Buffalo is an All-America City with infectious charm and character.
It's the little post-industrial city on the lake that rose up from the rusty ashes as a foodie mecca and retail destination. By all means, gorge yourself on Buffalo wings and shop 'til you drop, but no trip to the Queen City is complete without a visit to Canalside.
Canalside is a fabulous slice of waterfront packed with outdoor activities, restaurants and museums located right downtown. It's easy to get to, and there's ample parking nearby. Canalside is a source of hometown pride where you'll feel the Buffalove and understand why New York's second-largest city is a metropolis on the rise.
Must-See Canalside Highlights
As a history nerd, one of the most fascinating aspects of Canalside is its historical significance. The Erie Canal was a liquid lifeline to Buffalo once connecting the Queen City with the Hudson River. Today, you can still see remnants of the original Erie Canal and take a history cruise to learn more.
If history is not your thing, but cruising along the waterfront in search of some of Buffalo's best waterholes is, consider a pedal tour. You'll burn off all of those boozy calories while travelling Canalside, and have a great time doing it!
The Buffalo Naval & Military Park is my favourite Canalside feature, a bobbing museum of decommissioned ships and one submarine. Tour the relics or view them from water-level in a kayak.
Enjoy Canalside Year-Round
True Buffalonians celebrate their chilly heritage during the winter by lacing up their skates and hitting The Ice at Canalside. If you're as competitive as I am, try out the Ice Bumper Cars or the Ice Bikes of Buffalo.
In late spring, stroll the Canalside boardwalk and get your caricature drawn, or explore Canalside on two wheels with Blue Bike Rentals.
The summer months can be summed up in two words: Canalside Live, an epic line-up of 12 evening concerts set against the glorious inner harbour. Tickets are less than $10 USD for most shows and there is plenty of cold local beer and delicious food on-site. Live music isn't the only reason to love Buffalo in summer. Fitness at Canalside offers active travellers more than 30 free outdoor classes to choose from and families with curious young minds can easily spend an afternoon at Explore & More Children's Museum.
Fall is ideal sweater weather in Buffalo, and also when Canalside gets proper festive with Autumn Happens Here, a celebration of all things seasonal.
Liberty Hound serves up yummy comfort food year-round, and if you're lucky, you can get a table overlooking the inner harbour and Naval & Military Park. Liberty Hound is the brainchild of Buffalo's native sons Mike Shatzel and Jason Davidson and is a celebrated Canalside institution. For a cold pint in the summertime, check out the Clinton's Dish Beer Garden. Pizza Plant is a year-round eatery offering its famous "Pods," cold beers and delicious Italian food.
Canalside is the downtown Buffalo destination. Rain, shine, or blinding snow; I love it there. You will too.