It happens all the time. Tell somebody you’re visiting New York for summer vacation, and they almost always assume you are referring to NYC, the Big Apple. While it’s true, New York City is a mecca of a metropolis; most people fail to recognize the state of New York is sizable, holding far more bounty and beauty than just the bright lights of the City. In fact, NYC accounts for a meager .55% of the entire landmass of the state. That’s not even a whole number!
NYC is like one tiny diamond in the cavernous treasure trove the state of New York reveals to millions of visitors every summer. Among these jewels is Western New York (WNY), which is typically associated with the Buffalo area. In many ways, this region is an undiscovered gem. That’s why here are a few reasons to explore the wealth of history, entertainment, and opportunities available to you this summer in Western New York.
About Western New York in the Summer
Summer is the perfect time to travel WNY because nature bounces back in technicolor splendor after its long slumber during the winter. Glimmering lakes, sun-kissed hilltops, lushly verdant landscapes are just some of the backdrop scenes that will dazzle any digital nomad.
If the great outdoors feeds your wanderlust, then find yourself fishing in the Finger Lakes or hiking in the awe-inspiring Allegany mountains. However, if your travel tastes run more refined, then WNY offers no end to eclectic shopping, culinary enticements, world-class museums, and phenomenal entertainment.
Weather in WNY in the Summer
You can typically expect mostly sunny skies with buoyant, billowy clouds passing through your travel adventures in WNY. With temperatures lounging in the balmy mid-’70s, WNY is the Goldilocks of “just right” for summer travel weather. The high elevation of this region proffers clean air and crisp breezes.
Keep in mind the weather can fluctuate. Be sure to pack a few plus size babydoll tops so the cool breezes can wick away the sweat on potentially hot, sticky days. Alternatively, bring a mid-weight sweater to keep you warm because the evenings can get chilly even in the summer. The rainfall is minimal, and gentle zephyrs carry the aroma of sweet meadow grass, invigorating your senses during your stay in scenic WNY.
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What to See in Western New York
A more apt statement might be, “What’s not to see in WNY?” Known as the Queen City of the Great Lakes, Buffalo rolls out the royal red carpet to digital nomads and tourists alike in the summertime. Here are a few must-see destinations when you are traveling in this noble region of New York.
You can’t talk about the western area of New York without mentioning one of its significant wonders of the world, Niagara Falls. Boasting three natural falls cascading over 700,000 gallons of water per hour and spanning 3950 feet across, Niagara Falls is the largest of its kind by width and volume in the US.
It is also the home of the first hydroelectric power plant conceived by Nikola Tesla in 1885. Niagara Falls is a show-stopping sight on its own, but the park features up-close-and-personal activities such as the Maiden of the Mist where you can take a boat in the belly of the gorge. After a fascinating tour of the Falls, you can plan for a night out at the nearby Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino.
This is a palatial, grand resort featuring five-star dining, gambling that rivals some casinos in Vegas, and ultimate luxurious accommodations that will meet your every need.
Just a few scenic driving hours away from Buffalo lies the fabulous land of the Finger Lakes in central-western NY. Formed from mighty glaciers during the last ice age, each of these eleven lakes is distinctive, unique, and offers a range of travel experiences during the summertime.
The deeper lakes coupled with the softly sloping hillsides form into a kind of micro-climate that produces stellar wines in this region. The Finger Lakes wineries attract tourists and wine aficionados from around the world, and visitors are highly encouraged to sample singularly sensational wines grown from the estates. In addition, the quaint, sleepy towns surrounding the area offer country charm and eclectic shopping for tourists.
Finally, The Lakes serve up endless opportunities for boating, camping, biking, and hiking across 9,000 miles of the region for the traveling sportsman.
At the heart of Buffalo’s downtown waterfront, Canalside sparks to life during the summertime. It is a destination that is appropriate for either a kid’s getaway or a romantic excursion for couples. It’s a celebratory hot spot this time of year, hosting hundreds of events all summer long.
Historical canal tours are available, featuring mesmerizing narratives about the region’s history as guests laze along the Buffalo River. For the more adventurous at heart, kayaks or water bikes are available for rent, where water-goers can view the marvels of the canal at their own pace. Family cruises are also available, such as kid-friendly parks, beach ball fun at Canalside Beach, and don’t forget to take the kids to the solar-powered, vintage Buffalo Heritage Carrousel.
Lastly, couples can enjoy a glass of wine or award-winning Buffalo craft beer while savoring the riverside sunset views at one of the many five-star restaurants around Canalside.
Old Fort Niagara
Less than an hour’s drive down Niagara Scenic Parkway awaits the 300-year heritage and history of Old Fort Niagara. This military base guarded the Great Lakes against invasion as far back as the Colonial Wars. This landmark is perhaps best known for its historically accurate Civil War reenactments.
These enactments give visitors a “living history” look into the life and times of the military through the centuries at the encampment. Summertime is the only time to see these theatrical performances and catch the Fort fireworks during certain times of the season. In addition, the Fort offers guided historical tours of 18th-century architecture, military musket loading and firing demonstrations, and many more activities amidst Ontario Lake’s epic view.
Closing Thoughts About Western New York in the Summer
These are just a few examples of the mind-boggling myriad of travel opportunities WNY offers during the summertime. We hope this inspires you to take a trip to the flip side of New York and capture all the noble history and scenic grandeur the Queen City and surrounding WNY can offer you this summer.
Pack & travel: