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City of Buffalo New York Amazes with A Growing Buzz of Change

Have you been to Buffalo lately? I’m not talking about the Fashion Outlet mall or the Walden Galleria mall. I’m talking about inside the city of downtown Buffalo? I confess I’ve only been to the city once before with a group of girlfriends, for a visit to the famous Anchor Bar, known as the bar that invented the Buffalo chicken wing. It was a quick trip into the city, I didn’t see much and didn’t know what there was to do in the city of Buffalo. So when the Buffalo Niagara tourism board invited me on a trip to discover some “off the beaten path” areas of the region to share with all of you, of course, I had to pack up my car and make the drive down to the city of Buffalo.

City of Buffalo New York – Change is Good

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In just a few days I got to experience a side of Buffalo New York that surprised me and inspired me. In fact, we saw so much during this short trip; it is too much to write in one post. So I’ll start with the City of Buffalo, there is a lot of new development happening in the city, and this is infusing many of the city’s existing neighbourhoods with renewed life.

Downtown Buffalo’s Buzzing Trendy Neighbourhoods

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Allentown

The Allentown neighbourhood in downtown Buffalo is one of the first trendy spots in town and has something for everyone. The street is lined with trendy dress shops for those looking to score some exciting fashions, while architecture lovers will love strolling up and down the streets to admire the colourful residential houses and other historic buildings. During the day, these funky shops with interesting street art painted on their walls sit in a quiet street scene, but then at night, Allentown transforms into a hip and happening neighbourhood where restaurants and eateries fill up with food and music lovers out to enjoy the great food and live music scene.

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Elmwood Village – Trendy Shops and Great Eateries

I can’t believe I didn’t know about Elmwood Village until now! This is a long street of trendy village shops, boutiques and eateries. A must visit for a great walk and do some shopping. Rising out of Allentown up Elmwood Avenue, explore the many boutique fashion shops, cool jewellery shops, small specialty bakeries and specialty food stores. There are also lots of great little eateries and cafes to enjoy a bite to eat while you take a break from shopping.

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Hertel Avenue – Buffalo’s Little Italy

Hertel Avenue is an interior decorator’s dream shopping destination! The street is full of stores filled with antique collectables, furniture, home decor and art. In the mix of all these shops and galleries are some amazing Italian bakeries and eateries which are packed with people. One of the highlights on Hertel Avenue is the restored North Park Theatre an old classic Hollywood movie theatre that dates back to the early 1900s. Sadly the theatre was closed when we visited so we couldn’t tour the inside. This theatre is modernized for digital films. It underwent a restoration both on the interior and outside to maintain it’s original glamour.

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Canalside Buffalo’s Beautiful Waterfront

Buffalo’s waterfront is undergoing a revitalization. There are lots of new developments which have opened now, that will take Buffalo to a whole new level. The new Harborcenter is spectacular and houses 2 NHL size ice rinks and a one-of-a-kind Tim Horton’s cafe with a tribute to Buffalo’s hockey history.

Despite the construction, you won’t see this waterfront covered in expensive condominiums. Buffalo’s waterfront today – is a place for everyone in the city to come and enjoy. We had a great stroll along the boardwalk and its beautiful community gardens. Canalside is a place to showcase outdoor art, live music in free weekly concert events. There are lots of water activities and games to participate in or relax in an Adirondack chair.

Looking for more to see and do in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York area? Check out these posts:

 

Buffalo’s Back!

I’m excited about what’s happening in the city of Buffalo today! In a short stay, I experienced terrific dining and visits to neighbourhoods that I didn’t even know existed. It is great to know that just a short drive away is a great and affordable weekend getaway.

Have you been to Buffalo lately or do you live in the city? I’d love to hear your favourite spots, share them in the comments below.

 Travel assistance provided by Visit Buffalo Niagara, however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Nice article. Came up to Buffalo in 1968 and never left. After 40 years of very little growth Buffalo seems to be a hot area to live in with a fair amount of growth and a minimum amount of destruction of its past. There are a lot of free concert series throughout the summer, Bidwell, Larkinville, Jazz in the park, great restaurants, and wonderful people. Winters can be tough but the summer and fall can’t be beat. Now if only the Bills can win.

  2. I’ve lived in Buffalo for 11 years and, like the other poster, I’m excited by all the growth and positive changes! Don’t forget to check out Shakespeare in Delaware Park! Take a selfie with Shark Girl at Canalside. Or take a bike ride with the Slow Roll Buffalo group. I recently took a tour where I climbed to the top of a grain elevator. And another where I toured the inside of the Richardson complex during the construction of Hotel Henry- a limited time opportunity to see the structure before it’s re-invented. And I’d recommend a side trip to charming East Aurora to check out Vidlers Five and Dime (the store fills a whole block) and try some of their great restaurants.

    • Wow. Thanks so much Lisa, I want to to all of it! I actually did visit East Aurora and wrote about it on the blog. I absolutely loved it and my stay at the Roycroft Inn. I’m excited to visit Canalside this summer and will look into these other tours! Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the great article and #BUFFALOVE !!! We too love our city!! I have lived in the city now for almost 14 years… and it is amazing to have seen and been part of its rebirth.

    There’s so much more greatness to come.

    Don’t forget to check out another national treasure, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House. Also, a 30 minute drive from the city is Frank Lloyd Wrights Graycliff Estate overlooking lake Erie. The last time I was there a few years ago, they had completed the exterior restorations and were starting on the interior. I can only imagine how it is now! In beautiful quaint East Aurora, there is also the Roycroft Campus… an homage to Elbert Hubbards Arts & Crafts Community he created long ago.

    Add in the tons of free concerts, amazing festivals… yes… we have cold, brutal winters… but that makes us Buffalonians really appreciate our summers that much more!

    Cheers!

    • Hi Tommy, yes I’ve visted one of the Frank Lloyd Wright properties, but not the Graycliff Estate. Thanks so much for sharing your favourites! I love your winters and had an awesome time this past winter (which I’ve written about on the blog) even during a famous Buffalo Blizzard! Love you city and can’t wait to visit again! Enjoy the fun at Canalside!

  4. It won’t be up and running until next year (2016), but be sure to check out Hotel Henry and the 100 Acres Kitchens—they’re being built in a sprawling, gorgeous 1880s psychiatric hospital (and national landmark). Sure to be a thrill!

  5. I love it in the summer where you can get on a “water taxi” at canal side for stops along the inner and outer harbor. Queen City Ferry offers an amazing tour with history of the waterfront.

  6. Visit on Friday, September 19th, and you can attend Curtain Up! It’s a celebration that launches the theater season in Western New York. There is a gala dinner at Shea’s Buffalo as well as events at all of the theaters and restaurants in the area.

  7. Love your article about the Rebirth of Buffalo. Next time keep going North along Delaware or Richmond to see beautiful old Victorian homes. This will bring you to the Museum District and Delaware Park ( location of the famous Pan-Am exposition) Around 1900, Buffalo was one of the wealthiest cities in the Country.

  8. Head south for the Botanical Gardens, Our Lady of Vuctory Basilica,Chestnut Ridge Park, Tifft Farm Nature Preserve and skiing at Kissing Bridge and Holiday Valley. Four Frank Lloyd Wright designed structures are a definite must see. Just to mention a few highlights of the area.

  9. Sailing enthusiasts must check out the Sailing Clubs available in Buffalo. Lake Erie is beautiful and challenging to sail! Try Sail Buffalo and experience their floating classroom and Green Houses offering fresh vegetables.

  10. Buffalo has a an excellent orchestra performing Kleinhans Music Hall which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark with an international reputation as one of the finest concert halls. There are also great art galleries (including Albright-Knox) and theatres (headlined by Shea’s).

  11. Don’t forget Gardenwalk weekend in late July. This event brings in visitors from all over the world, and it is well worth it with hundreds of private gardens (many of them absolutely gorgeous) opened to the public. Add in all the great restaurants and museums, and your weekend is made!

  12. I live in Buffalo and have always loved it, but am even more excited about all the revitalization and attention the city is getting. Next time head towards the other end of downtown and check out Larkinville. If you’re here on a Tuesday night you can go to a Food Truck Tuesdays’ and check out the awesome trend of food trucks in the area! There’s also a lot of upgrading on Chippewa St. with places like The Lodge, Bacchus and Chocolate Bar that offer fine dining and drinking to replace the nighttime club scene.

  13. We venture to Buffalo two-three times a year (from Toronto) and absolutely adore the city. It has charm, it has authenticity, the architecture is sublime (which, for the most part, they seem intent to preserve–UNLIKE our fair city). It’s wonderful to see it rebound. We particularly like the West Side of Buffalo, where many immigrant populations are opening stores, eateries, etc. I’d say the food is ok, however–room for improvement.

  14. It’s been too long since I’ve been there. Have to get back soon! We went to the Allentown Art Festival one year and it was HUGE. I’m particularly interested in Buffalo because, like Hamilton (where I live), it is a former industrial city reinventing itself.
    Lot of great historic architecture too!

  15. My only experiences of Buffalo prior to my 2 road trips this summer have been of the airport and the outlets. Now I know better!! I have since experienced some fabulous food, museums, architecture, and wandered some great little villages. My next trip back is to explore the Naval Pier and tour the battleship and submarine down by the waterfront!

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