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Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The first tip-off to what was ahead was the closed wrought-iron gates, where visitors announce themselves to gain entry to the 1,500 acre estate. The second was the young greeter, waiting for us outside with a jaunty wave as we completed the mile-long approach to the Big House. This wasn’t going to be an ordinary resort experience. Not that we thought it would be.…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

My brother and his wife had probably lived in Kentucky for 10 years before I decided to make what friends warned could be a 10-hour, white-knuckle drive from the Finger Lakes, negotiating big-city traffic outside Cleveland and Cincinnati. (Yikes, nobody had mentioned Columbus!) It was early November, and while I lamented missing the lushest of the greenery that comes to…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

Culinary travel is hitting big. Just like visitors can’t come to Buffalo without trying beef on weck with a side of wings, there are regional specialties (Baltimore crabs, Maine lobster) you must try “when in Rome.” Beyond local cuisine, true foodies also hunt down local markets. Here are some options in nearby cities that will inspire you to bring home a trunk load of tre…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale An hour-and-45-minute drive east on I-90. A city of over 13,000 residents, Geneva embraces a dual personality that sets it apart from other Finger Lakes communities. It’s “uniquely urban,” as marketers like to say, and picturesque and rural. The scoop For decades, the main tourism draws here were downtown’s art deco Smith Opera House, lake trout fishing and t…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

New Orleans might not be the first place that comes to mind for a family vacation, but if you’re looking for something different, add it to your list. Last April, we visited during Easter break with my sister and cousin’s families (kids ages 10, 12, 15, 17) for a change of pace from a Florida routine. New Orleans has a vibe all its own. While it might have a reputati…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale A community of 4,200, about 7 hours east. The scoop Mystic is a major tourist destination known for its seaport, Maritime Museum, aquarium, restored ships and art galleries. Although there’s plenty to do off-season, summer and spring require at least a days-long stay to enjoy all that, plus shopping, river cruises, water sports, outdoor adventures and the Den…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale Around a two-hour drive from Buffalo. The scoop Confession: I’m not much of a casino person. I like blackjack, but I like risking my hard-earned money even less…and the latter usually wins out. So when I got a chance to visit the brand new del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, N.Y. — about 5 miles from Seneca Falls, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

When you hear “Cancun,” you may picture college students flocking for spring break. Or maybe you imagine a quiet resort beach, with nothing to do but relax to the sound of the waves. Or maybe you see ancient Mayan ruins, someone grabbing a street taco or a group of friends going on an adventure to an underground lake. The truth is that Cancun is all of those things and …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale A five-and-a-half-hour drive southeast through the Catskills and to the Hudson Valley, north of New York City. The scoop For centuries, the mill town of Matteawan and the fishing village-turned-port of Fishkill Landing sat together at a scenic bend in the Hudson River, backed by Mount Beacon and other tall, forested peaks. In 1913 — after a “Let’s Pull Togeth…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

Pulling up to Detroit’s famous Second Baptist Church, I vaguely expected an old-fashioned steeple and creaky wooden sanctuary. Michigan’s oldest black church had been established in 1836, after all. I wanted to read its plaque, which boasted that the church was founded by 13 former slaves (though left unsaid that it was for years a last stop on the Underground Railroad). …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale A Lake Ontario port city of 17,600, 3-plus hours east on I-90. The scoop This college town has a bit in common with The Queen City ­­— lots of snow. Although it’s been roughed up somewhat over the decades, Oswego has interesting architecture scattered about the sprawling community, including the Norman-style public library and the Richardson-Bates House Museu…

Buffalo Magazine: Wellness

I know nothing about solo travel. OK, I take that back. I do know experience is the best teacher, and I have a long way to go. This became evident when I joined a Facebook group, The Solo Female Traveler Network, and my newsfeed ballooned with posts about places I’ve never been and, in some cases, places I’d never heard of. My solo travel has been totally domestic: r…

Buffalo Magazine: Wellness

The old knock on Western New York focuses on our weather. Buffalo, that tundra-filled wasteland somewhere west of New York City. It’s a tired thought, and not very accurate. A more realistic take is that Buffalo’s weather varies greatly. We regularly see gorgeous, sun-kissed skies in summer. Yes, we do get walloped with snow on occasion, evidenced by some recent winter …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

Something you learn pretty quickly on a two-day visit to Lake Placid: Two days isn’t nearly enough. From roadside barbecues to high-end cuisine, and campgrounds to 5-star hotels, there are plenty of places to eat and sleep. Plus, from teens skateboarding down Main Street to climbers heading up Whiteface Mountain, it’s hard to miss the fact that everybody’s on the move. …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The bows, ribbons, scissors and brightly colored paper sit on a little bedroom table waiting for the First Lady to continue wrapping her Christmas presents. It’s a sentimental peek into the holiday preparations of Eleanor Roosevelt at Springwood, the lifelong home of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park, about 5½ hours from Buffalo. FDR’s Georgian Colonial-style house is …