Confession: I’ve been proved wrong on a destination label! I’m the type who tends to like any place – big city, small town, open spaces, and always find some charm. But there are a few locations that never appealed me. Why visit?
Buffalo was one of those cities.
I saw it as a place that was too freezing cold with dirty snow most of the year. And with the ever declining population, wouldn’t it just have deserted, dilapidated buildings and no Starbucks? What’s there to see besides just an airport option if heading to Niagara Falls? Or merely to eat original buffalo wings (which I don’t like)? Or see a game of the Bills (not a fan)?
Well, my brother has been living there for a while, so I finally made my way up to visit. And you know what? I realized it’s a pretty cool place! It helps I went in the summer, as I’m never a fan of places that are ultra cold. But here’s just a few reasons why the city has now got my seal of approval as worthy of a visit. And I retract all skepticism of visiting.
Reason 1: Lake Erie
Yes, I knew the city was on the Great Lake, but it just didn’t really sink into me how nice the waterline views were! Buffalo’s got an excellent walkway with the canal on one side, the lake on the other, and tons of summer activities to join and sunshine to soak up.
Here’s a waterfront bar with a great DJ & tasty local brews (right next to an ice cream shop & cafe)…
fragrant petunia gardens…
and a beautiful sunset stroll.
Reason 2: Awesome Architecture
I love old architecture, from the really old up to the art deco era. What I found most captivating about Buffalo is it’s a city that had lots of wealth in the glory days of building really pretty things. But it lost its wealth in the 1950’s and 60’s when other cities were bulldozing their beautiful structures in exchange for more modern, larger projects. So what I find most thrilling about the city is it captures a moment in time of “Old America”, where old-fashioned tall buildings remain and shine on the skyline, instead of hide among modern skyscrapers of modern day.
That leaves the city with this wonderful skyline that would fit well on a puzzle. So quaint, shows a good hearty working town with brick towers, cathedrals galore, incredible mansions with detailed stonework (never mind some of these buildings are deserted and boarded up at a closer look… a lot are still in use as well!)
Here’s a view of one of many incredible churches…
and downtown even has it’s own statue of liberty! One of two statues on the Liberty Building.
And the interior of historical buildings are also good looking. So many bars and restaurants with a lot of local history. This is the dining area of Pearl Street Brewery (where, by the way, they make an excellent Blueberry Blonde).
Reason 3: Yummy Food
Okay, so I said I wasn’t a fan of buffalo wings. It’s true. BUT, I tried some at the original home of the buffalo wing (as the Anchor Bar so “subtly” boasts…
And would you believe, they are dang good! The authentic version is delicious. I guess I am a buffalo wing fan after all!
So I graciously thanked the chef.
So a note to my brother, Mike: I get it now! Buffalo is, in fact, an a-okay city. 🙂
I shouldn’t be such a skeptic of any place. Turns out, I continue to love at least something special about anywhere I’ve been. Part of the beauty of travel and exploration!