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Ani Hoover

Chalk it up to the long winters, but when warm weather breaks through, Buffalonians go crazy with their gardens, Hoover says. Wander over to Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market to chat up locals and get the lowdown on the best garden blocks around. “People are just really happy to talk about Buffalo,” she says.

Ted Pietrzak

Director, Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College

“The art scene is probably one of the most vibrant I’ve ever experienced for a population base our size,” says Pietrzak. Take in some really world-class work at CEPA Gallery, a contemporary-photography center. Swirl through a nonstop stream of visual, performing, and media arts at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, housed in legendary musician Ani DiFranco’s arts complex, Babeville.

Philip Burke

Painter, frequent contributor to
The New Yorker
Burke’s favorite spot to linger in Buffalo is the lakeside setting of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. “It’s an old Greek revival building, and it’s just wonderful. There’s an [ancient] grand staircase that goes right down to the lake.” And Burke couldn’t help but give a nod to his current home: Niagara-on-the-Lake, home of the Shaw Festival.

Drew Cerza

“The Wing King” and founder of the National Buffalo Wing Festival

It’s a rule: When in Buffalo, you must eat wings. While Anchor Bar remains a local favorite — and in regular rotation on Food Network shows — Cerza says that Gabriel’s Gate is an “old-style pub that’s one of my favorite watering holes.” It also serves up some mighty meaty wings. Afterward, head to Glen Falls Park, which Cerza calls a mini Niagara Falls. Just try not to contemplate the massive amount you just ate.

Tiffany Vanderwerf

Curator of Education, Buffalo Zoo

Vanderwerf’s kids love to wander the trails at local nature center Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center. “It exposes kids to nature in a way that can either be free-flowing, or [the center] also offers great educational programs,” she says. Cap off the day with a treat at Anderson’s Frozen Custard, which first opened in Buffalo in 1947.