Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau

Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau

July 07, 2008 08:00 ET

Free Shakespeare, Frank Lloyd Wright, Food Festivals, Garden Tours, Something "Wicked" Highlight Summer Season

Top Ten Reasons to Shuffle Off to Buffalo This Summer

BUFFALO, NEW YORK--(Marketwire - July 7, 2008) - So you think you know Buffalo? Think again. Most visitors to Buffalo are astounded to find National Historic Landmarks by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and H.H. Richardson. Blown away by one of the great collections of modern and contemporary art in the world at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Come visit our surprising city.

Here's a short list of just a few of the delights that await a summertime visitor to Buffalo:

1. ARCHITECTURE TOURS: Pound for pound, Buffalo is one of the most architecturally interesting cities in the United States. One of the most efficient ways to experience Buffalo's architectural and historic treasures is on an Open-Air Autobus tour operated by the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture.

2. AMERICAN HISTORY: Erie Canal Harbor, America's Gateway to the West, has been revived and restored and is now open to the public for the first time in generations. The 184-year-old Commercial Slip has been excavated and re-watered, a replica "bowstring" pedestrian bridge that spans the slip has been built, a re-creation of the wooden Central Wharf put in place and foundations of Erie Canal-era buildings unearthed.

3. GREAT NEIGHBORHOODS: Recently voted one of the country's top ten neighborhoods by the American Planning Association, Buffalo's Elmwood Village shares this heady designation with the likes of Brooklyn's Park Slope, San Francisco's North Beach and the Pike Place Market in Seattle.

4. GARDEN TOURS: Garden Walk Buffalo is the largest and most spectacular garden tour in North America. Each year, more than 260 private gardens are opened for a free public tour that takes place over two days on the last weekend of July. Garden Walk Buffalo highlights urban gardening of every variety, including rose, vegetable, herb, sustainable, native and organic gardens. The 2008 Garden Walk will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 26 & 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

5. FAMILY FUN: Escape to your own tropical paradise and visit the Buffalo Zoo's M&T Bank Rainforest Falls exhibit, which is scheduled to open in late summer. The $16 million fully enclosed Rainforest Falls exhibit is modeled after the tepui (or flat-topped mountain) region of Venezuela. One of the exhibit's most impressive features is the cascading waterfall that replicates Angel Falls, which is found in Venezuela's Canaima National Park.

6. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: Frank Lloyd Wright, the man many historians consider to be the preeminent architect of the 20th century, is represented in Buffalo by six distinguished residences - one of the largest concentrations of Wright's work outside of Chicago. Foremost among these treasures is the Darwin D. Martin House Complex, the largest residence Wright ever designed. Currently undergoing a $40 million restoration, the house is open for regular tours. While in Buffalo, take time to visit Wright's Graycliff Estate, a beautiful summer home set high above Lake Erie. Tours are available while an ambitious restoration is completed. As an extra treat, Wright lovers should also stop at the newly constructed Rowing Boathouse, home of Buffalo's West Side Rowing Club.

7. FREE SHAKESPEARE: More than one million people have attended Shakespeare in Delaware Park since its inaugural season in 1976 - making it the second largest outdoor Shakespeare festival in the country. Nestled in the natural amphitheater behind the Albright-Knox Art Gallery that has come to be known as "Shakespeare Hill," a grand Tudor-style stage is constructed each summer as the home for the Bard's stories of passion, laughter and love. Through August 17th.

8. HANDCRAFTED TREASURES: Buffalo abounds with artisans -- furniture makers, potters, glass blowers, among others - who work at an extraordinary level of craftsmanship. The Elmwood Festival of the Arts on August 23rd and 24th offers easy access to many of these artisans, including some working in the style of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

9. SOMETHING "WICKED": The most anticipated musical production of Buffalo's 2007-2008 theater season comes to historic Shea's Performing Arts Center from June 18th-July 13th. Wicked is the highly acclaimed story of two friends who grow up to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. Shea's is Buffalo's legendary "Wonder Theatre" with an interior by Tiffany and Company dating from 1926. Tickets are on sale now and going fast.

10. FESTIVALS AND CONCERTS: After a long winter Buffalo springs to life each summer with an unbridled enthusiasm that turns "every weekend from May to October into a street festival," according to USA Today. Upcoming events include the Taste of Buffalo and the National Buffalo Wing Festival.

For more information about these and other special events and attractions, check out our new website at visitbuffaloniagara.com.

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