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In uptown New York State, near the magnificent Niagara Falls, is the city of Buffalo. The state’s second-largest city after New York City, Buffalo has many cultural, historic and lively entertainment areas.
Named after the plains bison which roamed the grassy expanses in their millions, the city was long seen as the gateway to America’s west. Although it contains many restored Victorian properties and fine churches, Buffalo is also a working, industrial city and one of the busiest of the Great Lakes ports.
At the apex of the downtown area is Niagara Square, which features a statue of President William McKinley, marking his assassination in Buffalo in 1901. Also on Niagara Square is the 1930s Art Deco Buffalo City Hall, from whose 28th storey observation deck you can see the historic city centre. The late 19th century Ellicott Square Building, once the world’s largest office building, is located here as well.
Buffalo Place is a 3.2-kilometre pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare along Main Street with many shops and restaurants, and it also offers convenient access to the rapid rail line. There is also a large theatre district.
The landmark attraction in this area is Shea's Performing Arts Center, built in 1926. Its beautiful façade is matched by its interior, and it features many nationally and internationally renowned acts. Other cultural offerings include the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which contains works from 20th century masters to Bronze Age pottery and sculptures.
Nearby, the Buffalo Zoological Gardens features unique animal and botanical exhibits, while the Buffalo Museum of Science rounds out the natural sciences.
There are a few well preserved historical neighbourhoods. The most famous areas are Allentown National Historic District and Bailey-Lovejoy. Allentown has the Wilcox Mansion where Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated; while Bailey-Lovejoy contains the Iron Island Museum, which details the area’s railroad history.
Buffalo is also remarkably green, with Delaware Park and the historic Forest Lawn Cemetery standing out. The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens are also popular with strollers.
Leisure seekers have a wealth of options in Buffalo, especially when it comes to professional sports. The famous Buffalo Bills American Football team plays for crowds of more than 80,000 at Rich Stadium, and the Buffalo Sabres ice hockey team is also well followed.
Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA) is located just 16kms northeast of downtown Buffalo. Averaging 99 daily flights with non-stop services to 21 cities, it serves over four million passengers annually as they head to and from major cities and airline hubs throughout the US. The ITA shuttle can take you from the airport to downtown and leaves every hour on the hour from 06:30 to 22:00.
Located on the shore of Lake Erie, Buffalo has easy access to Canada and is well connected to the rest of New York State. I-90, the main east-west thoroughfare from Albany, passes through Buffalo, then heads southwest along the great lakes. Buffalo also has easy access to Toronto, Canada, via Niagara and Hamilton.
Amtrak users will find themselves well serviced to and from Buffalo. The Empire Service runs from Niagara Falls to Penn Station in New York City. Continuing west, the Lake Shore Line heads for Chicago. The route between Toronto and NYC is also serviced by the Maple Leaf Line.
Greyhound services connect Buffalo to the other major towns in New York State and all over the US.