The weather is right and now is your chance to step out, Buffalo! What better way than enjoying the absolutely stunning parks and green spaces the Buffalo Niagara region has to offer.
In this guide, we’ll start at the heart of the Queen City and work our way North through Buffalo/ Niagara’s Seven Most Enjoyable Parks. These public greens are perfect for a little respite from the day-to-day grind and are certain to provide an enjoyable time whether you’re in Buffalo for a day, or are a self-proclaimed Buffalonian for life!
Neighborhood: South Buffalo
A drive to South Buffalo wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Cazenovia Park. Caz, which it is affectionately referred to as, offers seasonal events and festivals that will delight an endless number of visitors. Some come for the year-round skating rink and others for the inexpensive golf course. Caz creek is a perfect setting for a romantic picnic, and if you visit during the evening you might catch one of their summertime firework displays.
2. Glen Park
Can you imagine a waterfall on Main Street? This storybook fantasy nearly becomes a reality in the form of Glen Park. This pint-sized park in Williamsville, NY is right off of Main and is home to flocks of geese, flushes of ducks, and the charm of finches. It’s also common to find fleets of photographers capturing images of newly married couples against the backdrop of the Glen Falls waterfall. Whenever the sun shines in sunny old Williamsville, you are guaranteed the best views at the Glen.
Neighborhood: North Buffalo
Ask any Buffalonian about their favorite park and there is one clear winner – Delaware. Situated along (you guessed it) Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, Delaware Park has just about everything to offer a person of any age. Looking for a quiet meditation spot? Bring along a blanket and sit on the steps next to Hoyt Lake. Searching for a theatrical revelation? Visit the park’s Shakespeare stage during the summer months to enjoy free Shakespeare performed by professional actors. Feeling Romantic? Visit the Rose Garden and look on as newlywed couples are photographed with the spectacular Albright-Knox Art Gallery as a backdrop. Delaware Park also offers running and walking trails, a playground, summer canoe rentals, and tennis and basketball courts. If you’re searching for a truly majestic experience take a walk on the park outskirts down “Millionaires Row” and view the architecturally exquisite homes that have housed the Queen City’s richest residents throughout its history.
A personal favorite, Niawanda Park in Tonawanda is not much of a park at all. You can find a string of grassy areas and picnic tables along the Niagara River. This is the perfect place for a calm morning run, a bike-ride to the Grand Island Bridge, or a romantic evening stroll relishing in an ice-cream sundae for two at Old Man River or Mississippi Mudds. With spots for boat docking, and a quaint fishing pier, Niawanda is a hidden gem that provides a tranquil ambiance.
Neighborhood: Grand Island
Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island creates fond childhood memories of sandcastles and summer sunsets. To this day, it remains a popular local picnic spot in the spring and a refuge from the sweltering heat in the summer. The drive across the often traffic-ridden South Grand Island Bridge is a small price to pay for a beautiful sandy beach, charcoal BBQ pits to cook up dogs and buns, and shelters for private gatherings. The park also houses a marina with prime fishing spots for those with a fishing license and equipment to partake.
6. Olcott Beach
Minutes from Niagara Falls, Olcott Beach and Krull Park when combined encompass the largest County operated park in Niagara. Travel back in time to the roaring twenties with a visit to The Olcott Beach Carousel Park. Widely known as the “Coney Island of WNY” Olcott Beach draws in crowds of all ages to its vintage carousel, tearoom, and old-fashioned general store.
Neighborhood: Niagara Falls
A list of spectacular Buffalo Parks would not be complete without Niagara Falls. World renowned for its powerful views during every season, Niagara Falls State Park is not only the pride of Buffalo/ Niagara but also the pride of New York State. Just South of our Northern Border, Niagara Falls State Park has received an invigoration of life and energy as of late. The nearby “Falls Street” is alive with festivals and entertainment no matter the season. The falls, majestic as ever, are still the main attraction and visitors can use the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds as opportunities to get even closer to this Wonder of the World in the Spring and Summer months. Niagara Falls State Park also offers hiking, biking and walking trails of all difficulty levels, is pet friendly, and provides tables for the perfect picnic, or dinner at the ‘Top of the Falls Restaurant’ for those seeking a more elegant fare. Little known but not to be missed – the summer fireworks display visible from both the American and Canadian sides of the falls!
This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.