A First-Timer’s Guide to Buffalo, NY Through Five Extraordinary Landmarks

As the second largest city in New York State, Buffalo can get somewhat overshadowed by a certain Big Apple. But there are so many reasons to visit— and not just because it’s a mere 25 miles from Niagara Falls, and the birthplace of famous chicken wings. From architectural masterpieces and fascinating historical sites to world-class art galleries and a bustling waterfront, here are five must-see spots for visitors to the Queen City.

Wednesday 08 November 2023 08:57 GMT
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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House

Anyone who appreciates amazing buildings will find much to get excited about in Buffalo, especially as seminal American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed several buildings in the area. The most famous — and one of the greatest of his career — is the 1.5 acre estate he created for Buffalo businessman Darwin D.Martin in the city’s Parkside neighbourhood. A 25 year restoration project, completed in 2019, means visitors can see the Martin House — made up of six interconnecting buildings — in all its former glory. Martin also commissioned Wright to design Graycliff, a summer estate on the shores of Lake Erie, south of the city.

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Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site

This building in Delaware Avenue unexpectedly became a major historical landmark in 1901 after President William McKinley was assassinated while on a trip to Buffalo. A hasty inauguration ceremony for Theodore Roosevelt was arranged in the library of this friend’s home, deemed the most suitable nearby venue. The house is now a museum dedicated to the inauguration and career of Teddy Roosevelt, who would go on to become one of the USA’s most popular and influential presidents. It’s located in Allentown, a bohemian neighbourhood brimming with antique shops, cafes, galleries and bars. A couple of blocks away you’ll find another important landmark: the Anchor Bar, where Buffalo Wings were first invented.


Buffalo’s waterfront district has undergone a huge transformation in recent years, and the Canalside area — also known as the Erie Canal Harbour — is now one of the city’s most exciting neighbourhoods. Walk along the boardwalk and you might stumble across a live concert, a yoga class or, — in winter — an ice-rink. Those feeling energetic can rent a bike or kayak, or just grab an ice cream and take in the scenery. You can walk the decks of WWII-era naval vessels at The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, while families will love the Explore & More Children’s Museum. Don’t forget to get a photo with the famous Shark Girl statue — a piece of public art that’s become a magnet for photography.

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Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Buffalo cemented its place on the cultural map this year when the Buffalo AKG Art Museum reopened after a £185 million expansion. The new 30,000 sq. ft space is seriously impressive, marrying the gallery’s existing architecture and rich history (founded in 1862, it is one of the oldest public art institutions in the country) with a new glass structure, The Gundlach Building. Inside there are works by Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Picasso and Paul Gauguin, as well as a large collection by American abstract expressionist Clyfford Still. The museum sits on the edge of Delaware Park, a 350 acre green space in the heart of the city that houses Hoyt Lake, and where you’ll also find the Buffalo History Museum and Buffalo Zoo.

Buffalo City Hall

Not just any city hall, this 1931 building in the heart of downtown Buffalo is an Art Deco masterpiece that would look right at home in Batman’s Gotham City. Inside is just as impressive, with a domed lobby featuring huge murals that depict the city’s heritage, and a beautiful stained glass skylight in the Council Chamber. Daily tours take place at midday, and there’s a free observation deck on the 28th floor for a magnificent view of the city and Lake Erie. On a clear day you can see all the way to Canada, and even the mist of Niagara Falls.

For more information and to start planning your next trip to the United States, visit visittheusa.co.uk

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