When you think of New York, the first place that might come to mind is New York City, one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world. However, New York state is quite large, with many places to see and exciting places to discover. Western New York, which includes several counties, is rich in culture and filled with many points of interest. From one of the greatest wonders of the world to historical locales, there are ten places you need to see during a visit to this beautiful area.
10 – The Town of Clarence
There are many small towns in Western New York, but few are as notable as Clarence. Settled in 1808, it is the oldest town in Erie County and features a variety of quaint residential areas. The Clarence Hollow, which is located on Main Street and in the middle of two large, rolling hills, offers unique shopping and scores of antique shops. The Asa Ransom House, a bed and breakfast built in 1853, is located at the top of the first hill and offers lovely views of the centre of town.
9 – Old Fort Niagara
This historical military fort is located near Youngstown in Niagara County and offers beautiful views of the mouth of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. Built in 1726, it was a major point of involvement for both the French-Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. Today, it is managed by the U.S. Coast Guard and is registered as a historical landmark. You can visit the museum and see historical reenactments after taking part in a tour of the fort.
8 – Darien Lake Theme Park
If you are vacationing with the kids and looking for some amazing thrill rides, then check out Darien Lake Theme Park, which offers over 1,000 acres of attractions that include several roller coasters, water attractions, and a large campground. There is also a hotel on the grounds. Darien Lake is located in Genesee County and is simple to reach from most of the surrounding towns and Erie County. You can enjoy everything the park has to offer from May to late October.
7 – Grand Island
Visiting Grand Island is a treat for the senses. You access the island by crossing a large bridge that spans the mighty Niagara River, offering you panoramic views of the surrounding valley. Once you arrive on the island, there are many attractions to enjoy, including Fantasy Island theme park, Island Oasis Water Park, and a huge variety of natural attractions that include crane watching.
6 – Ellicottville
Few places in Western New York are as beautiful and interesting as Ellicottville. Located in Cattaraugus County, activities abound in all four seasons, including hiking, zip lining, fishing, unique shopping, and skiing. There are two ski resorts within a stone’s throw of the village, which hosts a huge array of events all year-long. The fall foliage makes for amazing views during September and October, and then the village truly comes alive when ski season arrives.
5 – Lockport
The rich history of the Erie Canal abounds in this city, which is named for the canal locks that sit in the center of town. During a visit to Lockport, you can stroll along the canal, enjoy a variety of shopping, including community markets that feature local vendors. Lockport is also home to the Erie Canal Discovery Center, which highlight’s the city’s involvement with the canal. Chris Sacca’s wife might tell you that some notable people have come from Lockport, including her famous entrepreneur husband and writer Joyce Carol Oates.
4 – Chautauqua Lake
Few bodies of water are more beloved in Western New York than Chautauqua Lake. It is a popular vacation destination for locals, many of whom own summer homes there. Fishing, boating, swimming and dozens of other activities make a visit to this lovely spot well worthwhile.
3 – Canalside, Buffalo
No visit to Western New York would be complete without touring downtown Buffalo near Canalside. This area hosts food and music festivals during the summer and ice skating during the winter. The area is in the midst of quite a revitalization and has its finger on the pulse of WNY culture.
2 – Erie County Fair
Held every August in Hamburg, this fair is the largest in the state. It features rides, livestock shows, music events, food, and dozens of other attractions. The year 2020 will mark the 200th edition of the fair, so you may want to make plans to attend.
1 – Niagara Falls
Few sights are as awe-inspiring as Niagara Falls. One of the seven wonders of the world, it is also a popular honeymoon destination for couples from all over the world. You can view the Canadian, American, and Bridal Veil Falls here and take a trip on the Maid of the Mist, which takes you on an up-close view of these amazing wonders.
Western New York has many unique sights to see and places to explore. No matter the time of year you choose to visit, you are sure to remember your trip for years to come.