Like many of America's former industrial centers, Buffalo still deals with the after-effects of deindustrialization. As many of the steel mills and manufacturing companies moved their businesses to cheaper places, unemployment grew in this working-class city. But lately things are looking up. Service and bioinformatics companies have become the cornerstone of Buffalo's economy and with the city's movement away from heavy industry comes better air and water quality. Reader's Digest ranked the second-most-populous city in New York State the third-cleanest large city in the nation. With every careful face lift, Buffalo continues to reveal to its residents and visitors a place that's moving away from its gritty past and toward a new personality.
Architecture fans will find more than their fair share of interest in Buffalo, since the city has over 80 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Among the buildings that shouldn't be missed are the Guaranty Building, considered one of the first true skyscrapers in the world, the Buffalo City Hall with its art deco design, St. Paul Episcopal Cathedral, one of the oldest in the city, and the Darwin D. Martin House and Graycliff Estate, which were both designed by genius architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Visit Delaware Park, home of the Buffalo Zoological Gardens to see America's oldest zoo. If you're looking for something more challenging, you can go clambering up to Rock City in the south of Buffalo, where large rocks are stacked up against each other several stories high. And, of course, while you're in the area you'll want to take the chance to visit Niagara Falls.
Food in Buffalo is much more than the city's signature wings and you can sample the variety of fare among the many restaurants, bars and eateries found along Chippewa Street, Main Street and Delaware Avenue. Good eats can also be found in Allentown, Elmwood Avenue and the University Heights areas. If you happen to be in the city during the summer months, don't miss its two main food festivals: the Taste of Buffalo and the National Buffalo Wing Festival.
You'll find unique independent shops as well as big-mall shopping in Buffalo. Those looking for one-of-a-kind finds, used books and quirky stuff should head to the Elmwood District and the Hertel Avenue District. For the shopping-center experience, Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga, along with Boulevard Mall and McKinley Mall, carry the more popular national and international brand names.
92 Pearl Street
303 Columbus Avenue
54 West Chippewa
1047 Main Street