Get to know Buffalo: What nursing students can do for fun in the Queen City

By Grace Gerass, assistant director of communications and alumni engagement

Between lectures, clinicals and studying, we get it: Nursing students need to take a well-deserved break every now and then. 

Whether you’re Buffalo-born-and-raised or relocated here for your education, here are some fun activities nursing students can do in Buffalo. 

Explore the waterfront

UB students exploring Canalside.

Over the last decade, massive changes have been made to revitalize Buffalo’s waterfront. At the heart of the waterfront, you’ll find Canalside. Canalside hosts hundreds of year-long events – including concerts, festivals, history tours, fitness classes, kayaking, rollerblading and outdoor winter activities – many of which are free or low cost. 

If you want to explore the natural side of the waterfront, check out the Outer Harbor. Featuring more than 200 acres of green space, the Outer Harbor is home to a wellness trail. Wilkeson Pointe, the Lakeside Bike Park and the Lakeside Event Lawn. Here, you can find more events and festivals, as well as fitness classes, kayaking and bike rentals.

Visit our neighborhoods

A storefront view of Elmwood Village.

Each of Buffalo’s neighborhoods have their own unique offerings. 

  • University Heights: At the college corridor of UB’s South Campus, you’ll find University Heights, a strip filled with restaurants, bars and shops. Consider grabbing a vegan meal at Amy’s Place, browsing the merchandise at Greeks and Sneaks or enjoying a sundae at Buffalo’s historic ice cream parlor Parkside Candy.
  • Elmwood Village: Named by the American Planning Association as one of the country’s 10 best neighborhoods, Elmwood Village is home to Buffalo’s vibrant shopping district. The area features over 200 locally owned stores and restaurants and galleries. At the corner of Elmwood and Bidwell, you can also find a farmer’s market featuring dozens of local products every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Allentown: Identified by its bohemian roots, Allentown is home to Buffalo’s artistic community. Here, you can participate in the First Friday Gallery Walk, grab a bite to eat at a quirky bar or restaurant or take a walk to the medical campus, which houses UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. And don’t forget to be on the lookout for the “bubble man,” the beloved resident who blows bubbles out of his apartment window at the corner of Allen Street and Elmwood Avenue.
  • Hertel Avenue: With an influx of new bars, restaurants and shops alongside some of the city’s most established establishments, Hertel Avenue captures our city’s rebirth. While you’re here, check out the newly restored century-old North Park Theatre, grab a burrito at Lloyd Taco Factory or try an ice cream flight at Lake Effect Ice Cream. 
  • Downtown Buffalo: At the center of the city you’ll find Downtown Buffalo. Watch a show at Shea’s in Buffalo’s Theatre District, restaurant-hop at the well-known Chippewa Strip, master the Urban High Ropes Course at Riverworks or take a walk past Buffalo’s City Hall.
  • Larkinville: Once an industrial neighborhood, Larkinville is now home to offices, shops and restaurants. Located near downtown and South Buffalo at the center of Larkinville is Larkin Square, a public gathering space that’s known for its food truck Tuesdays, concerts and other outdoor events. 

Take a hike

Letchworth State Park located in Castile, New York.

Whether you’re looking for an advanced trek, an easy hike or a simple walk, Western New York boasts a diverse collection of waterfalls, gorges, forests and valleys. 

  • If you’re able to take a day trip: Take a drive to Devil’s Hole State Park, one of the trails at the Niagara Gorge in Niagara Falls; Zoar Valley, an area of deep gorges in Gowanda, New York; or Letchworth State Park (aka the “Grand Canyon of the East”) in Castile, New York, which contains 66 miles of hiking trails and three major waterfalls. 
  • For a quick trip: Drive to the Eternal Flame at Chestnut Ridge in Orchard Park, New York, Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora, New York, or Tift Nature Preserve, located in the city of Buffalo.
  • If a stroll is more your style: Check out one of Buffalo Olmsted Park’s many locations, where you can take a ride on a flamingo boat at Delaware Park’s Hoyt Lake, take a self-guided mobile audio tour at Olmsted’s west side Front Park or visit an old lighthouse at Riverside Park. 

Attend a game

The Buffalo Bills stadium located in Orchard Park, New York.

Buffalo’s love for its sports teams runs deep. If you’re a football lover, you’ll want to attend a Buffalo Bills game at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Hockey fans will enjoy watching the Buffalo Sabres play at KeyBank Center downtown or the Buffalo Beauts (one of only six National Women’s Hockey League teams) play at Northtown Center in Amherst, New York. If you enjoy baseball, check out the Buffalo Bisons, a Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. Or, if you prefer lacrosse, cheer on the Buffalo Bandits, our National Lacrosse League team.  

Discover the Buffalo Wing Trail

Achor Bar located on Main Street in Buffalo.

If Buffalo is known for one thing (besides the winters), it’s its chicken wings. If you’re on a quest to find your favorite recipe in the wing capital of the world, check out the Buffalo Wing Trail. With 14 neighborhood pubs spanning across the region with recipe options from traditional to unique and everything in between, you’re sure to find your new favorite.   

Go to a museum

The Pierce-Arrow Museum located on Michigan Ave. in Buffalo.

Buffalo is home to plenty of curated museums, no matter your interests. 

What do you like to do for fun in Buffalo? Tweet us at @UBNursing

Published October 4, 2021