12 Excellent Ways to Spend a Hot Summer Day in WNY

City Guide, Things to Do


Written by Courtney Kelly

Published on June 16, 2021
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.


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.

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! Usually it’s the Buffalo Bisons, this summer its Major League Baseball team Toronto Blue Jays. Different baseball team, same good times.

3. Water Bikes

Water Bikes of Buffalo-Canalside, Buffalo, NY | Website

Want to take biking to the next level? Hit the water on bike and explore Buffalo’s historic waterfront. You can bike individually or ride a tandem 2-rider bike along side naval ships at the naval museum and down to the lighthouse near Lake Erie. Water Bikes of Buffalo-Canalside also offers a stand-up pedal board for single riders. They’re similar to paddle boards, except you use your feet in a stair step motion to move your board. So basically it’s a segway on water, and we’re totally here for it.


4. Enjoy Sunsets and Ice Cream Sundays at Erie Basin Marina

Erie Basin MarinaHatch: 329 Erie St, Buffalo, NY 14202 | (716) 851-6501

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, Niagara Falls and the War of 1812, all while feeling the rush of Class V white water rapids. This is perfect for any adventure seeker. For your convenience there are 3 different locations for boats to depart from: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls ON, and Lewiston.

  • Niagara-on-the-Lake – 61 Melville St. P.o. #1215 Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
  • Lewiston – 115 South Water St. Lewiston, NY, 14092
  • Niagara Falls – The Floral Clock Niagara Parkway Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
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 at sea. 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. Book a trip here!

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!

  • Beaver Island State Park: 2136 West Oakfield Road, Grand Island, NY 14072
  • Bennett Beach: 8276 Old Lake Shore Road, Angola, NY 14006
  • Evangola State Park: 10191 Old Lake Shore Road, Irving, NY 14081
  • Hamburg Town Park/Beach: 4420 Lakeshore Road, Hamburg, NY 14075
  • Lake Erie Beach Park: 9568 Lake Shore Road, Angola, NY 14006
  • Sunset Bay Beach: 1028 South Shore Drive Irving, NY 14081
  • Wendt Beach: 7676 Old Lake Shore Road, Derby, NY 14047
  • Woodlawn Beach State Park: S-3580 Lakeshore Road (Rt.5) Blasdell, NY 14219


Photo courtesy of Collins Marine

9. Pontoon over to Grass Island

If you don’t know about Grass Island, you do now! Every weekend over the summer, boaters down to this Niagara River sandbar. While you’re here you can spend the day hanging out with friends and family while swimming, listening to music, and making friends with fellow boaters. This sunken Island is the perfect spot to spend the entire day. Rent a Pontoon!

Patrick’s Rooftop / Photo courtesy of 500 Pearl

10. 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

11. Visit Reid’s Drive In

150 Lake Ave, Lockport, NY 14094

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.


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

12. Try all of the Taffy’s shakes

3261 Orchard Park Rd, Orchard Park, NY 14127

Taffy’s milk shakes 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. If you can’t make the hike out to Orchard Park, be sure to check out their food truck at Food Truck Tuesday at Larkin Square.

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

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

Written by Courtney Kelly

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