Up until last week, if you asked me about what I thought of Buffalo, New York, I would have replied that it was a dirty, old, has-been town that is famous for record snow storms. Then I spent a day in Buffalo and boy was I ever proven wrong!! Buffalo not only plays an important part in our country’s history, it is also making new history with its restorations and innovations. All I can say is Buffalo is cool!!
Founded in the 1600’s by the French, Buffalo is easy to get around as it is laid out like a wagon wheel. The hub of the wheel is the shore of Lake Erie and the spokes are different areas of the city.
The Healthcare industry is strong in Buffalo. It is known as the biomedical corridor. It was in Buffalo that the pacemaker was invented. The American Red Cross is headquartered in Buffalo. General Mills and their Cheerios brand is located in Buffalo. And yes, Buffalo Wings were really invented and are still being served up at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo.
What can you see and do in Buffalo in 24 hours to get a flavor of this wonderful town?
- Visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin House
There are six Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Buffalo and three of them are located on this sight. They were built between 1903-1909 and it is the only place in the United States where you can find housing for three classes – lower, middle, and upper – on the same property. A master of scale and illusion, Frank Lloyd Wright did not design rooms, he designed space. His famous, “Tree of Life” stained glass windows are one of the features of the Darwin House.
- Take a boat tour on the Erie Canal
The Erie Canal first opened in Buffalo in 1825 and is still in use today. The idea for the canal was to shift business and commerce from exclusively in New York City to upstate New York. When the canal was started, there was only about 800 people living in Buffalo. By 1900, Buffalo was the 8th largest city in the United States. A few miles from Buffalo is the village of Lockport, where Buffalo’s five original locks are located.
- See Architectural Wonders Downtown
Cathedrals, Terra Cota Buildings, and plenty of art deco buildings are all located in the heart of downtown. Don’t miss driving down Delaware Street, (including the location where Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as President after President McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo), Main Street, and through the Parkside Neighborhood where the Darwin House is located. There are lots of unique eateries along Elmwood Avenue.
- Enjoy the Nightlife
Buffalo has 13 theater companies and its Shea Performance Center is the second largest entertainment hub in New York, after Radio City Music Hall.
Niagara Falls – the nation’s first National Park — is just a few miles down the road from Buffalo. When planning a trip to this treasure, make sure you include a 24 hour stop in Buffalo and experience the “city of trees,” a clean and friendly city. I can’t wait to return!!!