FALL in love with Buffalo, New York this Autumn…
Growing up in Buffalo gave me the enormous privilege of experiencing all four seasons. As an adult, rediscovering the beauty of each season has been such a gift!
The season that particularly speaks to my soul, though, is fall. And wouldn’t you know, it’s September already! This post is coming out right on time to help you mentally prepare for all of the autumnal bliss ahead.
If you have been up north during this time of year before, you know that during the fall season we are absolutely immersed in the deep color scheme of reds, oranges, and yellows. This brings about wide-eyed wonder each time you lay eyes on the seemingly endless trees and landscapes. The air gets cooler. Your focus shifts more inward. Fall has the ability to enchant you in such a different way than any other season. Buffalo is truly the perfect place to get the true autumnal experience, and I am here today to share my recommendations with you!
Making this blog post was an absolute must because Buffalo’s fall activities deserve to be showcased. This post is for any Buffalo locals who want to add something new to their fall activity repertoire, for tourists who find themselves in Buffalo during this magical time of year, or just for anyone who needs a little autumn inspiration in their lives.
So here is a list of all of my favorite things to do during the season of fall in Buffalo, New York!
*all of these recommendations are based on personal experience, none are sponsored.
Buffalo’s Best Fall Hikes
Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park has quite the reputation – and rightfully so! This park is great to visit at all times of the year but it is particularly special during fall. This is a great place for a brisk hike, seeing waterfalls, and admiring the leaves in full force. We like to bring our own subs, chicken wing dip, and cape cod chips from Lakeside Market, but you can really bring any food you like and have a picnic overlooking the most gorgeous views!
Just be aware that as the weeks progress during the fall season, it does get more and more crowded due to Letchworth’s popularity! So try to get there earlier in the day if you’re going in the prime of September/October.
Chestnut Ridge (Eternal Flame)
Chestnut Ridge is a beautiful park in Orchard Park that we usually go to during the winter for sledding/tubing. However, in the fall, the hikes are worth checking out because they really showcase the colorful leaves. The Eternal Flame, specifically, is something quite unique to this park. You go down an exceptionally steep hill, and once the ground levels out, you walk through this grotto-type landscape to find the mystical eternal flame. It is actually a natural gas leak that keeps the fire aflame, and it’s nothing too big or elaborate, but it is still exciting nonetheless. The feeling of accomplishment when you find it is the real spark.
Do keep in mind, you do not park at the main entrance to get to the Eternal Flame Trail. It’s about 1.5 miles down the road, just follow the signs! Also, another thing to be aware of is that this hike is very steep. So make sure you are in good health before going on this venture.
Devil’s Hole is located along Niagara Falls on the American side. I think out of every view we experienced from this whole list of hikes, this one was the most beautiful, vibrant, and unique. Not only were the leaves alive with color, but the water in the Niagara River was such a rich teal blue. It swiftly moved along next to you as you walked on the trail and was unbelievably breathtaking. The whole experience felt like we were in a National Geographic documentary, it was remarkable.
This was another very steep hike with a lot of stairs, so please keep that in mind. As long as you are in good health, I absolutely recommend it because the views and photos are 100% worth the extra physicality.
Located in East Aurora, Knox Farm is a fantastic park to visit at any time of the year. In the fall, particularly, the trees that line the park give your walks a gorgeous backdrop. This park is extensively large. You could spend an entire afternoon walking on all of the paths or in the woods surrounded by these beautiful trees. They also have a fenced-in dog park where you can let your dogs off the leash to run around and burn off their energy in a very large, safe space. Knox Farm definitely has “relaxing Sunday vibes” and is perfect for any lowkey fall day.
Allegany State Park
Allegany State Park is a little bit more of a drive than the previous hikes mentioned but absolutely worth the trek. You could do a day trip here or make a whole weekend out of it – they have tons of cabins and Air B&B’s to rent if you want to make it a whole event! Allegany is chock full of hiking trails to keep you busy for hours. There are hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult, so there really is something for everyone.
We tend to visit the Quaker Area when going to Allegany and most recently hiked the Three Sisters Trail. That trail had a whole variety of difficulty levels, it seemed like each of the “three” sisters referenced in the title related to difficulty level (easy, medium, difficult). When we got to the top of our chosen trail, there was pure silence that was so distinguishable – we’ll never forget that. Some of these trails really give you the opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of society and reconnect with true stillness.
Another great area to visit in Allegany State Park is Thunder Rocks, which is considered a “rock city.” This area isn’t as much of a trail, but more so a walkthrough area where you can marvel at these exceptionally huge rocks, learn about the geology, and ponder how they even got there in the first place. Again, a very peaceful area and a really unique thing to go check out!
Buffalo’s Best Fall Towns & Activities:
East Aurora is a town that I am always going to recommend because I think it has a certain type of charm that is unlike any of the other surrounding areas in Buffalo. The main strip of shops and restaurants in East Aurora has so much to offer that it will definitely keep you busy!
As far as Fall goes… here are my top East Aurora recommendations:
Mayer Bros. Cider Mill
I’ve tried a few Cider Mills in the Buffalo area, but Mayer Bros. Cider Mill remains my favorite year after year. You show up to this cider mill shop and can purchase all of the fall treats your heart desires – apple cider by the jug, apple cider slushies, donuts, caramel apples, pies, and more! Then, grab your snacks and drinks and then take a nearby walk for a very picturesque fall afternoon. On weekends, it does tend to accumulate quite a line (especially mid-day) so just be prepared for that!
East Aurora Restaurant Recommendation: Bar-Bill
Two integral parts of Buffalo culture are 1. Chicken Wings and 2. The Buffalo Bills. Fall just happens to be football season, so if you’re not heading over to the stadium to watch the game itself, you’re going to want a good place to grab some beer and wings and cheer on the Bills!
Bar-Bill is my absolute favorite spot in all of Buffalo for chicken wings, it is a year-round recommendation. They hand paint the wing sauce on the wings, which adds such a special touch. Their other delicacies are pizza logs and beef on weck, and we love pairing that with a Hayburner IPA or Ellicottville Blueberry Beer (in which they put real blueberries!). You really have the opportunity to create a Buffalo smorgasbord for yourself at Bar-Bill.
The restaurant itself is very small so definitely make a reservation far in advance if you actually want to eat in the restaurant for the game or really on any weekend/relatively busy time.
East Aurora Brewery Recommendation: 42 North Brewing Company
We are always on the hunt for a good brewery and 42 North Brewing Company has the perfect vibe for a fall night. Out in the back, they have fire pits and twinkle lights so it’s a lovely ambiance for when the sky gets dark and the temperature gets chilly. You can order some of 42 North’s specialty beers or get a flight if you want to sample a few. My favorite is called “Illumination,” if you’re looking for a recommendation!
BONUS: The Lofts @ 42N
If you are a huge brewery fan like we are, you will be ecstatic to find out that 42 North actually has Lofts available for rent through Air B&B. They’re called The Lofts @ 42N. On the website, they deem your stay there as a “brewcation,” which is exceptionally accurate. We really couldn’t resist checking this out!
There are four different lofts, all specialty themed. We stayed at the Prohibition Suite, which was (obviously) Prohibition-themed. There was artwork from the 1920s, vintage-style furniture, and even a view overlooking both the firepits and the inside of the brewery itself! The best part, too, was that it even came with some complimentary beer!
This was such a one-of-a-kind experience. If you have a beer lover in your life and you’re looking to celebrate something special (a birthday, anniversary, just being alive, etc!) this is such a great idea, no matter what time of year it is!
Shirley Road in North Collins
North Collins is a little bit further out in the country, but let me tell you, Shirley Road is where we found the most quintessential fall activities in all of Buffalo. Perfect for families, couples, friends, or anyone just looking to fully immerse themselves in a pure and wholesome fall afternoon. I would truthfully rank our day here as my favorite during the entire season.
Finding Awald Farms felt like we hit the absolute fall jackpot. We started off at the pumpkin patch which was filled with regular size and giant pumpkins alike! There was also a gorgeous sunflower field, which made my sunflower-loving heart so happy to see.
Then, we went over to the area where they had a corn maze, hayrides, games, gift shops, and more! It felt like a full-on fall festival over there! The hayrides were so serene as you drove through the open fields and along with the lines of colorful trees. The corn maze was a blast, too, filled with twists and turns that were challenging enough to keep you entertained and laughing throughout. It was such a fun afternoon, it made us feel like kids again!
Stone Hill Orchard
Right down the street from Awald Farms is Stone Hill Orchard where you get to go apple picking! They had all of the sections labeled of which types of apples you could pick – we picked Empires, Cortlands, and Jonagolds. Again, such a peaceful place to spend the afternoon with a perfect view of multi-colored leaves and endless fields. We went on a slightly cool and overcast day, picked some apples, and then took them home to bake a pie. Truly, how does it get better than this??
Have you ever watched Gilmore Girls and thought “man, I wish Stars Hollow was a real place?” Well trust me when I say, Ellicottville is pretty darn close. It’s charming, it’s walkable, and it’s absolutely gorgeous in the fall. I highly recommend taking a day (or weekend) trip out here to just enjoy the leaves, the shops, and the restaurants.
Ellicottville Restaurant Recommendation: West Rose
We checked out West Rose for brunch on a Sunday morning and it was absolutely divine. The meals were hearty and kept us full all day long. The Crispy Patatas Bravas and Breakfast Sandwich were particularly delicious! They had great breakfast drinks, like mimosas and Irish coffee, and the restaurant had such an exquisite atmosphere. West Rose changes its menu with the seasons, always updating so you get the freshest ingredients. It is a great place to go out to dinner or do a Sunday brunch. Their sister restaurant is The Grange in Hamburg, which I also highly recommend! (their burgers are to die for!)
Ellicottville Brewery Recommendation: Ellicottville Brewing Co.
Ellicottville Brewing Co. is a classic Ellicottville stop. Especially if you hit it on a nice day and can sit outside, it has such a great small-town brewery atmosphere. They create a lot of specialty beer flavors here and are most well-known for their Blueberry Beer. Be sure to check out whatever beers they have in stock for the season because it tends to be quite unique and creative! The hot pretzels are also worth mentioning because they are melt-in-your-mouth good.
That About Wraps It Up!
As you can see, Buffalo, New York is the perfect place to get a true, authentic fall experience. Whether you’re looking for a classic pumpkin patch, an atmospheric brewery, or a beautiful hike with fall leaves, Buffalo has got you covered.
Leave a comment below and let me know which recommendation from this post you would want to try the most!
Also, be sure to share this post with anyone who will be in the Buffalo area during the fall season. Hopefully this can help spark some new ideas of activities to add to their list!
If you would like to stay updated with what’s going on here at The Road Jess Traveled, please submit your email into the box below:
Until Next Time… 🙂