Have you been to Buffalo lately? I’m not talking about the Fashion Outlet mall or the Walden Galleria mall for a cross border shopping trip, but inside the city of downtown Buffalo? I confess, I’ve only been to the city once before with a group of girlfriends, for a visit to the famous Anchor Bar, known as the bar that invented the Buffalo chicken wing. It was a quick trip into the city, I didn’t see much and didn’t really know what there was to do in the city of Buffalo. So when the Buffalo Niagara tourism board invited me on a trip to discover some “off the beaten path” areas of the region to share with all of you, of course I had to pack up my car and make the drive down to the city of Buffalo.
City of Buffalo New York – Change is Good
In just a few days I got to experience a side of Buffalo New York that surprised me and inspired me. In fact, we saw so much during this short trip, it is just too much to write in one post. So I’ll start with the City of Buffalo, there is a lot of new development happening in the city and this is infusing many of the city’s existing neighbourhoods with renewed life.
Downtown Buffalo’s Buzzing Trendy Neighbourhoods
The Allentown neighbourhood in downtown Buffalo is one of the first trendy spots in town and has something for everyone. The street is lined with trendy dress shops for those looking to score some interesting fashions, while architecture lovers will love strolling up and down the streets to admire the colourful residential houses and other historic buildings. During the day, these funky shops with interesting street art painted on their walls sit in a quiet street scene, but then at night Allentown transforms into a hip and happening neighbourhood where restaurants and eateries fill up with food and music lovers out to enjoy the great food and live music scene.
Elmwood Village – Trendy Shops and Great Eateries
I can’t believe I didn’t know about Elmwood Village until now! This long street of trendy village shops, boutiques and eateries is a fantastic neighbourhood to visit for a great walk and to do some shopping. Rising out of Allentown up Elmwood Avenue, this long strip is packed with boutique fashion shops, cool jewellery shops, small specialty bakeries and specialty food stores. There are also lots of great little eateries and cafes to enjoy a bite to eat while you take a break from shopping. I can’t wait to tell you about some of the amazing shops I visited in this village and I will be going into greater detail in an upcoming post.
Hertel Avenue – Buffalo’s Little Italy
Hertel Avenue is an interior decorator’s dream shopping destination! The street is full of stores filled with antique collectables, furniture, home decor and art to tempt either the modern or classic designer. In the mix of all these shops and galleries are some extraordinary Italian bakeries and eateries which are packed with people. One of the highlights on Hertel Avenue is North Park Theatre an old classic Hollywood movie theatre that dates back to the early 1900s. Sadly the theatre was closed when we visited so we couldn’t tour the inside. This theatre has been modernized for digital films, but it underwent an extraordinary restoration both on the inside and out to maintain it’s original glamour and I’m sad I didn’t get to go inside and see it.
Canalside Buffalo’s Beautiful Waterfront
Buffalo’s waterfront is undergoing a revitalization. There are lots of new developments happening set to open later this year which will take this already happening neighbourhood in Buffalo to a whole new level. The new Harborcenter is under construction and will house 2 NHL size ice rinks and a one-of-a-kind Tim Hortons cafe with a tribute to Buffalo’s hockey history.
Despite the construction, you won’t see this waterfront covered in expensive condominiums, the spirit of Buffalo’s waterfront today – is a place for everyone in the city to come and enjoy. We had a great stroll along the boardwalk and its beautiful community gardens. Canalside is a place to showcase outdoor art, live music in free weekly concert events, lots of water activities and games to participate in or just relax in an Adirondack chair.
I’m really excited about what’s happening in the city of Buffalo today! In a short stay I experienced amazing dining and great visits to some amazing neighbourhoods that I didn’t even know existed. It is great to know that just a short drive away is a great and affordable weekend getaway.
In the upcoming weeks, I will be sharing more posts highlighting these neighbourhoods, the places we stayed and some of the great restaurants we got to eat in.
Have you been to Buffalo lately or do you live in the city? I’d love to hear your favourite spots, share them in the comments below.
Travel assistance provided by Visit Buffalo Niagara, however the opinions expressed in this post are my own.