Here in Western New York, we’re lucky enough to fully experience all four seasons…even if one of those seasons tends to last a lot longer than the other three, and it’s always entirely possible that you’ll experience all four seasons in the span of just one day. (Enter the saying: “If you don’t like the weather in Buffalo, just wait ten minutes.”)
Despite how much we complain about Buffalo’s freezing cold temperatures that last from November to, let’s be honest, March or April, winters in Western New York can be just as equally beautiful as they are (at times) a nuisance. To prove it, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite photogenic spots in Buffalo that can still be enjoyed in the seemingly never ending winter- even when the city is covered in snow! In no particular order here are 8 picture perfect spots in Buffalo:
Check out our other article, 31 Picture Perfect Spots in WNY for more ideas!
1. Shark Girl / Canalside
Canalside, Buffalo NY, 14203 / Website
Buffalo’s favorite girl is back and better than ever on her little corner of Canalside after undergoing a bit of touch-up work last year. Created by artist Casey Riordan Millard, “Shark Girl” actually first appeared in Cincinnati, where she spent time posing for pictures in Sawyer Point Park before finding her home here in Buffalo back in 2014.
Today, she’s just as much a part of Buffalo culture as chicken wings, Loganberry, and the Cheerios smell we all know and love, so it only makes sense that taking a selfie with Shark Girl is basically a Buffalo rite of passage. She’s always out, rain or shine (or snow), so you can drop by and say hello even in the dead of winter.
2. Street Art in Western New York
Since Buffalo is such a top-tier destination for street art, it won’t come as a shock to anyone that our murals made the top of this list. Whether you’re looking for the perfect backdrop for a picture with out-of-town friends/family or just want a perfect 716-themed selfie for your Instagram grid, the city’s local artists have you covered.
Since there are so many to choose from, might we recommend Casey William Milbrand’s “Greetings from Buffalo” mural on Ellicott Street, or the new “Keep Buffalo A Secret” mural on Main Street. (Just promise not to actually keep Buffalo a secret, okay?)
2655 South Park Ave / Website
If you find yourself longing for greenery in the dead of a Western New York winter, look no further than Buffalo’s Botanical Gardens. A national historic site and an indoor oasis of plants, the Botanical Gardens is a heaven on Earth for plant-lovers, making for a great photoshoot spot when the rest of the city is covered with blankets of snow and slush. Also, Lumagination is going on until the end of this month!
332 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303 / Website
Niagara Falls is always a great go-to for Instagram worthy pictures in the Western New York region- especially in the winter! The icy, snow-covered landscapes in and around the state park area are beautiful and incredibly romantic; plus, colder temps generally mean fewer tourists to maneuver around while you’re trying to get a great shot. Open year-round, the Niagara Falls Observation Tower is a great place to start if you’re looking for some of the best views on the American side of the Falls- just be sure to bundle up before you head out!
437 Buffalo Rd, East Aurora, NY 14052 / Website
Fact: Just about every inch of Knox Farm in East Aurora is beautiful. And depending on what you’re looking for, the park can prove to be an incredibly versatile environment for photos. With everything from rustic barns, open fields, park benches, and adventurous trails to explore, Knox Farm is an ideal spot for families or couples looking for dreamy, winter-themed photoshoot. Yes, we’re talking engagement/wedding photos, annual family photos, pregnancy announcement photoshoots, special milestones, etc. Knox Farm is also great for just your everyday life photos to add to your bomb insta feed. Check out our other hiking trails that are also perfect for that outdoorsy winter photo: 6 Winter Hiking Spots in WNY to Embrace the Chill.
617 Main Street, Buffalo 14203
Located in the historic building that was formerly known as “The Palace Arcade,” downtown Buffalo’s Market Arcade is awesome when you’re looking to hide from the cold and stay indoors to take photos. If the building’s breathtaking architecture isn’t enough on its own, you can certainly count on one of the adorable local shops, curated art galleries, or the perfectly-lit indoor walkway to set the scene for a great shot.
7. Misuta Chows
521 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14203 / Website
Misuta Chows’ hot pink glitter staircase- you know, the one that absolutely blew up on social media when the bar first opened- is a prime spot for a quintessentially “Buffalo” photo op when bar hopping downtown. Come for a mini photoshoot with your squad, stay for the arcade games, delicious food, and equally picture perfect neon signs and specialty cocktails. Check out our article, New: Misuta Chow’s is Finally Here & It’s Everything We Hoped it Would Be to see more.
391 Washington Street & 2178 Seneca Street / Website
Last but not least, we had to include one for the foodies. If you’re local to Buffalo, you’re likely already well aware of Public Espresso, one of Buffalo’s most beloved (and most Instagrammed) coffee shops. With two locations- one in the historic Hotel Lafayette and one in the Shea’s Seneca Building in South Buffalo– Public Espresso serves up beautifully crafted lattes, delicious brunch dishes, and some of the fluffiest doughnuts in the city.
The true testament of willpower will be trying to take a picture of your food before taking a bite- don’t say we didn’t warn you. To see more of what Public Espresso has to offer, check out our article, New: Public Espresso Opens Coffee Shop Space of Their/Our Dreams.
This post was originally published in 2020 and has been updated.