South of Syracuse suburbs
Just south of Syracuse are gorgeous rolling hills and vast valleys to enjoy all year long. Take a drive along the historic Route 20 Scenic Byway and enjoy everything apple in the autumn at the famous Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards & 1911 Tasting Room. Take advantage of Syracuse's healthy winter snowfall at Labrador Mountain or Song Mountain ski resorts. Spend spring and summer among the pristine and breathtaking nature trails and unique areas at Labrador Hollow, Tinker Falls, Highland Forest or Pratt's Falls — there's more than enough outdoor activities fit for every season.
Best breakfasts + brunch spots
- Swing by Sweet Grass Diner on South Salina Street in Nedrow for tasty breakfast favorites such as French toast, fluffy pancakes, bacon, eggs and whatever else you're looking for to power through your day.
- A classic American diner, Old Tymes Cafe in Lafayette offers up delicious dining favorites — frittatas, breakfast sandwiches, eggs, toast, and whatever else you can think of.
Best afternoon eats
- Close to the city, Danzer's German and American Gasthof is a resurrected favorite in the Syracuse area. Grab one of the best Reubens in the Syracuse area or go for the Bavarian-style sides and apps.
- Make it an early dinner at Boss Tacos, where you can grab super tasty tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos, and plenty of sides.
Best place for bites + beverages
Check out The Sweet Basil in Tully, conveniently located near Interstate 81. This dining gem is nestled on the quaint village's main street and serves up scrumptious servings of chicken riggies, burgers, BBQ and craft beers for an all-around filling meal.
Best place for pizza + pints
The new Lafayette Inn is a great local spot to grab some grub and grog while making your way through the outskirts of Syracuse. Often referred to as one of the area's best kept secrets, this is a great place to stop for good pub food and cold drinks.
Best late night lounges
Off the beaten path, Knoxie's Pub in the Pompey suburbs southeast of Syracuse has some of the best wings and ice cold beer in the area. Pull up a bar stool and take it easy at this one-and-only pub off of historic Route 20.
In the southern hills of Syracuse, Carrier SoapWorks of Lafayette creates luxurious organic bath products using only natural and farm fresh ingredients. Swing by to scope out their entire line of gentle products for the entire family, including those who purr and bark.
Have a green thumb or looking to grow a little Syracuse in your own home? Head to Carol Watson Greenhouse in Lafayette. This place is loaded with lovely blooms, trendy gifts for the favorite gardner in your life, and rows upon rows of beautiful pottery, planters, houseplants and much more.
Best way to get outdoors
- Labrador Hollow in Truxton, a valley nestled between Tully and Fabius, is a gorgeous and unique 1,474-acre conservation area fit for explorers of all ages. On the premises is the pristine Labrador Pond, handicap-accessible elevated boardwalk, fishing pier, and nature trails fit for discovering the area's wildlife along an easy hiking excursion.
- Neighboring Labrador Hollow, Tinker Falls can be a quick stop or a full day of outdoor fun — a quick and easy hike to the falls is well worth the visit, or spend the entire afternoon exploring the miles of beautiful, tree-packed trails. You can venture up to the infamous Hang Glider Launch spot after an intermediate hike, which boasts some of the best views of the Labrador Hollow Unique Area and valley below.
- Carpenter Falls on the southwest side of Skaneateles Lake is home to a gorgeous 90-foot waterfall, with exciting hiking trails leading up to it and around.
- Clark Reservation State Park in the Town of DeWitt was the site of a large waterfall formed by melting glacial ice at the end of the last Ice Age; the plunge basin at the base of the old falls is now a small lake. Surrounded by rugged cliffs and rocky outcrops, this geologic wonder and botanist's paradise features woodland and meadow, a wetland and a glacial plunge basin lake in which the surface waters and bottom waters do not mix. Drop a line and hook some pickerel, bullheads or sunfish, or grab the binoculars to spot cedar waxwings, kingfishers and woodpeckers.
Best places for family fun
- Voted the country's #1 apple orchard by USA Today readers, Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards is the ultimate when it comes to spending the day with family and friends and filling up on absolutely everything apple. Pick your own, grab a bag, savor some cider, devour all the doughnuts — crowds come from all around to indulge come apple season. And visitors can also enjoy their neighboring 1911 Tasting Room & Tavern, where adult ciders, spirits and wines can be enjoyed all while taking in some of the best views of Syracuse's southern hills and valleys.
- Pratt's Falls in Pompey is a family favorite county park. Get back to basics while hiking the many easy and intermediate trails surrounding the scenic 137-foot waterfall, bring a picnic and setup shop among the spacious fields, or take part in an orienteering event to test your navigation skills.
Best places for a pint
Off the beaten path, The Nest Tavern in Apulia Station is a local watering hole next to the Tully Hill and Dale Golf Course. Serving up cold craft and domestic beers, and a full pub menu of burgers, pizzas, apps, sandwiches and more, this pub is a great place to grab a drink and refuel after spending the day hiking across the southern suburbs of Syracuse.
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