Adventures around Western / Upstate NY

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Adventures in and around Buffalo!
  • 5.0 Sterne
    20.7.2012
    Erster Beitrag

    This place graced my first skydive..and it was one I will never forget. I have fleeting memories of the whole experience, which I'll do my best to recall below.

    After booking my skydive, I talked to some guy on the phone who said to come on out for "training." I drive about 40 minutes towards the country side and buy some farm fresh chicken eggs on the way from some locals. Might never get a chance to use them, but at least if I die they'll find these in my car and eulogize me as a hero for shopping locally.

    After I finally arrive to the airport, I notice this doesn't look like any airport I've ever seen.

    For one, it has a barn. In the midst of this large field, there's a plane that looks like it has been unfortunately transplanted. It doesn't look to be in particularly good shape. I wonder if that's the plane I'll be jumping from as I knock on the door.

    A guy with missing teeth comes out and asks me if I'm the appointment for the skydive. He looked really rugged and was a bit old and I think I caught a glance of some beer cans inside "mission control." I wanted to say no and drive away, but what would I tell all the people who I told I was going to do this..? So I went through training, which consisted of one of the sketchiest videos I've ever seen in my life, to date.

    It's a video where a man named Bill Booth (he invented tandem skydiving) tells you that you might die doing this and if you do, you or your family can't sue. Pretty serious stuff. However, it's hard to take him seriously because he looks like Karl Marx. He has a beard that goes down to his feet. I'm sure he trips over it pretty regularly and I'm not quite sure how safe it would be to skydive with a beard like that, but whatever. I signed the releases and they set a date for me to come back later when the weather was good to skydive.

    When I finally jumped, it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The anticipation of going up on the plane, unsure if you'll actually come out of this alive was surreal. The plane was super small and I had to shimmy down to the exit door on my knees and the 'ready-to-jump' position involved getting my legs to dangle out from a moving plane. As I jumped, I felt as if I was flying for those 30 or so seconds that you free fall. It was incredible. I got a video of the experience and the video guy was just above me also falling. When the chute came out, well....it was pretty sudden and I wanted some reassurance from my tandem instructor that all was well. For the first minute or so, he said nothing to me. "is everything okay...?" no answer... as I heard him doing something. I thought he was preparing for emergency maneuvers or something! Later, he told me he was just out of breath and couldn't talk... he was a fair bit older than me.

    The landing was great, the video was great...and the jump was great.

    Although the place has the ambiance of a beat-down, unsafe sketchy joint, the personnel and staff here are incredible and emphasize safety very well. Don't be deceived.

    It's pricey -- about $250 for a tandem jump, you can jump for cheaper at other places. However, the experience is worth it. You'll get to see Niagara Falls and even Toronto in the distance. It's beautiful. Go in the sunset if you can.

  • Niagara St & Rainbow Blvd S
    Niagara Falls, NY 14302
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    13.9.2012

    I have many reasons for going to the Falls. It's a great place to go for a run along the River, it's a great place to bring a date (and where my sweetheart and I kissed for the first time), great place to bring your visitors and impress them with one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and even a place where I go to reflect in solitude and soak in the beauty of nature. I was even here to see Nik Wallenda do his tightrope across the Falls, which is a whole other story..

    I've done 10+ miles runs here all the way along the Niagara River to the NF bridge and it was amazingly serene and peaceful. I've explored various trails along Goat Island and yes..have gone on the Maid of the Mist (an attraction boat that takes you close to the Falls) a few times as well.

    The park is well maintained and well worth the visit. It's the most beautiful place in Niagara Falls in a city that's otherwise pretty depressing and rundown. The Falls is an amazing sight and the tourist attractions offered that you have to pay for are pretty good, but just coming here and looking at the Falls is free and majestic enough. Protip: don't pay for parking, park on the street and walk 1/4 mile to the park, you lazy butt!

    So grateful to live so close to this amazing sight. In the winter, it's even more beautiful so if you've never seen this natural wonder with snow all around, you gotta plan another trip back!

  • 1009 N Franklin St
    Watkins Glen, NY 14891
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    7.9.2012

    My girlfriend and I took a day trip from Buffalo for her birthday. Watkins Glen was our first stop. In her words, we spent 50% of the time taking pictures, 49% of the time making out and 1% of our time hiking.

    With the two+ hours we had, we hiked up the gorge, briefly checked out the gift shop, took the Indian trail back and made it on time for dinner in Ithaca (we went to Moosewood!).

    This place is breathtaking and it's great that they put in the effort to develop it for the public. With man made caves through the gorge, spectacular views and even useful informational signs (granted most of them I skimmed through, but the sign about the different vegetation on different sides of the gorge due to the amount of sunlight present was fascinating), it was truly a great date for both of us and a fantastic start to her birthday evening. Apparently, this place has a pool on one of the entrances as well, but we didn't have time to check it out (is it free to use?)

    Logistics: parking is $8, but you can park on the street and walk to the park (will add only an extra 5 or 10 minutes to your trip). All in all, a great experience. I will be back for sure.

  • 284 Fuhrmann Blvd
    Buffalo, NY 14203
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    7.8.2012
    Erster Beitrag

    Although there's not a lot of options in Buffalo for sailing, there really doesn't need to be with this place around. It's pretty awesome! The Seven Seas Sailing Center offers sailing classes, romantic outings, group sails, boat rentals and good-looking captains for the ladies ;)!

    My girlfriend and I came here for a Sailing Picnic and Excursion for Two. We had a little bit of trouble finding the place (we had to go to the marina right by Dug's Dive), but the owner inside the little restaurant pointed us to one of the boats and said the captain will greet us there. Greet us he did! His name was Ed and he had a plethora of sailing experience, knowledge and great stories and tidbits about Buffalo. He knew the history of all the buildings around the water front, so our sailing excursion doubled as a Buffalo tour :). And although we needed to bring our own food, you are free to bring a bottle of wine, champagne and some treats to make your boat ride as comfortable as you like it.

    The experience was really relaxing, my only quip about it was the damn captain talked so much! There were times when I just wanted to enjoy the silence, the beautiful moments with my loved one and he just kept on yappin'! Anyone know a polite way to tell someone to shut it? I mean, I even stopped responding, showing interest and even stopped looking his way. Nope, he had to continue filling in all the silence! Don't get me wrong -- he was entertaining, but it was a Friday afternoon and we wanted some laid back together time after a long week.

    Despite all that, we spent 2.5hours on the boat and it was wonderful. We enjoyed the beautiful Buffalo views, the birds flocking around and all the friendly boats driving by waving us on in full glory. We learned the history of the abandoned buildings along the water front, a little bit about boats and sailing and maybe a little too much of the captain's life, but that's okay. I would still recommend this place any day. They also offer sailing lessons for around $300 (with guaranteed graduation), which seems like a pretty cool price considering they promise you will learn how to sail. Maybe one day!

  • 4343 Walden Ave
    Lancaster, NY 14086
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    13.6.2014
    Erster Beitrag

    At the beginning of April, I made the decision to pursue a private pilot license. I love traveling and I figured that having the certificate would allow me to access destinations in a shorter period of time and combine my love for adventure and freedom as well as test my resolve and commitment to a new and arduous hobby.

    Every spare weekend and evening that I've had has been dedicated to flight training at the Lancaster Airport with my trusty instructor, Bob Smith (Robert C Smith). I found him through the Western New York Flying Club, which is a non-profit flying club whose goal is to make flying affordable and accessible to all. For $100/month, which covers insurance and maintenance of the planes -- you get to access their fleet of four airplanes practically at-cost for what it would cost you to own them yourself. You're basically a co-owner of these planes, along with all the other club members. The result? Much cheaper flying and instruction.

    As part of the club, there are a few CFIs -- those with a certified flying instructor rating who can help you on your journey to get your license. Bob Smith is one of those. A retired guy who has saved my life in the process of training, now...on at least on a few occasions. What I love about Bob is that he will let you make mistakes pretty ruthlessly as you learn to fly (it is a part of the process!), but he always keeps you safe as he's able to judge very accurately those moments when it's absolutely necessary to recover from that mistake. The result? Fast-paced learning.

    I've logged about 12 hours of flight time with Bob so far and last week celebrated a milestone of my first landing where he didn't manipulate the flight controls at all. No, it wasn't exactly a solo flight, but he didn't touch a thing. I was super proud of that and I'm grateful to have Bob as my instructor. His rate is $50/hour and you must belong to the club in order to access the trainer (unless you have access to a plane of your own), but joining is pretty simple and painless. It will save you lots of money in the long run as opposed to going to a traditional flight school. Another plus? It's super flexible as opposed to a flight school. He's available most weekends and you can schedule a few lessons at your schedule's convenience.

    I wish Bob would utilize a syllabus a bit more. The lessons feel a bit unstructured at times, but they do all come together. At first I was worried that "I wasn't learning," but after completing that "unassisted" landing in a Cessna 172, I'm 100% singing my praises for Bob. If you're considering pursuing a pilot's license, definitely look into him as one of your options!

  • 300 Niagara St
    Tonawanda, NY 14150
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    1.8.2012
    Erster Beitrag

    Niawanda Park is a beautiful little park in Tonawanda along the Niagara River. I come here to sit on the rocks, eat ice cream, go for walks and to enjoy romantic sunsets. There's also a boat dock and fishing pier that you can use if you have a permit, but I've never had the occasion. This park is simply a bit of trail along the river (with picnic tables and benches scattered throughout), but the views here are spectacular and worth making the drive from the city for. Wonderful destination to get away from city life and even enjoy some of the great restaurants nearby (Dwyers Pub has wings that rival Duff's / Anchorbar). There's plenty of people-watching you can do here and it's a great place to bring a date!

  • 84 Parkside Ave
    Buffalo, NY 14214
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    31.7.2012

    I love Delaware Park. You can come here to run, cycle, people-watch, relax, enjoy free plays, rent rowboats at Hoyt Lake and even peak at real live Buffalo's (due to part of the parks proximity with the Buffalo Zoo).

    There's a running path around a part of the park that's around 1.8 miles. I've done a 12 mile run here while training for the Buffalo Marathon and while it did get a bit monotonous after the 4th loop, it's a great place for those shorter runs. There's usually baseball games or such events going on in the summer along the path and you go around a golf course for part of the path (I haven't gotten hit with a ball yet!).

    This is a huge park, designed by Frederick Olmstead (who also designed NYC Central Park and Boston's Emerald Necklace). Despite living in Buffalo for over five years, I still have not explored all that this park has to offer and for that I'm grateful. I'm immensely excited to all the new things I may uncover (such as the Japanese Garden which has curiously alluded me through these years!).

  • 3.0 Sterne
    19.2.2013

    My first experience in downhill skiing was at Kissing Bridge. I came eager to learn, step out of my comfort zone and have an awesome thrilling ride down the slopes. Oh wait, no, scratch that. One slope. The bunny hill.

    So I put my skis on, held on to the rope-pulley and went up. I slipped on their super icy snow and was flung down the hill. Whoa -- guess I have to ski now! And I am.. I'm skiing, gaining speed; the only problem? I don't know how to stop, turn/ski! I can keep myself up and accelerate, but I'm not really in control here. So I almost collide into some people and end up hitting a wooden post that eventually stops me.

    As I'm mentally recovering from this embarrassment, one of their more 'alpha-male' bravado employees (who was instructing a group of snowboarders) comes up and begins to literally yell at me and ask me "How did you think it was a good idea to go up there if you didn't know how to stop?" and basically insinuating that I'm stupid. Look man, I get it. You're trying to create a safe environment. The only beef I have with this is I'm on the bunny hill. The whole point of this hill to exist is for people who are learning. To top it off, he just yelled at me, stormed away..and still didn't give me any tips on how to stop! This left me in a real vulnerable mood.

    Luckily, the group that I came with had a lesson scheduled so I just dazed around for a bit until the start of the lesson. This is where my experience really took a turn for the best. The instructors teaching us were so courteous, energetic, professional and full of positive energy. They taught me the ropes and after about an hour I felt comfortable giving the hill a whirl again and I could now control myself on my skis. They complimented that I had an 'athletic air' about myself and that I had a good awareness of body mechanics and my ego needed a big boost like that right about then!

    I continued to ski the day away and tried to upgrade my pass to go on the steeper slopes after feeling comfortable on here, but ran into some problems (because of the way we arranged our group ticket, I could only upgrade with cash, but I only had a credit card on me), but no matter. It was fun, but their bunny hill is really small and uses a pulley lift which requires a bit of strength and it can be awkward with many people (including myself) falling going up on it every now and then. When someone falls on the pulley, they stop the whole system and it can really back the line up. If you go to Elicotville, their Bunny Hill is not very steep but it's a lot longer and can hold a lot more people. Furthermore, they have an actual ski lift to go up it. Here, it was just overloaded with about 60-80 people. Eek! I'll be back since it's so close and will update the review once I check out some of the other hills they have. Happy skiing!

  • Zoo
    300 Parkside Ave
    Buffalo, NY 14214
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    1.4.2013

    I'm a huge fan of the Buffalo Zoo. I've been here at least five times in the last few years...and I have no kids that drag me here. I'm just a kid at heart and love seeing the animals and spending some time here in good weather with loved ones! It's one of my favorite ways to spend a weekend day.

    The Zoo is quite small and it's very easy to spend a few hours here and see pretty much all the animals and exhibits, which is nice to those of us who like to pay a ticket price and be able to experience it all. It's situated smack-dab across Delaware Park of the Olmstead Park Systems and while enjoying the park, you can even see the Buffalo and Bison across the fence.

    The best parts:
    - LOVE seeing the Gorillas, although it can be quite depressing to see these intelligent animals stuck in such captivity (but I get it).
    - The newest Polar Bear Cub! She's on display for about an hour each day and even longer remotely. She is so playful and wonderful.
    - Elephants when they're out and happy. So nice and playful.
    - LOVE the lions and tigers. Sometimes you can stumble upon them through a window inside when they climb on one of the ledges. Only some heavy-duty glass separates you from these powerful cats!
    - Rainforest Area is pretty cool. Come see anteaters, crocodiles, birds and VAMPIRE BATS!

  • 6121 Chestnut Ridge Rd
    Orchard Park, NY 14127
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    4.4.2013

    Do yourself a favor and find the Eternal Flame Hiking Trail. It's a beautiful, short (hour or two) trail that ends in a flurry of beauty. At the end of the trail, you'll stumble upon a waterfall with a naturally-occurring burning flame underneath the rocks toward the base of the fall. The "waterfall" isn't large or overly-dangerous and you can actually scale it (at your own risk!) pretty easily without any equipment, you just need some shoes with good traction as it's bound to be slippery.

    It's a fitting way to start off a morning or impress a lover/friend with your secret know-how of blissful trails.

    The park itself has a disc golf course and some other fun amenities (picnics, etc), so if you're not a hiker..there's plenty of things for families to do to pass by a nice Spring/Summer or Fall day. Check it out!

  • 198 Lincoln Pkwy
    Buffalo, NY 14222
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    11.8.2014

    A fantastic running, walking and picnic spot. For you runners out there, making a circle around the lake equates to about 1.03 miles -- makes it very easy to judge distance and run your desired track.

    There are canoes for the rent here during the summer. On nice days, you'll see people laying out on blankets, playing music and having picnics. Musicians often play the guitar by the benches out front near the museum.

    Few things that would make this a better public space:
    - Cleaning up the water a bit. Sometimes when I'm running by certain areas of the lake, I get a whiff of a completely disgusting sewage-y smell. Yuck.
    - Water fountains! This place totally needs them, especially with all the runners and active life people choosing it as their work out zone. I think a cafe just owned up right in the park, which would partially solve this problem --- but I haven't been there yet to confirm.

    All in all, a very nice public space by the water in the Elmwood Village.

  • Lewiston Rd & Robert Moses Pkwy
    Niagara Falls, NY 14303
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    5.4.2013

    A beautiful hike with splendid views and only a half hour drive away from Buffalo. You start out at the top with beautiful bird-eye views of the gorge and the Niagara River and as you trek along, you can go down and be quite close to the powerful flowing river itself. I take visitors to our area on this hike and it gives them a lovely overview of the beauty in our area. You may even see water snakes and other critters along the trail (and near the water) as I have. I squirm a little when I see snakes, but they are not poisonous and there's nothing to be afraid of. Don't be scared ;).

    Overall difficulty of hike: 1-3 (out of 5); you can easily make this a half hour walk with beautiful views without getting sweaty.

    Beauty: 4/5 -- comparable to some of the best mountains and canyons in the country. It's worthwhile to see, especially on a nice day.

    Bring some food and have a picnic too. Day-scape!

  • 6902 Mill Valley Rd
    East Otto, NY 14729
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    3.5.2013

    I thought this place was cool, although my girlfriend thought it was a bit creepy. Imagine open fields with rusted steel sculptures, everything from weird looking futuristic people to giraffes, snakes, huge looking spiders and everything in between. It was mostly creepy because there was almost no one here and you're walking through the woods among these objects, but I think it's a really cool spot.

    Grab some drinks, some friends and venture out here for some hikes. Bring some insect repellant since there are rampant amount of bugs and the trails go through some heavy tree areas and are not well made.

    Also, it's only 15miles from Ellicotville, so you can make a nice little day trip out of coming here and then getting some nice food on a patio over there or just walking around among the cool shops. Gotta say that it's hard to find the "main entrance" to this park though and we were in this big open field with a lot of sculptures, but we weren't quite sure whether this was the main entrance or not. Good luck if you venture out here!

  • 5101 N Bailey Ave
    Amherst, NY 14226
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    21.5.2013

    Pew, Pew, Pew! Nice tag! Pew, Pew! Oh yeah...I still smile thinking about my laser tag experience.

    On my birthday, I decided to relive being a 12 year old kid by playing a game of lasertag. I've heard Lasertron being mentioned as a great place to go many times and have read the Yelp reviews here, but it always seemed like such a daunting task to drive out to Amherst, reserve a game and organize the whole thing. Well, it wasn't. It was EASY and I had a blast playing a game of laser tag and mini-golf! I wish I jumped on this sooner, because I can see myself being back here very often.

    On a Friday night, laser tag and endless mini golf cost us $20/person. We came in around 7:30p and the earliest laser tag game available was around 8:45, but we opted for an 11:30 game so that we could hit up dinner at Jasmine's nearby (sure, they have wings and bar food, but it was my birthday so I wanted something a bit more substantial). The mini-golf was fun...the three different 9-hole courses available have some variety, but it's nothing that special, but laser tag is where this place REALLY THRIVES.

    Their battlefield is TWO STORIES and features different game modes and is equipped with excellent technology that makes the experience incredibly fun. They do have a disappointing, yet understandable safety rule of "NO RUNNING," but past 11p when the little kids are gone, it's not always 100% enforced. "Speed walking," after all...is not running, even though I have long feet and take large steps! The staff is wonderful, professional and gets you EXCITED to play. The game is over a half hour long and if you do it right, you're sweating by the time you're done...so you really don't even know if you'd have energy for one more. The amount of time you get to play is just right.

    If you've lived in Buffalo, and have never experienced this...go, go go now. No matter what your age is. It's a blast.

  • 435 Delaware Ave
    Buffalo, NY 14202
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    11.6.2013

    11 Reasons Why The Allentown Art Festival Rocks:

    1) You get a chance to be shoulder to shoulder with your neighbors, especially if you head down narrow Allen St. If you're feeling lonely, there's nothing better than brushing shoulders with your fellow comrades in the joyous spirit of art.

    Now that I got my sarcasm out of the way, I do really enjoy this festival and encourage anyone who's never seen what it's all about to head down with an easy-going soul whose company you really enjoy, because...

    2) You get to learn the stories of so many different artists. People come from all over the state and country to present here. Sure, you may already be familiar with Mark Callen photography or Faces of Buffalo being the smaller city that Buffalo is, but there's potter makers, metal workers, artists from Utica even Tennessee and further out that come here. When I take the time to truly learn their stories, I feel a little more human because I realize that we all essentially go through the same human stresses. Seeing that expressed in art lifts my spirit a little bit.

    3) If you bring a dog, especially one who likes to explore and eat dirty popcorn and cigarette butts, you'll never be without a dull moment.

    4) You can play with your five senses. I love taking the time to touch, explore and be a kid as I let myself have ADD and exhibit to another.

    5) Will you find great deals on art? Probably not. Maybe if you haggle a little bit, but expect prices to be relatively high. However, if you do buy something -- realize that you're supporting an artist and entrepreneur who paid hundreds of dollars to have a booth here for you. Her/his art is valuable.

    6) Lloyd's tacos...now selling those pickled onions you love so much at Premiere and a Co-Op near you!

    7) I feel a part of the community as I come here and see many familiar faces as well make new connections. Being a part of a smaller cities community can be really empowering because small actions can have large impacts. For instance, organizing an Ambush Buffalo outing can bring strangers together, give birth to new projects and drive people to undiscovered businesses. Similarly, the WNY Book Arts who vended here for the first time 2013 puts together the Small Press Book Fair bringing thousands into Buffalo to make meaningful connections.

    8) I love walking around all day and then getting a nice tasty meal somewhere. I happened to drive out to Bar Bill afterward for the first time to taste their legendary wings that I've been hearing so much about. Verdict? Coming soon to a Yelp review near you.

    9) Seeing the police ride around on horses. I like horses.

    10) I rediscover how much artistic talent, innovation, and entrepreneurship exists in Buffalo.

    11) It doesn't cost anything to walk around! No admission for the public; just a celebration of art...one's that been going on for over 56 years and continues to evolve every year. How cool is that?

  • 5.0 Sterne
    26.6.2013

    I love this place. This past weekend, I knocked paddle boarding off my bucket list. It only cost $15 for an hour and I got to enjoy magnificent views paddling from CanalSide down to the First Ward. I did fall in once, but it was worth it (and the water was so refreshing).

    I could do this every sunny day here in Buffalo. If I'm looking to show locals the beauty of our city, this would be one of my first stops. Can't wait to have many more adventures with BFLO Harbor Kayak this summer. It really couldn't get any better. Professional, laid-back easy going staff.

  • Bennett Beach
    Angola, NY 14006
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    16.7.2013
    Erster Beitrag

    One of the best, cleanest beaches around Buffalo. If you need to pretend you're on an oceanfront on lake Erie, come here. You won't see the end of the lake and you can pretend you're somewhere on a nice ocean coast. Some bonfires happen here at night as well, which can be fun.

    One negative is during life-guarded hours: I hate how little of the swimming area is roped off and often try to swim nearby to where the lifeguard won't bother me if I enjoy swimming laps further out in the open water. I don't need to feel like a caged animal when I'm swimming in this massive lake!

    This is also a great place to go kayaking, so bring a kayak or two and dock away!

  • 4.0 Sterne
    25.7.2013

    I had a great time on the Jet Boar Tours on a hot 90+ degree day in the open air boat. I ended up following Bethany's advice and purchased tickets during Christmas time so as to pay only $45 per person (AND get a free photo with it!).

    I'm an adrenaline junkie and this was definitely fun, yet it wasn't too overwhelming. You'll get really wet with waves of water from the Niagara River totally flooding the boat at times, but it's not going to be as scary as actually going white-water rafting in slower rapids. The boat you're taking is POWERFUL, with over three 500-HP engines pushing this thing so it essentially dominates the natural elements to create a safe, fun and breath taking ride.

    Some of my favorite parts were just streaming the waters with the gorge overhead at fast speeds, enjoying the sun and nice views. Our boat leader was really enthusiastic and kept us all pumped up and laughing throughout the ride. As mentioned by the other reviews, go for the front seats!

  • 5.0 Sterne
    31.7.2013

    One of my favorite day-trips from Buffalo. This is a beautiful hiking spot for the more adventurous souls, allowing you to experience everything from hiking trails to even white water rafting (but you gotta do a little research on that one). I discovered this spot last summer and haven't had a chance to come back here yet this year, but will definitely try to make it out to enjoy the leaves changing. As Anita mentioned in her review, you gotta be willing to get down and dirty since some of the trails are a little overgrown. This spot is reportedly haunted too with hikers getting lost and seeing ghosts (at least according to some TV show), so watch out ;)!

  • 5.0 Sterne
    29.8.2013

    I had such a great time picking berries here with friends this past weekend. It's such a relaxing and tasty experience that it's surprising I don't go more often.

    Here's how it works. You arrive, park and go see the nice person at the counter who will give you carriers to pick to your heart's desire. You can also get a bucket if you're feeling particularly ambitious. After, the fields are yours to roam!

    Toward the end of August, they had raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and even strawberries available to be picked. The blackberries were to be picked by adults only and no kids were allowed in that field, possibly because it's a bit more challenging to pick and the fear is that kids will waste a lot of fruit in the process. We chose to go for the blueberries and raspberries instead.

    There were plenty of raspberries to be picked, but a heck of a lot of bees trying to pollinate them. The buzzing and the fear that I'm about to pick a berry that a bee is nestled in had me a little uncomfortable at first, but I somewhat settled into it realizing that the bees aren't going to go out of their way to bother me. 20-30 minutes later, I filled up my carrier. I ate a good amount of tasty fruits on the way.

    The blueberries didn't have very many bees and were almost out of season at this point (August 24th), but there were still plenty of them and they were so sweet! I probably ate a good amount and still brought a full carrier back with me. Between the three of us, we had a heck of a lot of fruit and it only took us a few relaxing hours to pick them.

    As we were checking out, we noticed they sold a lot of different produce. Bushels of tomatoes, fresh onions, farm eggs, red peppers and much more! I picked up a mix of small red peppers and tomatoes and along with my large amount of blueberries and raspberries paid only $15 for it all. I would totally recommend this; there's still some tasty berries left!

  • 5.0 Sterne
    3.9.2013

    Ah yes, the fantastic overpass of the Skyway with cars speeding above you juxtaposed with the peaceful waterfront, Naval History Museum and random puppet shows and Adirondack chairs. I love Buffalo.

    CanalSide is a great place for:
    - Kayaking
    - Catching an outdoor show / concert
    - Waterfront dining (Liberty Hound)
    - Watching puppet shows (seriously, look into it..I'm not kidding)
    - The Saturday Artisan Market
    - Just lounging around, walking
    - Ice cream

    I love all the investment pouring in to make CanalSide a destination for people to hang out after work and keep the downtown area lively. I come here pretty often, especially for Kayaking / paddleboarding (BFLO Harbor Kayak).

    Recently they've even put in a ping pong table here, but I believe you need to bring your own racket / balls if you want to play.

    Can't wait to see what the next few years have in store for CanalSide!

  • 40 Fountain Plz
    Buffalo, NY 14202
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    23.1.2014 Aktualisierter Beitrag

    The skating season of 2014 is free! You still have to pay if you need to rent, but it's super cheap -- $3 for adults and $2 for children.

    Skating here is a fantastic way to enjoy downtown Buffalo -- just gotta dress warm if you plan on braving it out on the ice during the polar vortexes second coming! If the weather is dicey, call ahead and check if they're open: 716-854-RINK.

    Happy skating!

    5.0 Sterne
    1.2.2013 Vorheriger Beitrag
    First review for the Rotary Rink? What an honor!

    The Rotary Rink is the center of downtown action in…
    Weiterlesen
  • 400 Mill St
    Buffalo, NY 14221
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    8.4.2014
    Erster Beitrag

    HUMAN VERSION OF REVIEW:

    This is the park that's behind Glen Park / Falls (yelp.com/biz/glen-park-w…). You can even supposedly follow some trails and end up in the other park and vice versa.

    This is an also an unofficial dog park of sorts. Almost everyone walking here is with a dog. You must have your dog leashed when you're here, although every now and then you'll see some roaming free (although I hear they're going to crack down on that soon). That's too bad. I wish they wouldn't. I like seeing animals run free.

    There are quite a few adventures to be had here. There's water flowing through the park so sometimes you'll pass and see someone fishing or dogs swimming (although the current seems pretty strong, so be careful dogs!).

    I went most recently with a friend and a dog and it was a bit muddy (start of the Spring season), but I'll be happy to return when it's less soggy and more sunny. The dog seemed really happy to be there though.

    DOG VERSION OF REVIEW:

    "I got to run around, swim in the water and poop! I even got to smell another dog's butt! Make that two dogs butts! I was just sitting at home all alone lonely and bored, when all of a sudden this AWESOME HUMAN BEING WOOF took me in their car and brought me to this park. I ran, I swam and I conquered!

    The humans were afraid to follow me in the mud, WOOF! I wish this park had more toys and squirrels!! Where were the squirrels and SNACKS?! I needed to chase, chase, chase but there was nothing to chase! I wanted to chase the other dog, but I decided to instead sniff her butt! WOOF! Anyway, just needs more squirrels and birds, but otherwise I can't wait to come back and chase my tail!"

  • 5.0 Sterne
    10.10.2014

    I've been meaning to go visit Reinstein ever since I got my hands on a super special book that's no longer in circulation.

    It was called "Secret Places of Western NY" and detailed secret hikes around the area.

    Reinstein was listed near the beginning of the book as an easy starter hike. I once had the goal of exploring every one of the places in the book, but since it took me 5+ years to just make it here, I may have a life long goal ahead of me.

    Either way, if you haven't explored Reinstein yet...I urge you to do this in the Fall! It's mesmerizing that there is such a tranquil forest right in the middle of Depew, who woulda thought? I always associated Depew with a a loud airport, but here I was...in a tranquil forest that inspired introspection.

    The pond loop is a worthwhile trail and there are benches scattered throughout the preserve where you can find yourself with a pen and notebook and be reflective. There's a number of trails, but truth be told you can probably set aside 1-3 hours and finish them all. It's not a huge place, but this has its benefits.

    There's also a "nature play area" for the kids, which is a cool playground they made out of the wooded areas. See the picture that I uploaded.

    This is a magical place, especially for the autumn. If you want a perfect WNY Fall Day: do this:
    1) come here around 3pm on a sunny day, hike for a few hours.
    2) drive 10 minutes to Mayer Bros Cider Mill (yelp.com/biz/mayer-bros-…), pick up some goodies (apples, peach pie, cheese curds, cider slushie, etc.)
    3) drive 15 minutes for dinner in East Aurora and head up to the Elm Street Bakery. (yelp.com/biz/elm-street-…).

    It will be perfect; I promise. Have fun!

  • 4472 Thrall Rd
    Lockport, NY 14094
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    13.10.2014

    You can expect: full-fledged orchards with different varieties of apples, wine tastings (on weekends sometime) from Chateau Buffalo, teepees and a kids play area with lots of hay, fresh cider, slushies, grapes, pumpkins and a plethora of turkey's that they are getting ready for Thanksgiving (which I believe you can still preorder).

    Lots of people come here, so sometimes finding an abundance of apples is challenging depending on the time of year you come. You may have to climb a ladder (at your own risk ;)) to get some, but if you stay around here long enough and listen to the orientation at the beginning of the apple-picking; you'll come away with some goods. Apples are very reasonable...at 79 cents a pound or so for the ones you pick.

    This is a great family farm that needs to be on your list to get to before the Fall season is up. So......how about them apples?

  • 5525 Shimerville Rd
    Clarence, NY 14086
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    14.10.2014
    Erster Beitrag

    Full disclosure: I'm a member and you can be too!

    This place is too much of an awesome secret to not put on Yelp for those interested in aviation as a hobby or career. Short of owning your own aircraft, this is the most affordable way to learn to fly or if you're already a pilot --- the most accessible and inexpensive way to rent an aircraft.

    The WNYFC (Western New York Flying Club) is a not-for-profit corporation whose goal it is to make flying as accessible as possible. It works like this: you pay around $105/mo and you get access to 3 aircraft.  You also need to pay a one-time joining fee of $600 (if you're a student pilot, you start with $350 and then pay the remainder of the balance once you get your ticket). They give you the keys to the aircraft and you can sign them out on your own accord by reserving them via an online system.

    All 3 aircraft are Piper low-wing planes. One is reserved for students to train on and the other two are for pilot's who already have their ticket. They can cruise a little faster and are a little more comfortable. It's too bad they don't currently have a high-wing airplane or anything with a variable-pitch propeller for faster cruising, but hopefully in the future they will at least add a Cessna (the web site is incorrect currently which lists 4 airplanes, but the Cessna is RIP).

    Rental fees are based on tach hours, not hobbs time which basically means that you won't be paying rental fees while the airplane is taxiing -- only measured by the RPMs of the engine. You're responsible for putting the plane away, taking it out and you're basically a co-owner of these planes while you're a member of the club. The fees you pay are what it costs to maintain them. This means that you can show up on work nights, help change the oil and learn a little bit about aircraft maintenance while connecting with other pilots. You're also responsible for wiping the bugs off and taking pristine care of the aircraft while you fly.

    As part of the club, there are currently three active CFI's who give lessons to students at $50/hour. There is Bob Smith (my instructor) who is a CFII and is certified to give you instrument training, Jeff Carrick who is a CFI and John J (who is also a CFII). I've reviewed my instructor separately if you're curious.

    In summary, if you're looking to learn to fly or are an active pilot who flies at least 3-4x a month, the flying club makes financial sense. You save a lot in renting fees and the process of taking an aircraft is easy as pie. You can even take one out for 7-days once a year if you want to fly somewhere for an extended period of time. If you fly for 5-8 hours, but take the aircraft out for 7 days...you'll only be charged for those hours spent flying and there are no fees for taking the aircraft out of service. You're only allowed to take it out for 7-days once a year without the board's approval, but if weekend trips to nearby towns are your thing, you're free to reserve the plane for a weekend as many times as you want.

    Cool club -- I'm grateful we have something like this in service in WNY.

  • 4343 Walden Ave
    Lancaster, NY 14086
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    10.11.2014
    Erster Beitrag

    I went up for a discovery flight with one of their instructors, Stephen Rhinehart at the end of April and I loved it! It was wonderful to get an aerial tour of Niagara Falls and get an introduction to flight training. Before setting up the flight, I gave them a call and talked to Patrick Finnegan -- the owner of the school who remained accessible and was patient with my questions.

    He then connected me to Stephen and we took our discovery flight in the school's Piper Cherokee airplane. The flight took me with an aerial view over Niagara Falls and Fort Erie. I witnessed the sun set while getting instruction on communications, straight and level flight and more. It still remains one of the most memorable flights of my life.

    If you're considering flight training or have an interest in airplanes in general, I would recommend giving these guys a call and setting up a discovery flight to see if aviation is something you're interested in.

    The school is based out of Lancaster and they have a structured program in place akin to Part 141 schools, although it's technically a Part 61 school which will give you a little more flexibility in your training.


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local farms, hiking, first kisses, romanticizing, flying, traveling, improvisation, yoga, dancing, running, cycling and swimming, skydiving, white water rafting, alpining, concerts, mosh pits, jacuzzi's, my parents, wife, friends and fellow yelpers.

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St. Petersburg, Russia

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I like Ingrid Michaelson (and I'm not a teenage girl)

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