named Peace Bridge because it was built to honor 100 years of peace between Canada and the United States.
While the Niagara River's rapid current proved a daunting obstacle, architects and engineers forged ahead with the bridge's construction.
Construction first began in 1925 and was completed in the summer of 1927.
Now, Peace Bridge serves as a vital source of international transportation, with millions of trucks and cars crossing the bridge each year.
Address: 1 Peace Bridge, Buffalo, NY 14213
Part of the Richard Olmsted Campus, the Buffalo Psychiatric Center features double medieval towers with turrets and steep sloping copper roofs - which have, like the Statue of Liberty, turned green over time.
The towers were constructed more as decoration and not intended to house patients and, to this day, remain unfinished on the inside.
The Buffalo Psychiatric Center is considered one of the most beautiful and striking sights in Buffalo.
While the building is no longer a functioning psychiatric hospital, efforts to preserve and restore this historic building got it designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
Today, it is a famous tourist attraction for fans of unique architecture.
Address: 400 Forest Ave, Buffalo, NY 14213
Shea's Performing Arts Center (colloquially known as Shea's PAC) is one of the top places to visit in Buffalo for fans and supporters of the performing arts.
Featuring dozens of Broadway productions every season, Shea's Performing Arts Center offers unforgettable experiences in either of its three sections.
It is perfect for theatre-lovers who don't have the means or desire to travel to New York City for an authentic Broadway production.
Address: 650 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14202
For a scenic and laid-back sightseeing experience, consider booking a Buffalo River History Tour.
Enjoy a delicious meal and unparalleled scenery as your tour guide narrates the history of the Erie Canal - the largest grain port in the world - and its huge collection of standing grain elevators along the waterfront.
Hear the colorful histories of Buffalo's early residents, both locals and immigrants.
They worked in the grain industry and contributed to kickstarting Buffalo's rich economy and making Buffalo one of the wealthiest cities in the nation.
Explore the merging of various cultures as they come together to make this iconic American city one of the greatest of its time.
The tour is 90 minutes long, with visitors highly encouraged to arrive 30 minutes before departure.
Address: 44 Prime St, Buffalo, NY 14202
The Niagara Wine Trail is a must-see for all wine connoisseurs out there.
Featuring a collection of some of the region's finest wines, this attraction's 60-mile wine trail spans the nation's most tranquil countryside across Niagara, Monroe, and Orleans counties.
During your visit, explore the Niagara region's distinctive microclimate, which is comparable with the idyllic vineyards of Switzerland, Italy, and France.
These ideal growing conditions are perfect for growing the best fruits used in the region's most exquisite wines.
Open year-round, the Niagara Wine Trail is a place where you can taste a vast collection of fine wines, mead, and cider in family-owned vineyards.
Depending on the season you plan on visiting, many of the wines available include:
Also known by a plethora of names, such as Pilot Field, Downtown Ballpark, North AmeriCare Park, Dunn Tire Park, and even Coca-Cola Field, Sahlen Field is undoubtedly the place to visit for sports enthusiasts.
Its most treasured monikers are "The Jewel of Downtown Buffalo" and "The House that Jimmy Built" - in honor of New York State Senator James Donald "Jimmy" Griffin, who served as Senator during the ballpark's construction.
Home to the Buffalo Bisons and capable of holding up to 16,600 fans, this great ballpark is the highest-capacity Triple-A ballpark in the world.
It was built in 1988 with the intention of hosting Major League Baseball games.
Address: 1 James D Griffin Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14203
This vibrant neighborhood at the heart of Buffalo is the epicenter for local Buffalo culture.
With outdoor cafes, coffee shops, and public art displayed on every block, Elmwood Village has a hip vibe that resonates with many visitors and locals alike.
With fresh produce from local farmers' markets to handmade art to artisanal cuisine from some of the region's most talented, there is something for everyone in this popular neighborhood.
The American Planning Association named Elmwood Village one of the nation's best neighborhoods.
With a relevant scene and low crime rate, visitors can see why Elmwood Village is considered one of the best places in the city to set down roots.
Address: 875 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222-1433
The land on which St. Joseph Cathedral now sits was dedicated as the church's site in 1847 by the city's first bishop, John Timon.
Construction began in 1851, but frequent storms - especially one major storm from Lake Erie - delayed construction and destroyed many homes in the area.
It wasn't until 1863 that the building was finished and dedicated.
St. Joseph Cathedral is maintained to this day and currently still serves as the cathedral church for Buffalo's Roman Catholic Diocese.
Address: 50 Franklin St, Buffalo, NY 14202
For those looking for scenic attractions in Buffalo without having to sift through crowds and worry about timed tickets, the Tifft Nature Preserve is at the top of the list.
This protected reserve of 264 acres lies on the Outer Harbor, just minutes from downtown Buffalo.
Explore this urban sanctuary by viewing the region's natural wildlife and educating yourself on the importance of environmental conservation.
While the land was first purchased in 1972 and earmarked for a new landfill, concerned locals banded together and convinced legislators to consider the ecological impact of filling the land with trash.
Today, the expansive preserve is home to protected local wildlife.
Address: 1200 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo, NY 14203
Among the top things to do in Buffalo for architecture lovers, the Guaranty Building and Interpretive Center features a terra cotta facade and rows of glass windows in clean, succinct lines.
It was built by architects Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan and was completed in 1896. Today, it still stands as a modern architectural marvel.
Address: 140 Pearl St, Buffalo, NY 14202
No list of Buffalo attractions is complete without the Japanese Garden - a dedicated site located within an earlier mention on our list, Delaware Park.
Built as an initiative with Kanazawa, Japan, through the United States Sister City International, the Japanese Garden in Buffalo features authentic species of trees and shrubs directly from Japan.
Authentic Japanese art - including walkway stones and lanterns- provides visitors with a relaxing and reflective experience every year.
Address: 1 Museum Ct, Buffalo, NY 14216
A beloved Buffalo icon located at Canalside, Shark Girl was created in 2013 by artist Casey Riordon as part of a public art initiative from the Albright Knox Art Gallery.
Shark Girl is a go-to spot for taking selfies and group photos with friends to commemorate your Buffalo trip!
Address: Buffalo, NY 14203
Buffalo, New York, is known for a great many things. Due to its sheer number of outdoor parks, it is known as the City of Trees.
It also contains the second-highest number of houses designed by the late great architect Frank Lloyd Wright of any city in the world.
Buffalo is also highly esteemed for being a center of arts and culture.
According to American Style Magazine, Buffalo has been ranked fourth in its list of top American art destinations.
The best time to visit Buffalo is the summer - between June and September.
While many visitors come to the town during the spring and fall to beat the high crowds of tourist season, keep in mind that outdoor activities may be limited during the off-season due to cold weather.
Most seasonal exhibits in the area don't open to the public until late May.
Buffalo isn't nearly as difficult to drive around as many major American cities, making driving your own car or a rental an easy solution.
If you opt not to use your own car, Buffalo has an extensive and well-run public transportation network that should get you to most places throughout the city - though some attractions outside the city limits, such as Niagara Falls and the Niagara Wine Trail, are out of network for Buffalo's subway and bus systems.
Buffalo is just under 20 miles from Niagara Falls, making it a doable stop on your visit to this great city.
No matter your age, culture, or interests, there is something for everyone in Buffalo, New York. The sights in Buffalo are unforgettable and will last a lifetime, whether you are a New York state local, a frequent visitor, or if your trip to Buffalo is a once-in-a-lifetime deal. Make the most of your trip to this beautiful city by visiting as many of the attractions in Buffalo as you can. You certainly won't regret it!