11 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Buffalo
At the east end of Lake Erie is Buffalo, the state's second largest city, and one of the leading ports on the Great Lakes.The city is well known for its historical buildings. In the old Allentown district are many finely restored Victorian buildings now housing art galleries, boutiques, and small restaurants. From Buffalo it is not far to Niagara Falls, which can easily be seen on a day trip.
See also: Where to Stay in Buffalo
1 Darwin D Martin House
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this house is one of the top attractions in Buffalo. Built in 1904 for the Martins, this is considered the best of Wright's Prairie House era designs. The house is open to the public for tours.
Address: 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14214, United States
2 Shea's Performing Arts Center
Shea's Performing Arts Center is considered a fine example of the great movie palaces of its era. The center was built in 1926 in the Classic style with a Neo-Spanish Baroque interior. The ornate chandeliers and a marble-lined grand lobby are some of the notable features. Cornelius and George Rapp designed the Shea Theater. The building is listed as a National Historic Landmark and tours of the grand facility are open to the public. Some of the great performers that have taken to the stage here include Frank Sinatra, The Marx Brothers, and George Burns.
Address: 646 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202, United States
3 Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
Olmsted's South Park, the 1894 tri-domed glass conservatory building, and the Victorian-style gardens of plants are found within the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. 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. The indoor gardens include a fully restored palm dome and an impressive fern house. The gardens were originally opened for the 1900 Pan American Exposition. The conservatory's unique tri-domed glass, wood, and steel design was based upon the famous Crystal Palace and Kew Gardens Palm House in England.
Address: 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218-1526, United States
4 Coca-Cola Field
This baseball stadium features a metal roof, arched openings, and a turn of the century appearance through a rusticated stone effect. Coca-Cola Field is home to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, who are part of the International League.
5 Forest Lawn Cemetery
Forest Lawn was founded in 1849 and has over 250 acres. While the cemetery is visually beautiful, with water features, trees, and paths, it is also the final resting place of many famous people. Some noteworthy sites include the Blocher Memorial, and the President Fillmore grave site.
6 Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park
Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park is home to guided missile cruiser USS Little Rock (CLG-4), destroyer USS The Sullivans (DD-537), and Submarine USS Croaker (SSK-246). Visitors can experience how mariners and submariners lived and carried out their patriotic duties. Displays include aircraft, ship models and airplane models.
Address: One Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY 14202, United States
7 Albright Knox Art Gallery
The Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo is housed in an impressive Greek Revival building and features a strong collection of modern and contemporary art. Post-war American and European art is especially notable with such names as Gorky, Pollock, Warhol, and Johns. The museum shows regularly changing exhibits.
Address: 1285 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222-1096, United States
8 Delaware Park and the Buffalo Zoo
Delaware Park offers tennis, cycling and golf opportunities. It is also home to the Buffalo Zoo. The Buffalo Zoo features a Children's Zoo, gorilla troop, Indian rhinoceros, polar bears, and the World of Wildlife Building. The facility also maintains a solid collection of reptiles and amphibians. With both indoor and outdoor displays, more than 1,000 animals can be seen in their natural habitats.
Address: 300 Parkside Avenue
9 Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site is the spot where Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office on September 14, 1901. The site was renovated and upgraded in 2009 to include new exhibits. Visitors can learn about the history of this important moment in time and take a tour.
Address: 641 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202, United States
10 St Joseph's Cathedral
This Gothic Revival style church was built in 1851 by Patrick C Keeley. The Old Cathedral is home to a Hook and Hastings Organ which found residence here in 1877.
Address: 50 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY 14202-4098, United States
11 Liberty Building
The Liberty Building in downtown Buffalo was built in 1925 and designed by Alfred Bossom. The Neoclassical office tower was the largest of its kind in Buffalo when it was built and is still a standout building today, featuring two huge statues on the rooftop, both based on the statue of liberty. The Liberty Building is 23 stories tall and owned by the Main Place Liberty Group.
Where to Stay in Buffalo for Sightseeing
While the tourist attractions are spread out, if you are coming to experience the vibe of this city, the best place to stay is right downtown, where historic old buildings grace the streets and create a lovely ambience. Below are some highly-rated hotels in convenient locations:
- Luxury Hotels: For a quaint, boutique experience in the heart of downtown Buffalo, The Mansion on Delaware Avenue is just the answer. Set in a 19th-century, Second Empire style mansion, the hotel offers 24-hour butler service and top-end amenities at every turn. Inside the HARBORCENTER complex, home to ice rinks and restaurants, the Buffalo Marriott HARBORCENTER offers modern rooms, on-site dining, and a fitness center. Newly-built, The Westin Buffalo, with an excellent downtown location attached to shops and offices, promises modern comfort, fine amenities, and luxurious surroundings.
- Mid-Range Hotels: At the top-end of the mid-range category is the InnBuffalo off Elmwood. This boutique hotel, with large suites and beautiful historical touches preserved during restoration, is in Elmwood Village, a short drive from downtown but walking distance to local shops and restaurants. For a more modern experience, try the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Buffalo, featuring a pool and free parking, or the nearby Hyatt Regency, with large rooms, granite baths, and in-room refrigerators.
- Budget Hotels: Budget hotels are hard to come by in Buffalo's city center. Good options can be found a short distance outside of downtown. The Econo Lodge South offers decent rooms and reasonable prices and is about a 10- or 15-minute drive from downtown. A little pricier, but with a good location in downtown is the BEST WESTERN - On The Avenue, offering free breakfast and parking.