We asked local travel and convention professionals to name some of the places visitors most often look for in Syracuse. Here are results of our informal survey of what’s SOSYRACUSE, a visitor's choice of top ten destinations:
CHIC: A trendy spot for shopping, dining and nightlife, downtown’s Armory Square is the place to be. It’s easily walkable and a leisurely browse is half the fun. The 60-foot IMAX screen at the MOST is at the heart of it all, in the former Armory building, which gave the Square its name.
THE DOME: If you’re a sports fan, you’ve seen the Carrier Dome on TV and watched it transform into “The Loudhouse.” The fabulous 50,000-seat facility is home for the Syracuse University Orange NCAA Division I football, basketball and lacrosse teams. It is the largest domed stadium in the Northeast, and the largest on-campus basketball arena.
THE SHOPPING: Immerse yourself in more than 200 retail, dining and entertainment venues at Destiny USA. Luxury outlets, fine dining and exciting entertainment are joining the already successful retail mix at the former Carousel Center. Check out Destiny USA’s new expansion with brands like Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Cantina Laredo and so much more. A full food court, vintage carousel and electric go-karts add to the fun. Visitors enjoy our exclusive Savings Program with their AAA/CAA cards. Show your card at one of our two convenient Guest Services locations to receive hundreds of dollars of deals!
HOT! Recently voted Best Barbecue in America in ABC’s “Good Morning America Weekend” poll, try some of the Dinosaur’s Wango Tango Habanero BBQ Sauce, Mojito Marinade, and maybe some Garlic Chipotle Pepper Sauce to get the sensation. Funky wall art and weekly lineups of blues musicians have made this, the original Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a national favorite.
AMERICANA: Immerse yourself in the story of the Erie Canal’s pivotal role in American history. An engineering marvel literally built by hand, the canal was cut through 363 miles of inland wilderness from Albany to Buffalo, connecting New York City via the Hudson River to the Great Lakes and beyond. This cool museum is housed in an original 1850 Weighlock Building. Discover treasured artifacts, maps, interpretive and interactive displays, plus a full-size replica canal boat with crew quarters, cargo and passenger areas awaiting exploration.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE: The Everson was designed by I.M. Pei, who has since designed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the new addition to the Louvre in Paris. Housing the most significant collection of American ceramics in the U.S., the museum’s permanent collection includes work by Jackson Pollock, among others. The Everson also features rotating exhibits, a children’s interactive gallery and the Museum Gift Shop.
GET MOVING: Help! It has been a long drive or a long meeting or the kids are cranky. Fresh air and exercise might be just the remedy. Join the locals and head for Onondaga Lake Park, located a few minutes north of downtown Syracuse and Destiny USA where you can run, walk, rollerblade or cross-country ski from dawn to dusk on miles of vehicle-free, paved trails.
HISTORIC INSPIRATION: Home to one of the nation’s largest regional collections, the OHA Museum celebrates the area’s events, architecture, sports legends, industries, transportation and recreation in five major themed areas. Permanent exhibits include “Freedom Bound: Syracuse & the Underground Railroad,” "Syracuse China: Fired Forms of the American Experience," and the free and virtual "History of Beer Brewing in Syracuse, NY."
LIONS AND TIGERS AND MORE!: Considered one of the best mid-sized zoos in America and home to more than 700 animals, the zoo offers year-round fun for children and adults. Experience the new Asian Elephant Preserve, home to the zoo’s herd of seven elephants, including little Chuck, who was born in July 2008. The half-mile outdoor trail offers views of penguins, wolves, tigers, bears and more. Indoors, visitors will see lions, primates and an open-air aviary that showcases dozens of birds.
AN IRISH TIME OUT: Visit Tipp Hill, one of Syracuse’s West Side neighborhoods. The area was settled by Irish Erie Canal workers and later Irish immigrants, especially those from County Tipperary. Story has it that “the good sons of Ireland” didn’t want a traffic light, first installed in the mid-1920s, with “British” red on top of “Irish” green. Kids known now as the “Stonethrowers” pelted and broke the light and several replacements. The City of Syracuse finally agreed to place the green light on top and the “green light of Ireland” has shown proudly at that corner ever since.