10 Spectacular Ways to Spend Summer in Syracuse
Ready for adventure? From state parks to the New York State Fair—discover how to enjoy summer in Central New York.
Unwind on Campus
Did you know that Syracuse University has been called the most beautiful campus in the nation? Relax on the Quad or tour the magnificent campus art. Check out summer programming at the Community Folk Art Center, and don’t forget all the facilities in the Barnes Center at The Arch, where you can even borrow equipment for a camping adventure!
Tee it up, Serve it up, Enjoy a Snack and Cold Beverage …
… all in one spot! At Drumlins Country Club, undergraduate students play golf for free. Drumlins also offers graduate student discounts and student rates for tennis. And, after exerting yourself in your sport of choice, you can recharge with a cool drink and a meal at the bistro.
Get Lost in the Park
We live near 170 parks and natural areas. Some—like Thornden Park, which boasts a famous rose garden and public pool—are walkable from campus. Others—like Beaver Lake Nature Center and Clark Reservation—have great hiking trails. And don’t miss Green Lakes, which features rare freshwater limestone reefs and great swimming in the clear, aquamarine-tinted waters.
Go Ahead, Chase a Waterfall
When you’re out touring the amazing regional parks, check out some of the waterfalls too, like Pratts Falls, Delphi Falls, Tinkers Falls, Salmon River Falls and Chittenango Falls, which is as high as Niagara Falls (also only a few hours’ drive away!) and where you might spot an elusive Chittenango ovate amber snail—found nowhere else on earth.
If you relish a good festival, you’re in luck! Summertime serves up an abundance, from food-fests like Taste of Syracuse, to those focused on music like the Blues Festival or Jazz and Wine, to ones geared toward enthusiasms of all sorts, from crafts to bacon. You’ll discover a range of cultural festivals too, celebrating the diversity of the region’s population.
Enjoy the Ride
Speaking of festivals … the Great New York State Fair is America’s first and longest-running state fair, and one of the biggest. With 13 days’ worth of performances, hundreds of rides and games, food vendors galore—not to mention art and animals and exhibits … Brace yourself, but don’t miss it!
Make a Day of It
Within an hour or two drive, you’ll find many destinations to explore. Relax on the white sand beaches of pristine Lake Ontario, visit the world-famous wineries of the Finger Lakes, relish the many attractions in Ithaca, Rochester or Skaneateles—or head to Cazenovia Lake to kayak and wander the outdoor sculpture park.
Fresh From the Farm
Ripe peaches, home-baked goods, fresh cheese—there’s lots to love at a farmer’s market, and a lot of farmer’s markets in the area to love! Check out CNY Regional Market, which covers 61 acres and hosts 300+ vendors. Then find your way to one of the many local farms and pick your own strawberries!
Salt City Discovery
The City of Syracuse is full of treasures. Check out the renowned ceramic collection at the Everson Museum of Art, the elephants at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, enjoy the many local restaurants downtown, catch a game with the Syracuse Mets—or just relax by the fountain in Clinton Square.
To really get to know a place, get involved! Consider helping at Pete’s Giving Garden, which supplies produce to on-campus food pantries for students; or supporting the Skä•noñh, Great Law of Peace Center, where visitors learn about native peoples of the region; or working with La Casita Cultural Center, which hosts community programs centered on Latino art, culture and dual-language literacy.