The 10 Best Things to Do in Syracuse, United States

December 2, 2017 Merry Kessler

Syracuse is a city of hills, valleys, lakes and streams. The city sits on the shore of lakes Onondaga, is within 20 miles of the beautiful Finger Lakes region and 30 miles from Lake Ontario. Syracuse offers big-city amenities with a small-town feel: a symphony orchestra, an opera company, professional sports teams, museums and art galleries. Planning a summer trip? Don't miss the Great New York State Fair at the Empire Expo center. Planning a winter trip? Bundle up - Syracuse is renowned for its snowy winters
Restaurants in Syracuse

1. The Great New York State Fair

581 State Fair Blvd, Syracuse, NY 13209-1551 +1 315-487-7711
Excellent
72%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 126 reviews

The Great New York State Fair

A dozen days of downhome fun with a focus on the great state of New York’s farming heritage and achievement adds up to a romp of a good time. A hearty mix of midway rides, concerts, exhibits and more ensures everybody has a blast. One of the biggest and longest running state fairs in America, the annual event runs until Labour Day at the New York Fairgrounds in Syracuse.

Reviewed By Bard J - Fulton, New York

We tend to go every year. Sometimes we go once, but other years we go a few times. The latest improvements are getting better. The bathrooms are everywhere and kept very clean. The selection of food is mind blowing. The rides are cleaner, safer, and more of a selection. The best deal is the all day ride wristband. There are some of the best shows on earth to see. The great Bandaloni is my favorite check him out on you-tube .

2. Onondaga Lake Park

Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool, Salina, NY +1 315-453-6712
Excellent
66%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 271 reviews

Onondaga Lake Park

Reviewed By Larry W - Rochester, New York

Onondaga Park hosts the "Lights on the Lake" display of XMAS lights every year. I had never gone through this amazing sight before, but I did this week. WOW!!! If you have never visited the park during this colorful extravaganza, you really should! I did it just as a way to kill some time between meetings, but it would have been worth the trip even just to see that. It does cost $10.00, but well worth the expense. Go this year!

3. Erie Canal Museum

318 Erie Blvd E, Syracuse, NY 13202-1106 +1 315-471-0593
Excellent
59%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 317 reviews

Erie Canal Museum

he Erie Canal Museum is housed in the National Register 1850 Weighlock Building, the only structure of its kind in the United States. The unique building where canal cargo was once weighed is the Museum's most important artifact and a centerpiece for interpretation of Erie Canal history. The Museum shows visitors 200 years of Erie Canal history through interactive displays, hands-on exhibits, a full-size replica canal boat, narrative audio tracks and original artifacts. The Museum shop offers historic maps, books for children and adults, T-shirts, Canal-inspired toys and more. Admission is free with a $5 suggested donation. Hours are Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. with the exception of major holidays. Free parking in Visitor Center spaces in lot on Erie Boulevard East. The Museum also serves as the Syracuse Heritage Area Visitor Center, providing information, brochures, maps and interpretive signage throughout downtown Syracuse.

Reviewed By Thomas C - Binghamton, New York

We have done a couple of tours of things related to the Erie Canal and always enjoyed them. We were in the Syracuse area and figured this would be an interesting thing to do. First the positive, it is a very cheap museum, $5 suggested donation. They have a full-size model of a boat that would have used the canal and you can go on it and walk around. The emphasis is on the weigh house (station, can't remember exactly what it is called). It is what weighed the boats on the canal. The back part of the museum in the weigh station and you get to see how it works and what it would have looked like. They also have an interactive game that let you play the part of the station master. Ok, now the problems. The weigh house game worked but there were several others including one that looked really interesting that weren't working. The museum has a ton of stuff but the order to look at it seems disjointed. It might have just been me but half the time I felt I was following a chronology, this is the order things were built. The other part of the time I felt it was geography, start in Albany and work your way across to Buffalo. It just got a little confusing, again it might have been how we went through. Also the second floor was set up for postcards which were interesting but it didn't seem like an efficient use of the space. Anyway it was definitely worth the visit.

4. Rosamond Gifford Zoo

1 Conservation Pl, Syracuse, NY 13204-2590 +1 315-435-8511
Excellent
53%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 753 reviews

Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Reviewed By ellenbee56

We visited this zoo last September; being a weekday during school time it wasn't very crowded, and we enjoyed walking around to see the exhibits. There was a good variety, and everything seemed well maintained. The indoor exhibits were especially good. We spent 2 or so hours here, including getting a bite to eat. All in all, a pretty nice zoo!

5. Destiny USA

9090 Destiny USA Dr, Syracuse, NY 13204-9098 +1 315-466-6000
Excellent
53%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Destiny USA

Destiny USA is a 2.4 million square foot tourist destination in Syracuse, NY that includes a strong mix of luxury outlet tenants, restaurants and entertainment. New brands are continuing to open to create a unique and dynamic consumer shopping experience. A stunning three-story glass atrium provides perfect weather year round. Oxford Economics has projected an annual visitation rate of over 29 million visitors from throughout the U.S. and Canada. Destiny USA is expected to be the second most visited shopping center in the country, according to Travel and Leisure magazine. It is the largest LEED Gold certified retail commercial building in the world.

Reviewed By shrie - Oakville, Canada

What an incredible place for the family. We only had 3 days to go away for March Break so we drove to Syracuse - arrived late afternoon Friday and left midday Sunday and had a fantastic time. I was dreaming of puzzle solving by Sunday night - we did 5Witts, Mystery Room, Museum of Intrigue, Canyon ropes course, WonderWorks, Mirror Maze, some shopping, the Cheese Cake Factory and Texas de Brazil. Phew, what a whirlwind. We should have gone the first weekend of March Break while the winter package deal was still on but we didn't know about it. Next time we'll go when it's a bit less expensive!

6. NBT Bank Stadium

1 Tex Simone Drive, Syracuse, NY +1 315-474-7833
Excellent
51%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 102 reviews

NBT Bank Stadium

Reviewed By ATMGUY63

My wife rented the room for a corporate event. It was Friday night with a deck and additional seating outside the room itself is nice but the sound and the TV's don't work inside as some wanted to sit and watch indoors. This is the second year in a row that they haven't fixed it. Service was good the food mediocre. The chicken appeared to be boiled the hamburgers cold the pasta salad blah. Bartender was great. Fireworks awesome. Fix up your tv and audio and upgrade your food.

7. New York State Fairgrounds

Fairgrounds rd, Syracuse, NY 13220
Excellent
64%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 55 reviews

New York State Fairgrounds

Reviewed By lisar216 - Syracuse, New York

You cannot beat it ! If you are in the area in august go to the fair, it is simply the best the area has to offer !!

8. Syracuse Stage

820 E Genesee St, Syracuse, NY 13210-1561 +1 315-443-4008
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 50 reviews

Syracuse Stage

Reviewed By Chad s - Oneonta, New York

My family and I just saw Mary Poppins at the Syracuse Stage this past weekend and I have to say.... we were blown away at the quality of the production.

First of all, the folks ushering people in were extremely accommodating and friendly. My son was sick so he and my wife could not attend the show. They gave us credit for another production so that we didn't have to eat the charge.

The play itself was simply amazing! High caliber performance. The set design was really just like a Broadway show. They utilized some high end digital backgrounds for some of the scenes which really added to the enhancement of the set.

The play itself was very entertaining with lots of familiar songs and many that you had never heard before. There was a marvelous tap dancing scene and a huge finale that kept going on and on. My daughter (8) was hanging on every song and every word. My family and I absolutely loved the show.

The only thing I could have done without is their charity pitch after the show was over. I'm sure it was for a very worthwhile cause, but I really feel it takes away from the experience in the end, but I was happy to donate $10 to have our picture taken with Mary and Bert!

Beyond that, I would highly recommend taking in a show here and I cannot wait to come back with our friends. They also have an excellent bar area that moves fast and a separate area to get coffee, tea or soda. Its a little on the expensive side, but that's fairly typical for a high end show. You do get some high quality plastic cups with lids to keep. Overall, a very memorable experience for both my daughter and my family. One we will never forget. Totally worth going to see a show here.

9. Landmark Theatre

362 S Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13202-1662 +1 315-475-7980
Excellent
52%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
4%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 147 reviews

Landmark Theatre

Reviewed By Jerry Z - Camillus, New York

Saw Lion King with grandkids. Absolutely Grand performance. Costumes were wonderful. Actors were great. Saw this once in Hartford CT. on a big stage. Seeing it on a small stage was fenominol. The venue was spectacular. Seats were comfortable and audience was memorized. Great staff and volunteers. Note: Basement restrooms and consession stand is much less crowded.

10. Webster Pond

2000 Block of Valley Drive, Anglers at Webster Pond, Syracuse, NY 13207 +1 315-469-8027
Excellent
64%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 54 reviews

Webster Pond

The Anglers Association of Onondaga is a not for profit organization with fish and wildlife as the main attraction. Webster pond is a small sanctuary located in the city of Syracuse NY at 2004 Valley Dr. Volunteers operate the pond by opening the establishment so that the public can donate and feed the wildlife. The pond is open year around, opening at approximately 9AM-9PM We also have other activities such as a Junior fishing program for ages 7 to 15. Summer and fall concerts sponsored by outside venders and much more. UPDATE: Please note: a new non- profit group was formed to assist the Anglers Association in applying for grants, as they don't have the qualifications. In addition, we will help with maintenance, projects, and fundraising. The non-profit "Friends Of Wildlife" was started by Chad Norton and friends. All funds raised by this corporation will go directly to Webster Pond unless otherwise noted . Please make all trail donations payable to: Friends of Wildlife. for more information or to make a donation please call 315-727-2922

Reviewed By stever401 - Skaneateles, New York

When my daughter was young we use to go down there and feed the ducks-there were at least 100 swimming, walking or eating all around us. Now you can only feed them the Ponds Duck food and I think the ducks are tired of it-you...MoreThe reason you did not see a lot of waterfowl is it is nesting season and we have a predator problem we are working on it. I am sorry your visit weren't a pleasant one. anything we can do? Chad 315-727-2922

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