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Why Go to Buffalo

Buffalo isn't often a destination that appears on a traveler's must-visit list. But maybe it should be? It's the second-most populous city in New York State (following the City That Never Sleeps, of course). It's also less than an hour's drive south of breathtaking Niagara Falls, which does appear on many Americans' bucket lists.

However, we understand your hesitation: Buffalo's got a rep as being a gritty industrial town. But you might not know that when the French settled the area in the mid-18th century, they called it "Beau Fleuve" (Beautiful River). Perched at the confluence of Lake Erie and the Buffalo River, the city has a je ne sais quoi beauty about it, not to mention a number of exciting things to do. The restaurant scene is burgeoning, too — and by the way, they serve up more than just Buffalo wings. Plus, because Buffalo lacks the panache of other destinations, it's less likely to empty your pocketbook.

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Buffalo Travel Tips

Best Months to Visit

The best time to visit Buffalo is between June and August. Although summertime is the most crowded and the city's high season, the weather can't be beat: Average highs are in the upper 70s and lower 80s. The tourist crowds tend to wane a bit in the fall and spring, but these seasons can be pretty chilly. Wintertime in Buffalo can be downright dismal with temperatures at the freezing level or below, coupled with lots and lots of snow.

Weather in Buffalo switch to Celsius/mm

Average Temperature (°F)

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Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

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What You Need to Know

  • Check out the 'hoods Buffalo's neighborhoods are fun to explore. Allentown is known for its galleries and Elmwood Avenue is known for its local shops.
  • Spend a night at the theater Buffalo brims with theaters that stage everything from Broadway to dramas and more.
  • Visit the parks Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of NYC's Central Park, planned the city's lovely Delaware and South parks.

How to Save Money in Buffalo

  • Visit in the winter The city's hotel prices drop this time of year. Just remember to pack a warm coat!
  • Cut coupons Check out Buffalo's tourism site for deals on area restaurants, shops and rental cars.
  • Enjoy the freebies The view from the Buffalo City Hall and a walk through picturesque Forest Lawn won't cost you a thing.

Culture & Customs

Although the Iroquois American Indians settled the region long before anyone else, including the 17th-century French fur trappers, a Netherlands businessman is given the most credit for establishing the industrial course that Buffalo's history took. At the confluence of several waterways, Buffalo became an important transportation hub. However, the deindustrialization of the 20th century adversely affected the city.

Today, Buffalo is blue collar at its roots — and proud of it. The city is also on the upswing culturally, with the continuing restoration of gems like Shea's Performing Arts Center. And its neighborhoods are seeing a renewal of energy too — only head to Allentown to find proof.

What to Eat

There's more than just pizza and Buffalo wings in Buffalo, N.Y. Fancier restaurants like The Left Bank, which serves up an eclectic international menu, and the Italian-style Lombardo Ristorante are popular among foodies. If you want wings, you should try fan-favorites like Duff's Famous Wings, Anchor Bar or Gabriel's Gate. And if you're in the mood for pizza, head to Romeo & Juliet's Bakery & Café or Trattoria Aroma.

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Getting Around Buffalo

The best way to get around Buffalo is by car. Although the city offers both bus and train service, a car will be the most convenient option for getting to and from Buffalo hotels and the top things to do. If you'd rather take a taxi, you'll have to call one of the city's trusted companies; hailing a cab on the street isn't easy.

To get into the city, you can fly into Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF), which is located about 10 miles east of the city center. Alternatively, you can travel by Amtrak train, which drops passengers off near the city center, right off the Niagara Thruway.

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