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Why is Buffalo “America’s Favorite City”?

6 min read
May 17, 2016


Why is Buffalo “America’s Favorite City”?

Buffalo was recently named “America’s Favorite City” by Travel + Leisure. Take that in for a second. … Being able to say you’re America’s favorite city is pretty staggering.

But what does this actually mean, and why did Buffalo earn this honor?

Well, first off it was an “open-response survey” (*see the bottom of this blog for T+L’s official explanation), so readers voted Buffalo No. 1, which speaks to the unbridled pride we all take in our community. It also reflects the comeback nature of Western New York and the recent momentum from downtown development, economic investment and a real estate resurgence.

As for the “why”, we asked our staff — some of whom have recently moved here and some who have lived here their whole lives — for more insight on what might have spurred so many people to vote Buffalo No. 1.


Pairing historical cultural institutions, architecture and park systems with modern, mixed-used development keeps Buffalo fresh and unique as a travel destination. Not only because of the many things to see and do, but because the breadth of things to see and do continues to evolve, with no signs of stopping!
—Kelsey Hanks, Public Relations Specialist


Walking around Hoyt Lake is like being on vacation: the natural setting, the architecture of the museum and the casino and the interesting people make for a wonderful experience. It’s my favorite thing about Buffalo so far.
—Meg Hunter, Business Development Manager


I’m continually amazed at this city’s turnaround over the last 3-4 years (the first half of which I spent as a visitor and wedding site shopper before moving back). It’s been great to see so much investment in downtown, and equally rewarding to see that the evolution has been healthy and so much of the city’s rich traditions have maintained.
—John Jiloty, Social Media Director


Buffalo is one of my favorite cities because you have all the perks of a larger city — great food, world-class entertainment and attractions — but with a small town state of mind. After you meet someone, they remember you and look out for you.
—Emily Pumm, Multimedia Specialist


Buffalo is so deserving of this honor because of how well rounded the city is – where else will you get a tight-knit community located in a city that has so much to offer from the arts, to historical sites, hundreds of restaurants to choose from, a hopping night life scene, a beautiful waterfront and obviously the best sports teams around? There’s something to be said about a whole city backing two teams who have never brought home a Super Bowl ring or Stanley Cup – because we are loyal and love our city! #Buffalove
 —Jessica Raimondo, Media Planner/Buyer


First of all, why did T&L use that photo of Buffalo? There are so many more majestic ones out there.

Why did we win? Buffalonians have pride in their city, which has sprung back to life. The medical campus is blooming. There’s a craft beer renaissance. There are so many more restaurants popping up that I can’t keep track. It’s alive with “culture energy.”
—Dave Riley, Creative Director


From the revitalized waterfront to a resurgent downtown, from craft beer breweries to cool wine bars, from top-notch college and professional sports to great concerts and venues, from world-class fine arts institutions to impactful not-for-profit organizations, from our rich history and classic architecture to hip,  diverse neighborhoods – Buffalo is a city that is on the move and a great place to live, work and play.
—Dick Shaner, Jr, SVP | MDPR


* “The nitty-gritty: Travel + Leisure’s America’s Favorite Places survey opened on 10/8/2015 and closed on 04/15/2016. It was open to everyone, and ran alongside a sweepstakes. The open-response survey asked respondents to submit their favorite place and rate it in over 65 categories, including affordability, notable restaurants, and public parks. Cities are defined as governed bodies with a population over 100,000. After discarding incomplete ballots and cities that received less than 20 votes, each entry was ranked according to an average score.”

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