The summer provides a magnificent opportunity to explore Western New York in all its glory — there are so many things to do, you may be overwhelmed just thinking about where to start! Luckily, WNY offers what seems like an infinite amount of tours at any given point in the year. Whether you like spending your days outside on the water, or inside learning about culture and tasting foods, there’s a tour for you. Listed below are some of the most fascinating tours running in WNY, as well as information on where to find more tours!
DATE: Tours available from now until August 30th; reservations are encouraged.
TIME: Either 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. depending on the day; runs for two and a half hours.
LOCATION: 120 Childs Street (120 Silo City Row) Buffalo, NY 14203
COST: $45 for adults; $40 for students and those with season passes
The Silo City Vertical Tour allows you to experience life ten stories above ground, on top of the American and Perot complexes. This tour not only includes the historical background of both the grain elevator and the malt production process, but it also details the science behind them. Be aware that this tour is not well suited for those with a phobia of heights! Prepare by wearing comfortable walking shoes — nothing open-toed. For more information on this tour, click here. For more information about the other tours that Explore Buffalo offers (there’s plenty where that came from), simply visit explorebuffalo.org.
DATE: Every Saturday at 6 p.m. for the rest of the summer
TIME: 90 minutes
LOCATION: Canalside Buffalo (44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY 14202)
COST: $25 including 2 for 1 craft beers!
Got a knack for puzzles? Always guessing the twist in thrillers? Do you love suspense? For more of a performance than a tour (although there is some walking involved), join Buffalo History Tours at Canalside to figure out Who Killed Norwood Scott! Bring your friends and channel your inner Sherlock Holmes during this comedic murder mystery. Prizes will be awarded to the best team — you can even join the cast and opt to act as a suspect! Visit their website for more information on this event.
Buffalo Bites Food Tour: East Aurora
DATE: Fridays and Saturdays, April-November
LOCATION: East Aurora — exact location provided upon purchase.
Join Buffalo Bites Food Tours to spend the afternoon wining and dining (wine not included) in some of the most scrumptious locations in East Aurora! This tour visits six locations including Firefly Cupcakes, Taste, and The Roycroft Inn and leaves you stuffed to the brim (in a good way). Tours take place rain or shine, and comfortable walking shoes are encouraged. Buffalo Bites Food Tours also features tasting tours in the Elmwood Village. Check out buffalobitesfoodtours.com for more information on both.
DATE: Anytime between July 2015 and October 15 at varying times.
DURATION: Varies depending on tour.
LOCATION: 125 Jewett Pkwy, Buffalo, NY 14214
COST: Adults – $17; seniors – $15; students – $12
The Darwin Martin House tour takes an exclusive look at one of the most famous complexes designed by the famous Frank Lloyd Wright. Enjoy a guided look at Wright’s eclectic designs — both interior and exterior — while soaking up historical context provided by tour guides. Photography is not allowed within the house. This tour begins in the Greatbatch Pavilion to the left of the house. For more information, darwinmartinhouse.org.
BFLO Harbor Guided Kayak Tours
DATE: June – End of September, varying dates and times.
DURATION: 90 minutes
LOCATION: Buffalo Harbor Kayak, Canalside, 1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY 14202
Maybe you love kayaking on your own; maybe you’re a beginner looking for some guidance — either way, BFLO Harbor can accommodate your needs! In addition to the chance to kayak the harbor on your own, BFLO Harbor offers three different guided tours: the Silo City Paddle Tour, the Silo City Sunrise Tour, and the Sunset River Tour. Visit bfloharborkayak.com for details about the appropriate attire to wear at each tour to to book a time. You can also book solo trips and participate in SUP Yoga!
DATE: Runs from May until October; time varies.
DURATION: 75 minutes
LOCATION: 5 Gooding Street, Lockport, NY 14094
COST: Adults – $13; Children (5-14) – $7.50; children 4 and under: Free!
The Lockport Cave Tour is an underground boat ride along the Erie Canal. An experience loaded with historical value, this tour will let you float on inside a cave while gazing upon antiquated artifacts and inventions. Additionally, tour guides will offer information on the industrial revolution, as well as biographical information on Birdsill Holly, famous for designing the rotary water pump, among many other things! If you’re interested in something a little more sinister, Lockport Cave Tours also run the Ghost Hunters Experience, for those seeking a thrill! Check out lockportcave.com for more.
Buffalo Central Terminal Tour
DATE: August 16th at 11 a.m. or September 20th at 11 a.m.
DURATION: Two hours
LOCATION: 495 Paderewski Drive, Buffalo, NY 14212
This tour explores the history behind the Buffalo Central Terminal. An architectural feat in the art deco movement, the building is 17 stories high, and has been around for nearly 100 years. If you’re interested in the supernatural, the Buffalo Central Terminal is also rumored to be haunted — whether you believe this or not is for you to decide! For more information on tours at the Central Terminal, visit buffalocentralterminal.org.
DATE: October 3rd @ 4 p.m.; October 10th @ 6 p.m.; October 17th @ 6 p.m. and October 30th @ 5 p.m.
DURATION: Two hours
LOCATION: Either Allentown Central or Allentown West, depending on date.
Perfect for a spooky fall outing, the Allentown Literary Ghost Walk focuses on the eclectic, supernatural, and cultural background of Allentown. Your tour guide will take you on a time machine to the Victorian Era, all while listening to ghost stories and gazing upon Victorian architecture. Check out Explorebuffalo.org for information on the Allentown Literary Ghost Walk as well as other tours, like Crime in the Queen City and The Gilded Age Series.
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