Something to do every day of the year in Buffalo and Niagara Falls!! This is a long list of events, places, and things to do in Buffalo, and Niagara Falls, New York. This includes things to do in all of the 8 counties of Western New York. From touristy things to do to things only locals know about, this great list of 365 Things to do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY has something for everyone on it! If you are looking for what to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, this list is what you need!
When I started this list on my old blog 10+ years ago, I began with 75 listed items – nearly all cheap or free. Hubby and I thought about what we do in the area and listed those items. The following year, I called my uncle (who is a volunteer tour guide at the Historical Society), and he gave me a good 25 additional items. I had asked my father and grandfather for some ideas too, and I ended up with well over 100 things to do in (mostly) Buffalo.
365 Things to Do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY
A few years later, I asked my brother and his wife (then fiancée) for more additions, and between their advice, my nieces, and Sonny-boy, I was soon over 150 pretty inexpensive things to do in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Western New York. Along the way, suggestions came from readers about your favorite things to do in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, or in broader Western New York (more, please!!)
A number of years ago, I crossed 200 things to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, and a few ago, 250 things to do in Buffalo and Western New York were listed! Hubby and I drive around the area, take in the sights, and have a property in both Erie and Niagara Counties, so we do a lotta local stuff. Several years ago, 300 things to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York was achieved.
My goal was always 365 things to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls – something to do every single day of the year – but nothing crazy expensive. I can easily give you a restaurant or concert that will cost you $500 for two, but let’s face it… that isn’t practical for most couples or families. This list is mainly affordable things to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls (well, all of Western New York).
While the Western New York area may have a lousy winter reputation (and the best summer weather reputation in the continental US), the truth is there are many winter activities available in Western New York. From downhill skiing to cross-country skiing to skating to snowmobiling and ice biking (yes, that is a real thing!), Western New York has a lot of things to do in the winter months, as well as the summer months. And some people live for winter activities!
New York State is mostly rural. While many people think of it as a concrete jungle due to New York City, the truth is New York State is mostly farmland, forests, and waterways. While there are a plethora of indoor activities, New York State shines in the outdoor hiking, boating, and sportsman areas.
I have tried to mix up this list, adding more activities for adults as well as the family-friendly activities that this list has in abundance. From state parks to museums to architectural buildings and zoos, there is a lot to do in Niagara Falls, New York, Buffalo, New York, and all of the Western New York area! Planning a visit to Niagara Falls, Buffalo, or Western New York? Live in Niagara Falls, Buffalo, or Western New York and searching for something new or different to do this weekend? Well, be sure to check out this extensive list of things to do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, New York.
It is time for the 2023 edition of Things To Do In Buffalo and Niagara Falls with updated dates, new festivals, added landmarks, and more fun and attractions for the whole family to enjoy! Last year, I added a few wineries. While I have had the photos for the Niagara wine trail and Niagara county winery tastings and tours for several years now, I have yet to post them (and yet, I post a LOT of Finger Lakes Winery tasting and tours posts – smh). It may be a while before I get to the Niagara County Winery List (and the party bus aspect of it! Oh, the fun we have had on wine-touring party buses) – and I do have breweries on the list – so I figured – why not share some of my favorite Niagara County Wineries on this list?
If you are making a trip to Niagara Falls, don’t neglect the rest of Western New York. There is so much to do and see in this beautiful area that this list of 365 Things To Do In Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY, is just the tip of those wonderful places, spaces, and activities.
When people say “Buffalo”, they are usually referring to the eight counties of Western New York (Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming, Orleans, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegheny counties). There are so many things to do in Western New York that I cannot possibly list them all. I am once again concentrating on Erie and Niagara County, New York. At the end of this post, I do list some popular area attractions outside these two counties under “other” (and it is growing every year!) If you have anything you would like to see added to this list for Western New York attractions, please leave a comment, and I will update the list!
Buffalo, New York Places to Visit and Explore
● Buffalo Architecture – known worldwide for its world-class architecture, Buffalo is an architectophile’s dream from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fontana Boathouse to his Darwin d. Martin House along with the Preservationist Tours offered of Buffalo City Hall (with its great observation deck), the Richardson-Olmsted Complex (the old psych center) to Millionaire Row on Delaware Ave, there are hundreds of turn of the 20th-century buildings to be viewed in Buffalo in the surrounding areas. If you are interested, the Hotel at the Lafayette was restored a few years ago at a cost of over 40 million dollars. Buffalo Architecture is so outstanding the National Preservation Conference was held in the city in October 2011 to rave reviews! This is an excellent list of architecturally significant buildings in Buffalo and those that give indoor tours.
● Albright Knox Art Gallery – This is a world class modern art museum. Click here for free admission dates and events.
Note: Elmwood is closed for construction (scheduled to reopen May 25, 2023 Northland is open now
● Bidwell Market – Open Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm at the corner of Elmwood Avenue & Bidwell Parkway in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village.
● Bird Island Pier (aka Nowak Pier) – of all the area bucket-list things I have left to do, this is #1. You have to walk out when the water is a bit low and not overflowing the less built-up portions. Access is from Ferry St. This blog post offers up photos of what to expect.
● Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens
● The Broadway Market – established in 1888 on Buffalo’s East Side, the Broadway Market is jammed full of people Easter and Christmas week. Whatever you do, I do not advise going on Good Friday. Did that once, and never again… wow the crowds!
● The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society – This is the only non-government entity owning a presidential assassin weapon. While it is on permanent display, it is viewed by request only. Admission is free the third Friday of every month courtesy of M&T Bank
● Buffalo Audubon Society
ALL TRAILS OPEN: DAWN to DUSK
NATURE CENTER: Tuesday – Saturday 10AM-4PM Sunday, 12 Noon to 4 PM
● Buffalo Botanical Gardens Check out their calendar of events for organized activities for adults and for children.
● Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival in the Japanese Gardens in Delaware Park (behind the Historical Museum)
● Buffalo Christmas Tree Lighting – At Buffalo Place Downtown
● Buffalo Distilling Co – They make Polish Krupnik. Tastings, Tours, OneFootCocktails, Kitchen & Retail. Check the website for hours and to book a tour.
860 Seneca Street Buffalo, NY
● Buffalo Fire Museum – 1850 William Street Buffalo, NY 14206
● Buffalo Garden Walk – America’s largest garden tour, with a history spanning over 25 years. July29 and 30, 2023, 10am-4pm each day
● Buffalo Museum of Science – a year-round pass is the most economical way to see the Science Museum. Twice and it is paid for!
● Buffalo Naval Park The USS Sullivan made my list as one of the Top 10 Family Friendly Spooky Places in New York State. The Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park is the largest inland Naval Park in the country.
● Bike Friendly – If you like to Bike, Buffalo, NY is a very bicycle friendly city. There are dedicated bike lanes all over. Buffalo is currently listed as a Bronze Level bicycle-friendly city by the League of American Bicyclists. Read more at Go Bike Buffalo. Apparently, Buffalo hosts one of the largest tweed rides outside of England.
● Slow Roll Buffalo – Looking for something active to do in Buffalo? Slow Roll Buffalo is a free, slow-paced community bike ride that takes place every Monday. The event’s mission is simple: have fun exercising at your own pace. You’ll need to bring your own bike, and children under 14 are required to wear helmets (according to New York State law). Bring your bikes to Buffalo to enjoy this 10-mile leisurely ride! To maintain everyone’s safety, Slow Roll Buffalo utilizes a police motorcade. There are sometimes over a thousand riders, all of whom can ride without worrying about dangerous activity. This weekly event is truly safe and accessible for people of all ages!
● Buffalo Bike Tours leads food tours, history tours, and sightseeing tours.
● Buffalo Pedal Tours – Green Powered Bike Tours
● Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
● Buffalo Religious Arts Center
● Buffalo Riverworks – 359 Ganson Street, Buffalo NY, 14203 – so much starts here! From hockey to concerts and events, Buffalo Riverworks is really happening!
● Note: you can also take a tour of the Riverworks Brewery
● Buffalo Artisan Food Traders on Bailey Ave in Amherst.
● Buffalo Touring Company – Segway Tours
● Buffalo Zoo – This is the third oldest zoo in the country.
● Burchfield Penny Art Center – Across the street from the Albright Knox, it has really come into its own in recent years.
– Arts & Culture
– Artisan Market in the Winter Village at Canalside Upcoming events
– Celebrations & Festivals
– Music & Concerts
– Family Friendly Calendar of Events
● Central Terminal Tours – This is the old train station on the East Side. If you have never seen it, I urge you to take the opportunity and see what this Art Deco train station built just before the Depression began, looks like. My brother recently took the haunted tour and liked it (I am trying to get him to write it up for the blog).
● Candler Street Winter Market – 27-37 Chandler Street, Buffalo, NY 14207
Saturdays, November – April
● Chateau Buffalo – wine tastings in Buffalo. This is in the Niagara-Frontier-Food-Terminal, across from the Clinton Market, so you will want to do some fruit and vegetable shopping while in the area.
– 1500 Clinton Street, 175 Niagara Frontier Food Terminal, Buffalo, NY 14206
● The 43,000 sq foot Children’s Museum Explore & More Children’s Museum on the Buffalo Waterfront
● The Colored Musicians Club – According to my uncle (who frequents the club), your best night to go is Sunday at 8 PM. The other bands listed are practice sessions. You go in the door on the far left. Ring the “doorbell” buzzer and wait for the “click” then pull. Plenty of parking in the area.
145 Broadway, Buffalo, NY 14203
● Downtown Country Market – Thursdays from 10a to 2:30p, rain or shine, on Main Street between Court and Church Streets.
Pre-Season starts May 11, 2023
● E. M. Cotter – the oldest active fireboat in the world. Tours of the boat are by appointment only.
● Erie Basin Marina and Erie Basin Marina Gardens
● Explore Buffalo offers: Bus tours, Kayak tours, Bike tours, History courses, etc This is the Calendar of events. You can save money (if you plan on taking a lot of tours) with the explorer pass.
● Forest Lawn Cemetery Tours – Notable graves include US President Millard Fillmore, Seneca Indian Chief Red Jacket, as well as Song Writer Rick James. Fascinating and beautiful. Also see Blue Sky Mausoleum
● Frank Lloyd Wright Fontana Boathouse – Buffalo rowing boathouse on the Black Rock Canal. Photos are allowed inside and out.
● Flying Bison Brewery Tours – Tours are given at 6:00pm on Thursdays & Fridays, and on Saturdays at 1:00pm & 4:00pm.
● Forgotten Buffalo Bus Tour – Ethnic, Brewery, Tavern, and Media tours are offered.
● Founding Father’s Pub – Trivia Night, the first Tuesday of every month!
75 Edward Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
● The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame
● Harbor Center – 100 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY. Open public skating and open hockey is open year round. There are a lot of tournamnts, College hockey teams, hockey leagues, NHL Combine, NHL Draft, NHL Coacing Clinics and more held at the Harbor Center. Ice schedule is listed here, or call the Harbor Center.
● Ice Bikes – Combines the activity of riding a bike along with the ability to perform this feat while on the surface of the ice. Ice Bikes of Buffalo will give you a way to participate on the ice if you are not the best on ice skates.
● Irish Classical Theatre Company – 625 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
● Iron Island Museum Considered one of the Top 10 Spooky Places to Visit in New York State This is not considered kid friendly as there are confirmed sightings by Ghost Hunters, Ghost Lab, My Ghost Story, etc. In other words, it is haunted.
● Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum – is the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts and documents. There are 14 museums are located in 12 cities (Buffalo has 2 of the museums) 220 North Street, Buffalo, NY 14201 and 453 Porter Ave. Buffalo, New York 14201
● Kleinhans Music Hall – The home of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Kleinhans also has concerts for popular groups and tours.
● Larkin Square Food Truck Tuesday
● Live at Larkin Summer Concerts Larking square is a hotbed of activity throughout the year.
● Movies in the Meadow – Fridays in August, movies begin at dusk in Delaware Park behind the Parkside Lodge (84 Parkside Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214).
Parkside events calendar
● The Museum of disABILITY History
● Nash House Museum – 36 Nash St, Buffalo, NY 14204
Thursdays 11:30 – 4
Saturdays 11:30 – 4
Other days and hours by appointment.
● New Era Cap Flagship Store – the store has a decent amount of sports memorabilia if you are into looking at that sort of stuff.
160 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202
Open M-S 10-6, closed Sundays
● North Buffalo Ice Rink – public skating daily, limited skate rental available.
156 Tacoma Avenue, Buffalo NY 14216
● Olmsted Park System – Golf courses, running tracks, tennis courts, Japanese Gardens on Mirror Lake, swing sets and more. You name it and the Olmsted Park system has it.
● Outer Harbor Concerts The easiest access is with a water taxi.
● Parkside Garden and Architecture Tour
● Pierce Arrow Museum My father and grandfather both raved about this place! Apparently, it is a showcase for old Pierce-Arrows (duh) as well as early automotive inventions.
● Preservation Buffalo Niagara Tours
● President William McKinley Memorial Plaque – this is literally a plaque on a stone in the middle of a median near 35 Fordham Drive (the street across from McKinley High School) to commemorate where President McKinley was shot during the Pan-American Exposition.
● Pumping Station Pump House Tour – People come from all over the world for this one!
● Resurgence Brewing Co. – They do offer brewery tours
● Richardson Olmsted Complex – join their mailing list for tour and date events.
● Rotary Rink – outdoor ice skating at Fountain Plaza
● Shakespeare in Delaware Park performances are free (bring a lawn chair or blanket).
● Shakespeare in Delaware Park Fabulous Feast!
● Shea’s Performing Arts Center – this year’s events range from the Hamilton to Frozen.
● St Joseph Cathedral located at 50 Franklin Street, is currently the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.
● St Louis Church – 780 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202 My grandfather and my father were buried from St Louis. My niece and nephew were christened there. The photos online just do not do it justice. If you are on an architectural or religious tour of Buffalo, make certain to stop in. It is simply breathtaking.
● Cofeld Judaic Museum of Temple Beth Zion – 805 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY
● Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site – aka the Wilcox Mansion. This is where Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated after William McKinley was assassinated during the Pan American Exposition in 1901. Museum visits are by guided tour only.
● The Tiki Tours are booked out of Riverworks. When I first saw this, I knew I’d have to do it sometime! I have not yet gotten there, but it is on the “to do” list.
● UB Anderson Gallery – Martha Jackson Place, Buffalo, NY 14214
● Underground Railroad Tours – Trace the route black slaves used to make their way to freedom in Canada (remember if you plan on going into Canada you need a passport or enhanced driver’s license). Driving tour.
● War of 1812 Tour – Trace the group action during the war of 1812. This includes the US and Canadian destinations (remember if you plan on going to Canada you need a passport or enhanced driver’s license). Driving tour.
Buffalo Area Dog Parks
● The Barkyard – off-leash dog park located in LaSalle Park’s Off-Leash Area, Buffalo, NY. This is great for people with pooches who may live in condos or have small-ish backyards in the city. Be sure to read and follow the rules.
● The Paw Park – Amherst Off-Leash Dog Park – loacted at 550 Smith Road, Amherst, NY. Visit the site for the rules.
● Ellicott Creek Island Bark Park – 1 Ellicott Creek Dr.| Tonawanda, NY 14150 – this is on the small island and I often see the dogs sliding down the hill into the creek in the summer.
● Lewiston Dog Park – Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park
Lewiston, New York 14092
Buffalo Area Festivals
While there is a festival (or three) every weekend in the city of Buffalo and surrounding areas, these are a few of my favorite:
● Allentown Art Festival June 10th and 11th, 2023.
This was one of the premier outdoor art show events in the United States.
● Taste of Buffalo – Saturday July 8 (11-9) and Sunday July 9, 2023 (11-7)
– Delaware Avenue, Downtown Buffalo
– From Chippewa Street to Niagara Square
● National Chicken Wing Festival
Higmark Stadium, Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day Weekend – Buffalo, NY
Saturday, Sept. 2nd Noon – 9 pm
Sunday, Sept. 3rd Noon – 7 pm
Buffalo Water Activities
● Buffalo Cycle Boats – Buffalo CycleBoats is a perfect unique boating experience for any occasion. There is a 15 passenger boat, pedal, relax and enjoy the scenic Downtown Buffalo waterways.
● Buffalo Lighthouse – One of the oldest structures on the Great Lakes, the 1833 Buffalo Light is a beautifully resilient monument to Buffalo’s maritime history. Cooperation between the city, the US Coast Guard, and the Buffalo Lighthouse Association, Lighthouse Point Park resulted in the tours of the lighthouse resuming. This is one I would check their Facebook page to find out new tours and events.
● Buffalo Water Taxis are being operated by Queen City Ferry
● Hoyt Lake Rowboats – Delaware Park Lake
● Ice Bikes Single Rider $12 per half hour, located on the site of the old Memorial Auditorium
● Queen City Ferry Company – Queen City Bike Ferry is a link between Buffalo’s inner and outer harbor. The ferry service for bicyclists and pedestrians will run daily beginning Memorial Day weekend and will operate through Labor Day weekend. Boardings cost $1 per person each way, including bicycles. The vessel can hold up to 49 passengers and 25 bikes at a time.
Operates: Daily (Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend)
Hours: Monday – Friday 12 pm – 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8 am – 8 pm
Fare: $1 each way*
● Spirit of Buffalo – day and evening cruises on a classic 73 foot topsail schooner.
Things to do in Erie County
● Akron Acres – open for spring and fall school tours, has a country store, and is available for private events.
12607 Stage Road Akron, NY 14001
● Akron Falls – my niece was appauled I didn’t have this on the list (she got engaged there a few years ago – they love the place)
● Alpaca Odyssey – Tours (individual or group) are by appointment only– 2 to 3 weeks notice
8100 Marble Road, Akron, NY 14001
● Amherst State Park – 400 Mill Street in Amherst
● Fishing – Amherst State Park
● Nature View Park – Amherst
● Baird Point/Lake Lasalle – UB Amherst
● Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village aka Amherst Museum
3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst, NY 14228
● Cheektowaga Historical Museum – 3329 Broadway, Cheektowaga, NY 14227, Open Sunday 2-4pm
● Chestnut Ridge Park – with the Eternal Flames Trail and Eternal Flame Falls.
● Clarence Escarpment Sanctuary – a small nature trail (I drive by this all the time! It is so pretty!)
9575 Greiner Rd, Clarence, NY 14031
● Clarence History Museum – VERY limited hours.
● Eden Corn Festival – August 3-6, 2023
● Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum – 363 Oakwood Avenue
East Aurora, NY 14052 Open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June – October. Tours begin at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, and 3 pm
● Erie County Fair – August 9-20, 2023 This is the third largest county fair in the US, 10th largest fair in North America
● Erie County Fishing Map – places to fish in Erie county
Remember you need a New York State fishing license. You can get it online and print it out (they will also mail you one if you request it).
● Erie County Federation Snowmobile Clubs, Inc
● Explore & More Children’s Museum 300 Gleed Ave East Aurora, NY 14052
● Father Baker Museum – lower level of the Basilica
● Great Baehre Swamp Wildlife Management Area – hiking, trapping, and wildlife observation.
The primary purposes of the Great Baehre Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This 270-acre WMA is located adjacent to the Town of Amherst’s Conservation Park. The area consists of nearly 260 acres of shrub swamp, emergent marsh, and open water wetlands and approximately 10 acres of brush and grassland.
● Golf Domes: (for those that need to wack that poor little ball year-round)
– Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome – 175 Brompton Rd. Tonawanda, NY 14150
– The Dome – 8230 Wehrle Drive, Williamsville, NY 14221 (it is actually in Clarence, it just has the ever-popular Williamsville zip code)
● Glen Park 5565 Main St, Williamsville, NY 14221 No pets (which is sad). This is a beautiful little park located on Main Street in Williamsville.
● Graycliff – Summer home of Darwin and Isabelle Martin, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built between 1926 and 1931
● Hamburg Brewing Company – tours are available for a $15 fee, first come, first served (haha, get it!?)
● Healthy Zone Rink – roller hockey, ice hockey, skating
41 Riley St, East Aurora, NY 14052
● Holland Speedway – NASCAR Races
● Hot Air Balloon Rides
My grandfather took a hot air balloon ride for his 88th birthday. Ummm well, he was braver than I am!
● Balloons over Letchworth
● Libert Balloon ( Groveland, New York)
● Sky Sail (Ashville, New York)
● Hull Family Home & Farmstead
5976 Genesee St, Lancaster, NY 14086
A visit to the Hull Family Home & Farmstead will take you back in time to hear the many stories that can be told about the house, the family and the historic events that took place in the early 19th century. You can return time and again to observe the progress of the restoration of this landmark, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993 and is also on the New York State Register of Historic Sites. Visit us and learn the stories from first-person interpreters and through interactive experiences – in 19th-century fashion!
● Kazoo Factory – I think this is something to encourage your school to plan a field trip rather than you taking a day with the kids. However, if you are passing by Eden, it is interesting.
● Kelkenberg Farm – Clarence Center… they have had farm tours for a loooong time. Heck, I went with Sonny-boy’s kindergarten class 30 years ago!
● Knox Farm State Park – this is the former country estate of the Knox Family. 633 acres, Household pets only; on a leash, not more than 6 feet.
437 Buffalo Road, East Aurora, NY 14052
● Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway
● The Lackawanna Steel Plant Museum
● Made in the America Store – This is the only brick and mortar general merchandise store in the U.S. that sells exclusively 100% American made products. The story is interesting – the manufacturers need to send along certificates that all ingredients, components, the packaging, the glue for the boxes – everything to do with the product needs to be made in the USA. This is my trip to the main Made in America Store. They now have more locations, including the Eastern Hills Mall, Galleria, Blvd Mall, McKinley Mall and one in Niagara Falls.
● the Marilla Country Store – open contunously for retail operartions since 1851 (museum attached).
● Maple Syrup Tours – there are 438 Maple Syrup producers listed on the NYS Maple Syrup website. Many bigger producers have tours. You really have to enter your zip code for what is in your area. Tree tapping is big business as well as hobby-business in NYS. Heck, the people who used to watch our dog Max when we went on vacation tap their front trees, and they live about 5 miles from us!!
● Memorial Continental Flight 3407 – this is a memorial of the victims of passenger flight 3407 from Newark, New Jersey, to Buffalo, New York, which crashed on February 12, 2009, in Clarence Center, NY (50 fatalities, 49 from the flight, 1 on the ground). There were no survivors.
6038 Long St, Clarence Center, NY 14032
● Millard Fillmore Presidential Site – 24 Shearer Avenue
– East Aurora, NY 14052 Open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June – October. Tours begin at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, and 3 pm
● Our Lady of Victory – National Shrine and Basilica
767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna, NY 14218
● Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center – 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY 14043
● Sugar Shack – A working maple syrup production facility (sugar shack) and a working sawmill are also located here. These facilities are open to public tours and demonstrations when in season (free, permit required).
Hubby goes walking on these trails and was kind enough to take a photo for me a few winters ago.
● Tillman Road Wildlife Management Area – recreational observation – no hunting or trapping
Clarence, Erie County
● Vidler’s 5 and 10 – yeah, I know it is a store, but it is super cool… and besides East Aurora works really hard at quaint, and succeeds!
● Western New York Railway Historical Society – depots in Orchard Park and Williamsville
● Williamsville Water Mill – no longer working, but it is on the backside of Glen Park. Sweet Jenny moved into this space, and that is worth the stop!
Buffalo Area Beaches
● Evangola State Park
– Evengola Surf Report
● Lake Erie Beach Park – no pets
– Lake Erie Beach Park Surf Report
● Gallagher Beach – Outer Harbor, Buffalo, NY
● Hamburg Beach
– Hamburg Beach Surf Report
● Wendt Beach
– Wendt Beach Surf Report
● Woodlawn Beach
– Woodlawn Beach Surf Report
Things to do in Niagara Falls
One of the things locals do is use the Falls as a place where you take visitors. Are relatives coming into town? Niagara Falls. Is an old college roommate visiting? Niagara Falls? it simply is something we take for granted which is criminal as it is simply stupendous. There are not enough superlatives to describe the magnificence of Niagara Falls.
Sooooo when I first began this blog, I made it my mission to head up there once per season and take some photos to share. The links below are those photographs. If you are local, go visit Niagara Falls soon! And if you are from out of town, do make it a regional priority to visit.
BIG NOTE: The toll bridges on Grand Island have come down. However, there is still a toll. If you have an e-zpass it will be deducted from your e-zpass balance (just as if you went through a toll booth). If you do not have an e-zpass the registered driver of the vehicle will be mailed a bill. More details here. You can easily get to Niagara Falls by using Military/River Road/Niagara Falls Blvd and avoiding a toll altogether, but the vast majority of the people driving to Niagara Falls from points west or east drive over Grand Island.
● Niagara Falls Spring, 2013
● Niagara Falls Summer 2013
● Niagara Falls Autumn 2013
● Niagara Falls Winter 2014
● Niagara Falls at Night (from 2016)
● The Falls – Raise your hand if the only time you go is when out of town company arrives. Take a day trip and see how truly majestic The Falls are, and stay for the night-time lighting.
● If you have a passport or enhanced driver’s license something fun to do is walk across the Rainbow Bridge to Canada. I believe the cost is still $2. When you do, the flags denote the border between the US and Canada. Take your picture with one foot in the US, and the other foot in Canada. Sure it is touristy, but it is also kinda neat!
● Cave of Winds – Prepare to be soaked!
● Das Haus und Der Stahl, also known as Das Haus Museum, it is a small campus of buildings containing artifacts that represent the early years of German Lutheran settlers in Western New York originating from Prussia in northern Germany.
2549 Niagara Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14304
● Goat Island – Take the walk to see the Bridal Veil up close, as well as the American and Canadian Falls. Goat Island is the oldest state park in the US. Goat Island Photographs
● Maid of the Mist – You must go at least once in your life!
● Niagara Ledgends Adventure Theater
Discover the story behind the thunder at the Niagara Adventure Theater in Niagara Falls, NY, as the film, “Niagara: Legends of Adventure,” immerses you in action. See the majesty that inspired settlers and explorers to worship and challenge New York’s mighty Niagara Falls. Legends come to life on a new 45-foot large movie screen! This spectacular 30-minute presentation is now playing at the new Niagara Adventure Theater, located in the Niagara Falls State Park Visitor Center.
● Niagara Aerospace Museum – here is a bit about the collections.
Note: this is nowhere near the Falls; it is by the Niagara Falls Airport.
9990 Porter Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14304
● Niagara Falls Culinary Institute – cooking classes! When we took the class there was a couple from Maryland there too. So, not that odd for an out-of-towner to do.
● Niagara Falls Park, Goat Island and Three Sisters Islands pictures
● Niagara Gorge Discovery Center – 200 Robert Moses Pkwy N., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Note: the GPS address may now be different. The state dug it up and is now calling it the “Niagara Scenic Parkway”, but it is still in the same location. 😉
● Niagara Scenic Trolley
This guided Niagara Falls Trolley gives passengers an overview of the park and offers historical anecdotes, fun facts, and tips for checking out the park’s most popular attractions.
● Niagara Power Project Vista
Open 7 days a week, 9-5
5777 Lewiston Rd, Lewiston, NY
● Niagara Wax Museum
303 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
● Oakwood Cemetery
Calendar of Events offering Tours. There is a list of the residents on the website, including Annie Edson Taylor (the first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive).
763 Portage Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14301
● Rainbow Air Helicopter Tours
454 Main St, Niagara Falls, NY
● Railroad Museum of the Niagara Frontier
The Museum is open from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Saturdays only during the months of June, July, and August.
111 Oliver Street in North Tonawanda, NY
● Whirpool State Park – My father took us hiking here a lot when we were kids. I didn’t know there were stairs until I was ohhhh 21 or so…
● Click here for more Niagara Falls attractions.
Things to do in Niagara County
● Art Park – 450 South 4th Street, Lewiston, NY 14092
● Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima – 1023 Swann Rd, Lewiston, NY. My grandparents would go monthly. They thought the Basilica was beautiful.
● Becker Farms – apple picking, hay rides, corn maze, wedding, and more. Becker Farms is no longer cheap, but it is an entertaining day for the entire family.
● Blackman Farms – Apple picking, cider, and you can pick out your Thanksgiving turkey at the same time.
4472 Thrall Road
Lockport, NY 14094
● Bedford Beach, Somerset, New York
● Castellani Art Museum – 5795 Lewiston Rd, Niagara Univ, NY 14109
● Golden Hill State Park
9691 Lower Lake Rd, Barker, NY
● Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum – 180 Thompson St. North Tonawanda. Open Wednesday through Sunday from Noon until 4 PM.
● Niagara County Historical Society – The Outwater Memorial Building, 215 Niagara Street, Lockport, NY, is the headquarters for the Niagara County Historical Society. This 1863 brick home features a Victorian Parlor, Historic Pantry, Old Toy Room, the Civil War Room, and a Changing Exhibit Room. The Erie Canal Discovery Center, 24 Church Street, and Col. William Bond/Jesse Hawley House, 143 Ontario Street, are also part of the Niagara County Historical Society museum organization.
● Freedom Crossing: The Underground Railroad in Greater Niagara located in the Castellani Art Museum
● Joseph Davis State Park – fields, fishing, ponds. Household pets only (6ft lease or in a crate), pets are not allowed in buildings.
4143 Lower River Road, Lewiston, NY
● Lewiston Art Festival
Saturday, August 12, 2023 – 10 AM-6 PM
Sunday, August 13, 2023 – 10 AM-5 PM
● Lockport & Erie Canal Tours – Warning, this really is a slow boat!
● Lockport Locks Heritage District
– Lock Tenders Tribute Monument
– Locks District Museum
– Riley’s Way Walking Tour
● Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride
5 Gooding Street, Lockport NY
● Marble Orchard Historic Walking Tours – Lewiston, NY
● New York Beer Project 6933 Transit Road, Lockport, NY 14094 For “insider information:, visit their blog.
● Niagara County Down Under – Kangaroo Petting Zoo.
● Niagara County Fair – August 2-6, 2023
4487 Lake Avenue (Route 78) Lockport NY 14094
● Niagara River Fishing – my cousin came up a few years ago to salmon fish. Apparently, the lower Niagara River is BIG salmon fishing in the United States. Who knew!? Here is the lower Niagara River fishing access map.
Remember, you need a New York State fishing license. You can get it online and print it out (they will also mail you one if you request it).
● Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo
● Walleye Challenge August 19, 2023
● Niagara County Bullhead Tournament April 14-16, 2023
● Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby May 5-14, 2023
● Wilson Harbor Invitational Salmon Tournament May 20-21, 2023
● Skip Hartman Memorial Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament June 2 and 3, 2023
● Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. King Salmon Tournament July 15-16, 2023
● Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby
● Niagara County Snowmobile Clubs – join one of these and stop trying to cut through Hubby’s hunting land. Snowmobiling, when it is a hunting season, and there are “posted” signs in areas that are not your property, and cutting through fences so you can snowmobile, is just plain stupid. The snowmobile club of Niagara County will definitely tell you where it is safe and allowable to snowmobile.
● Newfane Historical Society
– Van Horn Mansion – 2165 Lockport-Olcott Rd. Burt, NY 14028
– Country Village – 2685 West Creek Rd. Newfane, NY 14108
● North Tonawanda Botanical Gardens
1825 Sweeney Street, North Tonawanda, NY 14120
● North Tonawanda History Museum – I’d call them before heading over. Without getting into too much gossip, they looked at one of Hubby’s properties for a new location. I have no idea where they are based these days.
● Olcott Beach – Cute shops, a beach, and an adjacent park to picnic. I honestly can’t imagine swimming there, as Lake Ontario is never warm! Don’t forget Krull Park
● Olcott Beach Carousel Park – 25¢ rides
● Olcott Beach Free Movie Nights
● Olcott Pirate Festival
The Festival has free admission and free parking. Tickets for the rides are $1 for 1 ticket, $15 for 20 tickets, $30 for 45 tickets, $19 for a wristband. Ride wristbands are usable for the day on which they were purchased. Family meal plans are available.
● Olcott Beach and Newfane have a new Calendar of Events that is really comprehensive! They switched up their website – you now scroll down the front page and use the buttons to see what events are on tap.
● Old Fort Niagara – I’ve gone during the spring, summer, and for the haunting in late October. Old Fort Niagara made my list as one of the Top 10 Family Friendly Spooky Places in New York State.
● Ransomville Speedway – stockcar racing
● Reservoir State Park – part of the park is an overlook for the Robert Moses Power Plant Reservoir. Fishing allowed.
Town of Niagara Route 31
● Sanborn Area Historical Society
– The Schoolhouse Museum is located at 2822 Niagara Street. Sanborn, NY.
– The Farm Museum is located at 2660 Saunders Settlement Road (Route 31). Sanborn, NY.
● Town of Somerset New York Historical Society Babcock House Museum
7449 Lake Road, Appleton, NY 14008
● Transit Drive-in – with a bit over 300 drive-ins left in the United States, there are several in Western New York. The Transit Drive-in has five screens, is the largest drive-in theater in NYS, and is located at 6655 S Transit Rd, Lockport, NY 14094. The website recommends arriving an hour early due to lines. As someone who has driven by on a Friday and Saturday evening only to see the line to get into the screen will be backed up a mile or so, I agree with that recommendation! Sonny-boy still goes to the drive-in fairly frequently and says the Transit Drive-in is still a great experience.
● Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse located in Golden Hill State Park
● Tiffany Window Tour
First Presbyterian Church
21 Church Street
Lockport, NY 14094
Tiffany Windows tours take place year-round by appointment and during the summer months Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Please call or email at least 48 hours in advance to schedule these tours (but we would prefer a week’s notice). You are welcome to attend our worship services and take a self-guided tour after the worship service has concluded! Worship services take place at 8:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., except in July and August when they take place at 10:00 a.m.
● Whirpool Jet Boat Tour – a tour of the Niagara River (NOT Niagara Falls)
● Wilson-Tuscarora State Park – 476.5 acres of mature woods, open meadows and marshland
Niagara County Wineries
Here are a list of wineries that are listed on the Niagara Wine Trail The ones listed are some of my (or my wine tasting buddies) favorites.
● Freedom Run Winery – of the approximately 15 Niagara County Wineries I have visited, this is my favorite. It also happens to be the closest winery to where I live – pretty convenient! My favorite is the Meritage Appassimento Estate. Very, very nice wine. The set-up is very nice, and they offer a limited menu of food.
5138 Lower Mountain Rd, Lockport, NY 14094
Consult website for the hours as they vary by season.
● Victorianbourg Wine Estate – do not let the exterior fool you; this is a hidden gem of a winery. Mobbed every time we go, they offer some light selections at very reasonable prices.
4402 East Lake Road Wilson, NY 14172
Consult website for hours
● A Gust of Sun Winery and Vineyard – they do some mulled wine type items, by the glass as well as tasting. While not a personal favorite, we have friends who simply adore this winery so we stop whenever we go on a wine-tasting hop with them.
4515 Baer Rd, Ransomville, NY 14131
Consult their website for hours, as they vary by season.
● Black Willow Winery – wine and mead. They do wine and chocolate pairings and you can just purchase the truffles if you like (which we have done).
5565 West Lake Road
Burt, NY 14028
● Niagara USA Wine Festival
July 1, 2023
Downtown Niagara Falls
● The Niagara Wine Trail Harvest Festival September 23 – 24, 2023
● The Niagara County Hollowine Tour October 21, 2023
Buffalo, Niagara, Western New York, Garden Tours
I went to Plantasia a few years ago, and they were all about the garden walks (well, and selling stuff… which I LOVED!!)
These garden tours are generally free and self-guided. Some ask for a small donation, but as with all donations, it is not required. Click on the website for areas, times, and any updates.
● Amherst Garden Walk
Saturday, July 8, 2023, and Sunday, July 9, 2023 (10-4)
● Buffalo Black Rock Garden Tour
● Buffalo East Side Garden Walk
● Garden Walk Buffalo
July 29 and 30, 2023, 10 am-4 pm each day
● City of Tonawanda Garden Walk
July 14 and 15, 2023
● Hamburg Garden Walk
Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9, 2023 (10-4)
● Lancaster Garden Walk
● Lewiston GardenFest
Saturday, June 17, 2023, 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday, June 18, 2023, 10 am – 5 pm
● Lockport in Bloom
July 14-16, 2023
● Open Gardens
Thu, Jul 6, 2023
● North Tonawanda Garden Walk
Saturday, July 8 and 9, 2023 (10-3)
● Snyder-CleveHill Garden View
● Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk Buffalo (UB area)
Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16, 2023 (10 am – 4 pm)
● Springville Concord Garden Club Walk
Saturday, July 8, 2023
● West Seneca Garden & Home Tour (part of open gardens Friday)
● Village of Williamsville Garden Walk
Professional Sports Teams
● Buffalo Bandits (Lacrosse)
● Buffalo Bills (Football)
● Buffalo Bisons (AAA Baseball)
● Buffalo Sabres (Hockey)
Other WNY Counties
● Alabama Swamps now known as the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. Here are the swamp trail maps, and here they are in pdf form.
● Allegany County Fair
July 17-22, 2023
● Allegany State Park Red House
● Allegany State Park Quaker Area
● Allen Lake State Forest – the 2,421-acre Allen Lake State Forest features a 58-acre Allen Lake, hiking trails, camping, fishing, boating, and more!
● Allenberg Bog – also known as Waterman’s Swamp, Congdon’s Pond, and Owlenburg Bog located on the border of Napoli and New Albion, New York in Cattaraugus County. 390 acres, includes two glacial kettle ponds with bogs, walking trails, and er, bogs.
● Amish Trail and Mennonite Stores:
Check out these two stores:
– Miller’s Bulk Food and Bakery – 10858 Ridge Rd, Medina, NY 14103 (the bacon is $3.49 a pound and sooo good!)
– Lantz Bulk Foods – 5673 State Route 20A E. Warsaw, NY 14569 (I have a GIANT, cheap collection of special decorative baking sugars and sprinkles!)
● Arcade & Attica Railroad – We went yearly when Sonny-boy was young – he absolutely loved it!
● Audubon Community Nature Center – 600-acre wetland preserve that includes over five miles of trails, a native tree arboretum, picnic areas, a natural play space, and educational gardens for you to explore daily from dawn until dusk.
1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, NY 14701
● Beaver Meadow – 324-acre nature preserve in North Java, NY.
● Bemus Point – Stowe Ferry – Traversing Chautauqua Lake for over 200 years, the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry is a slow, scenic way to cross the lake by car, motorcycle or on foot. 4-9 on Friday evenings, 1-9 Saturday & Sunday, 12-4 on holidays.
● Busti Apple Festival
September 24, 2023 (11am-5pm)
● Cattaraugus County Enchanted Mountains
● Cattaraugus County Fair
July 30th – August 5th, 2023
501 Erie Street, Little Valley, NY
● Chautauqua Belle – Steamship, Pirate, Fireworks and Cocktail Cruises
● Chautauqua County Fair
July 18-23, 2023
Dunkirk, NY (opens at 9am)
● Chautauqua County Historical Society and McClurg Museum
● Chautauqua-Lake Erie Art Trail
● Darien Lake – There is an Six Flags amusement park, concerts and camping.
● Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse & Veterans Park Museum
● Ellicottville Brewing Co. – To take a tour, click here Brewery Tours Friday-Sundays, Noon, 2pm and 4pm.
28 Monroe St. Ellicottville, NY 14731
● Ellicottville Distillery – corn whiskey and vodka. To take a tour contact them.
5462 Robbins Road Ellicottville, NY 14731
● Ellicottville Rodeo – The Ellicottville Championship Rode
June 29 – July 1 at 7PM with fireworks.
July 2 at 2PM. (Gates open 2 hours prior to each rodeo)
6319 Sommerville Valley Road, Ellicottville, NY 14731
● Ellicottville’s Fall Festival
October 7-8, 2023
– Monroe St, Ellicottville, NY
● Taste of Ellicottville
August 12-13, 2023
● Fenton History Center
67 Washington Street in Jamestown, New York
● Genesee County Fair
July 22-29, 2023
5056 East Main Road Batavia, NY 14020
● Genesee County Village and Museum
● Gooseneck Hill Waterfowl Park & Sanctuary is the World’s largest waterfowl sanctuary.
5067 Lindsley Rd, West Valley, NY 14171
● Griffis Sculpture Park open from May 1 to October 31, dawn to dusk.
6902 Mill Valley Road, East Otto, NY 14729
● Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area – Hanging Bog WMA is located approximately 6 miles north of the Village of Cuba in Allegany County. The landscape is made up of rolling hills, extensive forests, and small fields.
● Hidden Valley Adventure Animal Park – 2887 Royce Rd, Varysburg, NY 14167
Hidden Valley Animal Adventure is a four-season destination that is centrally located between the major cities of Buffalo and Rochester, New York, and close to major attractions such as Letchworth State Park, Darien Lake, and Niagara Falls.
Our Wild Game Safari Park Tours are offered from May through October. This hands-on experience is great for people of all ages, from kids to adults. Guests take a 55-minute guided safari tour through the park that features over 300 animals and more than 40 species. Each guest receives a cup of grain when boarding, and the tour makes various stops to feed the animals. The tour includes admission to our Small Animal Adventure, where visitors get an even closer look and chance to interact with our smaller animals.
● Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (Alabama Swamps)
● Jamestown Audubon Nature Center
● Jell-O Gallery – the Jell-O Museum because Jello-O was invented here.
● Letchworth State Park – Absolutely beautiful. Here are my Letchworth State Park photographs.
● Balloon Rides over Letchworth
● LeRoy Historical Society where you can visit the Jell-O Museum/Gallery
● Lily Dale – also make my list of Top 10 Spooky Places to Visit in New York State.
● Lucile M. Wright Air Museum
300 N Main St, Jamestown, New York 14701
● Lucy- Desi Museum – because Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, NY.
● Midway State Park – Rides & Arcade
● Nannen Arboretum – trails, herb garden, nature gardens, Ryoanji Temple Stone Garden, and nature sanctuary.
– 28 Parkside Drive PO Box 1016 Ellicottville, NY 14731
● National Comedy Center – The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York, is the first state-of-the-art museum dedicated to telling the vital story of comedy in America. More than 50 immersive exhibits take visitors on an interactive journey through comedy history, from early vaudeville acts to the latest viral memes.
203 West Second Street, Jamestown, NY 14701
● City of Olean Public Ice Skating – limited rental skates, learn to skate program
● Orleans County 4-H Fair
12690 Route 31 Albion, NY 14411
● Panama Rocks – A half-mile long ridge of 60-foot high rock forming crevices, passageways, and caves hidden in an ancient forest!
My brother went last year, and this is his advice: wear boots, 60′ drops (you have to sign a waiver), $8 per person ($8.25 if you charge it)
● Rock City Park – 505 Route 16 South, Olean, NY. 14760
● Roger Tory Peterson Insitute of Natural History – connects people with nature through Art, Education and Conservation
– 311 Curtis Street, Jamestown, NY 14701
● Salamanca Rail Museum – 170 N Main St, Salamanca, NY 14779
● Seaway Trail – Here’s a map of how little or how much you can travel it.
● Seneca-Iroquois National Museum – 814 Broad Street, Salamanca, NY 14779
● Sprague’s Maple Farms Tours 1048 RT 305, Portville, NY 14770
● Udderly TopNotch Nigerian Dwarf Goat Farm
3995 Bucktooth Run Rd, Little Valley, NY 14755
● Wyoming County Fair
August 12-19, 2023
Wyoming County Fairgrounds
Pike, NY 14130
● Zoar Valley – If you are into hiking, this is a great place.
Western New York Skiing, Snowmobiling, and Snowboarding Places
● Art Roscoe Cross Country Ski
2996 Asp Route 1 , Salamanca, NY 14779, Salamanca, NY 14779
● Bristol Mountain – (this is actually outside of Western NY, but why not?)
5662 Route 64, Canandaigua, NY 14424
● Byrncliff Golf Resort & Banquets
2357 Humphrey Road, Varysburg, NY
Nestled in the rolling hills of Wyoming County, it offers a scenic, fun, and challenging public 18-hole par 72 golf course, 20K of groomed skiing tracks (rentals available) , great amenities, and warm hospitality.
Voted Buffalo’s Best Golf Course | Best Cross Country Skiing in Western New York | One of America’s Top Snowmobiling Pitstop | 4.4 stars on Google Reviews
Just 35 minutes South of Buffalo, NY – 1 hour from Rochester – the Closest Golf Resort in Canada
● Buffalo Ski Center
7414 State Road, Colden, NY 14033
● Erie County Federation Snowmobile Clubs, Inc
● Holiday Valley – they also have golf, mud sliding, and ziplining outside of the winter season.
6557 Holiday Valley Road, Ellicottville, NY 14731-0370
● HoliMont – members only. North America’s largest private ski resort.
6921 NY-242, Ellicottville, NY 14731
● Kissing Bridge
10296 State Rd. Glenwood, NY 14069
● Niagara County Snowmobile Clubs – join one of these and stop trying to cut through Hubby’s hunting land. Snowmobiling, when it is a hunting season, and there are “posted” signs in areas that are not your property, and cutting through fences so you can snowmobile, is just plain stupid. The snowmobile club of Niagara County will definitely tell you where it is safe and allowable to snowmobile.
● Peak n’ Peak – they also have golf and ziplining outside the winter season.
1405 Old Road, Clymer, NY 14724
● Swain Resort
2275 County Rd 24, Swain, NY 14884
● Snowshoeing Trails – this is all of NYS. Pick a town, and it gives you a snowshoe trail.
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