6 Things to do in Syracuse on Football Weekends
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 5:00 PM by Elizabeth Judge
Whether you’re an Orange fan or visiting for the opposing team, we’ve got you covered for what to do once you leave the Dome. Check out our top places to go, things to do and spots to see before or after game-day.
Tailgate Where you Stay
Before you even arrive for the game, try some hot tailgate spots closer to your hotel room. Head to Shaughnessy's Irish Pub, located in the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, for the fourth season of Syracuse Tailgate BlockParties! Enjoy free game-day parking with $4 round-trip shuttle service as well as food trucks and live entertainment. Staying overnight a bit closer to the Hill? Check out the tailgate at the Sheraton Syracuse University, featuring food, drinks and music.
Eat Like a Local
Syracuse is a great foodie town! Try some of the locals top spots like Dinosaur Bar-B-Que for some pulled pork, Heid’s for a classic Hoffmann coney or Gianelli sausage sandwich or a burger from Ale ‘n’ Angus Pub, which has won the NY Beef Council’s burger competition the last three years with its Beef on Weck and Power Play burgers. Food Network fans may enjoy eating like a professional at this list of Guy Fieri’s top spots from Diners Drive-ins and Dives.
Grab a Drink
Discover some local flavor at a variety of area breweries, wineries and cideries in Upstate New York, before or after the big game. Beer lovers will enjoy Willow Rock Brewing Company, just a short drive from Syracuse University’s south campus, or head downtown to one of this year’s newest breweries, Talking Cursive. Looking to experience a true farm brewery? Make the short drive to Local 315 Brewing Company and enjoy your beverage with a view of the hops.
Syracuse is the gateway to the Finger Lakes, America’s Best Wine Region, so a stop at Anyela’s Vineyards is a must for any trip. Cider is another fall favorite beverage of the area and there’s no better place to try some local flavors than at the 1911 Tasting Room at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards.
Sight-see the Salt City
Syracuse is rich in history, beautiful landscapes and quaint towns. Learn more about how the Erie Canal shaped the history of New York State at the Erie Canal Museum or check out one of the many permanent or temporary exhibits at the Onondaga Historical Association. Make the short drive out to Skaneateles for an afternoon of relaxation, fine dining or shopping! Shop one of the several boutique shops around the lakefront village, or enjoy a meal with a view at the Sherwood Inn. Cheered a bit too hard for your home team? Treat yourself with a massage at Mirbeau Inn and Spa. If downtown is more your scene, grab a drink and bite to eat at one of the many Armory Square bars or restaurants. From Clinton Square to Columbus Circle, downtown is full of architecture that will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time.
Get Outside the Dome
The fall temperatures in Syracuse are perfect for exploring the region by foot. View the colors of the changing seasons at Beaver Lake Nature Center or take in the striking blue-green colors of the two glacial lakes at Green Lakes State Park. Discover the beauty of one of the area’s several waterfalls with our guide to some of the top sites, featuring both well-known spots and some hidden gems. If hiking isn't your thing, hop on a Mid-Lakes Navigation boat cruise for a tour of Skaneateles Lake, one of the area’s pristine Finger Lakes.
Spend some time at one of the largest shopping and entertainment destinations in the region at Destiny USA. Pick up a local gift for friends and family back home at the Central New York Welcome Center or snap a pic with the I Love NY display. Head to Marshall St. before the game to grab some Syracuse University gear or search for some vintage threads downtown at Scholars & Champs.
Fall is one of the best times to visit Syracuse and the Finger Lakes Region. Head out to Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards for a full day of apple picking, apple cider doughnuts, 1911 tastings and locally sourced products. Experience other fall farm favorites like pumpkin picking, hay rides and corn mazes throughout the area. Celebrate Oktoberfest at the authentic Syracuse Bavarian Oktoberfest or take a scenic drive to Lafayette for the annual Apple Festival.
For more fall weekend activities check out award-winning travel photographer Chase Guttman’s personal itinerary suggestions for a weekend in Syracuse.