If you haven’t visited Buffalo, NY, you’re really missing out. It turns out this city – the second most populated in New York state – is having something of a renaissance. In recent years, the city has transformed into a must-see destination with rich history, an epic food scene, a gorgeous waterfront and so much more.
“Buffalo really is a hidden gem – or not-so-hidden, if you’re from the area,” says Lynda Marino, Marketing Director at Canterbury Woods Gates Circle. “I may be a bit biased, but I think Buffalo is the best city in New York state to visit. Not only is it a beautiful city in its own right, but it’s also a great base for visiting Niagara Falls and the other natural wonders nearby. Of course, the city has so much rich history that you could spend weeks here without even leaving downtown. It’s a perfect location for people of all ages and a great summer destination.”
We’ve put together some of the most historic (and most-beloved) Buffalo attractions for you to visit this summer. Whether you’re simply stopping in for a visit or are a native looking to explore the city you love further, here are some can’t-miss historic sites for you to enjoy.
Buffalo is a foodie’s paradise, and our most famous dish is something you’ve seen everywhere from dive bars to four-star restaurants: Buffalo wings. Pay homage to the delicious snack at Anchor Bar, the restaurant where it all started. According to legend, Dominic Bellissimo was tending bar one Friday night in 1964 and asked his mother, Teressa, to prepare something for his friends to eat. She took chicken wings (a part of the chicken that usually went into the stock pot for soup), deep fried them, flavored them with a secret sauce and the rest, as they say, is history.
1047 Main Street | Buffalo, NY 14209
Sunday through Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site is a National Parks-affiliated location and is the home where Teddy Roosevelt was sworn in as president in 1901. At this introspective and informative site, you’ll be transported back to the excitement of Buffalo’s heyday and the Pan-American Exposition, as well as the drama of September 1901. You can follow Roosevelt as he arrives in Buffalo, contemplates the major issues he will face, takes the oath of office and begins his presidency.
641 Delaware Avenue | Buffalo, NY 14202
Open daily (except Tuesdays)
Visits are by guided tour only.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Martin House is one of the must-see attractions in Buffalo. Located in a lovely residential area on the edge of Delaware Park, this house is considered one of Wright’s finest prairie houses and one of his greatest accomplishments from the first half of his career. The complex, which includes six interconnected buildings, was designed and built between 1903 and 1905. Today, it is a National Historic Landmark. Over the past two decades, extensive restoration and reconstruction has brought the property back to life, and the efforts are still ongoing.
125 Jewett Parkway | Buffalo, NY 14214
Grounds are open daily, and tours are available by appointment.
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
Olmsted’s 155-acre South Park, created in the late 1800s, is home to more than 2,000 plants and trees. Within the park is the 1894 Victorian-style, tri-domed glass conservatory building, originally opened for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, which is the centerpiece of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The unique glass, wood and steel design was based on the famous Crystal Palace and Kew Gardens Palm House in England. The indoor gardens include a fully restored palm dome and an impressive fern house. Year-round highlights include the orchid house, bromeliad house, herb collection, and waterfall. Some of the plants are native to the area, but most are native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
2655 South Park Avenue | Buffalo, NY 14218
Monday through Sunday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Colored Musicians Club Museum
The Colored Musicians Club is the only remaining African American club of its kind in the United States. In 1999, it was designated a historical preservation site. The Club is promoting historical research and the preservation of jazz in Buffalo. The club offers some of the best live jazz you can find anywhere in an intimate setting. It is open to non-members who want to share a love of jazz and are seeking a relaxing time in a friendly place.
145 Broadway | Buffalo, NY 14203
Museum hours are Thursday through Saturday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
See website for club events and music opportunities.
Forest Lawn Cemetery
This beautifully designed and landscaped cemetery is the only one of its kind listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and many greats have found their final resting place among the grounds at Forest Lawn, including President Millard Fillmore. Forest Lawn Cemetery is also at the heart of Western New York’s cultural tourism renaissance. Each year, it plays host to thousands of visitors who come to enjoy all that Forest Lawn has to offer: unmatched natural beauty – hills, valleys, lakes and streams; sculptural masterpieces (including the Blue Sky Mausoleum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright); living history.
1411 Delaware Avenue | Buffalo, NY 14029
Open daily from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Michigan Street Baptist Church
The Michigan Street Baptist Church has been a central part of the history and culture of the African American community in Buffalo for more than 150 years. It is one of the oldest properties in Buffalo continuously operated by African Americans. The building was erected in 1845 and became a legendary Underground Railroad station, providing sanctuary for hundreds of freedom seekers before they crossed the border to freedom in Canada. It was a central meeting place for abolitionists and anti-lynching activists. Over the years, the sanctuary hosted such greats as Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington.
511 Michigan Avenue | Buffalo, NY 14203
Canalside is a revitalized area of downtown Buffalo running along the canal, where locals and tourists can come to enjoy some green space, relax and take in some occasional entertainment. The area, the former terminus of the 1825 Erie Canal, includes a lovely park, with Adirondack chairs and benches looking out over the canal, and a walkway along the water’s edge. In the summer, a number of events are held here, and the schedule is posted in advance online, so you can see what’s coming. Along one side of this area is LECOM HARBORCENTER, with shops and a few restaurants, and behind is the KeyBank Center hockey arena. If you are arriving by boat, you can dock at Canalside on a first-come, first-serve basis.
44 Prime Street | Buffalo, NY 14202
To learn more about the historic sites in Buffalo, NY, as well as a more in-depth look at what our city offers visitors and residents alike, please check out the official Visit Buffalo Niagara site.
Continuum of Care
As a Life Care Community, Canterbury Woods Communities provide a comfortable environment and first-rate services to support every level of need. Assisted living apartments allow Gates Circle residents to benefit from additional support while maintaining their independent lifestyle, but if additional support is not needed, independent living is also offered at our Life Care Community. If skilled nursing, rehabilitation or memory care is ever needed, residents can experience the support they require at our sister community in Williamsville.
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