The Ultimate Travel Guide To Exploring Syracuse, New York Like A Local (2024)

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  • When Is The Best Time To Visit Syracuse?

  • What To Know When Visiting

  • What Are The Best Ways To Get Around Syracuse

  • Where To Stay In Syracuse

  • Where To Eat Around Syracuse NY

  • See Top-Rated Sights In Syracuse

  • The Perfect Day In Syracuse

Syracuse New York sits in a rather central location in Upstate New York. Known as a university city, Syracuse is a fairly well-known city in many circles. With excellent college sports, the university has brought a lot of attention to the city, but that isn’t all that it has to offer travelers. With its lovely location in Upstate New York, travelers will love visiting Syracuse.

Those looking to visit Syracuse can look forward to an incredibly accessible city that is both easy to walk and drive through. Being a college town, travelers can expect a lot of value dining, and fun locations too. The city is home to attractions like the Landmark Theater and Rosamond Gifford Zoo, and for those looking to get out of the city, the Finger Lakes are just over an hour away and are perfect for a day, or couple day, trip.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Syracuse?

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Travelers looking to visit Syracuse and experience some great weather while they’re there should visit between July and September when precipitation is at its lowest, and temperatures are at their most friendly.

It doesn’t often get oppressively hot in Syracuse in the summer, so travelers don’t need to worry too much about being overwhelmed by the heat.

Travelers who looking for a cold-weather adventure in Syracuse will have no problem finding one either.

Those visiting Upstate New York between December and February should find plenty of snow on the ground to play in.

What To Know When Visiting

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Syracuse is a lively college town with a popular college scene including championship athletics that have brought the city national recognition.

However, there are far more things than college sports that make this city popular. It has rich cultural roots as well as a happening art and music scene that fills the city's streets.

With rolling vineyards and crystal lakes nearby too, Syracuse is an excellent destination.

What Are The Best Ways To Get Around Syracuse

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Travelers arriving in Syracuse will have more than a few ways to get around. Renting a car is an option, but travelers can totally get away without doing so.

Here is a look at the best ways to get around Syracuse.

Car

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Driving in Syracuse is quite nice. It is known for having minimal traffic allowing visitors to the city to drive around without the usual stress of driving in an unfamiliar city.

Syracuse is also accessible by several highways including I-90, I-81, I-481, I-690, and Rt. 20.

Related: 13 Curves: Why Driving This Syracuse Road Gives Us The Creeps

Walking

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Part of the reason travelers won’t see much traffic is, partially, because of how walkable this city is. The downtown is a short distance from the main convention center, The Oncenter, to popular spots like Clinton Square and Armory Square.

It is even popular to walk along the Syracuse Creekwalk from downtown all the way to Destiny USA.

Biking Plus!

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Once the snow disappears, travelers will easily see that Syracuse is a top biking and scootering town in the US. Syracuse and the surrounding areas are home to several biking trails and their connecting paths.

These routes are a great way to thoroughly explore the region. Travelers to Syracuse can look forward to renting both usual bicycles and electric ones.

The city is well-designed to accommodate cycling, so travelers should have to worry much about safety.

Taxis Plus!

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Travelers will be able to find conventional taxis, Uber, and Lyft in the city. If travelers need a quick ride to somewhere a bit farther away, they will make it easy to take advantage of the city’s numerous taxi options.

Local Public Transportation

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The Centro bus system is also quite accommodating to travelers. If the city is having large events, the bus system usually has routes to accommodate transport for them.

To learn more about the bus system, take a look at the Centro website.

Where To Stay In Syracuse

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Embassy Suites

With a great variety of destinations where travelers can stay, they may need a little help finding the top-rated accommodations they are looking for.

Here is a look at three highly regarded hotels in Syracuse.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Syracuse Destiny USA

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Travelers looking to settle into the city with comfort should check out Embassy Suites by Hilton Syracuse Destiny USA. Travelers will be able to enjoy the popular shopping and entertainment complex of Destiny USA, just steps from the hotel.

Travelers will be treated to a made-to-order breakfast (that's also free!) featuring omelets with their choice of fillings, potatoes, bacon, fruit, pastries, and more. They even have an onsite restaurant that will bring meals right to the room.

Related: 10 Highly Underrated Christmas Spots In New York City You Should Know About

Hotel Skyler Syracuse, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

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State University of New York

At one point this hotel was a former temple and theater, and has since been transformed into a LEED Platinum, boutique-style hotel. Travelers will enjoy the hotel's organic comforts and industrial minimalism.

The hotel is just 0.3 miles from Syracuse University and is proximity to many other attractions in the city including Golisano Children's Hospital, Upstate Medical, State University of New York - College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Carrier Dome, the OnCenter convention venue, and even the Carousel Shopping Center.

Hampton Inn & Suites Syracuse Dewitt

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Easily found just off of I-690, Hampton Inn & Suites Syracuse Dewitt is a fine hotel with easy access to the other main highways around Syracuse. This hotel is centrally located with comforts that will meet the needs of travelers to Syracuse.

This hotel is built at the location of the old Erie Canal, which was the main throughway between Albany and Buffalo during the nineteenth century.

A number of restaurants can also be found around the hotel that is suitable for all ages.

Where To Eat Around Syracuse NY

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Travelers looking for a bite to eat in Syracuse will have a variety of options. However, to help travelers make the best possible decision, here is a look at three restaurants travelers shouldn’t miss out on.

Columbus Baking Co

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Travelers looking for the best sandwiches available in the city at a great value should check out Columbus Baking Co. With their freshly baked bread, fresh meats, cheeses, and veggies, their sandwich are a must-try while in Syracuse.

  • Address - 502 Pearl St, Syracuse, NY 13203-1702
  • Contact - +1 315-422-2913
  • Cost - $
  • Fan-Favorite - Italian Sandwich
  • Social Media

Apizza Regionale

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Pizza lovers will have a great time checking out Apizza Regionale. With delicious appetizers and even more delectable pizza pies, travelers will leave this pizza place satisfied.

Their service is also top-notch so travelers should definitely stop by.

  • Address - 260 W Genesee St Corner of West Genesee & Franklin Street, Syracuse, NY
  • Contact - +1 315-802-2607
  • Cost - $$-$$$
  • Fan-Favorites -The Calabrian
  • Menu

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

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Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is perhaps the most well-known dining destination in Syracuse. They opened their doors for the first time in 1988 in downtown Syracuse, New York.

  • Address - 246 W Willow St, Syracuse, NY 13202
  • Contact - +1 (315) 476-4937
  • Cost - $$-$$$
  • Fan-Favorites - Bar-B-Que Pork Ribs
  • Menu

See Top-Rated Sights In Syracuse

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Travelers may be curious about what attractions they should make sure to check out during their time in Syracuse.

Travelers really can’t go wrong, but here are three destinations sure to make any traveler's day memorable.

The Finger Lakes

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Keuka Lake's Panoramic View in Keuka Lake State Park, Near Finger Lakes, New York

The Finger Lakes, found just over an hour outside of Syracuse, are an ideal destination for all four seasons. Home to 11 aesthetic lakes in central upstate New York, the Finger Lakes are a great destination to escape to.

Travelers can one or multiple nights or just make it into a day trip. The region around the lakes is also known for its wine, so travelers can look forward to enjoying a drink while soaking up the beauty of the region.

Would-be visitors shouldn't let winter deter them either, as the Finer Lakes region become a genuine winter wonderland.

  • Distance From Syracuse - 1 hr 11 min (62.5 miles)

Landmark Theatre

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Landmark Theatre

Landmark Theatre in Syracuse is a throwback to the golden age of theater. It is a chance for travelers to experience a bit of nostalgia or experience what it was like back during the emergence of theater as a prime form of entertainment for the first time.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Since 1914, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park has served the community of Syracuse. Here, travelers can look forward to seeing over 700 animals representing 275 species.

Many of the animals in this zoo are endangered or threatened.

Travelers can also be sure that this zoo is one of the finest in the nation, acquiring accreditation as a member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Travelers visiting the Rosamond Gifford Zoo will leave many memories and stories to share.

The Perfect Day In Syracuse

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Breakfast, being the most important part of starting any day, would be had at Columbus Baking Co. They are great for lunch too, but it's a great and quick way to start a day. Next, the remainder of the morning should be spent at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, traveler will rarely get to see such a selection of animals.

Lunch should be late, and it will be at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Eat a ton, travelers may not have room for dinner later, but that's fine. For the late afternoon and evening, travelers should catch a show at the Landmark Theatre.

If travelers are hungry later, they could finish off the day at Apizza Regionale. Order a bunch of small dishes and share them! That would be a perfect day in Syracuse.

FAQ

Q: What is there to do in Syracuse New York?

Whether travelers are considering a three day weekend trip or a longer-term stay, there's plenty to do in Syracuse. The Finger Lakes, found just over an hour outside of Syracuse, are an ideal destination for all four seasons. Travelers can also look forward to seeing over 700 animals representing 275 species at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, plus enjoy green spaces and sights.

Q: How do you get around Syracuse NY?

Travelers arriving in Syracuse will have more than a few ways to get around. Renting a car is an option, but travelers can totally get away without doing so. Walking, biking, and taxis are all great options.

(Just stay away from the creepy 13 Curves during travels)

Q: What's better, Syracuse or Rochester?

Choosing between Syracuse and Rochester is tough as both have their highlights. Syracuse offers many intimate dining experiences and outdoor adventures that travelers can't find in Rochester!

The Ultimate Travel Guide To Exploring Syracuse, New York Like A Local (2024)

FAQs

Is Syracuse, NY worth visiting? ›

Many travelers and locals alike agree that Downtown Syracuse is one of the safest areas of the city. Not only does this area offer plenty of things to do in Syracuse, including attractions and places to eat, but it also boasts more than 20 historical buildings within the district, all of which are worth checking out.

How to spend a day in Syracuse, NY? ›

Top Attractions in Syracuse
  1. Erie Canal Museum. 459. History Museums. ...
  2. Rosamond Gifford Zoo. 904. Nature & Wildlife Areas. ...
  3. Destiny USA. 1,312. Shopping Malls. ...
  4. The Great New York State Fair. 254. Cultural Events. ...
  5. NBT Bank Stadium. 217. ...
  6. Museum of Science & Technology. 316. ...
  7. City Market. Art Museums. ...
  8. New York State Fairgrounds. 100.

What is Syracuse most famous for? ›

The city is known for its high snowfall, 115.6 inches (2.94 meters) on average; Syracuse receives the most annual average snow of any metropolitan area in the United States. Syracuse usually wins the Golden Snowball Award among Upstate cities.

What food is Syracuse, New York known for? ›

more Iconic Syracuse foods to try now
  • And Where To Find Them. While the Upstate Eats Trail showcases the best of the Syracuse food scene with our world-famous BBQ, salt potatoes, hot dogs and more, there's even more honorable foodie mentions to sample! ...
  • Half-moon cookies. . ...
  • Mac + cheese.

Is Syracuse worth visiting? ›

With its splendid beaches, archaeological treasures, inviting open-air bars, and restaurants serving delicious Sicilian cuisine, Syracuse sums up everything that has made Sicily a world-famous destination.

Is downtown Syracuse walkable? ›

Downtown Syracuse is easy-to-navigate!

Whatever it is that brings you into Downtown, you'll find Downtown Syracuse is walkable or easy-to-navigate by bicycle, car or bus! Bicyclists will also find our city is easy to navigate on two wheels. The Empire State Trail now runs through Downtown Syracuse!

What is the best part of Syracuse to stay in? ›

Downtown Syracuse is the place to stay to visit the historic and opulent Landmark Theatre. While the theater continues to put on the latest shows, a visit is just as worthwhile to appreciate its history as one of the few surviving movie palace theaters from the 1920s.

How many days should I spend in Syracuse? ›

Although Siracusa can be easily visited in a day, the city deserves more time. To enjoy it fully, plan on at least two days here. Spend your first morning wandering the Neapolis archaeological site and discovering this ancient city that rivaled Athens.

What is Syracuse good for? ›

Syracuse University offers many highly ranked programs and co-curricular opportunities:
  • #1 Best Public Affairs School, 2024 U.S. News & World Report.
  • #1 Best Photojournalism Schools, 2023 College Factual.
  • #1 Best Elementary Special Education, 2023 College Factual.

Why is 44 famous at Syracuse? ›

The Legend of 44 has its roots on the Archbold Stadium football field, where a running back named Jim Brown donned the #44 jersey in 1954. Brown became the first of three Syracuse University running backs wearing #44 to earn All-America honors between 1956 and 1966.

What kind of food do they eat in Siracusa? ›

In Syracusan dishes, fried fish and shellfish have to be present: tuna, swordfish, sea urchins and squids. The earth is generous too: little tomatoes of Pachino, the sweet almond of Avola, grapes and the Nero d'Avola wine, the honey of Sortino, the Femminello lemon IGP, the potato of Syracuse and the green oil.

What is a fun fact about Syracuse? ›

The dental chair was invented by Syracuse's Milton Waldo Hanchett in 1840. The Erie Canal in its century long existence, contributed more to the growth of Syracuse than anything in its history. The country's first drive-in window installed by our own Merchants Bank in 1941.

What is the nickname for Syracuse NY? ›

Syracuse earned the nickname of “Salt City” because of its salt mines.

What sandwich is New York famous for? ›

1) New York's Signature Sandwich

Pastrami on rye is a staple among New York's famous Jewish delicatessens. Sussman Volk, an immigrant from Lithuania, is credited with creating the pastrami sandwich in the late 1800s.

Is Syracuse worth visiting New York? ›

Is Syracuse NY worth visiting? Yes, Syracuse is definitely worth visiting. Along with accessible day trips to the Finger Lakes, Niagara Falls, and New York City, the area also offers travelers so much to explore.

Why would I want to go to Syracuse? ›

From top-ranked academics and groundbreaking research to powerhouse athletics and a vibrant campus community, Syracuse University's opportunities for experiential learning and leadership prepare graduates to make real-world impact from day one.

Is there much to do in Syracuse? ›

Step out into the scenic outdoors, embrace the urban vibrancy of Downtown Syracuse or explore one of our many unique neighborhoods. Find your next big adventure whether it's kayaking in the summer, hiking through autumn, or chasing frozen waterfalls.

What is Syracuse best for? ›

Reputation and Rankings

#1 Best Photojournalism Schools, 2023 College Factual. #1 Best Elementary Special Education, 2023 College Factual. #2 Information Technology Management, 2022 U.S. News & World Report. #3 Best Music Management, 2023 College Factual.

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