Are you thinking about moving to Buffalo? As the second largest city in New York, Nickel City is for everyone. From retirees to young professionals and singles—residents living in or relocating to Buffalo find it worthwhile. Check out these pros and cons of living in Buffalo.
Pros of Living in Buffalo
The City of Good Neighbors boasts a lively Theatre District, loads of outdoor recreation, family-friendly activities, and other amazing perks. Check out these pros of moving to Buffalo!
Pro: Diverse Jobs in Buffalo
You shouldn’t have trouble finding a job when moving to Buffalo. Not only is Buffalo’s unemployment rate lower than the national average, but those living in Buffalo can partner with Workforce Buffalo to receive assistance with resume prep, career planning, searching for jobs, and more. Plus, you’ll find a diverse range of job opportunities in Buffalo within leading industries including government, healthcare, and education. Explore a variety of jobs in government with The City of Buffalo. Check out a career in healthcare at Erie County Medical Center, or browse open positions with Kaleida Health at Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo, or General Medical Center. Or find meaningful work as an educator at The University at Buffalo and other nearby universities.
Pro: High-Quality Buffalo Schools
With a variety of universities in Buffalo and surrounding areas, residents have easy access to education. Explore degrees in business administration, psychology, computer engineering, and more when you attend the University at Buffalo. Check out undergraduate programs in art history, criminal justice, and philosophy, or graduate studies like journalism, theater, mathematics, and more at Buffalo State University. Prepare for a career in healthcare with nursing, physician assistant, or occupational therapy programs at D’Youville University. Enroll in courses for animation, community health, digital filmmaking, and more at Villa Maria College. Learn about data analytics, biology, or massage therapy at Trocaire College. Or check out programs in technology, business, healthcare, or human and legal services at Bryant & Stratton College in Downtown Buffalo!
Pro: Outdoor Activities in Buffalo
From parks and nature preserves, to waterfront activities, you’ll find tons of outdoor activities in Buffalo! Venture out on over five miles of hiking trails to observe local wildlife at the Tifft Nature Preserve. Embark on a day trip to explore the roar of Niagara Falls on a Maid of The Mist boat tour, or take in scenic views while on the Great Gorge Scenic Overlook Hike at Niagara Falls State Park. Burn off energy while mountain biking or practicing on the pump track, or just take in views of Lake Erie at Lakeside Bike Park. Schedule aquatic adventures through Downtown Buffalo with Buffalo CycleBoats. Want to go kayaking in Buffalo? Head to Canalside where you can kayak the Erie Canal—as well as enjoy boat tours, hang out on the boardwalk, and skate in the Roller Rink. Get out your binoculars and go bird-watching at Time Beach Nature Preserve. Catch largemouth bass, bullhead, suckers, and more while fishing in the Buffalo River at Red Jacket Riverfront Park.
Pro: Family-Friendly Fun in Buffalo
As one of the best places for families to live in the U.S., you’ll find a tight-knit community in the City of Good Neighbors and tons of family fun in Buffalo! Watch lion cubs, go behind the scenes to meet bison, or get an up-close experience with sloths at the Buffalo Zoo. Stop and smell the flowers while strolling through the seasonal gardens and greenhouses at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens. Bring the kids and roam the rolling meadow, have a picnic, or rent a boat to get out on Hoyt Lake at Delaware Park, Buffalo’s largest park and a design by Frederick Law Olmsted. Get in touch with nature by signing your little ones up for the Ladders to the Outdoors program at the Buffalo Harbor State Park. Explore artifacts, fossils, anatomy, and more with exhibits like Bug Works, Seymour and Stanley, and Explore YOU at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Enjoy child-centered workshops and live performances of shows like You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Anne of Green Gables, or Go, Dog, Go!, at Theatre of Youth. Or check out the Buffalo-centric exhibits, spanning history, architecture, and geography, at Explore & More Children’s Museum!
Pro: The Performing & Visual Arts Scene
Buffalo’s Theatre District brings vibrant theaters, museums, art galleries, and more to the heart of Downtown Buffalo! Sign up for acting classes, catch annual productions like A Christmas Carol, and attend festivals like Buffalo Quickies at Alleyway Theatre. See Annie, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia!, and other Broadway hits at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Immerse yourself in photography workshops and classes and view the works of other local creators at CEPA Gallery. Head out of the Theatre District to experience even more of Buffalo’s arts scene—like musical performances from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall. Explore the works of local artists and appreciate exhibits like Looking Back: Lucas Samaras’s Mirrored Room and Clyfford Still: A Legacy for Buffalo at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum. Dive deep into the world of Charles E. Burchfield through his sketches and paintings at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Or join the community for panel discussions, live auctions, and more at Buffalo Arts Studio.
Pro: Talented Sports Teams
Feel the camaraderie of celebrating local sports in Buffalo! Join the Bills Mafia, one of the top NFL fan bases, and attend their legendary tailgating parties or grab a pair of tickets to watch a Buffalo Bills (NFL) game inside Highmark Stadium. Catch the Buffalo Sabres (NHL) or the Buffalo Bandits (NLL) on the ice at KeyBank Center. Grab snacks from the concession stand and enjoy a Buffalo Bisons (MiLB) game with the family at Sahlen Field. Or pivot to college sports and support the Buffalo Bulls (NCAA D-1) as they score touchdowns at Alumni Arena.
Pro: Delicious Food Staples
The city may be famous for its Buffalo wings, but the delicious eats don’t stop there! Savor a Chicken & Bacon Ranch Wrap, Beef on Weck, Bread Pudding, and other Buffalo favorites at Charlie The Butcher. Taste a Bocce Bomber Specialty Sub, Antipasto Salad, and traditional Buffalo-style pizza from Bocce Club Pizza. Explore Southern-inspired cuisines with Pork Rind Cracklins, Shrimp and Grits, or Traditional Creole Jambalaya from Toutant. Snack on Milk Chocolate Sponge Candy, Old Fashion Nonpareils, and Buffalo Flats from Parkside Candy. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Frozen Hot Chocolate, Black Sesame, Pure Coconut, and other unique ice cream flavors at Lake Effect Ice Cream. Gather with neighbors to eat dishes from the city’s top food trucks and restaurants during the annual Taste of Buffalo festival. Hop on the Buffalo Wing Trail to try some of the best wings in the city, and be sure to stop by Anchor Bar—home of the original Buffalo Wing and still known as one of the best restaurants in Buffalo today.
Pro: Amazing Local Nightlife
With so many to choose from, you’re sure to find the best place in Buffalo to match your unique taste! Sip seasonal cocktails like an Apple Cider Mimosa, Pumpkin Martini, or Spiked Pear Moscow Mule at neighborhood joint Wellington Pub. Order a round and snack on nachos while competing with friends during trivia night at Founding Fathers Pub. Dance all night and attend drag shows at the Underground Niteclub, one of the best gay bars in Buffalo. Say a toast at date night in Buffalo with a craft cocktail like Lion’s Tail, Pisco Sour, or Old Maid at Ballyhoo. Jump along with house DJs, hang out on the dance floor, or drink on the outdoor patio at Club Marcella. Catch comedy shows, musical artists, seasonal concerts, and more at Babeville. Or treat yourself to signature brews at one of the best breweries in New York like the Hayburner IPA, Little Waves Lager, and Excavator Ale, from Big Ditch Brewing Company.
Cons of Living in Buffalo
Though moving to Buffalo gives you access to a variety of fantastic amenities, there are still drawbacks to consider. Here are a few cons of moving to Buffalo.
Con: Competitive Housing Market
If you’re moving to Buffalo, plan on finding a place to rent rather than buying a home. With most houses for sale in Buffalo selling fast thanks to the city’s competitive housing market, a majority of Buffalo residents rent. Additionally, renting in Buffalo costs hundreds less per month compared to New York’s average rental price, and this way, you won’t have to worry about paying the state’s high property taxes! Though houses tend to sell fast, Buffalo’s exceptional affordability helps make it one of the best places to live in upstate NY!
Con: Buffalo Has Cold Winters
Buffalo gets all four seasons—but its geographic location in northern New England means intense winters. With its close proximity to Lake Erie, Buffalo residents experience frigid winters, with an average of 25 inches of seasonal snow and a lake effect. The city and its residents are prepared, however, and will communicate and handle snowy roads appropriately. Plus, there are lots of winter attractions in Buffalo to help you make the most of the cold! Check out indoor and outdoor ice skating in Buffalo at The Ice at Canalside, Rotary Rink, or Buffalo RiverWorks. Or try your hand at tobogganing, sledding, skiing, and more at Chestnut Ridge Park.
Con: Lack of Parking
Many homes are not equipped with a driveway, leaving Buffalo’s residents to use public transportation. And while Buffalo’s public transit offers 13 metro stations, they’re fairly spread out—so you may need to walk up to a mile to get to one. With limited public transportation options, many rely on a car to get around, but the lack of parking in Buffalo makes it difficult for car owners to rely on their cars. However, the city is highly walkable and becoming more bike-friendly.
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