Western New York Peace Garden Trail

A trail of Peace Gardens tell the compelling story of how the events of the War of 1812 helped to shape the future of this country.  The Peace Garden Trail emerged as a positive way to commemorate the Bi-centennial and the peace that has existed between the USA and Canada for 200 years.  Each garden represents a chapter if history, primarily located along the Niagara Region and the shores of Lake Ontario.  Journey along the trail, learn the history, enjoy regional foods and take in some fantastic attractions.

Day 1: Arrive in Buffalo, NY

Begin your journey at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens.  The Peace Garden there graces the entire south lawn of this site.  The  gazebo makes the perfect photo op.  Be sure to visit the grand structure on site dating back to the late 1800s that houses many tropical plants. Visit www.buffalogardens.com.  Next you will visit the village of Lewiston and their Peace Garden dedicated to the residents and members of the First Nation who bravely fought to protect their community during the British invasion in the War of 1812.  This garden is maintained impeccably by community volunteers and offers a wide range of garden art as well as seasonal flowers.

Mid-day Lunch Stop

Mid- Day Lunch Stop at one of the many fine restaurants located along Lewiston's main thoroughfare, Center Street.

Continue to Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.  Here 10 Historic buildings are on the campus, some dating back to the War of 1812.  The main building is filled with fascinating collections of quilts and period artifacts.  Festivals and special events take place at this site throughout the spring, summer and fall season.

Arrive in Batavia for your final Peace Garden visit of the day. Batavia was the site of the final US Army encampment following the burning of Buffalo in 1813.  As an honorary International Peace Garden flags of 19 countries fly over this garden enhanced by a medal sculpture of the world globe. Visit www.bataviapeacegarden.com.  Just a few steps away make your way to Oliver’s Candies for some delectable treats.

Evening

A visit to Batavia would not be complete without  dinner at Alex’s Restaurant.  This is BBQ at its best!  Casino goers may want to try their luck at Batavia Downs just down the road.  There are over 1000 hotel rooms to choose from in Batavia just off the I-90 exit.

Day 2: Rochester AM

Begin your day with a visit to the George Eastman House and International Museum of Photography and Film.  Visit their formal gardens and tour the spectacular home of the founder of KODAK.  Next you will take a cruise on the historic Erie Canal, the canal that helped to industrialize the west.

Mid-Day Lunch

Take a break at Wegmans East Avenue location, known to be one of the most progressive food chains in North America, a grocery store like none other.  Choose from many international delicacies prepared fresh daily in the deli or visit their on-site award-winning restaurant.

Now visit Rochester’s very own botanical garden, Lamberton Conservatory, located on South Avenue.  Just a short drive up the road visit the Viet Nam Memorial in Highland Park, a moving tribute to all branches of the military and the young men who sacrificed their lives during the war.  Continue on to the Peace Garden in Charlotte at the Port of Rochester.  The Peace Garden is located at the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse on Lake Ontario where New York State Militia defended the region joined often by local residents.

Evening Dinner

Rochester is home to some fantastic restaurants.  Dine at one of the many restaurants along Lake Ontario , try the restaurant at the Genesee Brewery, or you may prefer Greek, Italian or Asian ethnic fare.  Contact www.visitrochester.com for suggestions.

Day 3: Rochester – Home

We begin our day at the Granger Homestead and a visit to their Bicentennial Peace Garden.  Granger served as Postmaster General under President Madison during the period of the 1812 War.  Refugee families fleeing the burning of Buffalo were known to have been given safe harbor in this community.  The beautiful Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion are next on the agenda.  This 19th century mansion and gardens are beautifully restored and have been designated as an official New York state park.  You are now in the majestic Finger Lakes Region of New York state.  Visit the popular New York Wine and Culinary Center featuring foods and wines produced in New York State.  The Culinary Center also features a wine bar and full service restaurant.

Mid-Day Lunch Stop

A short stop at Eastview Mall in the Food Court for lunch and a bit of shopping for those who just can’t resist.

Now you depart for a leisurely drive home and along you will take a new perspective on the war that shaped the future of this county.  For more information on the Garden Trail and the War of 1812 visit www.peacegardentrail.com.

An additional day can easily be included to extend your visit along the Peace Garden Trail by visiting Peace Gardens along Lake Ontario in the villages of Pultneyville, Sodus Point and Oswego.

Happy Trails!