Group Walking Tours

Explore Buffalo is happy to provide private walking tours to groups on request at a date and time of your choosing. Please see our wide selection of available tours below to find one that will best suit your group’s interests.

PRICING:

Classic Walking Tours
Less than 20 people: $15/person
More than 20 people: $12/person
Corporate Partners: $12/person

Fontana Boathouse Tour:
Less than 10 people: $10/person
More than 10 people: $7/person

Specialty Walking Tours:
$15/person
Corporate Partners: $12/person

Silo City Vertical Tour:
$30/person

Tour Logistics:

After requests have been processed, groups will receive a tour information document with details on their specific tour. This document is the official confirmation of your tour booking. Final head count for all private group walking tours is due at least 10 days before the tour date.  Please note that starting locations are listed below for all tours, however, these may be adjusted for some tours, upon request.

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Classic Walking Tours

Best of Buffalo
The buildings included on this overview tour help to tell the story of Buffalo’s rapid rise to prominence, from the opening of the Erie Canal to the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Buildings seen on this tour were designed by both nationally and locally significant architects, including Louis Sullivan, Richard Upjohn, Louise Bethune, and EB Green. Perfect for both visitors and residents alike, this tour is an excellent introduction to Buffalo’s architectural heritage.

  • Beginning Location: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
  • Please note this is an exterior only tour; for building interiors, please see our in-depth downtown tours: Masters of American Architecture and Beaux Arts Buffalo.

 

Frank Lloyd Wright Fontana Boathouse
Originally designed by Wright in 1905 for the University of Wisconsin, the Boathouse was never built until its construction in 2007 in Buffalo along the shore of the Black Rock Channel. This was one of Wright’s favorite designs, as evidenced by his inclusion of the Boathouse in his now-famous Wasmuth Portfolio.

 Today the boathouse is being used for its original purpose as an active rowing facility, providing a unique opportunity to see one of Wright’s designs being used as originally intended. The tour includes both the exterior and interior of the Boathouse, providing an in-depth look at a masterpiece of Prairie Style design.

  • Beginning Location: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fontana Boathouse,  One Rotary Row, Buffalo, NY 14201

 

Lincoln Parkway
Designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted to be the principal approach to the jewel of his Buffalo park system, Delaware Park, Lincoln Parkway is one of the most beautiful streets in Buffalo. The homes along Lincoln Parkway, constructed in the early part of the twentieth century by some of Buffalo’s wealthiest families, represent a wide variety of architectural styles.

 

Masters of American Architecture
At the turn of the twentieth century, Buffalo was the eighth largest city in America and the city’s businesses, organizations, and citizens had the financial resources to hire the best architects and craftsmen and use the finest materials available. See signature works by some of America’s greatest architects on this downtown walking tour, and learn about the prominence of Buffalo on a national scale.

  • Buildings included as part of this tour include: St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Old County Hall, the Guaranty Building, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Ellicott Square Building, and the Old Post Office.
  • Beginning Location: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY 14203

 

Delaware Avenue Mansions
The richest of the rich in Buffalo put their wealth on full display on this section of Delaware Avenue, home to the grandest collection of mansions built in the city. Marvel at these grandiose monuments of the Gilded Age and enjoy the intriguing stories of the families who built them on this tour of Delaware Avenue from North Street to Bryant Street.

  • Please note that interior access to one of the buildings on Delaware Avenue will be included based upon availability.
  • Beginning Location: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site,  641 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202

 

Riverfront Renaissance
Buffalo grew from the water’s edge, as the Erie Canal and later the railroads brought unprecedented commerce and industry to the city. The waterfront walking tour will explore some of the oldest neighborhoods of Buffalo, many of which have gone through numerous transitions and are in the midst of yet another change as the city returns its focus to the water. The redevelopment of Canalside and new waterfront attractions are featured in this tour, along with the history of the opening of the Erie Canal and development of the grain elevator and other waterfront industry.

  • Beginning Location: Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, 125 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203 (adjacent to the Erie Canal Harbor Metro Rail station)

 

Silo City Grounded
At ground level, experience the monumental scale of the grain elevators constructed in Buffalo in the first half of the twentieth century, and also see how they are now being repurposed. On this guided walk around the grounds of Silo City, you will enter the ground floor work areas of a flour mill, two grain elevators, and a Malthouse.

  • Beginning Location: Silo City,  120 Silo City Row, Buffalo, NY 14203

 

 

 

Specialty Walking Tours

Allentown Mob Tour
When Italian and Sicilian immigrants came to Buffalo, many of their local customs came with them – and so did the Mafia. Through much of the twentieth century, the Allentown neighborhood was a hotspot for Mob activity. Do you want to know how a Rembrandt painting stolen from a French museum found its way to Buffalo? Or how one Buffalo mobster got the nickname “Lucky Pants”? Book the Allentown Mob Tour to find out!

  • Beginning Location: Café 59, 62 Allen Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

 

Turn of the Century Treasures
Popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Beaux-Arts, which translates as “Beautiful Arts” and began in Paris, is characterized by elaborate detail and ornamentation, with many classical influences. The buildings seen on this tour exemplify Buffalo at the turn of the twentieth century when the city was the eighth largest in America and hosted the Pan-American Exposition. Many were designed by prominent local architectural firms, including Green & Wicks and Esenwein & Johnson.

  •  Beginning Location: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY 14203

Downtown Deco
This downtown walking tour focuses on downtown buildings built in Buffalo in one of the twentieth century’s most distinctive architectural styles: Art Deco. Prevalent during the 1920s and 1930s, Art Deco is a unique style combining traditional motifs with modern imagery and materials of the Machine Age. Characterized by its use of bold geometric shapes, rich colors, and lavish ornamentation, Art Deco buildings stand out for their beauty and symbolism.

  • Beginning Location: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY 14203

 

Presidents in Buffalo
The home of two presidents, Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland, Buffalo has also played host to many American presidents for important speeches and other occasions, the most infamous being President McKinley’s visit to the Pan-American Exposition in 1901 that ended tragically with his assassination. Some of the presidential stories in Buffalo are often told, while others are less widely known. Join us on this tour to learn about five presidents who are particularly prominent in Buffalo history.

  • Beginning Location: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY 14203

 

Hidden Gems of the Delaware District
Take a walk around-the-block on Linwood Avenue, Bryant Street, Oakland Place, and Summer Street to discover beautiful gardens and spectacular homes in a wide variety of architectural styles just off Delaware Avenue. Many of the families who built these homes are well-known in Buffalo history, such as the Goodyear family, while others are less well known but equally intriguing.  

  • Beginning Location: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, 641 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202

 

Delaware Avenue Midway
Historically the most prestigious address in Buffalo, Delaware Avenue is full of historic and architectural treasures. Join us for this tour of historic landmarks on the section of Delaware Avenue from North Street to Tupper Street (for the other half of “Millionaire Mile,” see the Delaware Avenue Mansions tour). Featured prominently in the tour are the Midway row houses, which are the only group of row houses built on Delaware Avenue. Also seen on this tour are historic mansions, churches, social clubs, and commercial buildings, which provide a glimpse into society life of Buffalo’s capitalists and business elite in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

  •  Beginning Location: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, 641 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202

 

Scandalous Buffalo
On this tour, you’ll learn about the role some of Buffalo’s lawmen played in maintaining civil order, including a popular anti-Prohibition Mayor and the Erie County Sheriff who became the only American President to have executed a prisoner by hanging. The architectural landmarks of downtown Buffalo provide a magnificent backdrop for these stories, many of which sound straight from a movie script – but they’re all true!

  •  Beginning Location: Spot Coffee, 227 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202

 

Silo City Vertical
Silo City: Vertical will take you to the top of the American and Perot grain elevator complexes. Approximately two and half hours in length, you will experience all of the history and mechanics of the grain elevator, as well as the malt production process in the Perot Malthouse on this in-depth tour. A look at some of the regenerative projects ongoing at Silo City is included.

Beginning Location: Silo City,  120 Silo City Row, Buffalo, NY 14203

 

West Side Mob Tour
Buffalo’s West Side was once a hotbed of mob activity and government surveillance as law enforcement tried to make a dent in the criminal underworld, often with little success. Find out how the mob succeeded at eluding the government men for decades on this entertaining tour. This tour is adapted from Mike Rizzo’s book “Gangsters and Organized Crime in Buffalo.”

  • Beginning Location:  Providence Social, 490 Rhode Island Street, Buffalo, NY 14213