Great Winter Getaway Ideas: Buffalo & Niagara Falls

These two great cities team up for a perfect winter tour!

Close together and full of fun, Buffalo and Niagara Falls offer a world of winter thrills. With a frosting of snow and colorful nightlights, Niagara Falls' dramatic cascades are spectacular!  As a perfect complement, Buffalo presents world-class art, music, architecture, entertainment and history.

A. Niagara Falls

to_nw_gn_wi_win_niagara_us_day_007Start big at Niagara Falls State Park, a frosted wonderland in winter. Waters flow into the frozen river, forming glistening layers of ice. Warm up in the Niagara Adventure Theater, and stick around until dusk when then the Falls are illuminated in a rainbow of color. The park's open 365 days a year!

Ask for a seat by the cozy fireplace if you dine at the Red Coach Inn. Overlooking the majestic Upper Rapids and just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls, it's a unique place to spend the night. Modeled after a beloved old English inn, this English Tudor-style gem has a warm country ambiance that's been welcoming guests since 1923.

Geology rocks! The Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, a showcase of the natural and local history, features hands-on interactive displays, a 180° multi-screen theater experience, and a towering rock climbing wall with fossils and geological formations. 

The Aquarium of Niagara is a world of discovery, with over 1,500 aquatic animals. Sharks, piranhas, sea lions, sea horses, a giant Pacific octopus and a colony of Peruvian penguins all reside within its walls. Open year-round.

B. Buffalo

Just 17 miles south, discover one of the world's finest collections of modern and contemporary Albright-KnoxArtGallery 68art, with works by Pollock, deKooning and Warhol, at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Winter events include a lively Jazz Series and drop-in Family Art activities. 

Just across the street, the sleek new Burchfield Penney Art Center presents the art of abstract watercolorist Charles Burchfield and other regional artists. Docent-led tours are offered on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday all season long.

Walk through the Martin House Complex, one of the finest examples of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie-style design as it nears the completion of a $50 million restoration.

Take a guided tour of the Ansley Wilcox home, now the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site. State-of-the-art interactive exhibits put you in the moment when "Teddy" Roosevelt   became America's youngest president ever, following the shocking assassination of President William McKinley in 1901.  

Experience the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in one of the world's most renowned concert venues, Kleinhans Music Hall. The Grammy Award-winning orchestra is led by JoAnn Falletta, hailed by the New York Times as one of the finest conductors of her generation.  

The elegant Shea's Performing Arts Center, built in 1926, is one of only four Tiffany-designed theaters still in existence. This season's Broadway Series shows range from Warhorse in November, to Wicked in January, and Beauty and the Beast in April.

On November 30, over 300,000 people don their best disco duds, head to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, and get down to music of the ‘70s at the World's Largest Disco. Why not join the party? The more, the merrier!

Whatever the weather outside, the Buffalo Botanical Garden's Victorian-era glass conservatory's balmy with palms and tropical fruit trees, while exotic rainforest orchids thrive in the Tropical House. From desert to rainforest to rose garden, you'll stroll through the world's ecosystems without leaving the City.

BuffaloZoo 243Year round, the Buffalo Zoo is the perfect place to bring the family! Meet polar bears, sea lions, anteaters, giraffes, gorillas, meerkats and more!

The award-winning Elmwood Village neighborhood is home to Buffalo's hippest boutiques, galleries, cafes and coffee shops.

First Night Buffalo, one of the world's largest New Year's celebrations, offers big entertainment and family fun. Head downtown by midnight, when thousands gather to ring in 2014 at the 26th annual Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks, the 2nd largest in the US!

For more ideas and information, see Greater Niagara's Regional Tourism Website.  

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