Getting outside and getting active is essential for our mental and physical health, and here in Buffalo, we’re all about it. 

Take a drive past Delaware Park on a nice summer day and you’ll see hundreds of locals jogging, playing tennis or pickup basketball, along with tons of other outdoor activities. Lake Erie, Ontario, and the Niagara river are packed with boats and jet skis this time of year. And Buffalo is one of the most bikeable cities in the entire country. 

Now that it’s summertime, there’s a national spotlight on parks and recreation in America’s cities. How does Buffalo measure up in comparison to other major cities in the United States?

Is Buffalo One Of The Worst Cities For Recreation?

According to a list from WalletHub, Buffalo was ranked #73 out of 100 in the “Best and Worst Cities For Recreation.” 

Eek. Not great.

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WalletHub used 47 different metrics in four key categories to rank the top 100 cities in the United States, including entertainment and recreational facilities, costs, and quality of their parks.

The metric with the highest weight - and the one to guarantee Buffalo a low spot on the list- was the weather. In fact, Buffalo was ranked dead last of all the cities when it comes to ideal weather. 

In comparison, here are the top five US cities for recreation according to WalletHub:

  1. Las Vegas, NV
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Cincinnati, OH
  4. Tampa, FL
  5. Scottsdale, AZ

Why Does Buffalo Rank So Low?

It’s easy to figure out why Buffalo was put towards the bottom of Wallethub’s list. What do most of the cities above have in common?

Nice weather for most of the year.

Weather aside, Buffalo is an amazing city in the US for recreation! Our parks system was literally designed by the “godfather” of parks, Frederick Law Olmsted - the same guy who designed Central Park in New York City. 

Delaware Park

With gorgeous parks to enjoy like Delaware Park and Riverside Park, along with developments in recent years like Canalside, Buffalo residents have a plethora of places to get some outdoor fun in their lives. Not to mention all of the free activities available for residents to enjoy outside like waterfront movies, free fitness classes, and bike-sharing groups… 

Let’s take this ranking with a grain of salt. So what if it snows here in the winter? So what if it can get cold? Take away the elements out of our control (we’re looking at you, Mother Nature), and Buffalo IS one of the best cities for recreation in the United States. Fight us on it.

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