When I was in grade school I remember being taught that Buffalo was the "Number One" grain handling city in America. In fact, by then Buffalo's dominance as the nation's grain capital was already on the wane. The railroads had diminished the importance of the Erie Canal and soon the St. Lawrence Seaway Project would allow the grain to by-pass Buffalo altogether.
But what a time in must have been in its heyday. The port of Buffalo jammed with tall sailing ships, bringing grain from the mid-west to the western terminus of the Erie Canal. Then packet boats would transport the grain to all points east on the Canal. At Buffalo the grain would arrive quicker than it could leave, especially in the winter. The result was the design and construction of the "Grain Elevator". Magnificent concrete cylinders bundled together like a gigantic box of crayons. Today they are largely empty hulks but still amazing.
The photo here is of the last fully functioning grain elevator. It is located on the Buffalo Canal. This canal was once full of lake barges. Today we see a single grain ship several times a summer unloading grain to make cereal. Mostly, the canal is the home for a very well protected sailing marina. Times change!
About 30 minutes west off route 5, visit the American Kazoo factory. Free admission and a step into history in Eden, NY. I took my grandchildren there, ages 8 and 11, while they were visiting from SC. We all had a great afternoon.
Griffis Sculpture Park is about a 45-minute drive south of Buffalo (just north of Ellicottville). This sculpture park was a favorite of ours as kids. The adults liked it too. The place is about 400 acres and has giant metal sculptures and figures all throughout the place, in plane sight, on trains, in the forests, in ponds etc. You can climb on a lot of the sculptures, and it really is nice to just walk around and relax. When we went, we'd rarely run into other people. They are there, but the place is so big, you're usually all alone to explore. The park is closed October 31 for the winter (though we always went in the summer, I bet it would be gorgeous when the leaves are turning). There is no cost to get in to the park, and this would make a great picnic spot as well as a hiking (fairly easy hike, but gorgeous) spot, or even some trail jogging. There are directions to the park at the website below.
When visiting Niagara Falls, take a half-hour ride into Canada and visit the Welland canal, view ships passing through the locks, and even visit the Welland canal Museum, located near one of the locks.This is fun and interesting for all ages.
Total height of tower from
base to top of flashing beacon 520 feet (160m), and 775 feet above the bottom of the Falls. it has an Indoor/outdoor viewing
Visibility to 80 miles (129 km)
HOURS OF OPERATION
Summer Hours 8:00 a.m. to Midnight
Winter Hours 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
INDIVIDUAL OBSERVATION (REGULAR)
Adult $9.50 CDN $7.95 U.S.
Child (12 years and under) $5.50 CDN $4.60 U.S.
Senior $8.50 CDN $7.10 U.S.
Family Plan $27.00 CDN $22.50 U.S.
Big tower next to the falls, can't miss it
5200 Robinson Street
Niagara Falls, Canada L2G 2A3
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Take a drive to Sturgeon Point Marina in the South Towns. This is a small marina on the on Lake Erie. It is a fantastic place to relax and walk on the rocks that make up a small pier. The sun and the wind off the lake feels great on a hot summer day. The main activity is of course boating and fishing.
Take the drive from route 5 to Old Lakeshore Road. about 5-8 miles down is the marina on your right.
Kissing Bridge Ski Resort. This is a small mountain that is south of Boston, NY. The vertical drop is 550' and the elevation on top is 1750'. It is nice to wander up the hills on a warm summer day or even a fall day to see the foliage(New York's is every bit as good as Vermont and New Hampshire's).
Off the I-90 take exit 57 in Hamburg and follow signs South through Boston, NY.
The Erie County Fair in August. Generally runs right in the middle of August. Erie County's is the second biggest in the country besides Los Angeles. So many things to see. The people watching is off the charts. People from all different walks off life make it to the County Fair. 'The World's Biggest Demolition Derby' also takes place at the fair. This self dubbed event is fantastic to watch. Cars are released into the ring and smash into each other till the car doesn't move anymore. Plenty of rides, livestock, vegetables, and of course food and beer!
Located neat Ralph Wilson Stadium. Get off at the Hamburg exit, take 20A to McKinley Pkwy and follow signs.
Lafayette Square 'Thursday at the Square' in downtown Buffalo. This is a large outdoor concert that takes place on Thursday's during the summer. This has become quite a popular event according to my Buffalo friends. The last time I went was about two summers ago. They serve lots of beer and food. Definitely worth a stop if you are around on Thursday.
Wendt Beach Park. This is in the South towns of Buffalo. The park is either in Anglola or Evans of Old Lakeshore Road. The park has some Softball and soccer fields, as well as a nice beach. Only 15-20 minutes from downtown.
Evangola State Park. This is located in Irving off of Route 5 near the Catarragus Indian Reservation. The actual address is 10191 Old Lakeshore Rd. This park has camping and very nice access to the shores of Lake Erie. Fun park to walk or ride your bike through.
If you have a free hour and a roll of film (or 27 shots left on a digital camera), then take the time to visit the campuses of the University of Buffalo. It has a nice diversity of architecture in its buildings and the layout of its squares and open-areas.
The walk and exercise and free air will do you good too.
see the website below for more photos of the campuses.
The Erie Canal was one of the greatest civil engineering feats of its day. Like the European canals, it serves a mainly recreational purpose. The western end is right here in the town of Tonawanda, north of Buffalo.
This picturesque, rather quiant town was once among the busiest ports on the Great Lakes. Today, it's a backwater, and certainly not a tourist destination. People were surprised to see anyone here with a camera. I enjoyed it.
If you're looking for that unusual, out-of-the-way place to visit, this is a good one. And it's only a short diversion off the interstate between Buffalo and Niagara.
Thre are several homes that Frank Lloyd Wright built in Buffalo, NY. Some of the hotels have their locations of some are hard to find. But if you are a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright's work this is a great place to see some.
Here in Canada we don't have Targets but we do have Wal-marts and to be honest those vests that the workers wear at Wal-mart look hideous. Needless to say, trying to find a hot chick at Walmart is like trying to find that needle in the haystack. Well when i arrived at target i couldn't get my eyes off the hotties, i spent more time in my one visit to Target then i've ever spent in a Wal-mart my entire life. The whole purpose of my trip to Buffalo was to drop off my sister at the airport. My delay at Target caused by the surprisingly good number of hot chicks working there almost resulted in my sister missing her flight. She was so pissed off!