Approximately 40 miles from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, is the beautiful small town of Buffalo MN. With a population of fewer than 20,000 people, this town is a great place to live and visit.
Being a small town doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things to do and see. Whether you’re planning to pass through the area or spend a few days in town, here are the best fun things to do in Buffalo, Minnesota.
Fun & Best Things to Do in Buffalo, Minnesota
1. Spend a Day at Sturges Park
With plenty of small-town charm, you can enjoy the great outdoors, try delicious food, or spend time out in one of the many parks and playgrounds that Buffalo has to offer, with Sturges Park being one of the more well-known.
During the summer, spending time at Sturges Park is popular with locals and visitors in Buffalo. Sturges Park sits on the northeast side of Buffalo Lake, the largest lake in the city. The lake is a little more than 1,550 acres in total and is a beautiful sight to see from a city park. Although it’s a large lake, it’s relatively shallow, at only 33 feet at its deepest point.
When you visit Sturges Park, there’s plenty to do. There’s a playground that the kids will love running and playing on, picnic tables, places to grill, and plenty of grassy areas for you to have a picnic, lounge, or hang out with friends. There’s also the Sturges Park swimming beach!
During the summer months, you’ll see people swimming in the lake from the park’s shores, paddle boarding, fishing for buffalo fish, and even kayaking in little boats.
It’s open daily and you can visit the park year-round, but most people love spending time here in the warmer months so they can play in the water. The fall is another great time to discover this park when the leaves in the woods turn red and gold.
Regardless of what activity you like to do on your park day out, you’ll surely love Sturges Park.
See Related: Best National Parks to Visit in November
2. Go Wine Tasting at Buffalo Rock Winery
Did you know that Minnesota has some fabulous wineries? If you didn’t, now you do! One of the best in the state is in Buffalo, and it’s called Buffalo Rock Winery. This winery gets its name from being nestled between Buffalo and Rockford Township.
The owner of Buffalo Rock Winery opened the business in 2010 after their passion for delicious wine spilled over into a great business idea. The idea came long before 2010, and the owner harvested her first grapevines in 2009 and started making wine. The vineyard was planted years prior to ensure the grapes were ready to create delicious wine.
When you visit, you can sit and sip on your favorite kind of wine or be adventurous and sample a few of their 20 different creations. They serve a range of wines to cater to all wine drinkers and even those who aren’t the biggest fans of wine.
You’ll find rose, white, red, port wines, and fruit-forward wines. If you’re interested in sampling a few of their locally created wines, you should check out their wine flights. You’ll get to try three per flight.
Don’t forget to check out their own wine glasses for purchase. They make a great gift for yourself or the wine drinker in your life!
3. Admire the Work at One Division Art
One Division Art is a beautiful little gallery worth visiting for those who love looking at beautiful artwork. This smaller gallery features works from midwestern, mid-career artists. Even if you don’t fully understand different pieces of art, you’ll love seeing the talent and skill showcased here.
Something to keep in mind if you want to visit One Division Art is that they’re not open regularly like many other art galleries or museums. They’re typically open from Thursday through Saturday on select months of the year.
They only show six to eight exhibitions each year, but sometimes that may change depending on what they find and who they want to showcase. Though it is a smaller gallery, people throughout the Midwest come to Buffalo to see the beautiful works they show here.
You can check their website or social media accounts if you’re thinking about visiting when you’re in town. That way, you can see any exhibits that are currently there and when they’ll be open for visitors.
4. Wander Through the Buffalo Farmer’s Market
If you’re looking for something low-key to do on a Saturday morning, you need to check out the Buffalo Farmer’s Market. Whether you’re traveling with friends, kids, or on your own, this is an activity that everyone can enjoy. They’re open every Saturday morning from May through October, and they do Winter markets when the weather starts to get chillier.
During the summer, you’ll find this beautiful market outside across the street from the Buffalo Cinema. If you’re traveling to the area in the winter and want to visit, it’s not in the same location. It’s held inside at the Community Center. Their winter market is held on select dates, so you’ll want to check their website before heading over there in case they’re not open.
There’s more than just fresh veggies and fruits at this market. As you wander around, you’ll see dozens of local and visiting vendors selling all sorts of goods. You can buy Wisconsin cheeses, bread and pastries, German pretzels and canned goods, doggie treats, blankets, and more.
If you’re someone who loves bringing home gifts from your travels, this is a great place to shop around so you can bring back something unique for your loved ones.
5. Tour the Wright County Historical Society
Even though Buffalo is a small town, it has a great history. If you’re interested in learning more about Buffalo and the town’s home county, you should visit the Wright County Historical Society. The historical society has several mainstay exhibits and plenty that come and go.
Most people come to learn more about the history of Buffalo and Wright County. Whether that’s why you’re there or not, you’ll want to visit the main galleries and their foyer. One of their most popular exhibits is their hands-on history display. It’s fun for both adults and children.
They host a lot of events that you can find out about via word of mouth from people in town or by looking at their website. For example, they host a festival of Christmas trees during the holiday season that people love viewing.
See Related: Best Things to do in Prior Lake, Minnesota
6. Eat and Drink at Evelyn’s Wine Bar
One of the best things you can do when visiting a new town is to eat where the locals love to eat. On Central Avenue in Buffalo is Evelyn’s Wine Bar. This locally owned restaurant is a must-try when in town.
The idea behind this local hotspot comes from two friends who were walking through the historic downtown area and were trying to find a place to grab a nice glass of wine. When they realized there wasn’t a place for that in the area, Evelyn’s Wine Bar was born.
The wine menu at Evelyn’s is ever-changing, so they can showcase local, national, and international flavors to the people in Buffalo. If you’re traveling with someone who doesn’t like wine, or you prefer something else to drink, they can accommodate that.
You can order wine, beer, coffee, and some soda when you’re dining at Evelyn’s. They also have a small plate menu that’s worth checking out. It features the best thing that pairs with wine, and cheese plates. They also have flatbreads and pizza to enjoy.
Whether you’re looking to grab lunch or wind down after a day exploring the area, you can’t go wrong with spending some time here.
See Related: Best Things to do in Otter Tail, Minnesota
7. Go Boating on Lake Pulaski
There are several lakes in Buffalo, but boating on Lake Pulaski is popular. It’s the second-largest lake in town and the second most popular. If you have a friend with a boat or your own, that’s great. There are boat rental shops near the lake and one right near the boat ramp if you don’t.
The lake is rather large at 813 acres. Boating is very popular, but there are plenty of sandy shores where you can hop off the boat and enjoy a nice lakeside beach day. The water is the perfect temperature during the summer months, so swimming is expected.
There are plenty of shallow areas of the lake, but the lake is about 87 feet deep at its deepest point. On average, the lake’s depth is 37 feet, so if you’re not a strong swimmer, you may want to consider wearing a life jacket while in the water and definitely having one on board the boat per person.
8. Create Beautiful Art at Artistic Me
On the north side of the sleepy town of Buffalo is a pottery and art studio called Artistic Me. It’s the perfect rainy day activity or anytime activity. You can paint your own pottery pieces, fused glass, or mosaics.
The best part about spending some time at Artistic Me is that you don’t need to be an artist or possess any artistic ability to create something memorable and have a great time. The staff can help you with anything you may need, and they provide all the supplies necessary to paint your art.
You can call to set up an appointment or schedule a time for you and several friends to attend, or you can just walk in. They love walk-ins, of course, if you have a larger party, calling ahead is probably a better idea.
You can go into the studio with the intention of purely having fun with friends or by yourself, or you can take classes. They have several that help teaches you everything from beginner to advanced techniques you can take home with you. Plus, your painted pottery, fused glass, or mosaic is a wonderful souvenir from your trip.
9. Golf at Buffalo Heights Golf Course
If you love spending time golfing, you need to try and visit the Buffalo Heights Golf Course. This nine-hole course, which first opened in 1932, is a popular place for visitors and locals. This pristine golf course is well managed and sits in the town near Buffalo Lake.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert at golf, you’ll find this course enjoyable. The majority of the holes are par four and five, which you can complete in 90 minutes. Most people prefer to take their time, so 90 minutes is the average pace for those playing briskly.
The best part about this course is that you can come to play on your own, or if you’re traveling with kids, it’s child-friendly. They have a set of tees specifically for children to play with. There’s even a putting green that anyone can use to warm up or just to play on.
After you’ve played all nine holes, you can dine at the bar and restaurant that overlooks the course. It’s a lovely and relaxed restaurant that you’ll enjoy along with the lovely view.
See Related: Best Things to do in Owatonna, Minnesota
10. Read and Sip Coffee at Buffalo Books & Coffee
A locally owned bookstore and coffee shop is the perfect place to sit back and relax with a great book. Buffalo Books and Coffee allowed shoppers to buy a delicious cup of coffee and find their new favorite novel.
They have plenty of genres of books to browse and purchase. You can take your time strolling through the aisles before heading to the counter to purchase your new book and one of their perfect cups of coffee.
They order all their coffee beans for their coffee counter from local Minnesota suppliers as well as most of their other ingredients.
This is a great activity to do when you’re traveling solo, or the other members of your party want to do something different. You can curl up on their outdoor patio and enjoy some time with yourself.
See Related: Best Things to do in Delano, Minnesota
11. Browse Antiques at Buffalo Nickel
Even if you don’t plan on buying anything to take home with you, browsing the Buffalo Nickel Antique Shop is a wonderful way to spend some time in town. The Buffalo Nickel has been a staple in the town for over 40 years.
They have plenty of antiques, household items, furniture, handmade goods, clothes, and more for you to buy for yourself, friends, back home, or just to browse through. The space is rather large, so you can spend a decent amount of time here.
One of the best things about shopping at the Buffalo Nickel is that you’re being environmentally friendly. Purchasing second-hand helps prevent items from ending up in landfills. So, not only can you find some unique treasures, but you’re also reducing your carbon footprint.
12. Sip Local Beer at Hayes’ Public House
For those who love trying local beer on vacation, Hayes’ Public House is right in town and the perfect place to do so. Buffalo locals opened Hayes back in 2013 as a place for people to gather, hang out, and enjoy delicious beer and food.
The brewery is a small-batch brewery that offers some of the best local crafts outside of Minneapolis. The brewery feels like a traditional pub from Europe, which adds to the appeal of the building.
The inside is cozy, but if you’re looking for the best experience, their rooftop patio overlooks downtown Buffalo and is beautiful.
If you choose to pop into Hayes’ Public House, they’ll tell you that you should sample their beers before deciding on a pint. This way, you can get a feel for their different creations and choose the best one for you. Their website shows events like happy hours, food trucks, and other things going on you may want to go to.
See Related: Best Breweries in Duluth, Minnesota
13. Complete the Buffalo Roam
Some people love escaping the big city for the day when visiting Minneapolis, while some prefer a small-town getaway. Either way, you’ll find plenty to fill your day or multiple-day trips in Buffalo.
Something quirky and unique to Buffalo, Minnesota, is that there are 21 buffalo statues all over town. These are all painted differently, and it’s a fun activity to do. Many are located in town, while some require driving to. Going on the search and taking photos with them is a great way to remember your trip.
People of all ages can enjoy this simple activity. The Buffalo Championship Rodeo Association called for the construction of lifesize buffalos to be placed throughout the town and each is decorated differently and with vibrant colors.
While you’re more than welcome to begin wandering the town looking for these buffalos on your own, there’s an easier way to do this if you want. You can stop by the Chamber Office on Central Avenue for a map of where all 21 buffalos are located.
See Related: Best Things to do in Hibbing, Minnesota
14. Visit the Veit Automotive Foundation Museum
The Veit Automotive Foundation Museum is located in Buffalo on a 500-acre lot with plenty to see and learn about. The foundation and museum have been around officially since 1998, but it started years prior when the Veit family wanted to show off their beloved car collection to anyone who would see it.
When you walk onto the property, you’ll see several vintage-looking barns that house dozens of vintage cars. There are over 70 restored, vintage cars to look at and over 200 rare and unusual gas pumps that you no longer see in real life.
Even if you’re not a vintage car enthusiast, seeing all these vehicles in one space is a cool experience. From tasting local wine and beer, shopping for antiques, and spending time at one of the several lakes in the town, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained on your vacation in Buffalo, Minnesota.
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