Ask anyone and you’ll know that New York is one of the top travel destinations in the world. And, why wouldn’t it be? Abundant with delicious food and a vibrant cityscape, New York is the place to be. Buffalo, in particular, is one of the best places to stay in the state. Known for its scrumptious spicy wings and amazing party culture, there’s no wonder that many visit this dynamic city. Visitors enjoy staying in historic hotels and Airbnb vacation rentals as they explore Buffalo’s attractions and tourist spots during their vacation. Beyond the great amenities in Buffalo, there are so many adventures that lie outside its borders. From picturesque waterfalls to lively metropolitans, there’s so much to discover and experience when venturing out of the city; some of which are only a two-hour road trip away. Check out our top picks for the best weekend trips from Buffalo, New York.
1. Providence, Rhode Island
As the capital city of Rhode Island, Providence offers many attractions and fun things to do for those who want to embark on a road trip from Buffalo. The beautiful and historic city is just 51 miles (82 kilometers) from Boston and about 451 miles (721 kilometers) from Buffalo. This means it’ll be just around seven hours more or less of driving along scenic routes if you’re coming from Upstate New York.
Some of the Providence attractions you should not miss include the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, the State Capitol, Federal Hill, Waterplace Park, John Brown House, and the Roger Williams Park Zoo.
2. Ithaca, New York
Ithaca is a beautiful city nestled in the scenic Finger Lakes Region. If you’re planning a quick weekend trip to this city from Buffalo, it’ll just take you more or less around three hours. The city of Ithaca is also known as a college town as it’s where you can find Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland College, and one of the Ivy League schools, Cornell University.
Some of the attractions and activities you can enjoy here include plenty of outdoor recreational activities as it’s home to the scenic Cayuga Lake, Ithaca Waterfalls, Robert Treman State Park, and Buttermilk Falls State Park.
3. Sunset Bay
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Another popular weekend trip destination for many Buffalo locals is Sunset Bay. This beautiful spot is just a 22-minute drive south of Buffalo and it sits along the sandy shores of Lake Erie. From the location alone, one can easily surmise that most of the visitors here come for the sun, sand, and water.
Guests can also enjoy a great meal at the waterfront restaurant where they offer tasty classic American table fares. Other amenities include a video game arcade, volleyball courts, an ice cream joint, and more.
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4. Warren, Pennsylvania
Warren is a city known to be the gateway to the beautiful Allegheny National Forest. It’s just about 84 miles (135 kilometers) or less than 2 hours’ drive going south from Buffalo. What makes it a favorite destination for weekend road-trippers is the scenic route between the two cities.
When you get to Warren, there are plenty of things to do including sightseeing, hiking, canoeing, and fishing at the national forest. You can also spend your day visiting the many historical sites and landmarks in the city.
5. Detroit, Michigan
Located right across Lake Erie from Buffalo, Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan. Home to the neoclassical Detroit Institute of Arts, the city is abundant with culture. From top-charting musicians to a thriving art scene, Detroit serves as a great destination to indulge in the arts and culture. Only a four-hour drive from Buffalo, revel in Detroit’s wondrous cityscape and do like the locals do. You can watch a baseball game at the iconic Comerica Park or grab a slice of salted maple pie at the city’s famous Sister Pie. Guaranteeing a great time, Detroit is definitely a must-visit.
6. Saratoga Springs
Dubbed as ‘Queen of the Spas’, Saratoga Springs in the number one destination for some R & R in the East Coast. Located west from Buffalo, Saratoga Springs is best known for its health resorts and upscale recreational activities. Considered one of the US’ premier tourist destinations, the city serves as a great and relaxing escapade from Buffalo’s raving metropolitan lifestyle. You can enjoy a lovely stroll through the suburban landscape or visit one of the many health resorts in town. Feel free to also shop around through the city’s upscale boutiques and shopping centres.
Located in upstate New York, Clayton is a quaint town in the Thousand Islands. Home to a renowned summer resort and an array of galleries and boutiques, Clayton is a cultural and vibrant destination just four hours’ drive away from Buffalo. What was once an upscale retreat destination for the elite in the 19th century is now an epicentre for outdoor activities and relaxation in the East. Visitors can expect to be greeted by a riverfront town that’s a perfect balance between regal and rustic. Enjoy strolls through their many museums and revel in the tranquillity of Clayton.
8. Cleveland, Ohio
Considerably one of the most underrated cities in the US, Cleveland is a must-visit destination for a good, wholesome time. Just a three-hour drive from Buffalo, Cleveland is easily one of the most exciting weekend trips you can take. Abundant with culture and history, you’ll never get bored strolling through the city. You can visit the iconic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or gaze through masterpieces at Cleveland Museum of Art. But of course, you can’t visit Cleveland without indulging in some of the city’s staple delicacies; like the Polish Boy, a delightful mush of french fries, kielbasa and coleslaw drenched in barbecue sauce. Enjoy a simple and laidback trip to Cleveland.
Dubbed as ‘America’s Crystal City’, Corning has been the country’s epicentre for everything glass. From light bulbs to glass art, Corning has made it all. Beyond glass, this little city is full of big fun. You can visit Corning Museum of Glass and catch a glimpse of the city’s long history of glass. Or indulge in a pint of the city’s finest beers at any one of their many craft breweries. Guaranteed an experience nothing like the busy streets of Buffalo, enjoy a serene and one-of-a-kind trip at Corning which is just a little over two hours’ drive away.
Definitely one of the most vibrant villages in upstate New York, Ellicottville is easily a must-visit destination for everyone and anyone. With both natural landscapes and a lively town centre, there is surely something for everyone. Known primarily for their world-famous ski resorts and an adventure park, this is definitely a destination for those that love outdoor activities. If you love skiing or trekking then this is the place for you. The town centre is also lined with quaint boutiques and eateries perfect for those lazy afternoons. Only 70 kilometres (44 miles) south of Buffalo, there is no reason not to visit the beautiful town of Ellicottville.
11. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Known as the ‘Steel City’, Pittsburgh is definitely one of the best day trips you can take from Buffalo. Only a three-hour drive away, Pittsburgh is home to great breweries and exciting museums. If you fancy arts and culture, take a stroll through the city’s many museums and galleries such as The Andy Warhol Museum or Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. On the other hand, if you love the cityscape, feel free to explore Pittsburgh’s buzzing nightlife through the numerous bars and restaurants lining up the city’s river. Serving as a great escape from Buffalo, Pittsburgh should be your next weekend destination.
Oozing with small-town charm but rampant with big-city culture, Rochester is a lovely lakeside city just off the shore of Lake Ontario. Boasting a delightful juxtaposition of serene waters and high rise buildings, this city is a frequent getaway for both New York locals and tourists alike. With activities all year round, you’ll always find something new to do in this city. Whether you enjoy a luxurious shopping spree or love a unique culinary experience, Rochester is definitely the city for you. Only a short road trip (about an hour and 15 minutes) from Buffalo, why wouldn’t you visit Rochester?
13. Watkins Glen
No matter if you’re a local or tourist, Watkins Glen should definitely be on your travel list. Guaranteed to be the most beautiful natural landscape you’ll ever see, flock over to Watkins Glen for an experience unlike any other. The city boasts a number of nature trails and waterfalls. In particular, Rainbow Falls, a beautiful waterfall in between two rock formations, is the city’s most popular spot. Truly a destination for the friendly adventurer, Watkins Glen will be a trip you won’t regret. So, if you’re looking for something completely different from the streets of Buffalo, and at just two-and-a-half hours’ drive, this is where you need to head to.
14. Toronto, Canada
If you’re looking to take an out-of-country trip then you’re just in luck, Toronto, Canada is just a quick road trip away. A lively metropolitan city just on the shore of the scenic Lake Ontario, Toronto is one of the most popular destinations to visit in North America. Boasting high-rise skyscrapers and a beautiful skyline, Toronto is a trip that you definitely won’t regret taking. Just a two-hour drive from Buffalo, you can experience a vibrant town centre and indulge in some of the city’s delicious treats. We recommend visiting the Royal Ontario Museum and enjoying the view of the iconic CN Tower.
Fun is just a short road trip away
There are plenty of shopping malls and attractions in this city. With so much more to see outside the vicinity of Buffalo, however, there’s no reason not to venture out. From exhilarating hiking trails to summer resorts, fun is just a short road trip away from the city. Looking for the best things to do on the weekend? Grab your friends and hit the road for the best weekend trip ever from Buffalo, New York!
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