Life in Syracuse & Central NY


One of the snowiest cities in the United States! Yup, but let's not forget that spring, summer, and fall can be delightful in upstate New York.

Syracuse is in the path of so-called "lake effect" precipitation from Lake Ontario. When cold, Canadian air travels over the warmer lake surface, water vapor condenses and precipitates. In cold weather, this comes down as snow. Thus, if you're coming from a warm climate, you probably want to invest in good winter clothing, and be prepared to shovel snow. Here is Wikipedia's take on it: lake-effect snow

Spring is a welcome respite, and the city and countryside transform to flowers and greenery. Summers can vary from cool and rainy (great for mycologists) to hot and humid. Fall foliage colors can sometimes rival New England in beauty, while in years with poorer conditions, the colors tend to be muted.




State Parks
Green Lakes State Park (Green Lakes on Wikipedia)
Clark Reservation State Park (Clark Reservation on Wikipedia)
Adirondack Park - the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi, less than three hours drive from Syracuse

County Parks
Onondaga County Parks
Beaver Lake Nature Center A county park with great activities all year long including canoeing, snowshoeing, running, etc… Great for birdwatching and finding fungi!
Pratt's Falls Another great county park with an amazing 137' waterfall!

Downhill Skiing
Approximately 30 minutes drive from Syracuse,
Toggenburg Mountain
Labrador Mountain
Song Mountain

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo
The Finger Lakes - glacially carved lakes of various characteristics, less than an hour drive. Beautiful!
1000 Islands - Archipelago on the St. Lawrence River, approximately an hour and a half drive

Festivals and Fairs
Taste of Syracuse - festival with live music and heaps of local restaurant and food vendors, early June.
JGB Jazz Fest - The largest free jazz festivals in the east, late June.
Syracuse Arts and Crafts Festival - One of the largest festivals of it's kinda around, in late July.
The Sterling Renaissance Festival - stage and street performances, games and rides, and a lots of food. Recreating authentic English Renaissance village July and August.
Empire Brewfest - sample brews from international, regional, and around the country. I great time, mid July.
New York State Fair The great fair representing the entire state, a week in late August and early September.
Westcott Street Cultural Fair - celebrating the cultures of the Westcott area, mid September.
Lights on the Lake - a two mile drive -thru of holiday lights from late November to early January.
Central New York Brewfest - sample craft beers from over 50 different breweries, February at the state fair grounds.

Carousel Center in Syracuse, Shoppingtown Mall in DeWitt, Downtown Armory Square, and strip malls on Erie Blvd is where most of the shopping's found.

Regal Theaters at both the Carousel Center and Shoppingtown Mall.

Syracuse University Athletics With the ESF student ID, we get access to all NCAA SU athletic events for various prices. Quite the benefit of being adjacent to a big school!
Syracuse Crunch The city's official ice hockey team

Culture and Arts
Syracuse Opera Company - laaaaaaa
Syracuse Stage Central New York's professional theatre
Famous Artists Broadway - experience some of Broadway's best shows.
MOST - museum of science and technology, with an imax.
Erie Canal Museum - official museum of the Erie Canal.
Everson Museum - art collections and exhibits.
Community Folk Art Center - visual and performing arts of the African movement.

General The City's website
Visit Syracuse Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau