Marvel at thundering waterfalls and bountiful nature, then tour vintage American architecture
Avisit to the Buffalo Niagara area, tucked in the northwest corner of New York state, delivers a twofold bonus to travelers. Exploring the city of Buffalo, known for its creativity, culture and design, turns up a wealth of intriguing architecture and opulent gardens. While its proximity to North America’s most impressive cascades at the Niagara Falls State Park offers a chance to experience the power of three massive waterfalls.
Buffalo sits at the foot of a gigantic series of waterways: Lake Erie to the west, Niagara Falls to the north and Buffalo River meandering to the south. Considered one of the best planned cities in America, Buffalo boasts a radial and grid street design complemented by a park system that created compact walkable neighborhoods, where bicycle riding and dog walking are daily activities. Sprawling shade trees, public fountains, monuments and craftsmanship houses make exploring on foot fun.
Home to some of the greatest American architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Buffalo is the place to tour multiple works by Frank Lloyd Wright, including the 1904 Martin House Complex, an example of his Prairie style; and Graycliff, a summer estate set on a cliff above Lake Erie that illustrates his organic architectural design.
A stop at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens includes a visit to the tri-domed Victorian-style conservatory and nine greenhouses where impressive collections of orchids, cacti, bonsai, rainforest species and other plants are on display.
Venture north from Buffalo to Niagara Falls, which straddles the border between Canada’s province of Ontario and New York. The Maid of the Mist boat tour cruises to the base of the American Falls then on to the Horseshoe Falls passing crashing rapids and rock formations before dropping passengers at the observation elevator for a dramatic view of the falls. The Cave of the Winds tour guides visitors on foot over wooden walkways to the third falls, Bridal Veil Falls, where the exhilaration of standing within 20 feet of the plunging waters is a memorable—and wet—experience.