things to do in buffalo, visit buffalo, trip to buffalo
Hoyt Lake Walk, Albright-Knox Art Gallery || Photo courtesy of Jerry Kaczmarek via Trover

Buffalo, a city in upstate New York, was once among the wealthiest in the country, but is now overshadowed by its cooler cousin, New York City. Some might say Buffalo is a city past its prime, but thanks to spirited locals and a city-wide renewal plan, Buffalo is undergoing a renaissance moment.

The city is certainly unique so next time you’re heading to the Big Apple, check out some of these 5 things you can only do in Buffalo:

Witness an Architectural Rejuvenation in Progress

Buffalo was built during Gilded Age of architecture bolstered by Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Henry Hobson Richardson. However, during the urban renewal schemes of the 1960s and 1970s, Buffalo missed out and many buildings got torn down or fell into disrepair.

Buildings like Buffalo Central Terminal (dating back to 1929) and the Buffalo State Hospital have projects to make them fit for public use underway. Meanwhile, the old Hotel @ Lafayette and Larkin Square are success stories in bringing old buildings back to life.

Drive 20 Minutes to a Wonder of the World

How many places can you think of where you’re only 20 minutes away from one of the Wonders of the World? Visiting Buffalo means you’re a short journey away from Niagara Falls. Take a Maid of the Mist tour or bring your passport and head on a wine tour of Ontario’s beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake region.

Want to go a bit further afield? In an hour and a half, you’ll find yourself in Toronto, Canada’s biggest, most cosmopolitan city. You’ll get the same experience as New York City, but a heck of a lot cheaper!

See Mark Twain’s Original Manuscript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

In 1991, the first half of the handwritten manuscript was found in a trunk in Hollywood and was returned to the Buffalo Public Library. Apparently it was a case of a resurfacing of an overdue book! Huck Finn is one of the greatest American novels and you can see both halves of the heavily edited manuscript in Buffalo.

Visit the Building with the Second-Most Columns in the U.S.

Upon completion in 1905, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery boasted 102 columns — this number is second only to the U.S. Capitol Building — and became one of the oldest public arts institutions in the country. Once you’ve walked among the columns, explore the exhibition space which displays modern and contemporary art.

Eat Buffalo wings…in Buffalo

Sure, you’ve eaten Buffalo wings before, but you’ve never eaten them in the place where they were invented (Anchor Bar, 1964)! According to the TV show “Food Wars,” Duff’s Famous Wings does the best version of the deep-fried hot sauce snack.

While you’re at it, grab a handful of Sponge Candy for dessert. It crispy, it’s chocolatey and it’s uniquely Buffalo.

There’s more to New York state than New York City (it’s not even the capital!), and a lot of people are starting to point the finger toward Buffalo. Hopefully some of these activities will help you discover why!

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