Originating in the late 18th century as a trading post, Buffalo began to grow rapidly when the Erie Canal was constructed between Albany and Buffalo, creating a shipping route from New York City to cities on the Great Lakes. Prior to the Civil War, Buffalo was a final stop on the Underground Railroad for people escaping slavery in the south. Buffalo developed as a major transportation hub and manufacturing center, growing to become the 8th largest city in the U.S. During the latter half of the 20th century, several events conspired to reduce Buffalo's importance as a transportation hub, including the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the relocation of Buffalo's downtown rail station to the eastern suburb of Depew, leading the city population to eventually fall to its pre-1900 levels. Recent redevelopment initiatives and investments in Buffalo's downtown districts promise to stimulate economic growth and prosperity.
Buffalo has a reputation for long, hard winters primarily due to "lake effect" snow accumulation. Summers are very pleasant with moderate temperatures and humidity levels. Buffalo has the sunniest and driest summers of any major city in the Northeast, with most summer rainfall occurring at night.
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority operates two airports, the Buffalo International Airport with flights to destinations across the U.S., and the Niagara Falls International Airport with direct flights to destinations in Florida and South Carolina. The NFTA also operates light rail and bus service throughout the metropolitan Buffalo area, and manages a harbor on Lake Erie with over 1,000 ships available for year-round rental.
The cost of living in Buffalo is relatively low compared to other places, at 78% of the national average. This translates into more purchasing power for locals. Use these cost of living calculators to determine how far your budget will go in Buffalo.
The Buffalo School District is considered one of the premiere urban school systems in New York State. There are 78 public schools, 47 private schools, and a growing number of charter schools that serve the city of Buffalo, with additional schools, both public and private, supporting the surrounding metropolitan area.
Buffalo General Medical Center is the best general medical facility in Buffalo and the number two medical center after Roswell Park Cancer Institute. If you’re planning a move to Buffalo, be sure to find out about the medical resources available to you:
Housing in Buffalo is plentiful and affordable with a median home price under $65,000. Use the links below to explore home buying options in Buffalo.
Buffalo has a variety of overnight accommodations, all of which will make you feel right at home. For the ultimate in luxury, there is no better choice than the Mansion on Delaware Avenue, Buffalo's only AAA rated four diamond hotel. On a lighter budget, the Elmwood Village Inn offers luxury and comfort in Buffalo's popular Elmwood neighborhood. Use the links below to find accommodations in Buffalo.
With a rich blend of European heritages and a cosmopolitan urban center, the Buffalo restaurant scene boasts something for every palate. But for the true Buffalo experience, there's nothing like a "Beef on Weck" from Schwabls in West Seneca, or Eckl's in Orchard Park. Did you know Buffalo Wings really are from Buffalo? You can get the whole story and taste the original secret recipe at the Anchor Bar in the Allentown neighborhood on the north side of Buffalo, where wings got their start in 1964. If your taste is more refined, Buffalo's highly acclaimed Seabar is just a few blocks south on Ellicott Street, or try Bistro Europa on Elmwood Avenue for an always changing, always fresh menu.
With bars allowed to stay open until 4am, Buffalo has a thriving nightlife culture with many popular clubs in the Allentown neighborhood just north of downtown. If culture is more your thing, Buffalo is home to over 50 art galleries, including the prestigious Albright-Knox Art Gallery, featuring a world-class collection of modern and contemporary works, including pieces by Jackson Pollock, Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol, and Arshile Gorky. More than 20 professional theatre companies are based in Buffalo, and the Buffalo Zoo provides great entertainment for the entire family. Buffalo is home to the Buffalo Bills, ten time NFL champions, and the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres.