Let’s take a Daycation – Written by Taylor Kickbush for Totally Buffalo
It’s that time of year when us western New Yorkers begin to peel back the wool layers, notice the Daffodils bravely poking from the ground, and—dare I say it—feel less of an urge to Google the cost of flights to Florida.
For some, the transition from winter to spring is an indicator to immediately break out the shorts to soak up the Vitamin D. For others, it’s an opportunity to take a “daycation” without having to scrape snow from the windshield. Sounds nice, right?
A daycation is a day spent away from home with every intention to return to your Buffalo abode come nighttime. They’re cost effective, time conscious, and require less planning than your typical several-day vacation. Plus, you don’t even have to pack your PJ’s.
If all of this sounds heart-emoji worthy, then perhaps it’s time to investigate taking a mini road trip! Here are 10 daycation suggestions to get you started on your next adventure:
1. Sunset Bay (45 minutes from Buffalo)
Resting along the shore of Lake Erie in Irving, N.Y., Sunset Bay boasts a beach club, a beach bar & grill, and multiple ice cream stands. It is also home to boating docks, live music, family-friendly events, and colorful beach houses that’ll make you feel like you’re walking down a quaint street in the Florida Keys. You can spend the day playing volleyball on the sand courts, fishing on the pier, or simply sticking your toes in the sand. If you’re up for staying after sundown, you can enjoy headlining DJs, like DJ Pauly D, at the beach’s nightclub.
2. Niagara-on-the-Lake (48 minutes from Buffalo)
It’s a nineteenth-century village amid Ontario’s wine region—basking in historic glory and the excitement of Niagara Falls. Visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake is a rewind to the Victorian days. You’ll find picturesque scenery, visit award-winning wineries, and be in the presence of renowned theatre. If you’d like to flashforward to current-day activities, you have the option to visit the Falls and its Clifton Hill attractions.
3. Ellicottville (54 minutes from Buffalo)
This small village in Cattaraugus County is an all-seasons town. It’s probably most known for its ski and snowboarding resorts in the winter, but EVL rallies its charm year-round with activities like ziplining, beer tasting, and golfing. Quaint shops, such as Watson’s Chocolates and Kazoo II, adorn the main strip of Ellicottville to fulfill your shopping needs.
4. Rochester (74 minutes from Buffalo)
Historically known as the Flour City because of its flour milling location, Rochester is now a western New York hub for food and museum lovers alike. Try the famous Garbage Plate dish,
feel like a kid again at the Strong National Museum of Play, release your inner adrenaline junkie at Seabreeze Amusement Park, and visit ROC’s historic district to view a natural waterfall. The city is constantly growing in local business, so stop downtown to pop in the boutiques and small shops.
5. New York’s Amish Trail (78 minutes from Buffalo)
Scale back from the week’s busyness and spend a Saturday galivanting along the countryside. The Amish Trail maps the homes and farms of the Amish, who are considered to be conservative Christians living in Old Order. Amish typically adhere to simpler ways of life that have no use for modern-day conveniences such as cell phones, electricity, and vehicles. Following the Amish Trail will seemingly lead you back in time to alpaca farms, chocolate shops, toy stores, greenhouses, woodworking sheds, and more. You can schedule a tour with a guide, or explore it on your own!
6. Allegany State Park (80 minutes from Buffalo)
This state park isn’t too far from home if you’re in search of some nature therapy. Allegany State Park offers a retreat from city life at any time of the year with space for activities like biking, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing, rollerblading, creek walking, camp fire making, and more. It’s located in what is referred to as the Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County, which isn’t too far from Jamestown, N.Y., or Salamanca, N.Y. Grab your s’more stuff, camera, and walking shoes for an unforgettable day at one of New York’s 180 state parks.
7. Toronto (102 minutes from Buffalo)
The capital of Ontario is a metropolitan dream for you city lovers. The sweeping skyscrapers (AKA the CN Tower), aroma of the St. Lawrence Market, and variety of historic sites and art culture are enough to make even the most acclimated urbanite swoon. Not into the hustle of city living? Toronto is home to over 10 districts, ranging from Midtown and City Centre to Old Town and the Toronto Islands. There’s most likely a neighborhood to suit you in TO.
8. Presque Isle (110 minutes from Buffalo)
Presque is a non-New York alternative for outdoor enjoyment. The Pennsylvanian park is known for its beautiful beaches and plethora of outdoor activities, including kayaking, hunting, bird watching, hiking, and more. It’s a short distance from Erie’s metropolitan area, too. Take a shopping trip at the Millcreek Mall, ride a rollercoaster or waterslide at Waldameer Water World, or chill with the penguins at the Erie Zoo.
9. Corning (134 minutes from Buffalo)
You might find the name ‘Corning’ familiar if you have glassware in your home. Corning, N.Y., is the home-base for Corning Incorporated’s headquarters, which is an innovative, global company that specializes in glassware. While you might not be able to go behind-the-scenes of the prestigious company, you can visit the Corning Museum of Glass, watch live tutorials on how glass is made, and schedule a time to create your own glass item. Stroll down Market Street and
do some local shopping, grab some homemade ice cream, and walk along the Chemung River for the remainder of your visit.
10. Watkins Glen State Park/Finger Lakes Region (150 minutes from Buffalo)
Watkins Glen is a quaint town filled with natural, beautiful waterfalls that run through Watkins Glen State Park. There are various trails that will chauffer you through the gorges and waterfalls of Watkins and its history. Whether you’re down for a calm walk or a rigorous hike, this New York State Park is sure to please. And, since you’re already in the southern Finger Lakes region, you can visit one or several of the 100 wineries and vineyards located around Canandaigua, Cayuga, Consensus, Hemlock, Keuka, and Seneca Lakes.
A bit about Taylor
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