Guided Tours -- With so much history and so many architectural landmarks, it only makes sense to take advantage of Buffalo's terrific guided tours, which will give you a deeper understanding of the city's rich heritage. Buffalo Tours, 617 Main St. (tel. 716/852-3300; www.buffalotours.org), runs tours focusing on Millionaire's Row, the waterfront revival, grain elevators, the Olmsted-designed Parkside neighborhood, among many others. Run by a local comedian and an amateur historian, Forgotten Buffalo (tel. 716/833-5211; www.forgottenbuffalo.com) loads people on a bus and shows them the best of old-school Buffalo. We're talking historic taverns, steel mills, gin mills, gritty neighborhoods, more watering holes, and other nostalgia-laden landmarks. Did we forget to mention the drinking joints?
Righteous Babe -- Singer-songwriter and Nickel City native Ani DiFranco had long admired the former Asbury Delaware Methodist Church, a striking but rapidly deteriorating Gothic Revival building in downtown Buffalo. Before the city could follow through on its plans to demolish it, DiFranco's recording company -- Righteous Babe Records -- bought the building in 2003. $10 million in renovations later, the former church has been transformed into Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave. (tel. 716/852-3835; www.babevillebuffalo.com), a multi-use facility housing a state-of-the-art performance hall, a live-music basement club, the offices of Righteous Babe, and the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. Visit the website for information about shows and events.
Especially For Kids
Buffalo and its surrounding areas have more than a few destinations to help families pass the time on rainy -- and sunny -- days. The latest addition to the popular Buffalo Zoo, 300 Parkside Ave. (tel. 716/837-3900; www.buffalozoo.org), is the M&T Bank Rainforest Falls. Opened in 2008, this enclosed, climate-controlled facility simulates a tropical forest. There are a cascading waterfall, giant anteaters, vampire bats, ocelots, capybaras, armadillos, and, of course, monkeys. At Explore and More Children's Museum, 300 Gleed Ave., East Aurora (tel. 716/655-5131; www.exploreandmore.org), kids up to 10 are encouraged to learn through interactive play. Infants can climb and explore, while the older tots can construct their own houses, learn about food, and get to know other cultures. Martin's Fantasy Island, 2400 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island (tel. 716/773-7591; www.martinsfantasyisland.com), has 80 acres with more than 100 rides. Kids love the Silver Comet roller coaster, petting zoo, and water slides.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.