Buffalo might be infamous for its winters, but if you ask locals, it’s the summers that truly make the city special. Between the miles of lake and river access to green spaces and outdoor activities, there’s no shortage of things to do in Buffalo this summer. You just have to know where to look.
Spend a Day at Canalside
Boardwalk, beach access, and water bikes? All that and more can be found at Canalside, one of the best places to visit in Buffalo during the summertime. Right across the street from KeyBank Center, Canalside rests along the meeting point between the Buffalo River and Lake Erie. In summer, the refurbished shallow waterways are open for single and tandem water bikes or pedal boat rentals. Afterward, guests can stop by Clinton’s Dish for a quick bite to eat and a refreshing beverage or visit one of the nearby restaurants downtown.
The boardwalk, which overlooks the canals, runs right along the waterfront to a small beach and playground area. There are also several adjacent lawn areas with Adirondack chairs and lawn games for visitors to enjoy in beautiful green spaces. Attractions like Buffalo Heritage Carousel and Queen City Bike Ferry begin operations on Memorial Day Weekend and remain open through the end of summer.
Explore the Outer Harbor
Just five minutes south of the city is Outer Harbor, Buffalo’s epicenter for outdoor summer activities. Locals flock to the Outer Harbor during the summertime for its waterfront access, big open spaces, bike and walking trails, and more. Wilkeson Pointe is the first must-stop along the Outer Harbor. Guests can take in beautiful views of Lake Erie throughout this 15-acre public space, play volleyball at the open court, trek through the Windspoon walkway, or rent kayaks and paddleboards. After a day’s worth of fun, patrons can stop by Consumer’s 225 Beer Garden for snacks and refreshments.
Outdoor concerts are big in Buffalo, and there’s no more scenic place for one than the Lakeside Complex. A recent addition to the Buffalo waterfront, the Lakeside Complex brings in local and national acts for live music and performances. But the Complex isn’t just open for concerts. Lakeside Bike Park is also a part of the venue. It’s the only outdoor bike park in Buffalo with three mountain bike tracks, a pump track, and skill loops for all riders of all ages. There’s even a tot track for newbie bikers. Guests can bring their own bike or rent one from the Complex.
Catch a Ball Game at Sahlen Field
Summer in the city wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a Buffalo Bisons game. Fans flock to Sahlen Field in the summer to enjoy a great baseball game and additional fun that comes with tickets, from dog days at the ballpark to Friday-night fireworks. But that’s not all a Bisons game has to offer. Consumer’s Pub at the Park has been a huge hit since its introduction to Sahlen Field. Guests can score tasty local dishes or try some of Buffalo’s best brews.
Find Sanctuary at Tifft Nature Preserve
For those looking for a more natural outdoor experience, a trip to Tifft Nature Preserve has everything you’re looking for and then some. Since 1972, Tifft Nature Preserve has provided locals and tourists with 264 acres of breathtaking natural beauty. The Preserve is dedicated to conservation and environmental education, which are at the forefront of the many wellness walks, guided tours, annual events, camps, and classes offered to the public. There’s plenty of wildlife to spectate in natural ponds, marshes, and woodlands along the more than five miles of trails and boardwalks.
View Natural Wonders at Letchworth State Park
About an hour outside of the city sits Letchworth State Park, one of Western New York’s beloved destinations. Referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth is known for its cascading waterfalls and breathtaking gorge. Sixty-six miles of hiking trails and guided walking tours cut through lush forests and get visitors up close and personal with the mighty Genesee River. Other popular summer activities include whitewater rafting, kayaking, and swimming.
Letchworth is also a great overnight getaway. The Glen Iris Inn is located right inside the park, just off the banks of the Genesee River, and offers several accommodation options. Recently renovated, the Inn is the perfect pairing of rustic charm and elegance. Inn guests and park visitors are welcomed to the estate and Caroline’s, the on-site restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.