Western New York Travel Guide

Explore the best of Western New York with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more.

Introduction to Western New York

Western New York is a beautiful region located in the state of New York, in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States of America. Surrounded by rolling hills, lush forests, and picturesque towns, this area is a great destination for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

In this comprehensive travel guide, we will explore the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, what to eat, and more in Western New York. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie, this region has something for everyone.

List of Places to Visit in Western New York

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Western New York has a rich cultural heritage, and there are many museums and historical sites that you won’t want to miss. Here are a few of the best:

  • Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park: This museum is home to several decommissioned naval vessels that you can tour, including the USS Little Rock, USS The Sullivans, and a submarine.

  • National Museum of Play: Located in Rochester, this museum is perfect for families, with exhibits on board games, video games, dolls, and more.

  • Women’s Rights National Historical Park: This park commemorates the first women’s rights convention, which was held in Seneca Falls in 1848.

Natural Attractions of Western New York: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

If you’re looking to connect with nature, Western New York won’t disappoint. Here are some of the best outdoor attractions in the area:

  • Niagara Falls: One of the most famous natural attractions in the world, Niagara Falls is a must-visit for anyone in Western New York.

  • Letchworth State Park: Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park offers stunning views of the Genesee River Gorge.

  • Allegany State Park: This expansive park offers hiking trails, campsites, and a beautiful lake for swimming and boating.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Western New York

Western New York is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with miles of hiking and biking trails to explore. Here are a few of the best:

  • Genesee Riverway Trail: This paved trail follows the Genesee River for 24 miles through Rochester.

  • Erie Canalway Trail: This trail runs 360 miles from Buffalo to Albany, passing through many historic towns along the way.

  • Allegany State Park: With over 80 miles of hiking trails, Allegany State Park is a great destination for hikers of all levels.

Best Things to Do in Western New York: Activities and Tours

In addition to hiking and biking, there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy in Western New York. Here are some of the best:

  • Taste the local cuisine: From Buffalo wings to beef on weck, Western New York has some delicious local dishes to try.

  • Take a brewery tour: Western New York is home to many craft breweries, and several offer tours.

  • Go shopping: The region has a variety of shopping options, from quaint boutiques to outlet malls.

Week-Long Itinerary for Western New York

If you’re planning a week-long trip to Western New York, here’s a sample itinerary to help you make the most of your time:

Day 1: Visit Niagara Falls and take a boat tour.

Day 2: Explore the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, and check out the local cuisine.

Day 3: Take a brewery tour in Rochester, and visit the National Museum of Play.

Day 4: Hike in Letchworth State Park, and take in the views of the Genesee River Gorge.

Day 5: Visit the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, and check out the local shops.

Day 6: Explore Allegany State Park, and enjoy a picnic by the lake.

Day 7: Relax and enjoy some downtime before heading home.

Food and Drink Scene of Western New York

Western New York has a diverse food and drink scene, with a range of restaurants, craft breweries, and wineries. Here are some must-try dishes and beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Buffalo wings: One of the most famous dishes in Western New York, Buffalo wings are a must-try.

  • Beef on weck: A roast beef sandwich served on a kummelweck roll, beef on weck is a Buffalo classic.

  • Sponge candy: A sweet treat made with chocolate and honeycomb candy, sponge candy is a Western New York favorite.

Local Beverages

  • Craft beer: Western New York is home to many craft breweries, including Resurgence Brewing Company and Community Beer Works.

  • Wine: The region has many wineries, including the award-winning Fox Run Vineyards in the Finger Lakes.

Where to Stay in Western New York: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Western New York has many accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Here are a few recommendations:

  • The Mansion on Delaware: A luxury hotel in downtown Buffalo, the Mansion on Delaware offers elegant rooms and attentive service.

  • Hostelling International: With locations in Buffalo and Rochester, Hostelling International offers affordable accommodation for budget travelers.

  • The Delavan Hotel: Located in Cheektowaga, The Delavan Hotel offers comfortable rooms and a convenient location near Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

What to Buy in Western New York: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

If you’re looking to bring home a souvenir from Western New York, here are a few ideas:

  • Sponge candy: As mentioned earlier, sponge candy is a local favorite and makes a great gift.

  • Buffalo-themed merchandise: From T-shirts to keychains, there’s no shortage of Buffalo-themed souvenirs to choose from.

  • Wine: If you’re a wine lover, bring home a bottle (or two) from one of the region’s many wineries.

Local Culture and Customs of Western New York

Western New York has a rich cultural heritage, with influences from Native American, European, and African American traditions. One custom that you may encounter is the Buffalo wing-eating contest, held annually in Buffalo.

Best Time to Visit Western New York

The best time to visit Western New York is in the summer, when the weather is warm and there are many outdoor activities to enjoy. However, autumn is also a popular time to visit, as the leaves change color and the region’s wineries host harvest festivals.

Do’s and Don’ts of Western New York

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when visiting Western New York:


  • Try the local cuisine.
  • Visit Niagara Falls.
  • Explore the region’s many wineries and breweries.


  • Travel off the beaten path alone.
  • Assume everyone is a Buffalo Bills fan.

Safety and Health

Safety in Western New York

Western New York is generally a safe place to visit, but it’s always a good idea to take precautions. Keep your belongings close to you, and be mindful of your surroundings when traveling after dark.

Health in Western New York

There are no specific health risks associated with travel to Western New York. However, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before traveling, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Getting to Western New York: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Western New York

The closest airport to Western New York is Buffalo Niagara International Airport, which is serviced by several major airlines. Rochester International Airport is also a viable option, especially if you’re visiting the Finger Lakes region.

Bus Stations Near Western New York

Greyhound and Trailways both operate bus stations in Buffalo and Rochester.

Other Options

Western New York is easily accessible by car, as it’s located near several major highways.

How to Get Around in Western New York

The best way to get around Western New York is by car. However, if you don’t have a vehicle, there are several taxi services and ride-sharing options available.

Where to Go Next from Western New York: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re looking to explore more of the region, here are some nearby destinations to consider:

  • Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario: Located just across the border in Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a quaint town known for its wineries and historic architecture.

  • Finger Lakes region: Just a short drive from Western New York, the Finger Lakes region is known for its wine and scenic beauty.

  • Toronto, Ontario: Located just a few hours north of Western New York, Toronto is a vibrant city with a rich cultural scene.


Western New York is a beautiful destination with something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor adventures, or delicious food and drink, this region won’t disappoint. Use this comprehensive travel guide to plan your next visit and make the most of your time in Western New York.