Discover a few of the things to do and see that make the Syracuse area unique. From the only green-on-top stop light in the world to rare meromictic lakes and historical sites, you won’t want to miss any of these unique areas. We’ve also found some fun things to do near each one!

E.M. Mills Rose Garden

Created in honor of Dr. E.M. Mills, president of the Syracuse Rose Society and American Rose Society, the Mills Rose Garden is home to more than 3,000 rose bushes of many unique varieties. Maintained year-round by volunteers from the Syracuse Rose Society, the oldest continuously operating rose society in the United States, this garden is a popular spot for weddings and events in Thornden Park. Don't miss the annual Rose Day event in mid-June.

Unique Find Nearby 

In the summer, enjoy Shakespeare in the Park, Westcott Art Trail, or Strings in the Garden. The Westcott Street Cultural Fair in the fall highlights the Westcott neighborhood with cultural organizations, arts & crafts, food, and family-friendly activities.


Tipperary Hill

Visit this popular city neighborhood to see the world's only “upside-down” traffic light. Legend has it that the predominately Irish neighborhood refused to allow British red over Irish green on the traffic light. In 1997, the Tipperary Hill Heritage Memorial Park was created, featuring a statue to commemorate the Stone Throwers.

Unique Find Nearby

After checking out the traffic light and park, visit one of the many authentic Irish pubs. Coleman’s hosts their annual Green Beer Parade Day on the last Sunday in February to kick off St. Patrick’s Day Season. Enjoy a burger at Blarney Stone, have a pint at Nibsy’s, the oldest bar on Tipp Hill, sip cocktails on the only rooftop bar in Syracuse, Emerald Cocktail Kitchen, or shop for local goods at BeeKind Syracuse.


Green Lakes State Park

One of the region's most popular visited and photographed parks, Green Lakes is home to two rare meromictic lakes. Remnants of the Ice Age, these lakes have a brilliant blue-green color since their layers of water do not mix. Enjoy hiking around the lakes, biking on designated trails, camping, or renting a crystal kayak to view the clear waters beneath your boat.

Unique Find Nearby 

During the warmer months, savor a meal with a breathtaking view of the park and its Robert H. Treman-designed golf course at Yards Grille.


Niagara Mohawk Building

Built in 1932, this glass and steel structure is a nationally recognized example of the Art Deco architecture, featuring “The Spirit of Light,” a brilliant stainless-steel sculpture over the main entrance.

Unique Find Nearby

Discover the Onondaga Creekwalk, a 2.6-mile urban pathway connecting Armory Square in Downtown Syracuse to the southern shore of Onondaga Lake. This trail passes the Niagara Mohawk building. Stop by Cafe Kubal or Talking Cursive Brewing Company, located directly across the street.


Tree of 40 Fruits

The Tree of 40 Fruit, located on the Syracuse University campus, is a true rarity. With only a dozen of its kind in existence, this tree is formerly named Tree Number 75. As a professor at Syracuse University, Sam Van Aken created this hybridized tree by implementing the technique of grafting. Growing on the tree are, you guessed it, over 40 types of stone fruits.

Unique Find Nearby

Faegan's Cafe and Pub, situated near the university, offers food with local and regional ingredients and hosts 4 different World Beer Tours on Tuesday evenings. For a traditional slice, visit Varsity Pizza, a classic Italian eatery open since 1912.


Landmark Theatre

Originally opened in 1928 as Loew’s State Theater, this opulent venue has been preserved as one of the first great “Oriental-style” movie theaters and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy Broadway in Syracuse shows, concerts, and various other events.

Unique Find Nearby

Visit Parthenon Bookstore, the first independent bookstore to open in downtown Syracuse in the last 30 years. It's a book lover's haven with a café offering fun drinks and locally sourced baked goods, a kid's section, used books, souvenirs, and comfortable seating.


Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation & Home

The home of Matilda Joslyn Gage is now a museum and center for social justice dialogue. Learn about her advocacy for women's rights, the Haudenosaunee, religious freedom, the Underground Railroad, and her influence on her son-in-law L. Frank Baum, where he wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It's the only home Baum lived in that's open to the public.

Unique Find Nearby

Stay at the Craftsman Inn & Suites in Fayetteville, near the museum. After exploring the area, enjoy a meal at the onsite Craftsman Wood Grille & Tap House.


The Syracuse area is full of unique attractions and experiences. Whether you're exploring Tipperary Hill, Green Lakes State Park, or the Landmark Theatre, there's something for everyone. Plan your trip to discover these hidden gems, and you'll leave with unforgettable memories and a deeper appreciation for Onondaga County.


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