Everyone knows Western New York is home to great people, history, architecture, art, food, and everything in between. But when’s the last time you really explored your hometown? That’s where Explore Buffalo comes in. Their mission is to “promote the discovery of the unique architecture, history, and communities in the greater Buffalo Niagara region”, and with over 50 tours throughout the Queen City and its surrounding neighborhoods there’s bound to be something and somewhere new for you to discover. Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of the tours they have and what you can expect to learn and do on each:
You know those cool buildings you pass whenever you’re downtown? Now you can learn about them! Explore Buffalo’s Downtown Tours focus on Buffalo’s unique architecture and history, and the Buffalo Classics, Masters of American Architecture, Presidents in Buffalo, and Downtown Deco tours will give you an in-depth look at the City’s local architects, recognizable landmarks, and most prominent citizens from Buffalo’s (first) heyday.
Waterfront & Grain Elevators
Take a tour along Buffalo’s booming waterfront! On the Silo City Vertical, Silo City Grounded, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fontana Boathouse and Canalside Then and Now tours you can experience Buffalo’s waterfront revival, get a history lesson from the top, inside, and bottom of the grain elevators, and go inside one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s favorite designs…each in just a couple of hours.
Is being on the waterfront not enough for you? Good news, you can hop in a kayak (included in each tour) and learn about the waterfront IN the waterfront. The Elevator Alley Kayak Tour and Concrete Central Kayak Tour allow you to see the grain elevators and the river’s transformation up close and personal while you also enjoy a 2 ½ hour kayaking adventure. Win-win.
Crime in the Queen City
Spice up your afternoon by getting to know some of Buffalo’s biggest and baddest players on one of Explore Buffalo’s crime-centric tours. On the Allentown Mob, West Side Mob, and Scandalous Buffalo tours you’ll learn some of the darker stories in Buffalo’s history as well as how the mob got their paws on a stolen Rembrandt painting, all with a gorgeous backdrop of the City.
Sometimes you just wanna learn something new but also sit comfortably, you know? Explore Buffalo knows. Their East Side Momentum Bus Tour, Beyond Flowers Bus Tour: Sustainability in Action, and City of Light Bus tours take you through some of the best places in Buffalo all while you kick back, relax, and enjoy the sights from the comfort of a temperature-controlled bus. Ahhh.
Gilded Age Series
Doesn’t that just sound fancy? On the Millionaire Mile: Delaware Avenue Mansions, Millionaire Mile: Delaware Avenue Midway, Hidden Gems of the Delaware District, and Lincoln Parkway tours you will marvel at the accomplishments of Buffalo’s wealthiest and most famous citizens during the late 1800’s and better half of the 20th century (be honest, were the 80’s really that good to you?) from both inside and outside of homes, mansions, churches, gardens, and rowhouses. Pinky up!
The bike revolution is here, so why not kill two birds with one stone and learn about the Queen City while being trendy and cool on your bike? The City Murals by Bike, Landmarks & Landscapes by Bike, Pedaling Humboldt Parkway by Bike, Scajaquada Creek by Bike, Silo Spin: Grain Elevators by Bike, Whats new in Buffalo by Bike, and Waterfront Views by Bike tours offer guided cycling tours all around Western New York that let you see each area in a whole new way. These tours are all BYOB(ike) and helmet, so make sure you come prepared!
Get cultured (and later impress your friends) on one of Explore Buffalo’s art tours. Take the time to appreciate some of the more aesthetically pleasing offerings around town on their Outdoor Art: Museum District, Art of the Subway, Indoor Art of Downtown Buffalo, and Outdoor Art of Downtown Buffalo tours and leave with a phone full of Instagram gold.
Get more familiar with some of Buffalo’s most well-known neighborhoods and learn things about the places you’ve been –and lived in- that you never knew before. Explore Buffalo offers tours of Black Rock, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Cottage District, Elmwood Village Victorians, Larkin District, Main Street: Old Meets New, and University District, all guaranteed to teach ya something new.
Take a tour in one of the surrounding neighborhoods beyond Buffalo on the Downtown Lockport and North Tonawanda: Lumber City, and Hamburg tours. Explore the developments and histories of each area as you learn fascinating facts about their past, present, and future and wonder why you haven’t ventured out there sooner.
These tours are done in conjunction with TR Site and Allentown Association and each one focuses on specific aspects of the Allentown neighborhood. The Brick by Brick: Residential Allentown Revealed, and Pocket Parks of Allentown tours cover everything from Victorian manses, secluded enclaves, famous landmarks, and historic ghost stories –who knew Allentown was so noteworthy?
In addition to their tours Explore Buffalo also offers unique once-a-year events. Central Park Experiences & Tours of Homes and Ships ‘n’ bottles are two of these special events that give you an inside look at interior home tours, historic landmarks, architectural scavenger hunts, and more (like wine…sweet, sweet wine. Oh and live music).
Looking for something different or a cool educational experience for kids? Explore Buffalo offers Private Group Tours and School Tours by request; just send them a shout out. Bonus points if you tell ‘em we sent you.
Explore Buffalo Tours take place year-round and can last anywhere between 90 minutes and 4 hours. To check their calendar, book ticket, and get more information visit http://explorebuffalo.org/.
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