Buffalo beats out many cities for "fun factors," new study finds

Sep 23, 2016

We all know Buffalo is often called the "Queen City." But how about “Fun City” as a backup name?

In a national study compiled by personal finance website WalletHub, Buffalo is ranked the 26th most fun city in America out of 150 cities. This places the region in the top 17 percent. The city’s less expansive footprint contributes to its high ranking on the fun scale, according to Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez.

Some local residents say Canalside and other waterfront attractions contribute to Buffalo's "fun factor."
Credit WBFO

“Buffalo’s certainly smaller than, say a New York, an L.A. or a Chicago, and that really does help here. The number of coffee and tea shops, the number of public swimming pools, baseball diamonds, basketball hoops, all of that is kind of in more of an abundance there, so there’s more access to that, especially when you’re looking at the size of the population," Gonzalez told WBFO.

Another key contributor in making Buffalo a fun city is its affordability, according to the study. For example, the average cost of beer is far lower in the region than in most other communities. Meanwhile, the study found that Buffalo has the lowest cost in the country when it comes to bowling. Gonzalez added that  it's also much cheaper to dine a fine restaurants than in many other cities. The city has also has more restaurants per resident than 86 percent of the other cities that were studied.

“Buffalo ranked in the top 20 [for restaurants]," she said. "We looked at that per 1,000 residents, so it’s very accessible there. You’re not going to be having huge bottlenecks at all of these restaurants, needing to make reservations, turning going out to eat really into more of a hassle. You’re won’t find that in Buffalo, and that’s one of the things that makes it a little bit more fun,” Gonzalez says.

But Wallethub also pointed out that Buffalo lags behind many other regions in certain categories.

“We looked at things like the number of clubs, the number of casinos, beer gardens, things like that. That’s where Buffalo can’t really compete as much with some of the major cities," she said.

WBFO hit the streets to chat with a number of local residents about their favorite fun activities. Many cited Buffalo's emerging waterfront, including activities at Canalside. Others cited local music festivals.

"I like to go to Bisons' games when I can, things of that nature," said Buffalo resident Christopher Collins. "I'm a sports fan -- Bills fan, Bisons and Sabres fan."

Laura Guize of Tonawanda said the region's diverse outdoor activities make this a fun place to live.

"I love canoeing and kayaking and biking," she said. "I can go on and on about Buffalo!"