Top 10 Places to Visit in Syracuse New York
Upstate New York is a fabulous place to see, especially when the Fall colors come out to dazzle and bewitch visitors. The region is home to Syracuse, a city founded on the site of an Onondaga Native-American village and near some salt mines in the 1600s by Jesuit priests from France. After 1820, the site named Salt Point became known as Syracuse after having several different names. For over 300 years, Syracuse has been a center for trade and commerce for natives, Europeans, Americans, and New Yorkers.
Witness the Passage of Time
One of the more intriguing aspects of Syracuse is the architecture visitors can view all around the city. The city’s age combined with its cosmopolitan appeal made it a magnet for architects trying to make a name for themselves. Progress is reflected in the facades of buildings and various historical sites scattered around the city. Many travelers spend a few days traversing the streets and absorbing the local culture due to its unique and historic significance. Many local sites and attractions have entertained, educated, and delighted the city’s visitors for over 200 years.
Then, Now, and the Future
Learning about America’s past as well as interacting with modern society’s attractions are each made more distinct by the attention Syracuse’s citizens place on the future for their city. Important historic sites are combined with exciting venues and restaurants to create an environment that appeals to all ages, cultures, and interests. The variety of sites, venues, and locations can be mind-boggling, so we’ve pared the list down to a couple of places to visit for each kind of visitor to the city. The list is broken into locations for Family Fun, History Buffs, Architecture Nuts, Outdoor Enthusiasts, and Fine Arts Aficionados.
- Nothing is quite as fun nor as entertaining for the entire family than going to the Zoo. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo has been enthralling guests since 1914. With many endangered species as well as other hard to find animals, it is one place where children can see some of the rarest lifeforms on the planet.
- The first State Fair in America was held in Syracuse and to this day, the New York State Fair is the oldest continuous State Fair in the United States. Food, animals, games to play, rides to ride, and every other form of State Fair fun can be experienced for 13 days at the end of August and beginning of September each year.
- No trip to Syracuse could be considered complete without visiting the Erie Canal Museum. For over 200 years, the Erie Canal has been a part of America’s economic and physical landscape with many important milestones achieved throughout its history. Free parking and Free admittance make this attraction not only affordable, but also convenient. Online reservations for tickets save time gaining entrance to the most amazing collection of Erie Canal artifacts, stories, and buildings.
- The Onondaga History Association has assembled one of the finest collections of historic artifacts in the central region of New York State. Established in 1863, the museum has something for everyone with exhibits and displays covering every aspect of 19th-century life into the 20th century. With a full array of historic documents, photographs, household articles, and more, the 100,000 artifacts make for an interesting walk back through time.
- Home to the Syracuse University School of Architecture, the city has many historically important buildings and residences. Over 129 locations in Syracuse are listed on the National Register of Historic Locations. Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse is one location where an architecture nut can stand in place and see a dozen different architectural designs by turning in a 360-degree circle.
- The Niagara Mohawk Building, also known as the Niagara Hudson Building, is a classic example of 1930’s Art Deco architecture in the same style as the famous Chrysler Building in New York City. Visitors delight in the colors, textures, lines, and designs that were incorporated into the nation’s largest electric utility’s headquarters when it was constructed in 1936.
- Located a few miles outside of Syracuse, the Clark Reservation State Park boasts hiking trails and playgrounds to accommodate all ages and skill levels. With rocky cliffs woodlands, meadows, and a lake, the park offers something for everyone. Fishermen, bird watchers, hikers, and bike riders alike all enjoy the easy access and first-class facilities every visitor can enjoy.
- The EM Mills Rose Garden offers a rare opportunity to view, smell, and experience almost every variety of Rose plant on the planet. The colors and varieties number in the hundreds and the sight of so many Roses in bloom at the same time will leave a lasting memory. Be sure to bring the camera and the family for some one-of-a-kind snapshots and experiences.
Fine Arts Aficionados
- The Syracuse University Art Galleries located in the Shaffer Art Building on campus is considered one of the finest collections emphasizing American art in Central New York State. The gallery displays artwork in its historical, cultural, and social context. The Art Galleries also serve as an incubator and laboratory for student artists and the entire Syracuse University community.
- The Everson Museum of Art – As the first museum building designed by internationally-famous architect I.M. Pei, the Everson Museum’s building is as impressive as its collection inside. The museum offers exhibits of sculpture, painting, and every other form of artistic expression. Founded by George Fisk Comfort, an educator who went on to help found the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, over a century ago in 1911, the museum holds artwork that spans from the colonial period in America to modern-day pieces.
Don’t Stand There … Get Going!
The group of sites and attractions listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. The restaurants, shopping venues, sports arenas, and dozens of other interesting, exciting, and enjoyable venues keep on coming. Any visitor to Syracuse comes away with a feeling of anticipation, anxiously awaiting their next chance to visit one of America’s finest, oldest, and most metropolitan cities anywhere. The reason why so many visitors keep coming back, again and again, is simple … Syracuse has something for everyone!