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Syracuse

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Downtown skyline with Onondaga Lake visible in the background

Syracuse is a city in Central New York. With a population of 145,000 in city proper and 662,000 in its metro area, Syracuse is the fifth largest city in the state of New York, and the third largest in Upstate New York.

Get in[edit]

By bus/train[edit]

1 William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center, located at 131 NBT Bank Parkway just north of downtown, is the city's central rail and long-distance bus hub.

  • Amtrak. Syracuse is served twice daily in each direction by the Empire Service (New York City to Niagara Falls), once daily in each direction by the Maple Leaf (New York City to Toronto, following the route of the Empire Service up to Niagara Falls), and once daily in each direction by the Lake Shore Limited (New York City or Boston to Chicago, following the route of the Empire Service up to Buffalo-Depew).
  • Greyhound. Bus service from New York City (via Scranton, Binghamton, and Cortland), Boston (via Worcester, Springfield, Albany, Schenectady, and Utica), and Cleveland (via Erie, Buffalo, and Rochester). Very limited service to Ottawa, Fri/Sun only.
  • Trailways of New York. Service from Buffalo (via Rochester) and New York City (via Scranton, Binghamton, and Cortland). A bus runs to Massena via Watertown and various points on US11.
  • Megabus. Service from New York City, Rochester, Buffalo, and Toronto.

By plane[edit]

  • 2 Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR IATA), 1000 Colonel Eileen Collins Boulevard, Airport Information: +1 315 454-4330, City of Syracuse Department of Aviation: +1 315 454-3263. Mostly served by Delta Air Lines/Delta Connection, United Express, and American Airlines. Limited service from JetBlue. Although an international airport, the only international service offered is Air Canada to/from Toronto International.

By car[edit]

Travel from the four cardinal directions is served by two Interstate highways.

  • I-90 New York State Thruway E/W, with service to central Syracuse via I-690
  • I-81 N/S

Get around[edit]

Map of Syracuse (New York)

By car[edit]

A car is probably the best way to get around Syracuse, especially if you are going to places away from downtown. Make sure you have a map and pay attention to the street signs. There are some streets in the downtown area that go from being two-way to one-way, which is not always clear on a map.

On foot[edit]

You can walk to most of the destinations in downtown Syracuse from a parking lot or the Centro bus terminal.

By bicycle[edit]

Most of the downtown area is relatively flat, but keep in mind that the University area has many steep hills and the residential areas surrounding downtown have quite a few hills as well. What some people will do is catch a ride on the bus downtown, placing their bike on the bike rack on the front of the bus and then use their bike once they reach downtown, thus avoiding the steep hills.

By bus[edit]

The Centro Bus System provides a fair alternative to driving to most locations, $2/passenger within Syracuse, additional fare to outlying suburbs, service from Syracuse to Oswego for $5 (as of 2015). If you have to transfer to another bus, be sure to ask the bus driver for a transfer card so that you don't get stuck paying double fares for the same trip. Discounts for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and children. The buses are accessible to people with disabilities and the bus drivers are instructed to let a person with a physical disability on before letting other passengers on.

  • 3 Centro Transit Hub

By taxi[edit]

There are several taxi services listed in the Syracuse phone book that you can choose from. It will usually take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes for a taxi to come pick you up but it can be useful if you missed the last bus of the day. At the airport there is usually no wait, as there is a well-frequented taxi stand at the end of Terminal A. Ride-hailing services including Lyft and Uber are also available.

See[edit]

Onondaga County Courthouse at Columbus Circle
Onondaga Park

Up-to-date information about the happenings in Syracuse can most easily be found in the Syracuse New Times, available for free at bars or coffee shops. Syracuse's only major print newspaper, The Post-Standard, publishes a Weekend section in its Thursday publication containing upcoming events in the Central New York area.

Online calendars of upcoming events are offered by local media groups:

Museums[edit]

Do[edit]

  • 2 Rosamond Gifford Zoo (Burnet Park), One Conservation Pl (Geddes St to Seymour St to S Wilbur Ave), +1 315 435-8511. Daily 10AM-4:30PM except Thanksgiving, 25 Dec, 1 Jan. A small but well-populated zoo at the top of a hill in Burnet Park with everything from reindeer, lions, tigers and a herd of Asian elephants to sand cats and peacocks and fossas. Fast food and souvenir shop in main building. Under 3 free, ages 3-18 $4, ages 19-61 $8, ages 62+ $5; all prices halved in Jan and Feb.

Live theatre and music[edit]

Sports[edit]

  • Syracuse Orange. The city's highest-profile sports institutions are the teams representing Syracuse University in seven men's sports and 11 women's sports. The Orange, members of the Atlantic Coast Conference along with 14 other schools in the eastern half of the country, are perennial national powers in men's basketball and men's lacrosse, and also have a rich football tradition. The main athletic facilities are all on campus, with the best-known being the Carrier Dome, home to the football, basketball, and lacrosse teams. The Dome, seating over 49,000 for football and lacrosse and over 33,000 for basketball, is by far the largest domed stadium on a U.S. university campus, and the world's largest facility by capacity regularly used for basketball.
  • 6 Carrier Dome, 900 Irving Ave, +1 315 443-2121, toll-free: +1-888-366-3849. Lacrosse, soccer, basketball and football for Syracuse University.
  • 7 The Syracuse Chiefs, NBT Bank Stadium, 1 Tex Simone Dr.. Syracuse's minor league baseball team, the AAA team for the Washington Nationals. You can see from all seats in the house! Tickets are cheap, ranging from about $5 for upper-deck seats to $8 for 100- and 200-level seating.
  • Syracuse Crunch, War Memorial at OnCenter, 800 S. State St.. AHL minor league hockey team is the highest affiliate of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.

Parks and outdoors[edit]

Dr. E. M. Mills Rose Garden in Thornden Park
  • 8 Green Lakes State Park, 7900 Green Lakes Rd, Fayetteville, +1 315 637-6111. Two glacial lakes surrounded by upland forest, 18-hole Green Lakes State Park Golf course, snow-shoeing and 15 miles of cross-country ski trail in winter.
  • Erie Canal Trail, +1 585 234-7708. Canalway Trail for biking, walking and jogging. Although the historic waterway's route through the city was long ago filled in, access points exist in the neighboring Towns of Camillus 1 in the west and DeWitt 2 in the east.
  • Beaver Lake, 8477 East Mud Lake Rd, Baldwinsville, +1 315 638-2519. 9 mi (14 km) of winding trails for all seasons, more than 200 species of birds, over 800 varieties of plants, 200 acres (81 hectares) glacial lake; a migratory stop for thousands of Canada geese.
  • 9 Onondaga Lake Park, 106 Lake Dr, Liverpool, +1 315 453-6712. Vehicle-free trails, boat launch and marina, skate park, playground, Salt Museum, boat and bicycle rental.
  • Oneida Lake. Fishing, boating, camping.

Festivals[edit]

Syracuse has gained the nickname "the City of Festivals" for good reason. There are numerous festivals year round. The following are just a few of the festivals that are held in and around the City of Syracuse:

  • Jazz in the Square This jazz festival is seen as a downtown replacement for the M&T Jazz Fest which has moved to the Onondaga Community College campus.
  • Latin American Festival

February[edit]

March[edit]

  • The Syracuse St. Patrick's Parade. Originally founded by an honored local journalist, Nancy Duffy, the parade has been celebrating St. Patrick's Day for over 25 years.

June[edit]

  • Taste of Syracuse. A festival with several streets of booths containing samples of menu items from the variety of Restaurants in the Syracuse Area. free.
  • M&T Jazz Fest at OCC. Originally hosted in Downtown Syracuse in Hanover Square and Clinton Square, it moved to the Onondaga Community College campus when Clinton Square was renovated and has stayed there ever since.
  • Polish Fest.
  • [dead link]Juneteenth Celebration. One of the largest of its kind in Central New York, the occasion celebrates African American history and culture.
  • St. Sophia Greek Cultural Festival. Dancing, music, food and shopping are the order of the day. Enjoy the food, music and dancing outside and then wander inside to find the shops, pastries and coffee. Guided tours, lectures, displays and a visual tour of the Greek Islands can also be found inside.

July[edit]

August[edit]

Midway at the Fair
  • 10 Shakespeare-In-The-Park, Thornden Park Amphitheater (Thornden Park). Weekends mid-month. Live performance of one of Shakespeare's plays. free.
  • Central New York Scottish Games and Celtic Festival, Long Branch Park, Liverpool (I-690 exit 4, then right on Long Branch Rd), +1 315 463-8876. Aug 8, 9AM-6PM. Celtic and Scottish music, dancing, demonstrations, exhibits, and athletics. Adults $10, seniors $7, ages 5-12 $4, under 5 free.
  • 11 The Great New York State Fair, 581 State Fair Blvd, Geddes. Annually, 12 days ending Labor Day; 10AM-10PM. The oldest state fair in the U.S., and still one of the largest. Dozens of free concerts from national touring acts populate the 12-day schedule, along with the expected midway rides, art exhibits, and livestock competitions. State agriculture is on display in the form of the annual butter sculpture, 25-cent cups of milk, and demonstration booths for everything from honey bees to hand-tooled wood work. During the fair, Amtrak adds a stop right outside the fair's gates, making it easy to get to from Buffalo, Rochester, or Albany even without a car. Adults $10 (Thursdays $3, Labor Day $1), under 13 free. Great New York State Fair on Wikipedia Great New York State Fair (Q5599624) on Wikidata
  • [dead link]The Great Syracuse Oktoberfest.

September[edit]

Buy[edit]

Franklin Square in April
  • Sound Garden, 310 W. Jefferson St, +1 315 473-4343. Independent music shop, used and new, with CD players to listen to any open album for as long as you want. Movie selection on second floor. Open late.

Souvenirs, gifts, novelties[edit]

Shopping areas and malls[edit]

  • Armory Square. Franklin St., Walton St., Clinton St., A collection of shops and restaurants in the heart of downtown Syracuse near the Museum of Science and Technology (The MOST).
  • 1 Destiny USA (Carousel Center), 9090 Destiny USA Dr, +1 315 466-6000. The largest shopping mall in the Central New York Area, its former Carousel Center name came from the restored fully functional carousel that is its center piece in the food court. Has department stores, restaurants, arcades, and movie theaters.
  • Downtown Farmers' Market, Clinton Square. Early June to mid Oct: Tu 7AM-3PM.
  • Great Northern Mall, 4155 Route 31, Clay, +1 315 622-4449. Department stores, restaurants, arcade, and movie theaters.
  • ShoppingTown Mall, 3649 Erie Boulevard East, DeWitt, +1 315 446-9159. Department stores, restaurants, arcade, and movie theaters.

Eat[edit]

View from University Hill

Diner[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • 3 The Brooklyn Pickle, 1600 West Genesee Street, +1 315 487-8000. Open until 9PM every day except Sunday.. The biggest deli sandwiches around and a friendly mom and pop feel have created an almost cult following to this little sandwich shop.
  • 5 Heid's, 305 Oswego St, Liverpool, +1 315 451-0786. Heid's is known for two things: long lines and the hot dogs that are responsible for those long lines. Ordering is simple: anything that isn't a hot dog or a coney gets ordered first after you get in the door, including their delicious grilled cheeses and super-thick milk shakes; at the end, once you get to the cash register, you simply order how many hot dogs and coneys you'd like. If the retro-style of the restaurant isn't to your liking, you can always cross the street and sit by Onondaga Lake.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 7 Coleman's Authentic Irish Pub, 100 South Lowell Ave, +1 315 476-1933. An authentic Irish pub with a leprechaun door next to the regular door. It holds an appeal for all ages. This place has a full menu as well as a bar. It is known for its participation in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and festivities. If you are in Syracuse on St. Patrick’s Day be sure to come here and try the green beer. It is in the Tipperary Hill neighborhood near the only inverted street light in the country with the green light at the top and red at the bottom.
  • 8 Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St, +1 315 476-1662. This is the original Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant. This restaurant is famous for its BBQ sauce and pulled pork sandwiches. Despite its popularity this restaurant maintains a certain small time charm. This is also a popular place for Blues concerts.
  • 9 Syracuse Suds Factory, 320 S. Clinton St, +1 315 471-AALE (2253). Established in 1991 this well known micro-brewery and restaurant has several micro-brews but also an extensive list of other beers and a full dinner menu. Be on the lookout for live entertainment at this popular venue.

Splurge[edit]

  • 10 Lemon Grass Restaurant, 238 W Jefferson St (on Armory Square), +1 315 475-1111, fax: +1 315 475-3287. Great Thai food in a formal but not snobbish atmosphere. Pad Thai is fantastic as is the Green Curry.
  • 11 Pastabilities, 311 South Franklin Street, +1 315 474-1153. Nice and original Italian food, great wine list, and friendly service. Can be a bit expensive but worth every cent.

Drink[edit]

Syracuse has two major nightlife districts. The largest is Armory Square downtown, followed by Marshall Street on University Hill.

  • Blue Tusk, 165 Walton St, +1 315 472-1934.
  • Clark's Ale House, 100 E Washington St, +1 315 479-9859.
  • Faegan's Cafe & Pub, 734 S. Crouse Ave, +1 315 472-4721. A common hangout place for students at Syracuse University, usually not quite as hectic as some of the other bars near campus, this place has more of a relaxed sit down atmosphere.
  • J. Ryans Pub, 253 East Water Street, +1 315-399-5533. 11AM-2AM. 69 beers on draft at all times, an always changing selection. Full menu all day as well as $2 beer specials from open to close.

Coffeeshops & cafes[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Airport[edit]

Downtown[edit]

University Hill[edit]

The University Hill neighborhood is directly adjacent to Downtown Syracuse and is home to Syracuse University, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and SUNY College of Environmental Studies and Forestry.

Suburbs[edit]

Several hotels are located near Carrier Circle in DeWitt, directly accessible from the New York State Thruway's Exit 35, and fifteen-minute drive to/from Downtown Syracuse during non-peak hours.

Cope[edit]

Radio[edit]

Radio stations serving the Syracuse area include:

  • News/Talk: WAER 88.3 FM (NPR), WRVD 90.3 FM (NPR), WSYR 570 AM/106.9 FM (conservative)

Television[edit]

Major television stations serving Syracuse include:

  • WSTM Channel 3: NBC
  • WTVH Channel 5: CBS
  • WSYR Channel 9: ABC
  • WCNY Channel 24: PBS
  • WSYT Channel 68: Fox

Libraries are your best bet for public Internet access, unless you can find a Wi-Fi hot spot elsewhere. Fortunately, the city and its suburbs have an excellent network of libraries, the Onondaga County Public Library System. There are eleven library branches in the city, and more than twenty in the suburbs.

Libraries[edit]

  • Central Library, 447 S Salina St, +1 315 435-1900. This is the main library for the county, and the biggest of the branches. It's in a large glass building called The Galleries.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Syracuse
BuffaloRochester  W Amtrak Empire Service icon.pngAmtrak Maple Leaf icon.png E  RomeAlbany (Rensselaer)
Buffalo (Depew)Rochester  W Amtrak Lake Shore Limited icon.png E  UticaAlbany (Rensselaer)
BuffaloFarmington  W I-90.svgNYS Thruway Sign.svg E  UticaAlbany
WatertownPulaski  N I-81.svg S  CortlandBinghamton
BuffaloAuburn  W NY-5.svg E  UticaAlbany


This city travel guide to Syracuse is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.