The Waters of Buffalo
Buffalo is a city defined by water. With the Erie Canal forming it’s downtown area and the famous Canalside, Lake Erie forms the shore front of Western New York. A short drive to the North features the Niagara River and Falls, as well as Lake Ontario. To begin with Buffalo would have never become a city without the Erie Canal which connected the Atlantic Ocean to the West via Lake Erie. Buffalo became a major center of production, transportation, and storage.
A city defined by the waters surrounding it, it’s not surprising that there is a ton of aquatic activities to partake in. Buffalo and its surrounding areas offer beautiful beaches, water sports, or even just a place to relax with family and friends.
The development of the Canal specifically has been amazing over the past few years. The Erie Canal, opened in 1825, was responsible for the economic development of Western New York and America as a whole. With most commercial traffic dying down in the 20th century due to the development of alternative transportation methods as well as the construction of newer and bigger canals in New York State. Today the Canal is mostly used for recreation, and this is especially evident in Buffalo. In the Buffalo area today, you can go boating and kayaking on the canal. And of course, there is Canalside, which has become one of Buffalo’s best outdoor venues for festivals and shows alike. Every Thursday during the Summer, big name musicians perform at Canalside, with tickets going for only $5. Few cities sponsor public entertainment at such a scale and affordability.
Following the Canal to the end, we get to Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes. Within short driving distance one can access multiple beaches, including Sunset beach which has a bar and restaurant. Wilkeson Pointe in the Outer Harbor is a quaint small beach right out of downtown. Further South, the Hamburg and Angola also serve as great destinations for day trips. A little further out but offering equally nice beaches is Lake Ontario, with Olcott beach being one of the nicer ones closer to Buffalo. Water activities on these lakes are aplenty. With multiple marinas and harbors around, it’s easy to find a place to rent watercraft, with unique options like cycleboats. Well rated harbor cruises are also available, such as the Miss Buffalo harbor cruise.
Buffalo is known for Niagara Falls, but ironically, the Falls’ role in forming the city was minor. Instead Buffalo was created and shaped by the waters surrounding it. It would be hard to imagine Buffalo without its waterfront. The future is exciting, with the rise of Canalside, the development on the water is not slowing down anytime soon.
Written By: David Feyder Reuveni