New to Buffalo? Here’s the Top 5 Places You Have to See

Summer is over, autumn is here, and with this change of season comes the 2012-2013 school year at D’Youville College.  This blog post goes out to all you who are new to the Buffalo area, or those who have been here a while but have been missing out on a few Buffalo must-see and must-do experiences.

In today’s age of information, with websites such as and, as well as the almighty Google search, there is no excuse not to know about where to go and what to do for fun in and around Buffalo.  But just in case you need some extra guidance, here are my top 5 places to go as a college student in the Buffalo area (along with honorable mentions at the bottom):

 #1 – The Buffalo Harbor

 Thursdays throughout the summer mean one thing for many, and that is the free concert series currently located on the Buffalo waterfront.  This past year featured a stellar lineup, including Fountains of Wayne, Seether, Young the Giant, and Salt-n-Pepa, among many other great performers.  This venue and Buffalo-area attraction is centrally located, easy to get to, and free (cannot be overemphasized). So, if you find yourself in the area next summer, find a way to get to at least one show; you’ll be hooked.

Thursday at the harbor logo

 #2 – Pearl Street Grill and Brewery

 A stone-throw away from the waterfront and located in the heart of the downtown, Pearl Street Grill and Brewery offers great food, atmosphere, banquet halls, bars, and balconies.  It is a great place for lunch, dinner, watching sporting events, and special occasions.  Buffalo chicken wings, pizza, and burgers are all specialties.

Pearl Street Grill and Brewery

#3 – The Elmwood Strip

One of the major streets heading north out of the downtown, Elmwood Avenue is the self-proclaimed urban culture center of the city.  A “Hipsters” paradise, the Elmwood Strip is a prime location for good food, coffee shops, shopping, music, and quality small businesses.  Home to its own free summer concert series (Bidwell Summer Concert Series), art festival, and farmers market, Elmwood Ave. is the place to be year round.  My recommendation is to check it out this holiday season at night.  With snow on the ground and Christmas lights running up and down both sides of the strip, it’s one of the nicest spots in Buffalo during the winter months.

The Elmwood Strip in the winter

 #4 – Niagara Falls

 One of the “seven forgotten natural wonders of the world”, seeing Niagara Falls is a no brainer if you’re going to live and go to school in Buffalo.  If you are an aspiring tourist, the famous Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls, and Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours should make your to-do list.  The Canadian side of the falls is the place to be, so get your passport or enhanced driver’s license out, cross the border, and take a day to enjoy a local wonder of the world.

Niagara Falls

#5 – Ralph Wilson Stadium – THE BUFFALO BILLS

 Hey Hey Hey Hey… LETS GO BUFFALO!  Whether or not you were a Bills fan or even a football fan before, its time to let down your guard and experience a Buffalo Bills game in person.  Home games typically kick off in Orchard Park at 1pm but parking lots open up at 9am and the party lasts all day.  Whether it’s a 60 degrees fall day or a 10 degrees snowy December night, for seven Sundays each year, Ralph Wilson Stadium becomes one of the most fun experiences of your college years if you do it right.  Now if only they could actually win a game……..

Bills fans holding signs

Honorable Mentions:

–       Allentown:  Restaurants, local bands, “artsy” at its best.

–       Lewiston, NY:  Artpark concerts, free concerts, restaurants, historical town

–       Anchor Bar:  THE original buffalo wings

–       Olmsted parks:  run, bike, golf, tennis, soccer, basketball and more

–       Coca Cola Field:  Minor league baseball, Wing Fest, concerts

–       Jim’s Steakout: the #1 late-night place to eat at 4am in Buffalo

–       St. Patrick’s Day Parade:  Enough said



About the author


Major: Doctorate of Physical Therapy
Where I'm from: Downstate NY
When I graduate: I hope to work as an outpatient physical therapist, specializing in sports rehabilitation.

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