Buffalo’s waterfront has become an awesome recreational destination for area residents and visitors. An array of events, as well as educational and entertainment opportunities brings people of all ages and interests to the Erie Canal Harbor. Whether it’s the new condominiums, water sports, attractions, festivals or concerts, people are energized about our waterfront revitalization. Take a stroll, book a tour, rent a kayak or bicycle along a path to create your own memory of the exciting and ongoing development in Buffalo.
Allentown Historic District
Designated a local preservation district in 1978 and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1980, Allentown is one of the first and largest residential historic districts in the US. As the site of the annual Allentown Arts Festival, its brightly painted Victorian and neoclassical homes enhance the artistic atmosphere. On the first Friday of each month, art galleries, restaurants and businesses welcome visitors to enjoy a variety of rich, cultural attractions that include art, artists, music, performances, food and more.
The Elmwood Village
This historic district is the site of mansion row, century-old Victorians, charming cottages, landmark churches and synagogues, and institutes offering an unparalleled array of services. Choose from an interesting blend of restaurants, cafés, specialty shops and galleries for any taste, especially those looking for something out of the ordinary. Nestled into a residential community, it’s also home of the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts.
Regional talent and locally owned and operated establishments in all areas are sure to satiate any palate in the Elmwood Village. The American Planning Association designated the Elmwood Village as one of the country’s top ten great neighborhoods in 2007.
North Buffalo/Hertel Avenue
A wonderful urban area known as “Buffalo’s Little Italy,” because of the many Italian restaurants, markets and bakeries. There's a variety of other cultures represented here too. Shop and dine at locally owned and operated establishments. Discover unique gifts, fashions, antiques and accessories. As the sun sets, Hertel Avenue comes alive with live music and people watching on the patios. There's something for folks of all ages. Italy comes to North Buffalo every July during the Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival, the second largest Italian street festival in the nation.
Suburbs North & South of Buffalo
Our suburban communities feature extraordinary homes, one-of-a-kind locally owned shops, fabulous restaurants and a myriad of cultural events. In the Northtowns, the largest suburb of Buffalo is Amherst. This town encompasses the village of Williamsville and the neighborhoods of Snyder and Eggertsville. You’ll find many walking and biking paths throughout the area. The village of Williamsville is a charming place to shop and dine with a bustling Main Street and tree-shaded residential side streets. South of Buffalo, Orchard Park makes sports fans think of Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills. Because of its upscale developments and rural atmosphere, many call this lovely village home. Hamburg has been a haven for sportsmen, boaters and beach lovers for decades. Boasting many vacation homes and marinas, the lakeshore is the ideal place to enjoy the waterfront. The town of Lackawanna is home to The Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, a national historic site full of exotic horticulture treasures. You’ll also discover Our Lady of Victory Basilica, which draws thousands of visitors every year. Don’t miss the massive grain elevators along the banks of the Buffalo River.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Buffalo one of its Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Here are some of the gifted, world renown architects who are responsible for this distinction:
The Darwin D. Martin House is Frank Lloyd Wright’s most extensive residential complex; a prime example of his prairie-style homes. Five other residences, including Graycliff Estate, and a newly-constructed Rowing Boathouse can be found within the region. Wright’s instructor and mentor, Louis Sullivan, also set down structural roots in the city. Downtown’s Prudential (Guaranty) Building is considered to be the first skyscraper ever built and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The Pan-American Exposition of 1901 provided an impetus for architectural development in the Buffalo area. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, originally designed as the Fine Arts Pavilion for the Exposition, continues to be an architectural gem of the city. Designed by Edward B. Green, its neoclassical style features many classical elements, such as the caryatid statues along the southern facade, reminiscent of the Greek Parthenon. The Niagara Mohawk Building was also designed in homage to the Pan-American Exposition. Modeled after the Electric Tower that dazzled crowds in 1901, the Mohawk Building features a white sand lime and brick glazed terra cotta tiled exterior. Another National Historic Place, Buffalo’s City Hall is an exemplary piece of Art Deco architecture, evidenced by the front facade and many colorful details on the exterior. The 28th floor is a free, public observation deck offering unparalleled views of Buffalo and the waterfront. The Ellicott Square Building’s interior courtyard features a mosaic floor with 23 million pieces of marble imported from Italy, designed by William Winthrop Kent. Buffalo’s houses of worship are truly awe-inspiring. Temple Beth Zion, designed by Max Abramowitz, is a remarkable landmark on Delaware Avenue. The interior features scalloped walls, colossal stained-glass windows (designed by artist Ben Shahn), 30-foot high commandment tablets and 60-foot ceilings. Richard Upjohn, the first President of the American Institute of Architecture, designed St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, which was added as a National Historic Landmark in 1973. The twin-steepled Asbury Delaware Methodist Church, by John Selkirk was completed in 1876. Made from Medina sandstone, it thrived for 100 years as an example of Gothic Revivalism. Ani DiFranco recently rescued and restored this gem and turned it into her music studio “Babeville”. The Buffalo Psychiatric Center is considered to be American architect Henry Hobson Richardson’s finest achievement. Built in 1870, this Romanesque monument possesses two immense red Medina sandstone towers capped with oxidized copper. Frederick Law Olmsted designed the grounds along with many parks and green areas throughout the region. The world-class Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra calls Kleinhans Music Hall their home. Built as one of the first American commissions by the Finnish-American father-son duo, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, the concert hall has become a global model due to its acoustical excellence. You can’t help but notice the massive grain elevators along the banks of the Buffalo River. You’ll be amazed by the scale of these towering monoliths that influenced the course of modern architecture.
These are just a few of our favorites - enjoy exploring!