Are you looking fo a unique experience this summer? Head to the Naval and Military Park, located next to Canalside, to show learn about the US Armed Forces. The Park has been educating Buffalonians for over 40 years- since it’s opening on June 30, 1979.
The Naval and Military Park is open daily from 10am-5pm. There are plenty of battleships to behold, as it’s home to the USS Little Rock, The USS Sullivans, and the submarine USS Croaker.
What to Expect
Note: While tours of the Naval Park are still available, certain compartments aboard USS The Sullivans will be closed due to ongoing preservation and maintenance.
Their detailed brochure will guide you through the park smoothly. Starting with the first destroyer in the Navy: The USS Sullivans (DD-537), a fleet type destroyer, which was named in remembrance for the five brothers who lost their lives serving together on the USS Juneau. The battleship was sunk by a Japanese submarine and resulted in seven hundred American deaths, including the five brothers. Throughout the tour of this ship, you will encounter over 40 stops and displays, while gathering compelling 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.
The USS Croaker (SSK-246) is the final destination during the tour. This hunter/killer diesel-electric submarine presents Buffalonians with the opportunity to experience what it was like to be a part of the crew that was responsible for sinking 11 Japanese vessels.
Discover rooms such as the emergency nurse station, the missile and handling room, and 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.
This is certainly 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 share with you, but there is much more where that came from. So definitely make sure to take the tour to find out more for yourself!
After the tour, take a walk around the harbor and observe all there is to do. On top of the occasional festivals, markets, outdoor movies, free yoga, and concerts, there are great restaurants and activities available along the water. In addition the Naval and Military Park hosts their own slew of events aboard the ships.
Consider renting a kayak or paddle board and heading past the Naval ships to get a view of the lighthouse, have a laugh, and head to Liberty Hound for a cucumber margarita on the patio overlooking the water.
Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park
One Naval Park Cove Buffalo, New York 14202
- Park / Public Space
The Buffalo Naval Park takes you inside history with incredible exhibits and displays including actual historic documents, uniforms, military gear, photographs
This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.