It’s been a big year for Buffalo, NY, that fact is undeniable. Our humble city has been on the lips of game changers all over the world. From the New York Times’ “36 hours in Buffalo” to Time Magazine including Hotel Henry as one of the 100 “Worlds Greatest Places in 2018,” the Queen City is on the top of the most informed travels “to visit” list.
While this international press is fine and dandy, and the influx of new faces to the area is wonderful (truly wonderful), it envokes an interesting question. When was the last time you experienced Western New York as a tourist would? When did Buffalo last excite you the way it excites the people who are writing about it?
Sure you can list all the best places in Buffalo to get wings, the coolest spots to take in art, and you make sure everyone takes a ride on the Maid of the Mist, but when was the last time you took it all in.
The greatest gift this season is Buffalo. Yes, it’s cheesy, and yes, you might have trouble finding a way to wrap and place a bow on a whole city, however; an experience can be a remarkable gift, and Buffalo is a remarkable city.
1. Start at the Beginning
Did you know that Buffalo is home to eight National Historic Landmarks? To put it into perspective that is the same number as the entire state of Nevada (sorry Nevada). A National Historic Landmark is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance.
Looking to experience one of Buffalo’s Historic Landmarks in action? The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Edward M. Cotter Fireboat, Kleinhans Music Hall, Guaranty Building/Prudential Building, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, U.S.S. The Sullivans, Darwin D. Martin House, and Richardson Olmsted Campus (home to Hotel Henry) all offer specific and excitingly unique access to Buffalo’s History.
A set of tickets to see The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) at Kleinhans Music Hall is perfect for any music lover. The BPO’s holiday event line up, which spans across classics and pop hits, is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society is a must for any history buff. All three floors of the building offer exhibits detailing Buffalo’s history. The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society is also the sole surviving structure from the 1901 Pan America Exposition.
2. Get Touristy
Pick a date during the summer and treat your giftee to a little adventure. When was the last time you took a ride of the Maid of the Mist or explored the Cave of the Winds? Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most sought out natural wonder, and it’s in our backyard. You’ll be surprised by the number of locals that have never gone farther than looking at Niagara Falls from a distance.
3. Wing It
Buffalo and food go hand and hand. Every city has a local cuisine that has made a name for itself well beyond the area code where it was first made famous. The Philly cheese steak is great, Chicago style pizza is cool, but it’s undeniable that the Buffalo Wing (just call it a chicken wing) reigns supreme among local dishes that have gone big time.
Obviously, by now you’ve decided on your favorite wing spot, so why not share it. Head over to Bar Bill Tavern in East Aurora, Cole’s in North Buffalo, or your favorite neighborhood bar like Nine-Eleven Tavern in South Buffalo. The benefit to taking someone out as a holiday gift, you get to go too.
4. The Architecture of a Good Gift.
An excellent gift creates a lasting impression; it invokes an emotional response. Architecture can do the same, and luckily for Buffalonians, we live in the playground of many world-renowned architects.
Make a day trip exploring Western New York and visiting Frank Lloyd Wright work. Budget enough time to visit The Martin House, from his prairie period, and the Graycliff Estate on the shores of Lake Erie. Interestingly enough you can also visit Frank Lloyd Wright works that were built nearly a century after they first were conceived; the Wright Filling Station and the Rowing Boathouse.
Explore Buffalo’s most iconic National Historic Landmark at your own pace. Nestled within the Richardson Olmsted Campus, Hotel Henry allows guests an up close and personal access to Henry Hobson Richardson early Richardsonian Romanesque work.
Recently named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 World’s Greatest Places of 2018, Hotel Henry brings new life to one of Buffalo’s architectural gems. Hotel Henry has made international headlines in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, The Huffington Post, TIME, and more.
The “Explore Hotel Henry” gift card for a deluxe guest room is Hotel Henry’s most popular option. The gift includes $75 towards dinner and $20 towards breakfast or brunch the following morning ($264). Hotel Henry gift cards start at $75, and 100 Acres gift cards start at $25.