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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 …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale A five-hour drive northeast, including border-crossing at the scenic Thousand Islands. The scoop Canada’s national capital has been a major commercial post since its founding as a fur-and-lumber town — the name Ottawa derives from an Algonquian word meaning “to trade.” These days shopping is still a draw, especially around the holidays. Even on snowy days, th…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

As all the backcountry campers plodded past us, my husband and I should have known something was different in the Allegheny National Forest. I’d never seen as many trekkers loaded down with gear for multiple days in the woods. There we were, a pair of urban-dwelling tent-and-car campers not prepared for much more than a couple hours’ hike. And that was before we got lost a…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale A former coal-mining borough of 4,600, about 5 hours to the southeast. The scoop This vibrantly painted Victorian town attracts an eclectic vacation crowd of outdoor adventurists, history buffs, shoppers and sports enthusiasts drawn by its namesake’s tomb. Olympic legend and NFL founder Jim Thorpe was buried here, 1,300 miles from his native Oklahoma, because…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

For a moment during his show near Carnegie Mellon University, comedian Trevor Noah got serious. "Pittsburgh," he said. "This place looks like a movie set!" He spoke directly to what I’d been thinking on my visit there: with its scenic yellow bridges leading to a revived downtown, and its stately old buildings growing new life, this fellow Rust Belt city is looking sharp…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale A community of 540, about 5.5 hours east on I-90. The scoop If you like driving across New York State, you’ll never lack for small towns to explore. Over the last decade, this Greene County village has been focused on drawing tourists, even dubbing itself “The Painted Village in the Sky,” after a grant enabled an artist to change the face of downtown by paint…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale Historic town famous for its carbonated mineral springs and home to the oldest thoroughbred horse racing track in the United States. About 4 -1/2 hours east on I-90. The scoop Each summer, the rich and famous gather in Saratoga Springs for six weeks of thoroughbred racing (this year: July 21 — Sept. 4). It’s the oldest “meet” in the country (including the Ken…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

An hour southeast of Buffalo along Highway 20A where Western New York’s flatlands yield to dramatic sweeps and valleys, you come to a building that’s stop-the-car handsome. Near Silver Lake in Perry, it’s gray stone with rustic board-and-batten siding and a long balcony near the top. The place looks like a chalet. Swap out the rolling Dansville Valley behind it for snowy m…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

If you love food — eating it, cooking it and tasting it, right where it’s grown — a trip to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, may be your perfect getaway. “The CIA is the Harvard of cooking schools,” explained Kenneth Jones, a student chef from East Aurora. It’s also a gastronomical mecca for people who love to dine and an outlet for hom…