The Greater Niagara region offers a multitude of diverse destinations in the arts, architecture, natural wonders of the world, state-of-the-art entertainment venues, and some of the most die-hard sports fanatics and foodies. Make your way to the home of wings and waterfalls for the adventure of a lifetime, and check out these things to do to get the most bang for your buck!

1. Roar Into Niagara Falls

A group of people in blue raincoats aboard the green and white maid of the mist electric ship with views of the Niagara Falls behind it
Go with the flow and rush over to Niagara Falls, a natural wonder of the world and the largest waterfall in America! Visit any day of the year for unrivaled vistas, interactive exhibits, scenic hiking trails, and thrilling experiences. For $5-$10, you can park and begin your adventure. And for only $28.25 you can truly soak in the sights; cruise right to the base of the American Falls and the basin of the magnificent Horseshoe Falls as you board Maid of the Mist. Lower everything but your expectations when you descend 175 feet into the awe-inspiring Niagara Gorge during a Cave of the Winds tour where you’ll experience tropical storm like conditions from the “Hurricane Deck” ($14/adult, $10/children).

2. Explore the Museums

Burchfield Penney Art Center
Open your mind to many diverse museums! For art aficionados, Buffalo AKG Art Museum ($18/adult, $16/students & seniors, $10/children), Burchfield Penney Art Center ($10/adult, $8/seniors, $5/students, children age 10 and under are free), and Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University (pay-what-you-wish) will paint a colorful picture of the area. Hone in on history and science at Buffalo Museum of Science ($19/adult, $16/seniors, students, children), Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center ($10/adult, $8/seniors, students, military, $6/children), and Niagara Power Vista (free). Transport your mind to the seas and skies at Buffalo Naval Park ($20/adult, $17/senior, $14/youth, $15/Veterans, active military are free) and Niagara Aerospace Museum Admission ($10/adult, $5/seniors and military, children under 5 are free). Kids (of all ages) will love Explore & More ($13/person). And you can jazz up your day with a visit to the Colored Musicians Club & Jazz Museum, the oldest continuously running, all-Black-owned music venue in America. The club offers a calendar of free and low-cost events.

3. Catch a Show at Artpark

A natural and cultural treasure for 50 consecutive summers, the 150-acre Artpark offers world-class artists of all genres and performances on the edge of Niagara Gorge. You can catch a big-name concert at this iconic venue with a general admission lawn ticket starting at $25. And Saturdays in the summer are all about free family fun at Artpark, where afternoons are filled with creative hands-on activities, arts and crafts, stories, workshops, and live performances for all ages.

4. Unwind on the Wine Trail

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards - Photo provided by Arrowhead Spring Vineyards for Niagara Wine Trail USA
Stretching more than 60 miles across three counties, the Niagara Wine Trail offers an ideal climate for growing vinifera grapes, which produce incredible Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Vidal Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. In some areas in the region the climate compares to that of the Alsace, a region of northeastern France! Twelve wineries make up the trail and you can enjoy many of their tastings for just $10 or less. A Gust of Sun Winery offers a 3-wine tasting flight and snack for $8. At Bella Rose Vineyard & Winery you can savor a 5-wine flight for $9. Chill out with one of the region’s famed ice wines at Black Willow Winery for $10. Choose any 4 wine samples for $5 at Long Cliff Vineyard & Winery. $10 at Winery at Marjim Manor will afford you four wine tastings and a Marjim keepsake glass.

5. Opt Outdoors

Tree branches form a canopy over a wooden dock at Tifft Nature Preserve
Credit: @katehill221 on Instagram

Free your mind (and your wallet) with a retreat into nature. At the Tifft Nature Preserve (free) five miles of trails and three boardwalks offer sweeping views of the 264-acre preserve. Adjacent to the preserve is Buffalo Harbor State Park (free), boasting beautiful views of Lake Erie, restaurant, watercraft launches, and a beach for strolling and sunbathing. One of the first Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks in Buffalo, Delaware Park (free) encompasses 350 acres of meadow, forest and lake. Park features include boating on Hoyt Lake ($10-$15), a Rose Garden, Japanese Gardens, and in the summer, Shakespeare in Delaware Park (free). Niawanda Park (free) provides over 2.5 miles of picnic and boating space, and a paved trail that continues along the Niagara River all the way to Buffalo. Beaver Island State Park comprises 950 acres and features a sandy beach for swimming, fishing access and watercraft launches, nature trails, nature center, athletic fields, and an 18-hole championship disc golf course ($7 entry fee during summer).

6. Delight in Sweets and Treats

Courtesy of Platter's Chocolate
Sweeten up your life and enjoy the area’s most craveable confections. Treat yourself to the famous sponge candy at Oliver’s Candies or Watson’s Chocolates (a combination of sugar, corn syrup, and baking soda, often coated in chocolate). Take a self-guided (free) tour at Platter’s Chocolate Factory where you’ll witness each phase of the chocolate-making process before browsing the store for your favorite goodies. Don’t leave town without stopping at Vidler’s 5 & 10! With over 75,000 different whimsical and unique items and an old-fashioned candy counter, there’s an indulgence for everyone.

7. Unleash Your Wild Side

A father and son feeding a giraffe at the Buffalo Zoo on a sunny day
Roaring excitement can be found at the 23.5 acre Buffalo Zoo ($17.95/adults, $15.95/seniors, $13.95/children). The third oldest zoo in the United States, the Buffalo Zoo houses some of the world’s most exotic, endangered, and even local wildlife. A highlight of the venue is the naturalistic exhibits where animals move freely in large and modest enclosures with trees, streams, pools, and other features representing their natural habitats. Have a swimmingly good time at the Aquarium of Niagara ($19.95/adults, $17.95/seniors, $14.95/children), home to more than 120 species of animals representing a wide array of ecosystems from California sea lions to Florida softshell turtles to Humboldt penguins.

8. Experience Exciting Events

Taste of Buffalo
Buffalo boasts a bounty of free and exciting annual events, including: St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 17), Dyngus Day (April 1), Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival (April 27-28), Allentown Art Festival (June 8-9), Juneteenth (June 15-16), Taste of Buffalo (July 13-14), and Garden Walk (July 27-28). And for $20 you can attend the mouth-watering National Buffalo Wing Festival (Labor Day weekend).

9. Check Out Canalside

The Ice at Canalside - Joe Cascio
No visit to the “Queen City” would be complete without a trip to its impressive and historic waterfront. Canalside boasts a calendar full of year-round events (many are free). Every summer, outdoor yoga, children’s games, and Thursday at Canalside concerts take place along the district’s Central Wharf. Each winter, visitors flock to the Ice at Canalside, a 35,000 square foot rink on the recreated Erie Canal that features skating, curling, pond hockey, and ice bikes. Canalside is also home to America’s largest inland Naval park, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park ($20/adult, $17/senior, $14/youth, $15/Veterans, active military are free).

10. Browse the Botanical Garden

Buffalo Botanical Garden
The Buffalo Botanical Gardens is a national historic site, education center, and tourist destination full of exotic horticulture treasures from around the world. Visitors enjoy the amazing architecture and the indoor and outdoor garden sanctuaries, each displaying a different exhibit and collection of plants. There are also several seasonal outdoor gardens that are always free and open to the public ($16.50/adults, $15/seniors & students, $9/children).

11. Get Sporty

Buffalo Bandits
Get the ball rolling and enjoy spectator sports in Buffalo. Proud home of the Buffalo Bills, you don’t have to spend money to be part of #BillsMafia. There are a number of bars where fans flock to cheer on the boys in blue: Southern Tier Brewing Company, Buffalo RiverWorks, and Moor Room, to name a few. Root for the home team and catch a Buffalo Bisons Minor League Baseball game for under $20 at Sahlen Field. Watch the National Lacrosse League Buffalo Bandits go for goal at KeyBank Center for around $30.

12. Wing It

A plate full of buffalo wings with celery and cups of blue cheese
Credit: @thelastwingette on Instagram

A trip to Buffalo is not complete without indulging in world-class wings (with Bleu cheese, if you want to fit in with the locals). Embark on the Buffalo Wing Trail which includes 14 neighborhood pubs and tucked-away taverns as unique as the wings they serve. Buffalonians flock to popular spots like Duff’s Famous Wings, Gabriel’s Gate, and Gene McCarthy’s.

13. Admire Architecture

A photo of the exterior of Frank Lloyd Wright Martin House after its full restoration
Credit: @getawaymavens on Instagram

The New York Times referred to Buffalo as “a textbook for a course in modern American buildings.”  You’ll find seven Frank Lloyd Wright landmarks in the region, including Graycliff and Martin House where you are invited to explore the exterior grounds for free. Buffalo City Hall is considered by many to be one of America’s finest Art Deco public buildings, and you can take a tour for free! Hotel at the Lafayette holds the legacy of being designed by the nation’s first female architect. Things are looking up at the Electric Tower, one of the most recognizable landmarks and stunning skyscraper in the Buffalo skyline and host to the New Year’s Ball Drop, the second longest running New Years event in the United States next to Times Square.

14. Take a Scenic Train Ride

Black steam train with orange carriages
Choo-choo! All aboard the Arcade & Attica Railroad for an enjoyable (and themed)  scenic train ride through western New York! The vintage World War ll-era diesel train takes passengers for a variety of tantalizing tours including a classic Diesel Engine Train Ride ($19-$22), The Great Train Robbery Train Ride ($21-$24), Fall Foliage Train Ride ($21-$24), Swiftie Train ($21-$24), and Superhero Train ($21-$24).

15. Explore the Endearing Elmwood Village

Elmwood Village
Explore one of the area’s most charming neighborhoods, Elmwood Village. The tree-lined streets are home to more than 200 locally-owned and operated retail stores, open-air cafes, public art displays and galleries. And every Saturday from May toNovember you can peruse the fresh produce at the Elmwood Village Farmers Market, located along the Bidwell Parkway, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.

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