With the warmer weather (hopefully) here to stay, you might be hosting some out-of-towners in the coming months. While places like Canalside or the Falls might have seemed like your only options in previous years, there are now countless ways to entertain guests of all ages.
From the development downtown to cultural celebrations in the suburbs, there’s no shortage of things to do in the summer months. If you’re tired of going to the same places again and again, consider checking out these attractions the next time family or friends come to town!
Drink up at a local brewery
Western New York’s craft beer scene shows no signs of slowing down, with the opening of Resurgence, Big Ditch, Flying Bison, Community Beer Works, New York Beer Project, and other breweries around the area. Paying homage to local staples, like Resurgence’s Sponge Candy Stout, and more traditional offerings, like Big Ditch’s Hayburner IPA, there truly is something for everyone.
For the beer connoisseurs in your group, you’ll definitely want to check out a brewery or two while they’re in town. Whether you live right in the city or in the suburbs, there’s likely one pretty close by. And many of these breweries offer guided tours at little or no cost, so you can check out where the brewing process takes place and sample some of the beers on tap.
Here’s a few of the local breweries that offer guided tours, or find a complete list here!
1250 Niagara Street, Buffalo
Tour Schedule: Schedule in advance
Cost: $5 per person (limit of 15-20 people per tour) , includes 3 beer samples
28 Monroe Street, Ellicottville
Tour Schedule: Fridays at 4pm & 6pm, Saturday & Sunday at 12pm, 2pm, & 4pm
Cost: $15 per person, includes 4 beer samples and a souvenir glass
840 Seneca Street, Buffalo
Tour Schedule: Thursday & Friday at 6pm, Saturday at 1pm & 4pm
Cost: Free (including samples)!
Take part in a long-standing tradition at the Broadway Market
999 Broadway, Buffalo, 14212 – broadwaymarket.org
A staple on the East Side of Buffalo for over 125 years, the Broadway Market is a can’t-miss stop for those looking to stock up on fresh baked goods, meats, and produce from local vendors. The market is especially packed around holidays, with live music, contests, and other activities to keep customers entertained while they navigate the maze of vendors. Buffalo’s strong Polish heritage is a prominent feature at the Broadway Market, featuring staples like pierogis and sausage year-round. During the Easter season, customers flock to the market to snatch up butter lambs, a long-standing Polish Easter tradition.
In addition to the vendors inside the Broadway Market, there’s also a rooftop community garden where you can take in views of the Buffalo skyline and the “Seven Sisters” churches in the area. So whether you want to guests a taste of Buffalo’s culinary creations or check out the skyline from another point of view, there’s no better one-stop shop than the Broadway Market.
Watch a game or strap on some skates at Buffalo RiverWorks
359 Ganson Street, Buffalo, 14203 – buffaloriverworks.com
No matter what time of year you’re looking for something to do, Buffalo RiverWorks has you covered. With a full-service bar and restaurant, ice skating, curling, pickleball, roller derby, volleyball, and live music, you can surely spend a day (or two) at RiverWorks and keep finding new things to try. There truly is something for every interest and age group, so it’s the perfect place to entertain out-of-town visitors.
Be sure to check out their brand new Zipline Course that recently opened the first weekend of June.
Located right on the water next to the now-famous Labatt Blue silos, Buffalo RiverWorks is successfully bringing more locals to the city’s up-and-coming waterfront.
Get your food truck fix at Larkin Square
745 Seneca Street, Buffalo, 14210 – More Info
Maybe someone in your group is in the mood for tacos. Maybe someone else wants smoked barbecue and mac and cheese. And maybe another is feeling breakfast for dinner. You can easily satisfy all of these cravings in one place by heading down to Larkin Square’s weekly Food Truck Tuesday, which runs from mid-April through most of the fall from 5-8pm. Rain or shine, dozens of local food trucks will be out serving their signature on-the-go items, in addition to live music, local art vendors, and a beverage tent. If you’re visiting during winter months, Larkin is still the best place to find a truck during lunch hours.
When guests come to town, it can be hard to hit all of the best Buffalo food joints. Food Truck Tuesday can give visitors a taste of our vibrant and diverse food scene without requiring you to drive all over Western New York to do so.
Ride around town with Buffalo Pedal Tours
347 Ellicott Street and 359 Ganson Street, Buffalo, 14203 – http://www.buffalopedaltours.com/
If you’re looking for a way to cover a lot of ground in the city, take in the scenic architecture, and hit downtown’s hot spots, try hitching a ride with Buffalo Pedal Tours. Each trolley holds up to 15 people and is 100% pedal powered, serving as an eco-friendly and safe way to travel downtown. And did I mention you can now bring your own beer or wine to enjoy while you ride? It’s great for bar hopping, birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or simply touring the city. And you can select a pre-planned tour or customize your own to make sure you show your guests all of your favorite places in the city.
Learn about Buffalo’s commercial past at Silo City
87 Childs Street, Buffalo, 14203
What some deemed an eyesore on the waterfront, these formerly abandoned grain elevators are giving visitors a sneak peek into the rich history of the shipping industry that made Buffalo an industrial hub. There are a variety of guided tours throughout the area, kayak and bike tours, a reading series for artists and poets, and even a flea market during the summer months. So whether your guests are history buffs, the outdoorsy type, or a fan of the arts, Silo City will cater to all of these interests. Like RiverWorks, Silo City is bringing visitors to a previously deserted part of Buffalo, and it’s probably safe to assume this isn’t the last of the developments in this area.
Pick a festival, any festival
From early summer to the end of fall, there’s a different festival or event happening around Western New York practically every weekend. With cultural celebrations like the Galbani Italian Heritage Festival on Hertel Avenue, regionally-focused festivals like Canal Fest, and large-scale events like the Erie County Fair, there is no shortage of things going on in your area.
Whether you simply need a quick bite to eat or you want to spend the whole day checking out exhibits, playing games, and going on rides, you will have no trouble finding an event to meet your needs. You can find a comprehensive list of all the festivals happening around Western New York here.
Now get out there!
Now that we’re speeding ahead into the spring and summer seasons in Buffalo, there’s going to be an endless number of things to do and see around the region. In light of all these options, it can be tough to decide what you want to do! Rather than reverting to the tried-and-true attractions that you flock to with guests in town, why not branch out a bit and try something new? Hopefully this list inspires you to get outside and stay busy in the coming months!