Buffalonians have heard all of your jokes before: the never-ending snow, the four Super Bowl losses, the hockey team that can’t catch a break. However, Buffalo is getting the last laugh now, as this emerging city on Lake Erie’s shoreline is going through a renaissance. Affordable housing, a young and thriving arts and music scene, and its proximity to Canada have made this once-declining Rust Belt city an attractive option to both live in and visit. Don’t be surprised if your friends are shocked at first when you tell them that your taking a bus trip to Buffalo. However, what your friends don’t know is that this city’s hidden secrets make it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Here’s what you’ll find to “Buffalove” during your bus trip:
Museums and Architecture
Did you know that famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright has more than one building in the Western New York area? You can visit the Darwin Martin House, which is located in Buffalo’s Parkside neighborhood and known for being one of the crown jewels of Wright’s portfolio. Schedule a tour of the interior for a world-class lesson on architecture and design. His sprawling Graycliff Manor, perched above the shores of Lake Erie about 20 minutes away from the downtown corridor, will make you wish you were alive during its heyday to host a supper party on the expansive grounds.
Buffalo is also host to a world-class art museum: the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which houses both modern and contemporary art. Museum curation rotates regularly and has hosted exhibits featuring Monet, Modigliani, Takashi Murakami, Jackson Pollock and Frida Kahlo. When you’re done touring the gallery, make sure you step out back to enjoy Hoyt Lake and its perfectly manicured Japanese gardens.
Everyone knows Buffalo’s claim to culinary fame is its wings. You can hit the original Anchor Bar, where Frank and Teressa Bellissimo’s creation sparked a worldwide wing frenzy. However, any local worth their sauce knows that the best wings are found in local pubs and dive bars such as Kelly’s Korner, The Nine-Eleven Tavern or Gabriel’s Gate. Get ’em hot and extra crispy, and don’t you dare order ranch for dipping.
Juxtaposed with corner bar food is a thriving local food scene that is home to several chefs who have been featured at the James Beard House in New York City. Chefs Steve and Ellen Gedra, of Black Sheep, pride themselves on using locally sourced animals, cheese and vegetables to create dishes that utilize every part of their products. Don’t forget to order Ellen’s legendary sticky toffee pudding for dessert. When you’re finished, head across the street to Steve’s sister’s joint, Lait Cru Brasserie. You can also visit the thoughtfully curated Nickel City Cheese and Mercantile, which is housed on the same floor as the restaurant and features a French bistro-inspired menu.
You’ll never look at Mexican food quite the same after sampling Victor Parra-Gonzalez’s menu at Las Puertas. A classically trained French chef, Gonzalez takes the flavors and ingredients of his native Mexico and prepares them with unrivaled finesse. You’ll look at your plate and find it hard to believe you’re sitting in a cozy restaurant on the West Side of Buffalo, New York and not a 5-star Michelin restaurant.
The music scene in Buffalo is active and thriving, so you can’t miss a chance to catch a show at The Town Ballroom. Once a supper club in the 1940s that housed the likes of Al Capone and Frank Sinatra, the vintage architecture hosts some of modern music’s hottest acts.
If you’re lucky enough to take your bus trip to Buffalo during the summer months, you’ll find that the city comes alive with sunshine and outdoor concerts. Check out Canalside, a newly refurbished portion of the city’s waterfront that hosts diverse acts, to catch some rays and enjoy the feeling of an outdoor live event.
Buffalo’s Colored Musicians Club celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017 of housing jazz and blues acts from all over the globe. A true haven for music lovers, their legendary Sunday night jam sessions encourage anyone to with a passion for playing to join seasoned musicians on stage.
Located near the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo hosts one of the country’s longest-running productions of Shakespeare in the Park. Pack a picnic from some gourmet snacks and drinks (local Big Ditch Brewing Company is a winner) you grabbed at local grocery gem Wegmans, and enjoy a free, world-class production.
You are probably familiar with the Bills and the Sabers, but did you know that soccer is also big in the Queen City? During your bus trip to Buffalo, drop over to All-High Stadium to catch NPSL’s FC Buffalo take a match on the pitch “for our city.” You’ll have a blast in the stands with fervent fans who have their own chants and songs for their hometown team. When the match is over, head to Mes Que, the city’s only soccer-centric pub.
The best part about your bus trip to Buffalo? You’ll fall in love with the city’s charm and the kindness of the people you’ll encounter. Sitting alone at the bar eating wings? Not for long. Soon you’ll have a new friend sitting next to you, wanting to give you their best recommendations in the city. You can even tell your bad Buffalo jokes, and they’ll smile — because they’re in on the secret that their city is actually wonderful.
Ready to book your bus trip to Buffalo, NY?