11 Excellent Ways to Spend a Hot Summer Day in WNY

City Guide, Things to Do


Written by Courtney Kelly

Published on July 16, 2022
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
Photo courtesy of Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours

Here in Buffalo, we know how to take full advantage of our hot summer days (and I mean we really take advantage of them). September is approaching, and while we know this means summer isn’t over yet, it’s time to start using our summer days wisely by scheduling some extra time outside. Whether you’re looking to get out of the house, cool off, or just soak up the Buffalo sun, here’s a guide that will allow you to fully embrace the rest of our Buffalo summer weather.

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kayaking buffalo river
Kayaking at Mutual Riverfront Park / Photo x Step Out Buffalo

1. Kayaking + Canoeing

There is no better way to spend a summer day in Buffalo than being on the water. Kayaking/Canoeing is a great way to have some quality ‘me time’, or spend time with your pals. Not to mention, it’s also a killer upper body workout. Luckily for us, Buffalo has plenty of places that you can relax on the water, while being surrounded by some pretty killer views. Check out our guide on all things kayaking.

Buffalo Bisons
Photo courtesy of Buffalo Bisons

2. Attend a Buffalo Bisons Game

If you haven’t been to a baseball game this summer, it’s time to get on it! The Buffalo Bisons are back for another season at Sahlen Field with fun family nights on Fridays.

3. Water Bike Around Canalside

Want to take biking to the next level? Hit the water on bike and explore Buffalo’s historic waterfront with Water Bikes of Buffalo. They offer both single and tandem options.


4. Enjoy Sunsets at Erie Basin Marina

Erie Basin Marina is a great spot to walk around and explore during the summer. It’s always filled with people strolling, sitting, and taking in the amazing views of the historic waterfront district of Buffalo. The best seat in the house is at the Observation Deck, where you can take the stairs to the top and get a panoramic view of Lake Erie.

Need more sunset inspo ideas? Check out our guide to catching an awesome Buffalo sunset!

Photo from

5. Hop on a Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour

If you really want to cool off, we highly suggest giving the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours a try. This 45-60 minute tour will provide you with incredible views of the Niagara Gorge all while feeling the rush of Class V white water rapids. This is perfect for any adventure seeker.

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Pedal Tours

6. Take a Buffalo Pedal Tour

Buffalo Pedal Tours run 7 days a week and make for a great group outdoor activity. Their bikes seat parties up to 15 on land, or they have a huge pontoon style cycle boat that seats up to 18 people by water. Plus, they have a new Saloon Boat that is great for parties of at least 30 people. All you need to do is grab your favorite canned drink of choice, and your go-to group. Buffalo pedal tours provides cups, ice, coolers, music, as well as, creates a structured list of the best bars in Buffalo to pedal to.

Photo courtesy of Spirit of Buffalo

7. Take a Boat Ride

If you check any form of social media, you’ll see that many Buffalonians enjoy spending a hot day on their boat. If you don’t have your own boat, there are plenty of options in WNY for you to get out on the water, for an affordable price. You can choose from tours, boozy boat rides, dinner cruises, among many more options. Check out our Guide to Ways to Get On the Water This Summer.

8. Go to the Beach!

I know when most people think of Buffalo, going to the beach isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but Buffalo actually has a lot of beaches to relax, swim, and catch some rays. Grab your towel, some sunscreen, and plenty of snacks and spend your day with your toes in the sand!


Patrick’s Rooftop / Photo courtesy of 500 Pearl

9. Enjoy a roof top drink

There’s something about a roof top, and a summer day, that makes you just feel so happy inside. Roof top bars allow you to really soak up the sun while trying quality cocktails, wine and craft beers. Not to mention, talk about a view, wow! 

Here are some of our favorite spots:

Check out our Guide to Rooftop Patios in Buffalo & WNY

Photo courtesy of Reid’s

10. Visit Reid’s Drive In

Reid’s is a seasonal hot dog stand located in Lockport serving your favorite summertime grilled goods. The perfect meal does exist, and it’s a Reid’s cheeseburger with their “special sauce” and a side of fries. The stand also serves hamburgers, hot dogs, onion rings, ice cream, and shakes. Enjoy your meal under the sun it their dining area, or take it to go and find a spot by the water. Check out other WNYers Recommendations for Hot Dogs here!


Taffys, Best Buffalo Milkshake Joints
Taffy’s / Photo x Patrick Koster

11. Try all of the Taffy’s shakes

Taffy’s milkshakes are a must this summer. They have over 130 milkshakes, as well as, classic American cuisine including, a local favorite, Sahlen’s hot dogs. All milk shakes are made the old fashion way with milk and real ice cream. They even have premium flavors such as PB and Jam, Caramel Cookie, Funky Monkey and so much more. Check out other WNYers Recommendations for Milkshakes here!

Did one of these places close? Send us a note!

This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been updated.

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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Courtney Kelly</a>

Written by Courtney Kelly

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