Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-04-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

TRAVEL Niagara and Buffalo: A mix of old, new--and enchanting
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
2016-10-11

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Recently, I ( as part of a media excursion ) took an illuminating and entertaining trip to western New York state, specifically Niagara, Lockport and Buffalo. What I encountered was a mix of the old ( the natural wonders of Niagara Falls and history of Old Fort Niagara ) and the new ( a revitalized Buffalo ).

The attractions of Niagara

Niagara Falls, New York, is, in a word, charming. My visit ( and, yes, I did a lot of tourist-y things ) started with a visit to the restaurant at Red Coach Inn ( 2 Buffalo Ave; RedCoach.com ). The decor is a bit medieval ( in a good way ), the food was tasty ( with the cheesiest French onion soup leading one person to say, "I like my soups to be cheese with a side of broth" )—and the atmosphere even included a couple that got married at the inn, underscoring the town's rep as a marriage/honeymoon destination.

The charming atmosphere extended to a walk around the town, observing and hearing about natural wonders such as the Niagara River, Goat Island ( previously called Iris Island and which is between the U.S. and Canadian falls and, yes, had goats on it at one point in its history ).

As for the falls themselves ( American, Horseshoe and Bridal Veil falls ), what can be written that hasn't been said? This natural wonder, simply put, has to be experienced. They have an awesome splendor that inspired me to be reflective, awed and even misty. ( I mean that last one literally, thanks to the Maid of the Mist tour that takes tourists relatively close to the bottom of the falls. ) There's also the Cave of the Winds tour, which takes you mere steps from the waterfalls.

We media writers stayed at The Giacomo ( 222 1st St.; thegiacomo.com/ ), a European-style hotel/residence with a funky and even industrial vibe in spots. ( I aim to return one day if for no other reason than to check out the Splendore Suite, a 2,000-square-foot, two-bedroom spot that boasts amazing views of Niagara Falls. )

After a short nap, it was time to visit Savor: Niagara Falls Culinary Institute ( 28 Old Falls St.; NFCulinary.org/Savor ). I profile restaurants for Windy City Times, and can honestly say I encountered some items here I had not seen or tasted previously. ( The lobster bread pudding was scrumptious, and the place also features "beef on weck" pizza—a take on a popular local dish. ) Afterward, manager Kurt Guba provided an enthusiastic tour of the institute, showing everything from ice sculptures to classrooms.

There's only one warning about Niagara Falls, New York: The location may play havoc with your cellphone in terms of international roaming charges, so be careful.

.

Shufflin' off to Buffalo/B>

After leaving the comforts of Niagara Falls, it was off to Buffalo—but, first, we stopped off in at a couple spots to experience more history.

Old Fort Niagara ( OldFortNiagara.org ), in Youngstown, is the oldest continuously occupied military site in North America. Thousands of people visit the site annually to take in the sights, learn about the fortification and view historic re-enactments. The tour guide provided detailed accounts of the extraordinary conditions the military has dealt with from the 18th century to the present day. The cold, blustery conditions that day did nothing to take away from the sense of amazement this writer felt while experiencing all this history.

Then, it was off to Lockport. After dining at Lock 34 Bar & Grill ( 80 Main St.; Lock34Bar.com )—which has a cool steak-and-arugula sala, and which has several intriguing pizzas and burgers—it was off to the Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride ( LockportCave.com ). The guided tour, which isn't nearly as claustrophobia-inducing as one might believe, had people exploring the Erie Canal Locks 67-71, constructed in 1838, as well as viewing ruins from the Industrial Revolution as well as observing various geological formations.

Also, the writers got some sneak-preview info, as we were informed that Lockport will have zip-lining starting next year, allowing people to travel across the Erie Canal in a different fashion. More info is at http://lockportcave.com/zip-line-attraction/.

Despite its location, Buffalo has that Midwestern feel ( possibly because of the Great Lakes connection ), down to the people always smiling and being friendly. ( At least that's the case in SOME Chicago neighborhoods. ) Also, Buffalo has some impressive architecture. City Hall ( 65 Niagara Square ) is a 32-story Art Deco building in 1931, and it's complete with an observational deck that ( on a clear day ) offers a view of Canada. Just a few of the other sights to see include Niagara Square/The McKinley Monument, Statler City/Hotel Statler, The Delaware North Building and Shea's Performing Arts Center.

We checked in at the Westin Buffalo hotel ( 250 Delaware Ave.; WestinBuffalo.com ). Embracing themes of nature and well-being ( which all Westins feature ), the hotel—which officially opened in mid-September—has 116 guest rooms and suites. It has a lot to like, down to the almost-effusive front-desk attendants and very cool 24-hour fitness center. ( I went there at 5 a.m. and ended up having a very interesting conversation with an employee. )

The Westin also has dining spots, including the very sleek ( and popular ) Patina 250, which has some incredible cuisine that provided the food coma that led to me sleeping in an incredibly comfortable bed.

Rollin' on the river

The next day involved taking in a light breakfast at Patina and then going to the Canalside district of Buffalo ( CanalsideBuffalo.com ). Hundreds of activities take place there annually, including artisan markets, the current Fright Night and the Buffalo River History Tour ( BuffaloRiverHistoryTours.com ). The 90-minute narrated tour of the river and Buffalo's waterfront afforded spectacular views, natural and man-made ( including some huge grain elevators ).

Lastly, since it was Buffalo, I had to try some Buffalo-style wings. ( Yes, they started there. ) So it was off to Anchor Bar ( 1047 Main St.; AnchorBar.com ). Visually, the place almost overwhelms the senses ( again, in a good way )—and the wings are incredible. ( For a more interesting time, you can try the wings with suicide sauce—although I certainly didn't. )

Many thanks go to the tourism bureaus of Buffalo and Niagara as well as the corporation Delaware North for arranging this trip. ( Delaware North operates Niagara Falls State Park's concession, retail and dining locations as well as owns/operate The Westin Buffalo. )


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VALUE TRAVEL Charlotte: Capital of the New South 2018-04-03 - Have you been to Charlotte, North Carolina, lately? It's reinvented itself again as claims itself to be the capital of the "New South." ...


Gay News

STAYCATION REVIEW LondonHouse Chicago, fabulous-but with a caveat 2018-04-03 - LondonHouse Chicago ( 81 E. Upper Wacker Dr.; https://londonhousechicago.com/ ), part of Hilton's Curio Collection, is advertised as a luxury riverfront hotel. Windy ...


Gay News

Chicagoan among new board members of the Int'l Gay & Lesbian Travel Assn 2018-03-27 - Chicagoan Sandi Robinson is among those named to the 2018-2019 International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. The board includes business leaders representing seven ...


Gay News

Off the beaten path, 10 Illinois hiking spots worth walking 2018-03-22 - Illinois boasts a diverse system of state parks and recreation areas, showcasing natural features from towering cliffs to lush valleys, plant life from ...


Gay News

VALUE TRAVEL Celebrate Illinois' bicentennial with a train trip to Springfield 2018-03-13 - Illinois is turning 200 this year and what a better way to celebrate the Land of Lincoln's birthday with a trip on Amtrak ...


Gay News

STAYCATION REVIEW Ace Hotel Chicago West Loop Hotel, modern AND retro 2018-03-07 - Ace Hotel Chicago ( 311 N. Morgan St.; https://www.acehotel.com/chicago ), the West Loop, just opened last year. There's has been quite a bit ...


Gay News

VALUE TRAVEL Washington, D.C., Cherry blossoms, presidential portraits and more 2018-03-06 - Winter officially ends March 1 in the nation's capital but almost anytime of year is perfect for a visit—if only to see the ...


Gay News

Community leaders discuss LGBT travel at state confab 2018-03-03 - Illinois businesses looking to tap into the robust LGBT travel market need to look beyond the affluent "Dual-Income, No Kids" ( DINK ) ...


Gay News

STAYCATION REVIEW Millennium Knickerbocker, History, and a bit more 2018-02-13 - The Millennium Knickerbocker hotel ( 163 E. Walton Pl.; https://www.millenniumhotels.com/en/chicago/millennium-knickerbocker-hotel-chicago/ ) has been open since 1927, and has entertained everyone from Al Capone ...


Gay News

VALUE TRAVEL The other Vegas, perfect for a winter getaway 2018-02-13 - Las Vegas is a great option for a winter getaway. With temperatures in the 70s, it is not too hot and ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.