If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the Parkside neighborhood yet have no fear – Step Out Buffalo is here. Parkside is one of those magical neighborhoods where you can hang with giraffes, see some world-famous architecture, and fill up on chocolate-filled pretzels in an old airplane manufacturing building from World War II. Looking to impress a date? Want to spend a fun day with family? Already group-texting your friends about those chocolate-filled pretzels? Here’s a game plan to park your car and spend a day in Parkside.
Start your day with Parkside’s reason to be by walking around Delaware Park’s Ring Road. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted as the largest park in his Buffalo park-and-parkway system in the late 1860s, Delaware Park is Buffalo’s answer to Olmsted’s Central Park. A brisk walk along the 1.9-mile Ring Road is a great way to see the meadow section of the park from all angles while getting in a little morning cardio (We’re just doing our part to help you feel less guilty about gorging on those pretzels later. You’re welcome).
Up next, take the time to reacquaint yourself with one of Buffalo’s most well-known attractions. Somewhat like Niagara Falls, many Buffalonians only go to the Zoo when out-of-town guests are visiting – but the Zoo is a pretty great place to spend the day with or without those expats. Have you checked out the new Arctic Edge exhibit? Replacing the old bear pits, this new home for Luna the polar bear and other arctic creatures brings you up close and personal to Luna and is always a crowd pleaser. In cold weather, the always hot and humid Rainforest Falls exhibit will make you feel like you finally booked that tropical vaca you’ve been dreaming of…minus the bug bites and roundtrip airfare.
The Buffalo Zoo is located at 300 Parkside Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214. For more info visit buffalozoo.org.
After you’re done taking selfies with the giraffes…and monkeys…and lions…and Luna, head across Parkside Avenue from the Zoo entrance to grab lunch at the Parkside Meadow. Opened in 2015 by husband-and-wife team Leonard Mattie and Nancy Abramo, the Parkside Meadow was a labor of love that brings a classic neighborhood restaurant to Parkside. Their menu features homemade classics with a twist that will fill you up and then some – beware of the addictive homemade potato chips that come with their sandwiches! Before or after your meal take some time to check out (read: Snapchat) the thousands of pieces of historic Buffalo memorabilia from the 1800’s-1950’s that Leonard’s collected which decorate the walls and make for some seriously good TBT material.
Parkside Meadow Restaurant is at 2 Russell Street, Buffalo, NY 14214. For more info click here.
Lunch at the Parkside Meadow is sure to leave you full, so it’s time for a walk (or wobble depending on how full you are) – don’t worry it’s only about two blocks to one of Buffalo’s most internationally famous destinations. The Darwin Martin House was built in the first decade of the twentieth century and is one of the best examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style architecture. A top executive at the Larkin Soap Company, Darwin Martin gave Wright an incredible amount of freedom in the design process. The end result is a house recognized worldwide that brings tourists to Buffalo from across the globe to see. And let’s face it – being in and around this awesome place never gets old.
Note: While the Martin House normally has one and two hour tours available, for spring and summer of 2016 only 90-minute tours are offered due to the interior restoration work in progress. Darwin Martin House is located at 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14214. For more info visit darwinmartinhouse.org
In the forever spirit of treat yo self, head over to the Tri-Main Building on Main Street. From the Martin House, walk east on Jewett Parkway to Main Street and then one block up Main – trust us you can’t miss the massive Tri-Main Building. Originally built as a Ford factory then used to manufacture airplanes during World War II and later Trico windshield wipers, Tri-Main today is home to over 100 diverse tenants. The one you’re after, however, is Landies Candies on the 3rd floor – you’ll smell them before you see them. Landies makes just about any kind of chocolate product you’d imagine but one of the most popular is their chocolate filled pretzels. Pro tip: at this store they sell two bags of the just-as-delicious broken pretzel ‘rejects’ for only $5! RUN DON’T WALK…unless you’re still full from lunch, then continue to wobble.
While you’re here (and how often are you in the Tri-Main Building?), head up to the fourth floor to check out the selection of greeting cards made right here in Buffalo at Great Arrow Graphics. Then go up another level up to the fifth floor to check out what’s on display at Buffalo Arts Studio which features both local and national artists and get your culture on. Your Instagram is going to be so well-rounded
From the Tri-Main Building it’s time to take a little time to walk around the Parkside neighborhood and appreciate its beautiful homes. Generally built between 1880 and 1920, the homes in Parkside are a wide variety of architectural styles including Victorian, Colonial, and American Four Square. Take Main back to Jewett from Tri-Main and turn north up Crescent. If you’re up for a longer walk, take Crescent to Amherst, turn right on Parkside, and then walk down Tillinghast Place to see another Frank Lloyd Wright house. Designed for another Larkin executive, the Walter Davidson house is still a private residence so only admire it from the sidewalk!