Syracuse is more famous for its snowy and chilly winters, but it also has a rich history and culture. Although it is often overshadowed by neighboring cities like New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston, it has many famous spots of its own to show off.
Apart from the snowy winters, it has lovely spring and summer seasons and many scenic views. The historical sites, fun places, restaurants, and shopping complexes will all keep you entertained throughout your trip. First, explore the city with our list of things to do in Syracuse and have an amazing time.
The Carrier Dome
If you are a sports lover, visiting this place is definitely one of the ‘Syracuse things to do’. And, if your visit coincides with a game, then its electric energy will make your day.
The Carrier Dome is Syracuse University’s domed sports stadium and is home to Syracuse Orange football, basketball, and lacrosse teams. It has a seating capacity of almost 50,000.
It hosts various university sports and tournaments as well as other shows, concerts, and non-college sporting events. The Carrier Dome is the largest domed stadium in the Northeastern part of the country and the largest one on a college campus.
Address: 900 Irving Ave, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA | Timing: Visit https://www.syracuse.edu/life/campus-highlights/the-dome/ for more information | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Db5BqQJY9Z8S53QS7 | Phone Number: +1 315-443-2121
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Visiting Rosamond Gifford Zoo is one of the must things to do in Syracuse. It is among the top Syracuse attractions. It is spread over 43 acres and houses more than 700 animals from almost 216 species.
You can find many exotic animals here, including Asian elephants, penguins, and tigers. The zoo is dedicated to providing exceptional care to the animals, spreading awareness about endangered species, and educating the public about wildlife.
Here, you can see the animals up close and know more about their behavior. The zoo undertakes many conservation and research programs as well. It is open round the year.
Address: 1 Conservation Pl, Syracuse, NY 13204, USA | Timing: Monday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 4.30 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/rosamond-gifford-zoo-syracuse?share | Phone Number: +1 315-435-8511
Niagara Mohawk Building
One of the other things to do in Syracuse is visiting the Niagara Mohawk Building. This iconic building was built in 1932 and served as the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation headquarters.
It is a splendid example of Art-Deco architecture and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its creators envisioned it as the cathedral of light. True to that vision, it has many stunning features and lights up in a variety of styles at night.
It is also said to be the symbol of the Age of Electricity. Though you are not allowed to enter the building, you can admire the display of sculptured aluminum, steel, and glass, the blend of geometric designs, right angles and curves from outside.
Address: 300 Erie Boulevard West, Syracuse, NY 13204, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/gd5KbuViouVQgA5g7
If you ever face the question of What to do in Syracuse, Destiny USA will provide you with a lot of answers. One of the most exciting places to visit in the city, Destiny USA is a six-storied shopping and entertainment complex.
In fact, it is the largest shopping complex in the state of New York and the sixth-largest in the country. The complex has 2.4 million square feet of retail space and more than 300 stores, including local ones and well-known brand outlets.
It also has many restaurants, a bowling alley, a movie theater, an indoor rope-climbing course, and a carousel. You can spend a great day at this humongous mall.
Address: 9090 Destiny USA Dr, Syracuse, NY 13204, USA | Timing: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sunday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/GMhfzfAXSxiMNebA6 | Phone Number: +1 315-466-6000
Everson Museum of Art
Situated in downtown Syracuse, it is the first museum which is dedicated entirely to American art and artists. It’s the first to have a collection of ceramics and also a collection of videos as an art form.
This place has almost 11,000 pieces on display, including photographs, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, graphics, and videos.
It hosts numerous seasonal and temporary exhibitions where artists from around the globe showcase their work. It also hosts a film series during summer, which is very popular amongst the local residents.
So, in case you are wondering about what to do in Syracuse, pay a visit to this place.
Address: 401 Harrison St, Syracuse, NY 13202, USA | Timing: Wednesday to Friday and Sunday: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm; Saturday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/JAXU1gte3sWYiu7F8 | Phone Number: +1 315-474-6064
Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology
One of the popular Syracuse attractions, this place has something to interest visitors across age groups.
Also referred to as MoST, it is located in Armory Square. It is 35,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, where you can learn about geology, technology, outer space, paleontology, and much more.
It houses a domed IMAX theater, where you can watch educational documentaries and screenings related to the field of science and technology. It also has a magnificent planetarium. Dino Zone, Science Playhouse Climbing Wall, and Ham Radio Station are some of the permanent exhibits here.
Address: 500 S Franklin St, Syracuse, NY 13202, USA | Timing: Friday to Sunday: 9:30 am – 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/MOSTSyracuse?share | Phone Number: +1 315-425-9068
Syracuse supplied the majority of salt to the whole of America during the 19th century and is still known as the “Salt City”. The museum is situated in Liverpool, a short drive from the city, and houses exhibits and artifacts used during that time.
You can visit the site and see how brine was turned into salt on boiling blocks using kettles, wooden barrels, and tools. You will find guides dressed in period clothing which will take you on a tour of the entire place.
The place has been constructed using the actual timbers used in salt warehouses.
Erie Canal Museum
Erie Canal Museum is a historic place housed in the country’s only remaining weighlock building. It exhibits artifacts dealing with the Erie Canal and emphasizes its role in making the state of New York what it is today.
The canal has played a very important role in the country’s expansion towards the West. The exhibits have been designed thoughtfully and are informative and entertaining.
Admission to the museum is free, but they encourage a $5 donation. Make sure to visit this place if history excites you. This is definitely one of the things to see in Syracuse.
Address: 318 Erie Blvd E, Syracuse, NY 13202, USA | Timing: Monday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/eriecanalmuseum?share | Phone Number: +1 315-471-0593
This started as a small mobile concession stand and a biker bar. But now, it has now become one of the most famous barbeque chains in the state.
The restaurant serves Southern-style meats in retro settings and has a bar and music venue playing live blues music. It boasts of fresh, homemade recipes and drinks and has been featured in Good Morning America, Food Network, and Travel Channel.
Make sure to drop in here during your visit to the city and grab a plate of their famous Pork-sket and other delicious items.
Address: 246 W Willow St, Syracuse, NY 13202, USA | Timing: Monday to Thursday and Sunday: 11:00 am – 09: pm; Friday and Saturday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/DinosaurBBQSyracuse?share | Phone Number: +1 315-476-4937
The Unique Upside-Down Traffic Signal
The Tipperary Hill Traffic Light is one of the most unique Syracuse attractions. Unlike every other traffic signal in America, this one displays the green light above the red.
The story goes that the majority of the labor team responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal were Irish immigrants. These families belonged to the County Tipperary and thus the area’s name.
However, when a traffic signal was installed, the Irish felt that the red light at the top stood for British preference, and therefore, they would repeatedly break it. Eventually, it was decided to reverse the signal, and so it stands till this day.
Address: 106-14 Burnet Park Dr, Syracuse, NY 13204, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/KevLhvtmP8UFr13C6
Clinton Square displays stunning buildings representing the historic culture of the city. It is a favorite hangout for visitors and locals alike.
It came into existence in the 19th century and, since then, has been a place for get-togethers. The Square houses several important monuments like the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and the Jerry Rescue Monument.
A large ice rink is set up in the middle of the square during the winters, and during summers, a big farmers’ market occupies the place. Besides these, a number of festivals and events keep taking place at the square. There are many local bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops here.
Address: 161 W Genesee St, Syracuse, NY 13202, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/aNEJs2ZRfP6MV8XHA | Phone Number: +1 315-423-0129
Catch a show at Landmark Theatre
One of the fun things to do in Syracuse is to visit the Landmark Theater. It is from the era of lavish movie palaces. The theater reminds you of the time gone by, with its beautiful murals and architecture.
It is the city’s only surviving example of opulent, theatrical venues from the 1920s. Once, it was decided to demolish the theater. However, it was saved time and again and was finally listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, the theater hosts live performances, concerts, and events, and will give you all the rich feel on your visit.
Address: 362 S Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13202, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/XNthhBneisndj3NJ8 | Phone Number: +1 315-475-7979
The Westcott Theater
This is a comparatively new theater serving the crowd of Syracuse University and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
It was originally constructed as a movie theater in 1919 and has now been changed into a live music venue. It features an array of house sound systems and new stage monitoring functionality.
The theater has been upgraded to make the venue more adaptable for private events, corporate parties, and other large-scale parties.
Address: 524 Westcott St, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA | Timing: Visit https://thewestcotttheater.com/ for more information | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/J2iZrJRvU75ZjzM5A | Phone Number: +1 315-299-8886
Beaver Lake Nature Center
Beaver Lake Nature Center is a nature lover’s paradise with more than 661 acres. It is just a short drive from the city and offers a lot of activities for all age groups.
The trails here give you a chance to explore the center’s diverse habitat. There are more than 200 species of birds and 800 plant varieties here. During summer, you can participate in a number of water activities and also rent canoes and kayaks.
Springtime brings in the migratory Canada Geese to the lake. The trails are also used for educational tours by schools. During winters, the trails are used for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The Nature Center should surely make it to your list if you are looking for fun things to do in Syracuse with kids.
Address: 8477 E Mud Lake Rd, Baldwinsville, NY 13027, USA | Timing: Visit https://www.onondagacountyparks.com/parks/beaver-lake-nature-center/ for more information | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/iGkNeD9cTENouH9S6 | Phone Number: +1 315-638-2519
It opened in 2007 and honors the legacy of the Stickley Brothers, who designed excellent, high-quality wooden furniture. It highlights the workers’ craftsmanship, whose commitment to quality led to Stickley’s reputation for manufacturing heirloom quality furniture.
Their furniture was very popular as it was made for usage and not just to be placed as décor items. The place is spread over 8,000 square feet and exhibits historical furniture as well as images and documents, which illustrate the significance and journey of the company.
Address: 300 Orchard St, Fayetteville, NY 13066, USA | Timing: Tuesday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturday: 10:00 am – 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/StickleyMuseum?share | Phone Number: +1 315-682-5500
Located to the south of the city, Webster Pond is a 95-acre sanctuary. It is operated and maintained by the Anglers Association.
The park adjacent to the pond, Rand Tract, has a 2-mile hiking trail through the surrounding woods. The meticulously manicured grounds have many benches for people to rest.
The association offers many programs, including fishing instructions, to people of all age groups. You can feed the ducks here by buying a large bag of dried corn from the association volunteers. Wildlife here includes ducks, geese, turtles, opossum, deer, and foxes.
Address: 2004 Valley Drive Syracuse, NY 13207-2859, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/NHzsArFTrUP3xgvw5
Onondaga Historical Association
Here, you will find America’s largest collection of regional historical treasures, as it celebrates the County’s culture, architecture, and people.
The museum has three permanent exhibits on the Underground Railroad, Chinese immigration, and Onondaga County itself. It showcases the fashion of people in the early 20th century and their lives in the county during the Second World War.
It houses more than two million archival photos, maps, documents, and records related to the County. Apart from the permanent exhibits, it also showcases temporary exhibits from time to time. The association’s research center is also open for visitors.
Address: 321 Montgomery St, Syracuse, NY 13202, USA | Timing: Wednesday to Friday: 10:00 am – 04:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 am – 04:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/HWvGUrQdYYtMCCme6 | Phone Number: +1 315-428-1864
Onondaga Lake Park
Known as the Central Park of Central New York, this is a linear greenway that stretches over 7 miles and has spectacular scenery. Located on the shores of Onondaga Lake, it houses the famous Salt Museum and has four beautiful trails.
The property includes the Wegmans Boundless Playground, which is the largest play space accessible to kids and adults in Central New York. At the Griffin Visitor Center, you can rent bikes or skates and explore the biking trails.
Here, you can enjoy a game of volleyball, bocce, or shuffleboard. You can also try your luck at fishing at the fishing pier. Here, events are held year-round, so make sure to check the events calendar before planning your trip here.
Address: 106 Lake Dr, Liverpool, NY 13088, USA| Timing: Monday – Sunday: 6:00 am – 09:15 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/aqNV8MeBda8c8WJ57 | Phone Number: +1 315-453-671
E. M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden
E. M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden is located in Thornden Park near Syracuse University campus. It has been named after the former President of the Syracuse Rose Society.
The garden is filled with more than 3,000 varieties of roses and looks beautiful, especially when the flowers are in full bloom in June. It has been maintained meticulously by the volunteers from the Rose Society.
You can also join the volunteers on Wednesdays till noon. Here, you can also learn about rose plants and how to grow them. Your visit will be not only a treat for your eyes but also a learning experience.
Museum of Intrigue
Located in Destiny USA, this is more than a museum. It brings live-action and mystery together for you to solve while meeting strange characters and challenging your mind.
Here, you will have an entirely immersive experience where you choose a story and, with the help of all the clues, actors, and interactive exhibits, solve it while roaming the entire place.
This is a great place for all age groups and is the only one of its kind in the world. You can book it for private events and bring some of the games to outside events, too.
Address: 306 Hiawatha Blvd W m302, Syracuse, NY 13290, USA| Timing: Monday to Thursday: 01:00 pm – 07:00 pm; Friday: 01:00pm – 09:00 pm; Saturday: 11:00 am – 09:00 pm, Sunday: 11:00 am – 06: pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/MuseumOfIntrigue?share | Phone Number: +1 855-653-7227
Community Folk Art Center
This center has played an important role in bringing forward the work of African American artists in Central New York. It is committed towards collecting, exhibiting, teaching, and interpreting the visual and expressive arts.
They organize various public programs such as exhibitions, film screenings, and workshops and offer studio and performing arts courses.
Address: 805 E Genesee St, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA | Timing: Monday to Friday: 10:00 am – 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/uD3cd9fng45bAFWd7 | Phone Number: +1 315-442-2230
The Onondaga Creekwalk is a multi-use partly bricked 2.6 mile-long trail. It follows the course of Onondaga Creek to Onondaga Lake.
There are plans to extend the trail to connect it to the Lake Trail and Erie Canal Trail. It is used by bicyclists, skaters, and pedestrians and is lined with many lights, signs, and benches.
The highlights of the trail include a view of the National Grid Building from W Washington Street, crossing the creek on an old railroad bridge. Enjoy the views along the creek walk and a spectacular view of the lake at the trail’s northern terminus.
Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/CNQ6Ehg8ZAKH38j78
Onondaga County Public Library
This public library has more than 30 branches all over Onondaga County, but the one in downtown Syracuse is the headquarters, also referred to as the Central Library.
Here, there is a vast assortment of traditional resources as well as digital ones. It has a large collection of books and an award-winning local History Department.
The library has a MakerSpace with front-line technology where you can learn, create and build. It also consists of a music recording room, sewing machines, 3-D printer and other tools which visitors can use.
It also houses a KidSpace for the children to learn and have fun, apart from hosting programs for all age groups.
Address: 447 S Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13202 , USA | Timing: Monday, Thursday and Friday: 8:30 am – 05:00 pm; Tuesday and Wednesday: 8:30 am – 7:30 pm; Saturday: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/OCPLCentralLibrary?share | Phone Number: +1 315-435-1900
Clark Reservation State Park
This is also a very short drive from the city and houses a small lake in the basin. Interestingly, the bottom water of the lake does not mix with the surface water.
The area is filled with woods as well as meadows and has many nature trails. Guided nature walks are offered here. You will also find the cliff, plunge basin, and the gorge of an ancient waterfall that existed during the ice age, along with other rocky formations.
It is also a principal site for American Hart’s Tongue fern, which is considered to be an endangered species. The place also offers fishing, picnic tables, and pavilions.
Address: 6105 E Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, NY 13078, USA | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 07:00 am – 08:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nr4WQFqLGYuaJdUk9 | Phone Number: +1 315-492-1590
Take a sip at Lakeland Winery
Lakeland Winery was established by Andrew Watkins, a wine enthusiast, as the first custom wine-making facility in the state. They offer wine tasting, personal wine-making parties, and classes.
Visit them, and they will lead you through the entire process step by step, starting from sampling and choosing. You can schedule a private wine-making party or join other visitors.
Here, you can make a batch of 30 bottles of your own wine. You will have to return after 7 weeks to collect the wine you made.
The winery also hosts private events and can make customized wines for special events. You can choose from reds, whites, mediums, fruit-based, ice, and dessert wines.
Address: 877 State Fair Blvd, Syracuse, NY 13209, USA | Timing: Friday: 04:00 pm – 07:30 pm, Saturday: 12:00 pm – 07:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm – 04:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/lakelandwinery?share | Phone Number: +1 315-487-2884
Central New York Regional Market
This is a huge farmers’ market situated north of the city. It is one of the oldest such places in the state and has been operating since 1942.
It’s a hybrid area with public-private and retail-wholesale things available. Here, you can find heaps of fresh local items such as farm produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, bread, and more that have been produced nearby.
There are also shops for handmade items, plants, wines and liquor.
Address: 2100 Park St, Syracuse, NY 13208, USA | Timing: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday: 07:00 am – 02:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/GR6cX4TbkYUuxG8t5 | Phone Number: +1 315-422-8647
Syracuse Pedal Tour
Another fun thing to do in Syracuse is to book a pedal tour. This eco-friendly way of sightseeing is popular amongst the locals as well as visitors.
The bike can seat 13 people at a time, and the seats are built in such a way that you can enjoy conversations with your fellow passengers. The bike also has a non-pedaling seat at the end for anyone who cannot pedal for any reason.
The guided tours offer three ways to see the city – one is the brewery tour, where you will ride from one brewery to another. The second is a food tour which takes you to famous restaurants. And, the third is an architecture tour, which lets you appreciate the city’s beautiful architecture.
Address: 100 Wilkinson St, Syracuse, NY 13202, USA | Timing: Monday to Saturday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm; Sunday: 11:00 am – 07:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/rn7Nk5MLmkE1LcgWA | Phone Number: +1 315-420-9640
With so much to do and see, you can be sure to have a fun-filled and informative tour of the city. You can visit it any time of the year and be sure to have a lovely time. I hope our list helps you to explore this lovely city.