2019 May Featured Destination of the Month: Visit Buffalo Niagara
Wednesday, May 01, 2019 06:00 AM

Visit Buffalo Niagara:

Bootstrapping locals, millennial entrepreneurs and resettled immigrants have refreshed Buffalo like a cool Lake Erie breeze and invigorated its formerly fraying neighborhoods like a splash of hot sauce on wings. They’ve transformed once-neglected architectural landmarks into tourist attractions and hotels, turned a formerly industrial waterfront into a haven for kayaking, grain silo zip lining and rock climbing; splashed colorful murals on buildings across the city and infused a regional cuisine previously known only for deep fried drumsticks and flats with flavors from around the world.

 Visit Buffalo Niagara's Q&A:

What's one attraction that can’t be missed when visiting your destination?
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex. This summer, Buffalo will complete the 25-year, $50 million reconstruction and restoration of the complex, a 1-acre campus of three homes, a conservatory, a stable and a 100-foot long pergola that Wright once called “a well-nigh perfect composition.” The campus was once home to one of Buffalo’s wealthiest industrialists before it was abandoned in the Great Depression and suffered from decades of neglect. The final piece of the National Historic Landmark’s restoration – the debut of the landscape featuring thousands of flowers and dozens of trees– will coincide with  the 25th anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo on July 27 and 28, America’s largest and free garden tour featuring more than 400 gardens. The Martin House, which is now open for a variety of tours, embodies the broader narrative of Buffalo and punctuates a citywide transformation that’s ready for its big moment.

 

What story ideas will travel media uncover at your destination?
Architecture: Buffalo has taken what it’s always had – a remarkable collection of turn of the 20th century architecture – and turned it into someplace extraordinary for visitors to explore. A collection of grain silos on our formerly industrial waterfront have been converted into a zip lining course, haven for kayakers and a performance space for poets and musicians. Old mansions and a former mental asylum have been turned into a variety of boutique lodging options. And several Frank Lloyd Wright homes and designs are now top attractions to tour. At every turn, from where visitors stay to where they eat, see a show and explore, they’ll immerse themselves in a remarkable built environment reimagined and repurposed.

Culinary: Recently resettled immigrants, supported by the West Side Bazaar incubator space, have expanded the city’s palate by cooking up Burmese, Laotian and other culinary options from around the world. The incubator space allows these immigrants to operate at a reduced rent; “graduates” of the bazaar have since moved out into the surrounding neighborhoods into their own brick-and-mortar locations and begun to change the city’s restaurant scene.  It amounts to a food culture filled with options far beyond the wings Buffalo is renowned for.

Family: The new Explore and More Children’s Museum on Buffalo’s waterfront, opening in May of 2019, gives families who were already considering a visit to Niagara Falls reason to extend their stay in Buffalo. The 40,000 square foot museum, filled with Buffalo centric exhibits, anchors a revitalized waterfront that also includes America’s largest inland naval and military park (featuring three floating ships) and a host of grain silos that have been repurposed into a hub for thrill seekers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts, including kayakers, zip liners and rock climbers. Great for a “Beyond the Falls” family feature, since this revitalized waterfront is less than 30 minutes away!

 

What plans, events does your destination have scheduled that travel media should be aware of?
The 25th anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo, America’s largest and free garden tour featuring more than 400 gardens, is July 27 and 28.

During Garden Walk, homeowners across the city invite thousands of strangers into their yards to show off how creative they can be within their urban gardens, which have gradually helped transform Buffalo’s Rust Belt image block by block and neighborhood by neighborhood. The two-day Garden Walk will expand into new neighborhoods and incorporate dozens more gardens this July – including the newly restored landscape of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex featuring thousands of flowers and dozens of trees. It’s part of a month long celebration of gardens in July that include dozens of additional, smaller garden tours.

The National Buffalo Wing Festival, Labor Day Weekend, brings aficionados from around the world to chow down on more than 20 tons of wings in the city that created them. Visiting travel media have served as tasting judges during previous festivals.

 

Is there anything else you feel travel media should know about your destination?
Visit Buffalo Niagara prides itself on creating familiarization tours that are customized for the writer. We host most of our press trips on an individual basis and try to connect media whenever possible with the city’s best storytellers who have first hand experience in helping transform Buffalo, while leaving plenty of free time for writers to explore on their own if they so choose. If you’re interested in visiting this summer, contact Communications Manager Brian Hayden at [email protected] to find out more!

 

Find out more about Visit Buffalo Niagara: www.visitbuffaloniagara.com

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