Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief

A trip to Buffalo had me in disbelief, crushing all my preconceived notions about the area.

Snowy. Isolated. Cold. These three words easily came to mind when I used to think of Buffalo, New York. This city in western New York, near Lake Eerie and southeast of Toronto, Canada, is infamous for its cold temperatures and abundance of snow.

On my first date with Dan, I asked, “Where are you from?” He replied, “Buffalo.” And my immediate reaction was, “Buffalo wings and snow,” though I dare not say it, knowing that was perhaps a naive reaction.

Last summer we traveled north for a few days and I had a wonderful time. Can you believe it? It’s a delightful place to visit that has SO MUCH MORE to offer than it’s stereotypical reputation leads one to believe.

Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief on Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of a "hello" house in yellow and blue in East Aurora, New York.

East Aurora, a Fantastic Suburb of Buffalo

We stayed in the charming town of East Aurora. It’s an easy drive, 20 miles from the city center of Buffalo. The city is incredibly charming; it’s where the Arts and Crafts movement first began flourishing in North America. We booked an Air BnB for a few nights so our stay hit our desired budget. (Also, admittedly, our decision was made easier because the NHL draft was taking place in Buffalo that week and all the hotels were sold out.)

There’s a good amount to do and see in this town. It is centered around their “Main Street,” like any good ‘ole American city. We tapped our feet to live music and sipped cocktails one Friday night at the Roycroft Inn. It was a highlight for me.

Don’t miss a stop in Muse Jar art store, where I took this fun photo with a mural of birch trees. They also have fantastic art classes throughout the year.

Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief on Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of Muse Jar art store birch trees mural in East Aurora, New York.

We had breakfast at Taste and lunch with a charming porch view at Rick’s on Main. Vidler’s 5 & 10 took us back to yesteryear; it’s a classic shop in a small town, with one-stop-shopping for anything from children’s’ toys to gardening tools, to candy and clothing. For other entertaining shopping check out Four Bees Honey Cottage. (It’s so cute!)

Don’t Miss Bar Bill in East Aurora

Craving wings? Anchor Bar may be famous for inventing them but Bar Bill Tavern has been voted Buffalo’s favorite wings several years in a row. Another food classic from Buffalo is called “Beef on Weck.” You must try it if you eat meat! It is a roast beef sandwich served on a kaiser roll dotted with rye seeds and salt. Horseradish is optional but it’s not quite the same sandwich without it.

Note: Bar Bill does not accept credit cards so ensure you have cash to pay for your check.

Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief with Bar Bill Tavern photos on Sometimes Home travel blog.
Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief with Bar Bill Tavern photos of Buffalo wings on Sometimes Home travel blog.
Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief with Bar Bill Tavern photos of Beef on Weck on Sometimes Home travel blog.

Letchworth State Park

We had a lovely afternoon journeying through this behemoth of a park, located between Buffalo and Rochester. It’s considered the “Grand Canyon of the East.” It was easy to see why it’s been given such a complimentary nickname: the Genesee River runs through it creating waterfalls to behold and hiking trails to enjoy (66 miles of them to be exact).

Pack a picnic, come equipped with plenty of water and enjoy a picturesque morning or afternoon here.

Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief on Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of Letchworth State Park, Grand Canyon of the East.

Downtown Buffalo

I couldn’t leave the area without finding a BUFFALO. Would you be surprised to learn actual buffalos aren’t roaming free in the region? I have to say I was a bit disappointed I didn’t see a single one…until we visited the downtown area! There we were, walking near the waterfront and BAM – Buffalooooo! Okay fine, it was fake. But hey, it was magic to me! Be sure to walk along the waterfront and see if any events are happening at Canalside while you’re there.

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Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief on Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of a Buffalo statue in the downtown area of the city near Canalside waterfront.

We’re always on the hunt for awesome street art in any area so the downtown neighborhood of Allentown was one I was looking forward to spending time in.

It has an all-around boho vibe with colorful houses, fascinating murals and great eateries.

Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief on Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of a peacock mural in the city's downtown area of Allentown.Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief on Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of a pink, blue and purple house in the city's downtown area of Allentown. Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief on Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of colorful mural in the city's downtown area of Allentown.

Buffalo State Area

We took a short drive north of downtown to explore the Buffalo State area. I adored taking photos in front of the Albright Knox Art Gallery and Delaware Park across the street.

Be sure to access their free self-guided audio tour. Their rose garden’s a beautiful place to take in spring or summer and rest your feet if it’s the right time of year. We also enjoyed driving south along Elmwood Avenue for a little people watching and viewing of posh restaurants and shopping. Next time we’ll definitely have a meal here.

Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief on Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of Albright Knox museum in the Buffalo state area on Elmwood Avenue.
Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief on Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo with a sculpture at the Albright Knox museum in the Buffalo state area on Elmwood Avenue.

Darwin Martin House

We wanted to move into the Darwin House immediately after seeing it – unfortunately it wasn’t for sale! I fell fast and hard for this historic home in Buffalo, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Dan loves his architecture too. It’s really worth touring.

Looking for affordable warm activities to do during winter in Buffalo, New York? Sometimes Home has you covered! From art museums, to restaurants with great food and drinks, to a hotel with a revolving bar, and more things to do if you're traveling to this city. No matter if it's fall or winter snowy days won't get you down with these ideas, including a tour of famous architecture like Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Darwin Martin House. Click through for all our suggestions! #BuffaloNY #travelBUF #BuffaloNY #WesternNewYork #VisitBuffaloNiagara #WrightArchitecture #FrankLloydWright #DarwinMartinHouse #Nike #greenhouses

Niagara Falls

A trip to this region isn’t complete without a day or half-day trip to Niagara Falls. You can’t quite comprehend how majestic natural falls like this are until you see them in person. 

I loved feeling the mist of the falls splashing on my face and hearing the power of their velocity hit the lake below. Note you may want to bring a rain poncho for this one! Getting close to the falls at all means you will get a bit wet.

Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief on Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the US side of Niagara Falls.

Buffalo is Worth Visiting Again and Again

This trip completely changed my mind about the region. There’s so much to do and see there. We’ve been back several times since, of course, since his family lives there. And each time we seek out new experiences and adventures. There’s always something different to enjoy, whether it’s warm indoor activities in Buffalo during the winter or a stay in downtown Buffalo at the Curtiss Hotel during Spring. And each time I look forward to the next time.

For other great things to do in New York check out:

Would you like to visit Buffalo, New York?
Things to do in Buffalo, NY including great restaurants to get the best food, some top neighborhoods and hidden gems, and architecture whether winter, summer, fall or spring. Sometimes Home posts all the details and photography in this informative article! #BuffaloNY #BuffaloNiagara
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