The Graycliff Conservancy offers a variety of different tours, from "just the Basics" to a variety of very special tours. All tours are by reservation; and each are led by a trained docent. Please see below for details.
Select Tours Below
Can’t stand the thought of one more day indoors? Need some fresh air, great architecture, and a stroll out of doors?
Graycliff is offering Cabin Fever Tours in February and March for a breath of fresh air!
Cabin Fever tours are offered as an one-hour, Basic Tour; or a two-hour In-Depth Tour.
Each tour is led by a trained docent.
Questions or information? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 716-947-9217.
The most basic tour of the Graycliff Estate, this tour lasts one hour, and is led by a trained docent. It includes building exteriors, first floor of Isabelle R. Martin House, and Graycliff history.
Basic Tours are handicapped accessible. (Due to restored floors, we require rubber wheels on wheelchairs, and rubber tips on canes and walkers.) There is extensive walking on Graycliff tours. For those with any difficulty walking, please reserve our covered golf cart at the time of your reservation... you'll want to enjoy the day after visiting Graycliff!
Two Hour Tour Led by Master Docent
Explore additional areas of the estate not seen on Basic tours, including both floors of the Isabelle R. Martin House and first floor of the Foster House. Learn about the evolution of Wright’s plans for Graycliff during its design in the mid 1920s; Wright’s architecture, during the development of his mid-career natural or organic style. For those who seek a more thorough understanding of Graycliff and Wright’s architecture.
There is limited handicapped accessibility for In-Depth Tours. The second floor of the Isabelle R. Martin House has stairs. There is extensive walking on Graycliff tours. For those with any difficulty walking, please reserve our covered golf cart at the time of your reservation... you'll want to enjoy the day after visiting Graycliff!
Two and one half hour --for the Architecture Buff!
This behind the scenes tour is led by Patrick J. Mahoney, an architect with vast knowledge of Wright's work, and great personal charm. Mahoney will discuss Wright’s design of Graycliff, Wright's relationship to the Martin family, and the ultimate rescue of Graycliff.
Discover how Graycliff’s design compares and contrasts with those of other-- earlier and later-- Wright designs. It includes several areas of Graycliff not covered on other tours. This is a tour for the serious architecture, design and/or Wright buff!
The Master Architectural Tour is fast-paced, and not handicapped accessible. It requires extensive walking and the ability to climb several flights of stairs.
This very special tour is offered only once a month on select Saturdays at 1:15 pm.
Historic Landscape Tours:
Calling all gardeners, and those interested in historic landscapes. With the completion of the first major phase of Graycliff's historic landscape restoration, we are pleased to offer a series of tours that focus on the historic landscape, while also including Wright's architecture as well.
Graycliff's landscape was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright himself, with additional designs contributed by Ellen Biddle Shipman, known as the "Dean of American Women Landscape Architects" and one of the originators of the Arts & Crafts-style garden.
These two-hour tours will be led by Marion Schmidt, a Graycliff Board member.
The cares of the work-a-day world will drift away as you experience the tranquility of a Summer Twilight at Graycliff.
Frank Lloyd Wright imbued his design of Graycliff with what he called "repose": the simplicity and calm of splendid architecture set amidst verdant acres of grounds on the brim of the lake.
Graycliff’s rich history and architectural splendor, set against the serenity of Lake Erie, can be yours for a summer twilight. Listen to the sounds of the water lapping against the shore, the cool breeze rustling the tall old trees, the birds calling each to each.
Enjoy a leisurely guided tour, and relax with a glass of wine, coupled with a selection of cheeses and summer fruits as the rest of the world fades away into the twilight.
Summer Twilight Tours are offered on Friday evenings from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.
Twilight Tours are available for groups and businesses on other evenings; please email email@example.com for more information.
Darwin and Isabelle Martin had two homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright: the magnificent city home, the Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo (1903-05) and the gracious Graycliff Estate, their summer home on Lake Erie in nearby Derby (1926-31). Both are open for tours, although they operate independently. You can save on your admission at both sites when you purchase a combination ticket to the Darwin D. Martin House complex and to the Graycliff Estate. Your purchase can be made at either historic site and has no expiration date - so you can tour both in one day - or save one for a future visit.
Two combination ticket packages available (prices not valid on group tours)
- Ninety minute tour of the Darwin Martin House and one-hour tour of Graycliff
- Ninety minute tour of the Darwin Martin House and In-depth tour of Graycliff
After you purchase tickets, reservations are required at each site separately. The Darwin Martin House is located at 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, a scenic 30-minute drive from Graycliff. Please call the Darwin Martin House to make your tour reservation date at (716) 856-3858; and call Graycliff at 716-947-9217 or email Graycliff.
From Buffalo, we recommend taking the Skyway to Route 5, then Old Lakeshore Rd to Graycliff. (This is both shorter and more scenic than the NYS Thruway.) There are plenty of places for lunch along the way, with views of Lake Erie.
Please use Goggle maps rather than a GPS system, which often give wrong directions to Graycliff.
Want Graycliff all to yourself? You and your guests (up to 6 people) will experience Wright’s lake-side masterpiece in an intimate and leisurely tour led by a Master Docent. Tour the three buildings and expansive grounds of this historic complex in a small group that will allow ample time for a personalized, one-of-a-kind experience. This is the perfect gift for the Frank Lloyd Wright aficionado who has everything, for that once-in-a-lifetime visit, or to thank someone for something special. Admission: $250 We will be delighted to make arrangements for your private tour. Please email or call 716-947-9217
We welcome your social group, church group or even a large family outing for a tour of Graycliff.
We also welcome tours organized by professional private tour operators.
School groups are welcome at Graycliff, too, for ages 10 and up.
Please contact Shannon at 716-947-9217 or email her about group tours for more information.