Although it is no New York City, the City of Syracuse is full of history and offers something for every season. The winters are as you would expect in this part of the country with large amounts of snowfall – boasting 115” a year on average and offering many venues for skiing, sledding or ice skating. Spring is filled with bright colored foliage while the summers offer hot temperatures, waterfalls and many beaches and bodies of water for boating, swimming and fishing, and the autumns are breathtakingly beautiful whether you are hiking or visiting one of the many wineries or breweries in the area.
Smack dab in the center of New York, Syracuse offers a variety of options for any traveler. The Erie Canal in its century-long existence, along with the salt mines contributed more to the growth of Syracuse than anything else. For these reasons, it can thank its history as an immigrant melting pot for its wonderfully varied cultural offerings. Take a tour of the Irish culture on Tipp Hill, or taste some of the best Italian food or pizza outside of New York City in Syracuse’s own Little Italy. Visitors might spend a relaxing afternoon in the park by Onondaga Lake, then have a night on the town in Armory Square which has around 30 dining establishments, 20 pubs, bars and clubs, and over 50 other retail stores.
Here is where you find your center. Reconnect the dots with the things that truly matter and make memories on historic streets.
Those looking for something educational should be sure to hit up the Everson and Erie Canal Museums and the MOST (Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technoloy) for your fill of history and interactive exhibits, or head to the Landmark Theatre, a glamorous 1920s movie palace that today hosts films, concerts, and Broadway hits. For any true “foodie” a trip to the Regional Farmer’s market on a Saturday morning or to one of the local Wegmans grocery stores is also a must, the chain is like no other, and when it comes to Syracuse, the people who live here are all members of the cult of Wegman’s. If you happen to be visiting around Labor Day, you can’t miss the New York State Fair, the oldest and one of the largest State Fairs in the country.
Outside of the city itself, the suburbs offer just as many culturally authentic family-owned dining options, parks and extra-curricular activities, and many options for families to live in good neighborhoods and school districts. Situated literally right in the center of the state, Syracuse natives are also lucky enough to have a variety of places to easily visit for a weekend getaway, being just 4 hours away from major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Toronto and a plethora of day trip options from the 1000 Islands to the Adirondacks.
We put together a list of some of the best-of-the-best in Syracuse:
KNOWN FOR/CLAIM TO FAME:
- Being the “Salt City”
- Salt Potatoes
- SU Basketball
- Carrier Air Conditioning
- Hoffman Hot Dogs
- Stickley Furniture
WHERE TO EAT:
- Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
- Pastabilities (Must try their homemade hot tomato oil!)
- Prime Steakhouse
- Tully’s Good Times (known for the “Best Chicken Tenders on Earth”)
- Coppertop Tavern
- Pavone’s Pizza
- Heid’s (Best place for Hoffman Hot Dogs)
THINGS TO DO:
- Rosamond Gifford Zoo – founded in 1914 and ranked in the top 10% of zoos
- Carrier Dome – SU Basketball or Football Game or Concert
- The MOST (Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technoloy)
- Ice Skating in Clinton Square
- Take a Wine Tour or Visit a Brewery
- Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards – established in 1911 and voted #1 Apple Orchard in the Country by USA Today Readers
WHAT TO SEE:
- Niagara Mohawk Building
- Upside Down Traffic Light in Tipperary Hill– a result of Irish immigrants taking to throwing stones at the “British red” on top until a law was passed allowing it to be reversed in 1928
- Landmark Theatre – built in 1926 and on the National Register of Historic Places
- Green Lakes State Park
- The 24-second shot clock (head to Armory Square downtown to see it tick) – used in all NBA games, was invented by Danny Biasone, the late owner of the Syracuse Nationals