Buffalo, New York: Museums, Dining and Niagara Falls
By Wuzhi Lu
Buffalo, New York is full of fascinating American history and culture. The city is also brimming with fine dining, shopping and entertainment options, as well as a revitalized waterfront. Located near Niagara Falls, it’s perfectly situated as a home base during your visit to the area.
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated as President of the United States in Buffalo in 1901. At the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, exhibits and audio presentations vividly re-create the very spot where Roosevelt was sworn into office in an old Buffalo mansion. Interestingly, I also learned that Roosevelt could read quickly, even up to a few books a day. In addition, he was the first person to give the White House its name.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is a magnificent building; the museum has collections of many famous contemporary paintings and sculptures. Displayed in the entrance hall, the large abstract paintings left a deep impression. There are also many large-scale outdoor sculptures, such as Jaume Plensa's Laura, a very unique and revered large-scale sculpture of a woman’s head that looks as if she’s meditating.
Canalside, Experience the Fun and Beautiful Scenery
Do not forget to bring family and friends together to Canalside, Buffalo’s waterfront district, to enjoy beautiful scenery. I happened to catch the HARBORCENTER Fall Festival; people came from all directions to enjoy activities, snacks, crafts and a carousel. You can also sail on the Spirit of Buffalo schooner.
If you like food and shopping, visit Elmwood Village where there are many distinctive restaurants, bars and boutiques. Do not forget to make reservations, because here the restaurants, such as the popular Blue Monk, can be very busy. You should definitely check out the great candy stores in town! If you like to eat sweets, be sure to try the chocolate sponge candy. This is a regional favorite candy made with crunchy, caramelized sugar encased in chocolate. I have never had anything quite like it.
Famous Buffalo Wings
No visit to Buffalo is complete without trying some famous Buffalo chicken wings. Although the Buffalo flavor seems to be just about everywhere, I learned the original recipe is made with Frank’s Red Hot sauce, vinegar and butter. If you don’t have days to spend sampling wings at the many local establishments, then make one stop at the Anchor Bar, home of the original Buffalo wing.
One more local favorite food that I had never heard of was a “beef on weck.” What is that, you ask? It’s a roast beef sandwich with horseradish served on a kummelweck roll, which is flavored with caraway seeds and salt and dipped in au jus sauce. This sandwich is just begging for a cold beer to go with it!
Buffalo is only a 30-minute drive from Niagara Falls. Enjoy the spectacular beauty of the falls and stay in vibrant Buffalo. Plan your trip today to experience culture, history, art, natural beauty and some of Buffalo’s local favorite foods!