Monday, October 8, 2012

Krystal's Buffalo Summer Finds

With the change in weather this weekend, I guess I have to come to terms with the fact that summer in Buffalo is over. This past summer I explored Buffalo like never before. I had the opportunity to take a good look at the gorgeous architecture in the area, and learn about its history. Living in this area all my life, I've always known the basics, but taking the time to really get to know specific buildings and neighborhoods was an extremely fun way to spend the summer. 

Someone asked me the other day what my favorite outing of the summer was. If I really had to choose just ONE it would be number five on this list, but there were a handful of great NEW finds for me this summer. 

Here are my top five favorite things from the summer in Buffalo (in no particular order):

1.) Buffalo Bites Food Tour - With the tagline of "Eat. Explore. Experience Buffalo.", the food tour was the number one thing on my summer to-do list. I took one of the tours in July along with nine other people (four from out of town). We started the tour at The Globe Market and then went to an additional five stops over the course of two hours. Owner and tour guide, Laura Reed gave us a little history lesson on each of the food stops we made along the way. Many of the stops were places I'd already been to, but I learned something new everywhere we went. We sampled traditional Buffalo food (the chicken wing and sponge candy) and were offered other desserts, snacks and drinks along the way. The food  portions were generous and everything we tried was absolutely delicious. By the end of the tour, I was very full and satisfied! We broke up our sampling by walking around historic Elmwood learning about architecture and influential people during the time. The tour offered something for everyone. We were fortunate that it was a gorgeous summer day as we walked around and explored. The tour costs $42, and was definitely worth it. The season of tours has wrapped up, but Buffalo Bites will be back in 2013! If you have guests in from out of town, or are looking for a fun date, outing with the girls or gift, check out Buffalo Bites!

Sponge candy ice cream from Watson's and chicken wings from Cole's

2.) Free fitness classes at Canalside - This summer I had the opportunity to check out some of the free fitness classes offered by Canalside. Fitness enthusiasts had the chance to choose from Pilates, Yoga and Zumba classes held Monday - Wednesday evenings. I was only able to get down for a few, but the classes were an absolute blast. The ones I attended each had a great turnout and people were energetic and lively. The instructors were fun and provided a great workout, without it ever feeling like you were working out. The sun set towards the end of the classes and it was the perfect spot to be!  If you belong to a gym or take group fitness classes, this is the perfect alternative one summer night to being cooped up inside. 

Instructors from Catalyst Fitness lead a Zumba class

3.) Social Media Club Buffalo - As someone who works in social media, I wasn't even aware Buffalo had a social media club until I joined Twitter towards the end of last year! At the end of June, the club hosted "Social Media Day" inside The Statler Lobby Bar. It was a 'happy hour' type of event with food, drink and a chance to network with other local professionals. The event was a great time and I am looking forward to participating in more events with the club. They typically host monthly meetings and offer other activities throughout the year. If you work in social media in Buffalo, it's really a must join club. Buffalo is filled with professional development opportunities for whatever field you work in, you just need to do a little research!

4.) Open Air Buffalo Tours - In July, I took one of the Whirlwind Tours done by Tim Thielman from Open Air Buffalo Tours. The two hour tour was a fascinating look at different architectural hot spots in Buffalo, filled with so many great tidbits of information I didn't know about the area. The stories, the history and the plans for the future make it a must do if you are a Buffalover. If you aren't, odds are you will be after you take the tour. The tours typically run around $20, and they offer a handful of different ones throughout the summer months. 

City Hall and The Guaranty Building in Buffalo

5.) The H.H. Richardson Complex - I've always been fascinated with the Complex, but in August I had the opportunity to take an in-depth tour of the facilities and I've fallen completely in love with the property and its history since. The complex, put simply, is a masterpiece. It's a reminder that Buffalo was and can be again an extremely prosperous city where builders want to build. I had the opportunity to volunteer at Museums by Moonlight in September, and spent the evening talking about the building, and seeing people's faces light up when they walked in it for the first time. The Complex will be offering more tours next year, and this winter will begin training docents (myself included!). The Complex is currently being rehabilitated and restored. By 2015 it will become a boutique hotel and the Buffalo architecture center. The progress they have made so far is outstanding. Outside the building they are creating a new public park, which should be open in 2013. It is truly a testament to the strong group of preservationists in the area. 

Fall in Buffalo and the surrounding area is beautiful too, and as I finish up this post, I'm getting ready to go pumpkin picking and check out the leaves in the area. I can't say I'm quite ready for winter yet, but I'm looking forward to posting my Fall Finds later this year!

Stay tuned!

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