Buffalo is undergoing a once-in-a-lifetime transformation, as its proud history and incredible architectural legacy weave their way into every aspect of the visitor experience. Visitors sleep in hotels that were former mansions and an insane asylum, tour the largest home ever designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in its restored grandeur, rock climb and drink craft beer among the ruins of grain silos and enjoy live performances in reclaimed movie palaces, churches and historic social clubs.
A palpable energy winds its way through the city’s streets and neighborhoods, as locals who have summoned the collective will to revitalize their city are finally seeing their efforts paying off after decades of work. Here are some of the unexpected experiences awaiting visitors in the months to come.
This winter, lace up your skates and head to the Ice @ Canalside, a 33,000 square foot skating rink on a historic recreation of the Erie Canal. Glide underneath whipple truss bridges and see the new developments all around the rink, like the HarborCenter complex featuring a 200-room Marriott Hotel, two NHL-size hockey rinks and two-story sports bar, (716) Food & Sport. Or rent one of the Ice Bikes of Buffalo, a bicycle fitted with a stainless steel frame for a seamless experience on the ice, believed to be the first of its kind available for public rental in North America. Across from Canalside, the Connecting Terminal grain elevator has a nightly light show on its walls.
Further up the Buffalo River, the Riverworks sports and entertainment complex houses curling and pond hockey tournaments throughout the winter in the shadow of the city’s historic grain elevators as well as a bar, restaurant, roller derby rink and concert venue. A new brewery, beer garden and climbing wall carved out of the ruins of grain silos recently launched at the complex. It’s one of a handful ofcraft breweries that are in development or have recently opened, including Resurgence, Big Ditch and Flying Bison Brewing Companies, as well as new distilleries: Lockhouse, Tommyrotter and Niagara Distilling Co.
Visitors touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in North Buffalo will see the house in its restored state following more than 15 years and $50 million in restoration work. The Martin House is just the latest example of Buffalo reclaiming its extraordinary legacy of turn-of-the-century American architecture.
Normally you can’t touch museum artwork, but you’ll find just the contrary at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Out of Sight! Art of the Senses. This exhibit, launching Nov. 4- Feb. 4, will have you using all five senses to experience art in a whole new way.Or browse through the outstanding collections of regional art at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
Kick off the spring with some signature Buffalo events! Buffalo has not one, but two St. Patrick’s Day parades. The “Old Neighborhood” parade will be held in the city’s Old First Ward on Saturday, March 17 while the larger parade down Delaware Avenue takes place the following day. And don’t miss out on Dyngus Day – the celebration of all things Polish – the day after Easter (Monday, April 9.) No one does Dyngus Day like Buffalo!
For more information about these events and much more, go to www.visitbuffaloniagara.com or call 1-800-BUFFALO.