Getaway Guide: 14 Towns Worth Exploring in WNY & Beyond

Adventure, Getaway


Written by Step Out Staff

Published on April 30, 2021

There are so many hidden gem getaway destinations both in and around Buffalo! Whether you’re looking to explore a nearby town or get out of town, there are tons of small spots surrounding Buffalo and beyond with a lot to offer the adventurous person, couple, family, or friend crew.

Here is a list of towns worth exploring on your next excursion:

Photo Courtesy of Allegheny State Park

1-3. Olean, Salamanca, and Portville, NY

Cattaraugus County

These three Southern Tier towns are neighboring and can be combined to make a fun day or weekend trip.

Get the Guide: Adventure in the Southern Tier: 3 Beautiful Neighboring Towns Worth Exploring


Photo Courtesy of Sliver Lake Twin Drive In Theatre

4-6. Varysburg, Castile, and Perry, NY

Wyoming County

If you travel just 35 miles southeast of Buffalo, you’ll come across a few small towns that are full of exciting adventures. Throughout these small towns you can enjoy unique restaurants, activities, attractions, nature experiences that you can’t find any place else.

Get the Guide: 3 WNY Towns Perfect For a Spring Getaway

Photo Courtesy of Alexis Wagner

7. Ellicottville, NY

Cattaraugus County

If you travel just 50 miles south of Buffalo, you’ll come across the quaint Village of Ellicottville, NY. From Skiing to shopping to axe throwing, this tiny (but mighty) town is full of all types of fun and exciting activities. Whether you are looking to get away to the country or you’re want to try a fun activity in the snow, Ellicottville is the spot!

Get the Guide: The Ideal Day Date Itinerary for Ellicottville, NY

8. East Aurora, NY

Erie County

If you Venture just southeast of Buffalo, you’ll stumble upon the picturesque village of East Aurora. It doesn’t really matter what time of the year you visit, East Aurora is the perfect getaway to enjoy the outdoors and mosey from shop to shop while enjoying delicious bites to eat as you go.

Get the Guide: This WNY Village Is the Ultimate Day Date Destination in Any Season


9. Ithaca, NY

Finger Lakes Region

When you’re choosing your next road trip destination, what do you look for? Is it an awesome local food scene to sink your teeth into after a long drive? A few cool coffee shops or breweries to kick back at with your drink of choice? Maybe you’re the outdoorsy type, and the thought of adventuring through new hiking trails with spectacular views really lights you up.

Get the Guide: Road Trip: How to Spend a Weekend in Ithaca, NY

Jamestown: Harbor Hotel
Photo courtesy of the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel

10. Jamestown, NY

Chautauqua County

If you’re looking for a quick trip South, head to Chautauqua Lake in Jamestown, NY. The area is full of fun things to do within a small distance of each other, and it is only a short hour drive from Buffalo!

Get the Guide: Staycation: Jamestown is the Perfect Trip for Nature Seekers & Comedy Lovers


Photo Courtesy of Chautauqua Lake

11. Chautauqua Lake, NY

Chautauqua County

Dovetailing nicely with the previously mentioned Jamestown getaway, this mini vaca was designed to specifically stay within a certain budget. We’ve created an easy-to-follow itinerary of some of the coolest hidden gem shops, nature detours, mouthwatering finds, and unique attractions around Chautauqua Lake and Jamestown.

From Scandinavian foods, and the renowned Comedy museum, to a restaurant with a $4 and under menu, wildlife sanctuary, locally-made maple products, and so much more, you will NOT be disappointed with a visit to this nearby area.

Get the Guide: Getaway On a Budget: A 2-Day Trip Itinerary to Chautauqua Lake & Jamestown

Corning Museum of Glass / Photo x Jessica Kelly

12. Corning, NY

South of Finger Lakes Region

Explore the whimsical glass art town of Corning including where to stay, what to do, and where to eat!

Get the Guide: Weekend Getaway: Head to Corning, NY for Shopping, Dining, & Glass Art Masterpieces

Photo courtesy of Jessica Kelly

13. Sharon Springs, NY

West of Albany

A small town in the middle of nowhere named after water. A man with bushy eyebrows runs the local cafe. Two men who are partners in life and partners in business run a shop in town with goat cheeses and beauty products, working with others in the community to sell their goods, as well. The mayor co-owns the hotel on the main strip. Any of this starting to sound familiar?

When quarantine started, I immediately flew through a bunch of shows that I had yet to binge watch and Schitt’s Creek was at the top of that list. I was immediately hooked, so when I heard there’s a small town in New York that resembles Schitt’s Creek in so many ways, I knew I had to check it out. The real life quaint town of Sharon Springs, New York is as close as it gets to resembling the fictional town of Schitt’s Creek.

Get the Guide: Weekend Getaway: Sharon Springs, NY Embodies Everything We Love About Schitt’s Creek


Cooperstown, NY / Photo x Jessica Kelly

14. Cooperstown, NY

Central NY

If you think that loving baseball is a requirement for visiting Cooperstown, think again. Turns out, even someone that is not that into baseball can enjoy the area. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very baseball centric with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum along with plenty of stops with baseball memorabilia, but there’s also shops, amazing restaurants, bakeries, and a booming beer scene.

Get the Guide: Weekend Getaway: Historic Cooperstown is More Than Just a Baseball Fanatic’s Paradise

Shoutout to our Intern Alexis for putting together this guide!

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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Step Out Staff</a>

Written by Step Out Staff

A group of Step Out Buffalo team members worked together to create this post from research and writing to editing and imagery. Thanks for reading!


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