One Day in BuffaloAAA editors suggest these activities for a great short vacation experience.
Morning Before you shuffle your way through Buffalo, hit the deck!—Buffalo City Hall’s observation deck, that is. The majestic 1931 Art Deco building at 65 Niagara Sq. is an impressive sight, and the view from the 28th floor is amazing and will give you a good sense of the city’s layout.
From City Hall, take Niagara Street north (part of the New York Seaway Trail) for a scenic drive along the Niagara River's tree-lined shore.
Looking for a great place to eat breakfast? Head 1 mile east on Forest Avenue to Pano’s on Elmwood (1081 Elmwood Ave.), a spacious diner with a comfortable atmosphere. Omelets and pancakes are on the menu, but adventurous eaters should try the savory chicken, beef or lamb souvlaki.
After breakfast, take a stroll down Elmwood Avenue, an eclectic shopping district with a mixed bag of independent clothing and gift boutiques, sweet shops, antique stores, trendy cafés and happening nightspots, many housed in historic Victorian, Italianate and Queen Anne abodes.
Afternoon Grab lunch at one of Elmwood Avenue’s many restaurants; you’re sure to pass one that appeals to your taste buds. Work off any excess indulgences with a walk to Delaware Park (84 Parkside Ave.), designed in 1870 by Frederick Law Olmstead; if the name seems familiar, it may be because he also designed New York City's Central Park.
Ramble through the 350-acre park and admire the scenery, which includes a rose garden, a replica of Michelangelo’s David and a tranquil Japanese garden. Find the Ivy Bridge, a stone pedestrian bridge that spans a small ravine; built around 1887, it’s the only structure from Olmsted’s plan that has endured.
Delaware Park is very close to a few of Buffalo’s finest attractions. Choose from the Buffalo Zoo (300 Parkside Ave.), one of many fun things to do with kids, or Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex (125 Jewett Pkwy.), both near the park's east side.
Are museums more to your liking? The Albright-Knox Art Gallery (1285 Elmwood Ave.), The Buffalo History Museum (1 Museum Ct.) and the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State (1300 Elmwood Ave.) are about 2 miles from the park’s western edge.
Evening For a special treat, make tracks to Oliver’s Restaurant (2095 Delaware Ave.), a tony trattoria appointed with a horseshoe-shaped bar, white tablecloths and a baby grand piano. The seasonal menu may include grilled spiced salmon, veal saltimbocca roulade and Magret duck breast with blood orange sauce. For the more budget-conscious, dinner at The Left Bank (511 Rhode Island St.) won’t disappoint. Brick walls and soft lighting complement this elegant bistro’s tempting dishes.
End your evening on a high note with a live show at an intimate jazz club or the acoustically pleasing Kleinhans Music Hall (3 Symphony Cir.), which hosts the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Or hit Buffalo’s theater district, centered on downtown’s Main Street. You might see a Noel Coward play presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Co. at the Andrews Theatre (625 Main St.), a theater-in-the-round, or catch cutting-edge off-Broadway-style plays at the Alleyway Theatre (1 Curtain Up Alley), housed in a former Art Moderne bus depot. All are fun things for couples to do.
If your idea of a night on the town calls for jeans, a T-shirt and finger-licking eats, head first to Anchor Bar & Restaurant (1047 Main St.) and sink your teeth into large, meaty Buffalo wings at the place that claims to be the treat’s inventor. Or try one of the Anchor’s competitors; Duff’s Famous Wings (3651 Sheridan Dr.) in nearby Amherst wins accolades for their generously sauced version.
After dinner, satisfy your appetite for national league sports at a Buffalo Sabres or Buffalo Bills game. Baseball fans aren’t left out in the cold; in the summertime, the minor league Buffalo Bisons swing for the fences, and fireworks ignite the sky after Friday night games.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
The sales tax in Buffalo is 8.75 percent. There also is a 3-5 percent tax levied on lodgings and a 6 percent tax on rental cars.
Time and Temperature
Buffalo General Medical Center, (716) 859-5600; Erie County Medical Center, (716) 898-3000; Mercy Hospital, (716) 826-7000; Sisters of Charity Hospital-St. Joseph Campus, (716) 891-2400.
403 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14203. Phone:(716)852-0511 or (800)283-3256
Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Hertz, (716) 632-4763 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
Amtrak has two connecting stations: one at Exchange Street near the junction of Main and Seneca streets and another on Dick Road, in Depew.
Greyhound Lines Inc. operates out of the Ellicott Street Bus Terminal downtown; phone (716) 855-7532 or (800) 231-2222. For New York Trailways information phone (800) 295-5555 or (800) 858-8555.
Cab companies include Airport Taxi Service, (716) 633-8294, and Queen City Taxi, (716) 874-5050. The base rate is $2.30 at flag drop plus $3 per mile.
The major Metro bus routes operate daily 5 a.m. to midnight. Service varies by route, but buses generally run every 20 minutes on weekdays. The base fare is $2; exact fare is required.