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Erie County

Grand Island, NYTonawanda, NYAmherst, NYClarence, NYNewstead, NYBuffalo, NYCheektowaga, NYLancaster, NYAlden, NYLackawanna, NYWest Seneca, NYElma, NYMarilla, NYHamburg, NYOrchard Park, NYAurora, NYWales, NYEvans, NYEden, NYBoston, NYColden, NYHolland, NYBrant, NYNorth Collins, NYCollins, NYConcord, NYSardinia, NYWilliamsville, NY

Overview - Erie County

Located on the western edge of New York State, Erie County is the home of Buffalo, the second-largest city in the state, as well as two other cities (Lackawanna and Tonawanda), 25 towns and 16 villages. The county population is roughly 919,000, making Erie County the eighth most-populated county in the state (ranking behind those in the bustling New York City metropolitan area). Buffalo once was among the largest cities in the U.S., buoyed by its location on the Erie Canal, which allowed goods to be shipped from the Midwest to New York City.

Buffalo is the home of professional sports teams like the Buffalo Bills (the only NFL team to play its games in New York State) the NHL Buffalo Sabres, and a Triple-A baseball team, the Buffalo Bisons. Buffalo also is the home of the world-famous Buffalo chicken wings, which were said to be started at the Anchor Bar, and other native cuisine, like the popular beef on kimmelweck sandwiches. The city is known for its historic buildings and is said to be the home of some of the greatest American architecture of the late 19th and 20th centuries, including some designed by noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright. There’s plenty of history here: President Grover Cleveland once was Erie County sheriff before ascending to the presidency. Another president, William McKinley, was assassinated in Buffalo during the Pan-American Exposition in 1901, and his successor, Theodore Roosevelt, was sworn in at a home in Buffalo. Yet another president, Millard Fillmore, lived for years in East Aurora before he became president.

Recreation & Entertainment

The world-class Albright-Knox Art Gallery is in Buffalo, along with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Shea’s Performing Arts Center, which hosts Broadway musicals and plays.

There’s much more to Erie County than just Buffalo. The city is just minutes away from Niagara Falls and the Canadian province of Ontario. The town of Amherst has regularly been named in the upper half of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America. Aurora is the birthplace of the Roycroft Movement, a community of craft workers and artists. Fisher-Price, maker of children’s toys, is headquartered in East Aurora. Lackawanna, once one of the largest steel manufacturers in the world, is home to a steel plant museum. Grand Island has Martin’s Fantasy Island Amusement Park. Lancaster has a racetrack for stock- and drag racing, and North Tonawanda has the Herschell Carousel Factory Museum.

The county has several casinos that attract visitors from all over, as well as upscale shopping malls, such as the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga and the Eastern Hills Mall in Williamsville. For more unusual shopping, there’s Vidler’s Five & 10 in East Aurora and a flea market complex in Clarence.

Buffalo is well known for its snowfall and ranks among the snowiest cities in the U.S., but that’s when residents get out and enjoy the area’s ski resorts and other outdoor activities, like cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Those activities are particularly popular in the more rural southern towns of Erie County, known as the “Southtowns.”

Erie County is known for its affordable housing and friendly residents. When you live here, you can take in a wide variety of activities, and you’re close to Niagara Falls and to Canada.