13 Must-Do Summer 2021 Bucket List Items in Buffalo

City Guide


Written by Courtney Kelly

Published on July 12, 2019
Vue Rooftop Lounge / Photo courtesy of Curtiss Hotel

Now that we’re deep into the summer season, it’s time to start thinking about some noteworthy things to do this summer before it’s gone in the blink of an eye. From farmers markets to outdoor concerts Buffalo is filled with must-do activities that need to be added onto your summer 2021 bucket list ASAP! Here’s what’s on mine for 2021:


1.  Watch the sunset and have a rooftop drink at Vue Rooftop Lounge

For those of you that haven’t been here, I would 12/10 recommend. The rooftop has a perfect panoramic view of downtown Buffalo, Lake Erie, and the Canadian shoreline. It’s open to the public at 5 pm Tuesday-Saturday year-round. They also have live music every Thursday and Friday!

Location: 210 Franklin St, Buffalo, NY 14202 inside atop the Curtiss Hotel

2. Cozy up and eat some snacks at the Transit Drive-In

The Drive-In is by far one of my favorite places to go in the Summer.

Whether it’s with friends, family, or your special someone, a cozy night awaits you at The Transit Road Drive-In. Open every night rain or starlight with five screens available, it’s safe to say the opportunities are endless here!

Prepare your vehicle with warm blankets complimented by the buttery popcorn available at the concession stand. Watching two movies in a row for no extra cost is a perk of the ‘Double Header’ showtimes- talk about a deal!

Devil's Hole, Niagara Gorge, Buffalo NY, Hiking, Step Out Buffalo
Devil’s Hole at Niagara Gorge / Photo by Molly Webster

3. Hiking The Niagara Gorge

This is a great hike to do if you’re looking for a workout! There are paths that take you by the rapids where you can sit, snap some photos, and enjoy the breathtaking views. I personally love to grab a well-deserved lunch at The Silo after my day of hiking.


4. Take a Free Summer Workout Class at Canalside

Curious about trying a new workout class? BlueCross BlueShield of WNY offers free fitness classes at Canal Side throughout the summer. This year’s lineup includes Zumba, Barre, Yoga, and more! There’s nothing better than getting your sweat on beside the water. Click here for the full schedule!

5. Try a new Food Truck at Food Truck Tuesday

Food Truck Tuesday runs every Tuesday in Larkin Square from 5pm-8pm until August 31st. Dozens of food trucks travel to Larkinville from Buffalo, Rochester, and beyond. Enjoy your delicious meal with a night filled with live music and fun. You can even bring food truck purchases to enjoy in the Hydraulic Hearth Beer Garden, Flying Bison Brewing Co., and BFLO Distilling all on Seneca Street!

Live Well Buffalo 2018 / Step Out Buffalo

6. Attempt to go to allll of the Festivals!

Here in WNY, it seems like we’re always finding a reason to celebrate! Here are just a few of the many festivals that you need to check out this summer. For the complete list of festivals: Click here

7. Meet up with friends at Music on Main

Every Thursday night in the village of Williamsville all along Main Street will be 10 groups or bands playing music all night! There are so many places to grab a bite to eat, enjoy a patio drink, and catch up with some friends.

Main Street Ice Cream
Main Street Ice Cream / Step Out Buffalo

8. Try an Ice Cream Flight

If you’re an ice cream lover, this is totally for you! Lately, a lot of local ice cream shops have been offering flights of ice cream. That’s right, you heard me, just like flights of beer, but with ice cream! Isn’t that amazing?

Places that Serve:


Photo courtesy of Buffalo Tiki Tours
Photo courtesy of Buffalo Tiki Tours

9. Take a Buffalo Tiki Tour

If you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, or just want a relaxing tour around Buffalo’s Inner Harbor on a Hawaiian style Tiki Hut, then this is for you! The boat fits 6 guests and docks out of Buffalo Riverworks. This is the perfect tropical twist to everyone’s favorite Buffalo Pedal Tour.

RiverWorks Zipline / Photo courtesy of RiverWorks

10. Zip Line at RiverWorks

If you want to literally feel the warm summer breeze through your hair, then I highly suggest ziplining between Buffalo’s Historic GLF Silo’s zip lines.

Riverworks also has an Adventure pass that allows you to zip line, participate in the urban high ropes course, kayak or paddleboard down the Buffalo River, and rock climb the historic GLF silos.

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

11. Kayak Elevator Alley

Kayak on your own, with a buddy, or take a guided tour around the Historic Buffalo River. This relaxing trip on the water is the best way to appreciate Buffalo’s many grain elevators. After your trip, reward yourself with a drink at The Barrel Factory! Check out our guide to kayaking.

Canalside Outdoor Movie
Movie Night at Canalside / Step Out Buffalo

12. Movie Night on the Water at The Outer Harbor

Talk about a movie with a view! The Buffalo Waterfront is excited to host its second annual summer Drive-In Movie Series in the summer of 2021. Free of cost, Buffalo’s Outer Harbor Event Space will be the host of six different movies on three separate dates. That’s right, once you are settled in you can watch two movies in a row for those who love binge watching! Outside food and beverage will be permitted, but no alcoholic beverages are allowed.

Here’s the Upcoming Movie Lineup:
  • August 21st – Raya and The Last Dragon
  • August 21st- A Star is Born
Farmers Market WNY 2019

13. Pick Up Fresh Produce at a Local Farmers Market

Support *and I can’t stress this enough* your local businesses. Farmers markets are the perfect way to support local, get incredibly fresh produce, and discover some pretty unique products! Not to mention, who doesn’t love strolling through the market outside, sipping your favorite coffee?! Check out our Guide to WNY Farmers Market to find a market near you!

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

Written by Courtney Kelly

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