Buffalo bound!BUFFALO, NY, May 2009 - The accolades keep coming. In recent months Buffalo has received recognition from the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of its Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2009, from The New York Times as one of its 44 Places To Go in 2009, from New York Magazine as one of seven exciting spring trips and from AmericanStyle Magazine as the No. 1 mid-size arts city in the United States. This after the American Planning Association named Buffalo's Elmwood Village to its list of Great American Neighborhoods in 2007. Add a sunny and temperate spring, summer, and autumn climate and you've got a destination that's worth checking out. Here's what the buzz is all about: 1. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House Complex is in the final phases of a multi-year, $50 million restoration that will see the five-building, 32,000-square-foot Prairie Style complex returned to its original grandeur. In March, a new visitors center designed by Toshiko Mori opened on the 1.8-acre site, providing space for exhibition galleries and an entryway for visitors and guided tours. 2. A 21st Century Art Museum A new $33 million home for the artistic achievement and vision of renowned watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield has recently opened on the campus of Buffalo State College. The new 84,000-square-foot Burchfield Penney Art Center is located across the street from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and its world class collection of modern and contemporary art. 3. America's Gateway to the West The Erie Canal Harbor will be open for its first full summer after a ten-year, $53 million restoration. The 184-year-old Commercial Slip has been excavated and re-watered, a replica "bowstring" bridge has been built, a re-creation of the Central Wharf boardwalk put in place and foundations of Canal era buildings unearthed. America's "Gateway to the West" is now an essential heritage tourism destination. 4. Teddy Roosevelt Made History Here The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site has been restored and expanded and will re-open on June 20. Teddy Roosevelt took the oath of office in the library of the Ansley Wilcox house following the assassination of President William McKinley. Interactive exhibits will help to transport visitors back to the drama of September 14, 1901. 5. FAMILY FUN The new Rainforest Falls exhibit at the Buffalo Zoo opened last September and gives visitors the chance to experience the tepui region of Venezuela. The $16 million exhibit features ocelots, giant anteaters, anaconda, piranha, squirrel monkeys, black howler monkeys and white-faced sakis. One of the exhibit's most impressive features is the cascading waterfall that replicates Angel Falls in Venezuela's Canaima National Park. 6. Body Worlds 2 The Buffalo Museum of Science will proudly host Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS & The Story of the Heart starting on July 9, 2009 for a limited engagement. This is an unforgettable anatomy lesson that allows a visitor to see and understand physiology and health and to discover what it truly means to be human. More than 26 million visitors around the world have experienced the BODY WORLDS exhibitions. 7. GREAT AMERICAN GARDENS Garden Walk Buffalo is the largest and most spectacular garden tour in North America. Each year, more than 300 private gardens are opened for a free public tour that takes place over two days on the last weekend of July. Garden Walk Buffalo highlights urban gardening of every variety. The 2009 Garden Walk will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 25 & 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 8. ARCHITECTURE TOURS Pound for pound, Buffalo is one of the most architecturally interesting cities in the United States. One of the most efficient ways to experience Buffalo's architectural and historic treasures is on an Open-Air Autobus tour or on one of the more than 500 walking tours hosted by Buffalo Tours. In each case, knowledgeable guides bring Buffalo's heritage to life with wit, charm and insight. 9. GREAT AMERICAN NEIGHBORHOODS Voted one of the country's top ten neighborhoods by the American Planning Association in 2007, Buffalo's Elmwood Village shares this heady designation with the likes of Brooklyn's Park Slope, San Francisco's North Beach and the Pike Place Market in Seattle. A stone's throw from downtown hotels, the Elmwood Village is a great place to stroll and shop. 10. FESTIVALS AND CONCERTS After a long winter Buffalo springs to life each summer with an unbridled enthusiasm that turns "every weekend from May to October into a street festival," according to USA Today. The season kicks into high gear with the 52nd annual Allentown Art Festival and the Juneteenth Festival on June 13 and 14. One of the nation's largest food festivals takes place at the Taste of Buffalo on July 11 and 12 along with the Buffalo Book Fair on the same weekend. Soon thereafter, one festival follows another: the Italian Heritage Festival on July 16-19, Erie County Fair from August 12-23, and the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts on August 29 and 30. The summer festival season culminates with the National Buffalo Wing Festival on Sept. 5-6. Media Contacts: Ed Healy Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau 716-852-0511, x236 healy@buffalocvb.org Doug Sitler Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau 716-852-0511, x252 sitler@buffalocvb.org