Buffalo, NY Travel Guide

Out front of Buffalo’s Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Main Street, one of my favorite places to shoot.    PEARL HEADBAND  ,   BLACK SWEATER  ,   BLACK PURSE  ,   SKINNY JEANS  ,   SHOES

Out front of Buffalo’s Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Main Street, one of my favorite places to shoot.
PEARL HEADBAND, BLACK SWEATER, BLACK PURSE, SKINNY JEANS, SHOES

As I was working on my Las Vegas style guide last week, I realized I’ve NEVER done a feature/guide on my hometown of Buffalo, NY. Pretty embarrassing, if you ask me. I have a tremendous amount of pride being from Buffalo, we’re the city of good neighbors after all! Every now and then I’ll get requests for suggestions so I’ve finally put together this list of suggestions from a local.

WHY VISIT BUFFALO?

Although we’re known for our hearty winters, we have some incredible weather in the spring, summer and fall. All of the “snowbirds” who leave for the winter, always find their way back during this time. Depending on your interests, anyone can find something worth their while. From the famous architecture, to the waterfront activities to the underrated food scene and hidden gems of boutiques - there’s something for everyone! Niagara Falls is also pretty close, definitely something to see if you haven’t. Buffalo and it’s surrounding areas are also incredibly easy to navigate, everything is within a 15-20 minute driving distance.

one of my favorite spots to take photos, Buffalo City Hall

one of my favorite spots to take photos, Buffalo City Hall

HOW TO GET THERE // HOW TO GET AROUND

Most people who visit drive in (because a car is essential here) but you can fly into Buffalo/Niagara International Airport. It’s a very easy airport to navigate and offers a great variety of routes. You could also take the Amtrak train, depending on where you’re coming from. When you’re here, I would strongly suggest you rent a car. Uber/Lyft is readily available but renting a car may be more economical, it really depends on how far you want to go.

our engagement photos were taken in front of Buffalo City Hall, photo by Colin Gordon  Outfits are 3+ years old, dress was BCBG

our engagement photos were taken in front of Buffalo City Hall, photo by Colin Gordon
Outfits are 3+ years old, dress was BCBG

WHERE TO STAY

Buffalo has some incredible boutique hotels and Airbnb experiences. If I were traveling to Buffalo, I would stay closer to the downtown area - there’s a lot more happening then in the surrounding suburbs.
A few of my favorite locations (to shoot, especially):
Hotel Henry - Hotel at the Lafayette - The Mansion on Delaware Avenue - Curtiss Hotel - The Foundry Suites
If you’re all about racking up your Marriott/Hilton/etc. points there are some great new hotels downtown and near Canalside as well.

Buffalo winters call for shooting indoors, this was taken inside the Curtiss Hotel bar Outfit is sold out   ModCloth for Nordstrom

Buffalo winters call for shooting indoors, this was taken inside the Curtiss Hotel bar
Outfit is sold out ModCloth for Nordstrom

MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHERE TO EAT

I plan on adding to this as time goes on but here are a few of my favorites:


QUICK BITES:
O3 Cafe, Rachel’s Mediterranean, Joe’s Deli, Core Life Eatery, Squeeze Juicery, Ted’s Hot Dogs, Anderson’s Frozen Custard, Fresh Catch Poke Co., Wegmans
BRUNCH + LUNCH:
Betty’s, Sophia’s, The Original Pancake House, Cole’s Restaurant & Bar, Providence Social, Roost, The Dapper Goose, Billy Club, The Grange Community Kitchen, Creekview, Chris’ NY Deli, Ballyhoo, Allen Burger Venture, Panorama on Seven, Liberty Hound, Swan Street Diner, Rowhouse Bakery + Restaurant, Kostas
SIT DOWN DINNER:
Tempo, Bacchus, Frankie Primo’s, Billy Club, Dobutsu, Raclettes, Tappo, Marble & Rye, The Left Bank, Lombardo, The Dapper Goose, Roost, Acropolis, Romeo & Juliets, Pizza Plant
PIZZA:
Buffalo pizza has a style of it’s own and the town is always divided on who makes the best but my favorites include: Picasso’s, La Nova, Franco’s, Mister Pizza and Bocce Pizza.
WINGS:
Another touchy topic among passionate Buffalonians but a few of my personal favorites are:
Gabriel’s Gate, La Nova, Bar Bill Tavern
SWEET TREATS:
Paula’s Donuts, Anderson’s Frozen Custard, DiCamillo Bakery, Muscoreils, Lake Effect Ice Cream, Donut Kraze, Churn Soft Serve & Coffee, Fairy Cakes, Watson’s Chocolate, Altheas Chocolates

Another favorite place to shoot, Delaware Park with Albright Knox Art Gallery in the background   ROMPER   , wearing size 14

Another favorite place to shoot, Delaware Park with Albright Knox Art Gallery in the background
ROMPER, wearing size 14

THINGS TO DO

You should definitely bring your eating pants when you come to Buffalo. The food is pretty spectacular. But there is plenty to do, depending on what time of year you come. A few favorites (besides eating includes):
Walking around Delaware Park, Hoyt Lake and the Albright Knox Art Gallery
Checking out Buffalo’s Waterfront Canalside and it’s Buffalo Naval & Military Park
Scoping out some great local shopping off Elmwood Villiage + Hertel Avenue
Go get fitted for a bra at Lace & Day or Blum’s Buffalo (had to sneak that in)
Hatchets & Hops (axe throwing - SUPER fun!)
See a show at Shea’s Performing Arts Center
Food Truck Tuesdays in Larkin Square
Visit the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House - if you’re into architecture!


Step Out Buffalo also has weekly round ups of things /events happening year round. Check them out here!

THINGS TO KNOW + TIPS

Buffalo’s best weather is from June - December (in my opinion). January - May can be very hit or miss but it really varies year to year. No matter the weather, you’ll always be greeted by friendly faces and good food! I hope this inspires your next trip to Buffalo! Feel free to leave any favorites I missed or questions below!

New York City Travel Guide

Photo by Don Nixon

Photo by Don Nixon

Growing up in Upstate, NY (Buffalo - to be exact), I’ve always considered myself a New Yorker. Due to the nature of my career path, I’ve been traveling in and out of New York City alone for 9+ years… NYC is my second home and while I may not have true roots there, I have some incredible friends and favorite places that I like to visit whenever I’m there. Every now and then, I get requests for my tips and suggestions on New York City so I’ve decided to finally put together a blog post for it. I hope you enjoy! I will definitely be updating it as I experience more.


GETTING THERE

There are three airports surrounding NYC that will get you there, depending on what city you’re coming from you can find different routes / deals. From Buffalo, I usually fly on JetBlue to JFK Airport (JFK). You can also fly to LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or Newark Airport (EWR). Depending on time of day and where in Manhattan you’re going, it can take between 30min - 2 hours to get into the city.
If you’re coming from JFK, you can take a yellow taxi/Uber/Lyft (apx. $75) into Manhattan. If you’re looking to save some money, you can take the AirTrain ($5 upon exiting) to either the subways ($2.75) or the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) (between $7-10 to Penn Station depending on the time of day). It may seem overwhelming but trust me, it’s not that bad! People are usually pretty friendly in case you need to ask for help. I also use Google Maps and it gives you step by step directions of where you need to go.
If you’re coming from LGA, I usually just take a Uber/Lyft. I’ve only flew in/out of Newark a few times and pretty sure I took an Uber/Lyft from the PATH train. Definitely check out the airport websites and your hotel address prior to leaving so you have an idea of where you’re going! Under no circumstances should you get into any car with anyone that comes up to you and offers you a ride. Only use ride sharing apps or get into the taxi lines.


WHERE TO STAY

I’ve been all around Manhattan, the surrounding boroughs and Jersey. What area you want to stay is truly preference. When I’m there for vacation, I like staying in Midtown East because it’s so convenient from the airport and it’s easy to get around. You’re smack dab in the middle/ left side so you can easily go north, south and west from there. It’s also close enough to a lot of attractions (more on that later). However, you can’t really go wrong staying in Manhattan, it really just depends on what you’re going to be doing / seeing. I’ve also stayed in Long Island City and Jersey City (which can be more affordable options). I don’t usually stay anywhere fancy (I’m all about those Marriott / Hilton points) but here are some of my suggestions:

  • Royalton New York - trendy, authentic NYC experience, we stayed here for 1 night on our honeymoon.

  • Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan / Midtown East - not anything fancy but it’s clean, they’re nice there and it’s super close to the subways and my favorite bagel shop!

  • 1 Hotel Brooklyn - never stayed over but I’ve been to a few events here. If you want to splurge and get an incredible view of Manhattan, it’s worth checking out.

  • You can also check out HotelTonight, Hotels.com and other booking sites to get deals.


WHERE TO EAT + DRINK

NYC has some of the BEST food options in the world so you may want to be thoughtful about your meal choices while you’re there, rather than just stumbling on the nearest restaurant.

Here are some of my favorite places:

BREAKFAST / BOOZY BRUNCH

Essa Bagel - The Half Pint (boozy brunch) - Bubby’s - Agave (need reservations like 2 weeks in advance) - Crooked Knife - Tavern 29 - Essex - Sons of Essex - Sarabeth’s

LUNCH / DINNER

Sit down: Aunt Jakes - Don Antonio’s - Marta - Wayfarer - Korali - The Meatball Shop - Ribalta - Rosa Mexicano - Fig & Olive -
Quick eats: The Nugget Spot - The Plaza Food Hall - Eataly - Sweetgreen - Le Pain Quotidien

DRINKS

The Kimberly Hotel - The Plaza Hotel’s The Palm Court - The Capital Grille (get a Stoli Doli) - Last Light at Sister City - Boom Boom Room - Please Don’t Tell (call at 3pm that day to make a reservation) - Employees Only - ART Nomad


WHAT TO DO

There’s SO much to do in NYC, it really depends on your preference and what you want to do! You can shop until you drop, sightsee, people watch, see a show, the options are endless. If this is your first time in the city, you may want to map out the locations / spots that you want to hit and plan your day / meals around that. You can also pick a place to start and walk/wander around, it’s very easy to get around in NY.


The Chelsea Markets - The High Line - Westfield World Trade Center - 9/11 Memorial (very somber but extremely well done) - Liberty Island - South Street Seaport - Rockefeller Plaza- Top of the Rock - St. Patrick’s Cathedral - Times Square (something to see but VERY crowded/touristy) - see a show on Broadway (Theatre District) - shopping on 5th Ave - Central Park (check out Literary Park) - The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Bryant Park - Little Italy / Chinatown - Washington Square Park - DUMBO, Brooklyn (great view of Manhattan)


OTHER TIPS + TRICKS

A couple other helpful resources can be found here:
Miles Away Podcast: You'll learn about the neighborhoods, hear about a handful of the most iconic — and points-friendly — hotels, Paul McCartney's favorite pizza spot and our own restaurant recommendations.
Download Google Maps + The NYC Subway app get navigate easily around town.

Are there any places that I missed? Would love to hear any recommendations! I will definitely keep this updated. In case you’re looking for more travel tips be sure to check out my travel section here!