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The Summer Bucket List: All Aboard Area Boat Rides

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By Jennifer Weber

You’ve surely heard the buzz about the waterfront renaissance in Buffalo and if you haven’t had a chance to experience it firsthand why take a backseat view and just read about it?

Head down to Central Wharf at Canalside, 44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY to climb aboard the Spirit of Buffalo! The options available include something for everyone including day, evening, dinner and sunset cruises. They have private charter cruises and even educational cruises.

And of course, let’s not overlook the very popular Wine and Beer cruises. Wine in the Wind takes places Wednesday evenings at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Enjoy a two hour sail of wine tastings from Niagara and beyond. Craft Brew Cruises take place on Tuesday evenings at 6 p.m. (but are currently sold out through Aug. 29.) Get on board, meeting the beer brewers and take a two-hour ride sampling craft beers. For more information, visit www.spiritofbuffalo.com.

If you want a family friendly ride, how about a Pirate Cruise? Ride the Spirit of Buffalo with a crew of pirates! Events on board the ship include face painting, treasure hunts and other kid-friendly adventures. Boat rides take place on Saturday and Sunday, call for reservations and availability. For more information, visit www.spiritofbuffalo.com.

The Buffalo River History Tours located at Central Wharf at Canalside, 44 Prime Street, Buffalo offer tours on the Harbor Queen and the River Queen offer daily tours of the Buffalo River, Silo City and Canalside Cocktail Cruises. For more information visit buffaloriverhistorytours.com.

Another option is a ride on the Miss Buffalo with Buffalo Harbor Cruises located at 79 Marine Drive in Buffalo. Cruises launch daily and include TGIF Happy Hour Cruises on Friday nights, Sunset Cruises made for dancing during the weekends, Historical Buffalo River and Landmark Cruises during the week and school field trip educational cruises. For ticket prices and schedules, visit www.buffaloharborcruises.com.

If you are more hands on, how about checking out Buffalo Harbor Kayak at Canalside, 1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo. Choose a single or tandem kayak ride or even a stand-up paddleboard tour down the Buffalo River. And for those unsure of how to paddleboard, lessons are available. For more information visit www.bfloharborkayak.com.

Or what about riding on water without a boat? The Water Bikes of Buffalo located at Canalside gives you a chance to explore the waterfront while peddling on water. With ten different bikes to choose from to rent by the hour you can take a solo ride, a romantic couple ride or bring the whole family. Visit www.waterbikesofbuffalo.com for more information.

A trip a little farther up north in Western New York leads to Niagara Falls. When’s the last time you played tourist?

Explore the Falls up close on the Maid of the Mist, located at 1 Prospect Street in Niagara Falls, NY. Being so close to the mighty falls is truly a magical experience.  Just remember to bring a waterproof camera for those lasting  photographic memories in the souvenir ponchos. For more information, visit www.maidofthemist.com.

Last but not least, and not for the faint of heart, there’s always an adventure waiting at the Whirlpool Jet Boats located at 115 South Water Street, Lewiston. Yes, you will get wet and unlike the mist of the falls, be prepared for some whitewater rapids from the majestic  Niagara River. For more information, visit www.whirlpooljet.com.

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