Searching for something different to do during the day this summer? Head to the Naval and Military Park, located next to Canalside, to show your support and interest in the US Armed Forces. The Park has been educating Buffalonians since its opening day on June 30, 1979. The Naval and Military Park is open daily from 10-5 with an entrance fee of only $10 for adults and $6 for children. Home to the USS Little Rock, the USS The Sullivans, and the submarine USS Croaker, you can spend a few hours up to an entire day searching every nook and cranny of each room on the 2 ships and 1 submarine.
Their detailed brochure will guide you through the park smoothly starting with the first destroyer in the Navy named in memory of more than one person, the USS Sullivans (DD-537), the fleet type destroyer. This destroyer was named after the five brothers that served at the same time on the USS Juneau, and lost their lives along with 700 others when the USS Juneau went under due to a Japanese submarine. Throughout the tour of this ship you will encounter over 40 stops and displays, while gathering different information about the brothers and the ship’s history.
After you’ve moved through the USS Sullivans, you will find yourself on the only guided missile cruiser exhibition in the US, the USS Little Rock (CLG-4). While weaving through the ship, you will discover the Chaplain’s Office, the Barber Shop, and the Medal of Honor Room, along with about 40 more stations on the USS Little Rock.
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The last stop of the tour is the hunter/killer diesel-electric submarine, the USS Croaker (SSK-246). Through the tour of the submarine you will have the opportunity to go into their very tiny and narrow hallways and rooms to glimpse at exactly what the submarine that was responsible for 11 Japanese vessels sinking looks like.
Discover rooms like the emergency nurse station, the missile & handling room, and what I liked to call the “luxury suites.” If you ever think your room is too small or your bed is uncomfortable, take a look at the conditions these veterans had to endure when they were at sea. I’m always on the hunt for the next creative date to spice up the usual “dinner and drinks” or for something to do with my family or friends on the weekend.
It’s an educational and fun way to get out of the house on a weekend or patriotic holiday. The tour’s brochure supplied me with plenty of information to forward to you, but there is much more where that came from. You will have to take the tour to find out for yourself!
I’ve been going to the waterfront for years now and have seen the transformation happen over time. As they add events, restaurants, and entertainment to draw attention to the area, it creates opportunities to continue to make memories. After the tour, take a walk around the harbor and observe all there is to do. On top of the occasional festivals, markets, free yoga or zumba classes and concerts, there are great restaurants and activities available along the water. You can rent a kayak and paddle past the Naval ships to get a view of the lighthouse, have a laugh, renting a tandem water bike for an hour, or head to Liberty Hound for a cucumber margarita on the patio overlooking the water. That makes for a packed day of summer festivities!
Buffalo and Erie Naval and Military Park
1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY 14202
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