I love summer in New York and making a bucket list every summer helps me make the most of it! There are a few things that make it on my list every year, as well as some new adventures I’ve been waiting for warmer weather to try. Buffalo is an incredible city in the summer and Rochester has so much to offer too!
I never make it 100% of the way through my summer bucket list. But I do love having lots of options to choose from when WNY offers us a beautiful breezy afternoon with plenty of sunshine!
Buffalo City Hall
You can step onto the observation deck from 8 am to 4 pm during the week. Preservation Buffalo Niagara offers daily tours (Monday through Friday) at noon that cover the lobby, common council chambers, the mayor’s office and observation deck.
It isn’t summer without a couple of nights in the tent. This year, I think I might try hammock camping… Wish me luck!
Chestnut Ridge Park
I’ve never hiked to the eternal flame, which is the biggest reason Chestnut Ridge Park is on my summer bucket list. There are also a few miles of trails for hiking or biking.
Drive east for a couple of hours along Lake Ontario and you’ll arrive at Chimney Bluffs State Park. I think this dramatic landscape will be worth the drive.
No WNY farmers’ market will ever be as good as Ithaca’s. But the bustling Elmwood Village Farmers’ Market, Rochester’s Public Market and, our neighborhood option, the Kenmore Farmers’ Market, are worth visiting.
Fitness at Canalside
There are so many (free!) classes scheduled at Canalside this summer. I want to take advantage of the nice weather with an outdoor workout at least a few times this year.
Whether it’s a trip on the lake with Brookdog Fishing Company or an hour at the pond near my parents’ house, it’s not summer without a little bit of fishing.
Food Truck Tuesday
Hanging out in Larkinville with friends after work on Tuesday never gets old. Between the food trucks and nearby restaurants, there’s something for everyone here.
George Eastman Museum
I love photography and I love upstate NY history. Naturally, the George Eastman Museum is calling my name.
Just like Buffalo’s park system, Rochester’s Highland Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. I really want to spend a few hours wandering through Lamberton Conservatory and the acres of gardens and trees.
We never seem to kayak as often as we want to during the summer. This year, I’m determined to get out on the water at least a few times. Oak Orchard Creek is my personal favorite for a day-long paddle.
Every summer there’s something new at Silo City. I will make it to at least one event in this historic venue.
Did you know there’s a lake at Holiday Valley? You can kayak and paddleboard on Spruce Lake after arriving by car, chairlift or your own two feet.
It is not summer without brunch on a patio, or three. Bring on the mimosas.
Our favorite drive-in is a good 45 minute drive from our house, but it’s so worth it. Stop on the way to pick up snacks, or get ice cream after picking the best spot in the parking lot.
WNY Book Arts Center
Buffalo isn’t always sunny and warm, even during the summer. WNY Book Arts Center is a unique indoor option!