We've grown guarded of our free time, for good reason. We learn about new restaurant openings instantly through the internet at our fingertips. Buffalo's rapid growth in the restaurant and brewery department leaves us with the lingering feeling there is always somewhere new to explore.
Saturday afternoons seem to be good for that. In between sleeping in and predetermined evening plans, use the chunk of free time to do some wandering.
For our weekly Saturday afternoon series, we're compiling places to explore in Western New York. The spots in each guide are close to each other; there's usually a gallery, restaurant, cafe and park.
This Saturday, head north into Niagara County to explore Lewiston.
Weather: Saturday is expected to hit a high temperature of 50 degrees. It will be cloudy, but the sun should peek through at times.
Begin the afternoon marveling diverse exhibits -- from locally-made woodworks to ethnic wedding dresses -- at the Castellani Art Museum (5795 Lewiston Road) inside Niagara University. Enjoy a visual timeline of the last couple centuries in the gallery's permanent collection, featuring works from the Industrial Revolution era through World War II postmodernism. Fashion buffs, history fans, abstract art aficionados and pop art admirers will all find something worthwhile inside the gallery.
Now that your mind is warmed up from studying historical art, keep the buzz going with some coffee or flavored lattes from Orange Cat Coffee (703 Center St.). Inside its cozy living room-style interior, sit and sip a hot cup of loose leaf tea -- choose from a wall of different flavors -- or an espresso drink sweetened with peanut butter, coconut, kiwi or really any flavor syrup you can imagine. Or grab the drink to-go, strolling around Lewiston's Center Street, meandering through trinket shops and gift boutiques.
Sometimes, you want to try the new, trendy restaurant with a fusion menu, funky wallpaper and beers named after desserts. Other times, all you want is a big plate of homestyle food, cooked just like how your family makes it. That's what Apple Granny Restaurant (433 Center St.) is for. Count on decent portion sizes and no shortage of menu choices from the family restaurant. Its wood-paneled dining room makes guests feel at home as they await a gravy covered dish or bowl of clam chowder.
At Devil's Hole State Park (Niagara Scenic Pkwy, Niagara Falls), the best view is in the beginning. From the park's entrance trail, between trees and behind a safety railing, peer at the rapids below, where blue water courses swiftly. Be cautious on the trail's steep descent down to the water, but also don't forget to look up and enjoy the view from each altitude.
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Related: More in our series
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: Iron Island, Ike & BG's, MLK Park, Golden Cup Coffee
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: Wilkeson Point, Niagara Cafe, El Museo, Tipico
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: The Benjaman Gallery, Pho Dollar, Broderick Park, Bootleg Bucha