by Doug Sitler

observation_deckBuffalo is a handsome city – full of inspirational beauty, class and natural elements. Just driving down any street in Buffalo provides an authentic encounter with an early American city. Sometimes it’s fun to take a step back and inspect the city from afar. Over the years, I have found the following locations offer thought-provoking views of Buffalo and terrific photo opportunities.

Buffalo City Hall Observation Deck – Personally speaking, it’s hard to beat the views from City Hall’s 28th floor observation deck. The deck is open from 9:00 to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and is worth the visit. From the observation deck you step out onto a narrow outdoor walkway that provides 360-degree views of the City of Buffalo, the waterfront and Lake Erie, the mist from Niagara Falls and 40 miles beyond on a clear day.

Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park – Make this a stop on your fall leaf peeping tour. At the sledding hill there are amazing views of downtown Buffalo (16 miles away) over a canopy of lush trees – spectacular in the fall months.

Erie Basin Marina Lighthouse – Walk or ride out to the Erie Basin Marina Lighthouse in downtown Buffalo. At the base you’ll find some stairs that will take you to the 50ft high observation deck. I enjoy the view of Buffalo’s growing waterfront community, with the unique characteristics of Buffalo’s downtown skyline in the back ground.

Marcy Casino/Hoyt Lake, Delaware Park – The base of the Marcy Casino at Hoyt Lake offers tranquil views of a beautiful Frederick Law Olmsted lake and park, with a walking path and a grand concourse in front of the Casino. A creative photo opportunity awaits by looking up from the lake at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery – nature, architecture, fountain…all in one shot!

Old Lakeshore Road – on a return trip from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff Estate, you will experience an incredible view of Buffalo overlooking Lake Erie. It offers a visual reference of Buffalo’s binational location and how Lake Erie played an important role in the city’s past (grain elevators and industry) and future (Steel Winds windmills).

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