After visiting Canalside, strolling through the Elmwood Village, and experiencing the myriad of things to do in Buffalo, you may be ready for a day trip. Not only is Buffalo, New York an incredible place to visit, but it’s also nearby plenty of other great destinations. Buffalo is a fantastic place to base yourself to explore the Buffalo-Niagara region and venture further to nearby cities, state parks, and even across the border into Canada. While there are countless day trips from Buffalo, I have narrowed the list down and am sharing the 15 best day trips from Buffalo, New York.
As someone born and raised in Buffalo, I have experienced my fair share of Buffalo day trips. These day trips coincide nicely with a visit to Buffalo and a good starting point for locals starting to venture off on day trips.
15 Best Day Trips from Buffalo, New York
You cannot visit the Buffalo-Niagara region and not spend some time at Niagara Falls. Plan for a full day exploring Niagara Falls State Park so you can truly take in the power and grandeur of these waterfalls. Spend some time walking around the park and experiencing Niagara Falls up-close with the Cave of the Winds and the Maid of the Mist.
Distance from Buffalo: 25 min (19.8 mi)
East Aurora is a charming village just outside of Buffalo, New York. Even if you visit to take a stroll down Main Street in East Aurora, it is well worth visiting. With Vidler’s 5 & 10 and a vintage movie theatre, it feels like you have stepped back in time. You can extend your visit with a stop at Roycroft Campus, Knox Farm, and the Millard Fillmore Museum.
Distance from Buffalo: 23 min (19.7 mi)
Ellicottville is most known for its ski resorts, yet it is a great destination year-round. In the winter, spend your days on the slopes and cozying up at the ski lodges. In the warmer months, spend some time at the Sky High Adventure Park at Holiday Valley Resort or nearby Rock City State Park. The village of Ellicottville certainly has a resort feel with plenty of restaurants, spas, breweries, and ski and snowboarding shops. Griffis Sculpture Park is located just outside of Ellicottville and is an excellent addition to your day trip from Buffalo.
Distance from Buffalo: 54 min (51.5 mi)
Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park is one of the best day trips from Buffalo. Not only is the park stunning, but the drive here is also very scenic. Here you can see gorgeous waterfall views and enjoy various hiking trails. The best part about Letchworth State Park is that you can drive up to almost all the scenic viewpoints. Letchworth is great for a day trip, as you will be able to see all of the best views while driving, even if you only have a short amount of time.
Distance from Buffalo: 1 hr and 10 min (58.8 mi)
The birthplace of Lucille Ball and home to the National Comedy Center, Jamestown is a perfect day trip from Buffalo, NY, for anyone who loves comedy. Throughout downtown Jamestown, there are various Lucille Ball murals and a Lucille Ball museum. And the National Comedy Center is one of the most unique museums in New York State. Additionally, you can visit Chautauqua Lake and Southern Tier Brewing.
Distance from Buffalo: 1 hr and 25 min (70.7 mi)
Olcott is the most picturesque lakeside beach town. It has a summertime beachy atmosphere, which seems slightly out of place in Western New York, yet in the best possible way. This Buffalo day trip is best enjoyed seasonally, as the Lakeview Shoppes are only open during the weekends in late spring and early fall. The shops are open daily in the summer. You will also find an adorable lighthouse and vintage amusement park rides at the Olcott Beach Carousel Park in Olcott.
Distance from Buffalo: 51 min (41.7 mi)
Canandaigua is a lakeside town in the Finger Lakes region. This is perhaps one of Buffalo’s most accessible Finger Lakes day trips due to its proximity. Canandaigua is the perfect spot to soak up lake views, take a boat ride and explore the Sonnenberg Gardens. While in Canandaigua, don’t miss a stop at the Canandaigua City Pier, and be sure to visit some wineries along the Canandaigua Wine Trail.
Distance from Buffalo: 1 hr and 30 min (93.2 mi)
This is perhaps the most unique day trip from Buffalo. Lily Dale is a small hamlet in New York that is known as a very spiritual place. Here you will find Victorian homes and cottages, a Forest Temple, and plenty of mediums. Lily Dale is the place to go if you’re looking for a reading from a medium or a spiritual connection.
Distance from Buffalo: 1hr and 3 min (52.8 mi)
Rochester is a great day trip from Buffalo, NY, as it offers various attractions and activities. There are so many great things to do in Rochester that you could plan several day trips here. Some of the best things include visiting the George Eastman Museum, the Strong Museum of Play, and the Rochester Public Market. If you’re a history buff, be sure to check out the Susan B Anthony House. And for beer enthusiasts, Rochester is home to Genesee Brew House, which overlooks High Falls.
Distance from Buffalo: 1 hr and 13 min (76.5 mi)
Watkins Glen State Park
Hiking the Watkins Glen Gorge Trail is one of the best things to do in New York. The Gorge Trail is stunning, following 19 waterfalls and a flowing glen and climbs over 800 steps. While the hike might seem daunting, you will stop so frequently to take in the views that it won’t be as challenging as it appears. Ultimately, this trail leads to Rainbow Falls, the most iconic spot at Watkins Glen State Park. In addition to the park, there are other great things to do in Watkins Glen, including the Seneca Harbor and the Seneca Lake Wine Trail.
Distance from Buffalo: 2 hr and 27 min (131.7 mi)
While there are beaches in Buffalo, none are quite as lovely as Crystal Beach in Ontario. Crystal Beach is a pristine stretch of beach on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario. As the name suggests, the water is, in fact, crystal clear. Crystal Beach makes a great day trip from Buffalo, NY, because you feel like you are going on a beach getaway. In addition to the beautiful beach, the town of Crystal Beach has a cute beach town type of atmosphere.
Distance from Buffalo: 24 min (13.1 mi)
Toronto is one of the best cities in Canada and can easily be visited in a day trip from Buffalo. Toronto is best known for its iconic landmark, the CN Tower. Yet, there are also world-class museums and unique neighborhoods to discover. The perfect day trip to Toronto includes a visit to St. Lawrence Market, grabbing drinks in the Distillery District, and stopping at Casa Loma.
Distance from Buffalo: 1 hr and 46 min (98.9 mi)
Allegany State Park
Allegany State Park is a great place to visit if you are looking for some outdoor adventure. There are plenty of great hiking trails and wooded areas to really immersed in nature. Some of the best spots in the park include the Red House Lake, where you can fish or swim at the beach, and the Thunder Rocks, which are a unique rock formation in Allegany State Park.
Distance from Buffalo: 1 hr and 12 min (63.5 mi)
Visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake feels like you have stepped foot into England rather than just across the border into Canada. This town is full of charm. Spend time strolling along Queen Street, checking out the historic buildings, taking a horse-drawn carriage ride through town, and even getting afternoon tea. Niagara-on-the-Lake is also a popular section of the Ontario Wine Region made famous for its ice wine. If you’re visiting in the winter, be sure to check out the Ice Wine Festival!
Distance from Buffalo: 44 min (34.1 mi)
Niagara or Finger Lakes Wine Region
Buffalo is within driving distance of various wine regions. In the United States, you can visit either Niagara or the Finger Lakes Wine Region. And in Canada, you can visit Niagara-on-the-Lake. There are plenty of options if you are looking for a wine-focused day trip from Buffalo. After choosing the wine region, you wish to visit, select a few wineries in the region to stop at. If you plan to visit more than 2-3 wineries during your day trip, consider hiring a driver. Check out this Niagara wine tour with transportation! If you want to go on a wine tour in the Finger Lakes, this Seneca Lake wine tour is incredible!
Distance from Buffalo: varies
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