12 Ways to Feel Like You're on a Tropical Spring Break in Buffalo

City Guide


Written by Emma Janicki-Gechoff

Published on March 17, 2016

Deep South Taco, Step Out Buffalo, Buffalo Restaurants

Deep South Taco / Step Out Buffalo

Although we haven’t been buried under snow this year and spring temperatures have been flirting with us for weeks, Buffalo still isn’t a tropical spring break hub.

Or isn’t it?

Just because you can’t get below the equator this spring break doesn’t mean you can’t have a warm, sunny vaca right here in town.

To keep your spirits (and Vitamin D levels) up this spring break, StepOut has put together a list of Buffalo’s most tropical destinations.


Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Family Favorites

HOURS: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. every day

ADMISSION: $9/adults, $8/students and adults over 55, $5/kids ages 3-12, free/kids under 2

The Botanical Gardens is the perfect escape for chilly Buffalonians anytime of the year. The humidity may be a little overwhelming in the summertime, but during spring break, spending a few hours meandering through the lush gardens might transport you all the way to the Amazon Rainforest or an outdoor market in Mexico. The Spring Flower Exhibit begins March 19 and runs until April 10.


Buffalo Zoo

Family Favorites

HORUS: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (admission ends at 4:00 p.m.) every day

ADMISSION: $12/adults, $9/kids ages 2-12, $10/adults over 65, free/kids under 23 months, $4/parking fee for cars

While spending a few hours with family and friends wandering around the Zoo is certainly a nice way to spend break, I’m specifically thinking you should vacation in the Zoo’s Rainforest exhibit. The indoor rainforest is hot, humid, and lush with plant and animal life. Even if you just manage to spend some time resting on a bench looking up at monkeys and tropical birds soaking up the warmth you’ll feel more than refreshed and renewed.


Taste of Paradise

Events & Activities

LOCATION: Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

DATE: March 18, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

ADMISSION: $40/person

You might not be able to get away to lounge on a Hawaiian beach, but you can always indulge in tropical cocktails made with Captain Morgan and dance along with the Foxy Diamondz at this year’s Taste of Paradise at the Botanical Gardens. Not only will you be surrounded by the uplifting warmth of the Gardens, but you’ll sample from local eateries and taste fresh fruits and herbs.

Who says a tropical vacation can’t be three hours long?



Events & Activities

LOCATION: First Niagara Center

DATE: March 23, 7:30 p.m.

ADMISSION: $30.50-$126, Find Tickets >>

Rihanna’s back in Buffalo, just in time for spring break. There’s no reason you shouldn’t don your summer-iest clothes, kick back with a beer, and dance your stress away when this insanely accomplished artist brings her unapologetic self to the arena. Find tickets here!


Salsa Night

Events & Activities

LOCATION: The Pucho Olivencia Center, 261 Swan St.

DATE: Every Wednesday 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

ADMISSION: $5 at the door

Chances are if you were able to be a tourist in Cuba over break, you’d take some salsa lessons. If you’ve never danced salsa before, Buffalo’s Baila Salsa Dance Company hosts an introductory course every Wednesday night, followed by a social dance. There is a bar, but all ages are welcome to attend.


Latin Night

Events & Activities

LOCATION: Falafel Bar, 3047 Sheridan Dr.

DATE: March 18, 10:00 p.m.

ADMISSION: $5 at the door

Baila Salsa has got you covered this break with spicy salsa dancing. Come at 10 p.m. for the dance lesson, and stay for the social. Get sweaty, have a drink, and enjoy vacation (for once).


Niagara Café

Restaurants & Bars

525 Niagara St, Buffalo

Niagara Café repeatedly ranks as the best Latino food in the city. It’s pretty pricey to get down to Puerto Rico, but this West Side eatery is cheap, fast, and as insanely delicious as it is unhealthy. The takeout line can look intimidating, but it goes quick and you’ll be out the door in no time. Or, find a table and really absorb all the fried goodness you can.


Sazon Criollo

Restaurants & Bars

272 Hudson St., Buffalo

Sazon Criollo is one of Buffalo’s unknown little gems. The Puerto Rican restaurant doesn’t receive nearly the press that Niagara Café does, (the two restaurants are within blocks of each other) so if you’re able to make it there for lunch you’ll have some room to stretch out and enjoy the spot.



Restaurants & Bars

153 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo

Pasion is Buffalo’s newest Latin joint, serving Latin-fusion Cuban food. So far the restaurant has received rave reviews for the quality of its meals and signature cocktails and the atmosphere.


Cantina Loco

Restaurants & Bars

191 Allen St., Buffalo

Cantina Loco is pretty much everyone’s favorite margarita and tequila stop in Allentown. A tropical Buffalo spring break wouldn’t be complete without popping into Cantina Loco for a signature margarita.


Don Tequila Mexican Restaurant

Restaurants & Bars

73 Allen St., Buffalo

If you’re out on Allen, craving some Mexican food but don’t want to break the bank like you do at Cantina Loco, Don Tequila is a quieter and less expensive Mexican bar and restaurant. And if you’re with a group of friends, you’re pretty much obligated to order a margarita tower. Bring it on.


Deep South Taco

Restaurants & Bars

291 Ellicott St., Buffalo

Deep South has quickly become a popular Mexican eatery for downtown workers at lunch and all the hip young people looking to branch out from Lloyd’s. Although it’s gotten pretty good reviews in terms of food and atmosphere, a common peeve is that it’s pricey for what you get.

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