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Picturesque view of Clinton Square in Syracuse, New York
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The streets of University Hill in Syracuse, New York
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The entrance to Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards in Lafayette, New York
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Apple picking in Lafayette, New York
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Orchards at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards in Lafayette, New York
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1911 Spirits Tasting Room in Syracuse, New York
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The Gazebo at Onondaga Park in Syracuse, New York
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Shopping on University Hill in Syracuse, New York
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View of Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville, New York
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Gridley Building Clock Tower in Syracuse, New York
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  • States:
    New York

When people talk about New York, they naturally think of bustling, fashionable New York City.

But there is, in fact, an entire state to explore full of vast landscapes and amazing natural scenery. Not far from the city, surrounded by exquisite countryside, is picturesque Syracuse. This prime location offers a refreshing blend of entertainment, history, adventure and culture.

Enjoy Apple Picking and Liquor Tasting

Syracuse is full of recreational activities. Make your first visit to the Beak and Skiff Apple Orchard. There are different types and colors of apples, and you can pick them right off the tree for a crispy and sweet treat! There is an apiary in the gift shop displayed in a glass box, so you can see the bees working. Beak and Skiff also runs a distilling company, 1911 Spirits; of course, all of the hard ciders here are brewed with local apples. The distilling company also produces vodka and gin from its apples.

Escape to the Outdoors

Drive out to Fayetteville and Green Lakes State Park to cycle along the lakeside trail. In the fall, this scenic spot is surrounded by colorful rolling hills decked out in autumn foliage, a mixture of deep reds, yellows and oranges. On the way back to town, don’t miss the masterpiece golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones.

Higher Education with a View

Head over to Marshall Street and University Hill to visit the city’s flagship university. The campus of Syracuse University has beautiful scenery, covering nearly 2,000 hectares and including more than 300 buildings, many of which are centuries old. Take a tour of the campus and view the many unique features of Gothic architecture. Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is known for its warm and welcoming hospitality. No more so than at its sporting events, which take place in the huge 50,000-seat Carrier Dome, the only covered dome in the northeast U.S.

After taking a tour, stop in for lunch at Funk n’ Waffles, a basement café that serves waffles like you’ve never had them before!

Beautiful Onondaga Park

Close to the college, sits the beautiful Onondaga Park, with a beautiful lake surrounded by lush green grass. Check out the white gazebo where you can enjoy the view of the lakeside reeds and the variety of birds. Around the neighborhood surrounding the park, notice the unique variety of houses.

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Downtown Syracuse and City Shopping

In downtown Syracuse, there are many historic buildings and fountains. Here, visit Destiny USA, the sixth-largest mall in the USA and home to a variety of boutiques, restaurants, a children's playground, museums and an indoor go-kart track. Go here for a day of indulgence and shop till you drop at over 250 high-end, name brand venues and outlets. You can also climb the world’s largest suspended indoor ropes course, or eat until your heart’s content in top restaurants.

Also in downtown, and a short walk from the historic Jefferson Clinton Hotel, is Armory Square – one of the city’s most bustling and vibrant areas. Check out the varied selection of shops, dining, entertainment and nightlife. Take an easy stroll through the revitalized downtown neighborhood, and enjoy some serious window-shopping at boutiques Bounce, Jet Black, Etcetera and Frankie & Faye. From here, follow part of the Creekwalk, an urban trail for walkers and cyclists that runs from Armory Square out to Onondaga Lake, 4 kilometers away.

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Great Dining

Head to Empire Brewing Company, one of the numerous restaurants in the city, during their “Hoppy Hour.” Like many of the eateries in Syracuse, Empire sources ingredients locally. Even the pumpkins used in their delicious Roasted Pumpkin Ale come from nearby Cazenovia. What a tasty way to top off your trip to beautiful Syracuse!