Visitors’ Top Picks

Syracuse Top Attractions

Looking for the hottest spots in Syracuse? You came to the right place ­čöą.  We asked visitors and convention professionals to name their top fave things to do in Syracuse. Which will you check out first?

ARMORY SQUARE & THE MOST
A trendy spot for shopping, dining and nightlife, downtown’s Armory Square is the place to be. It’s easily walkable and a leisurely stroll through the city streets is half the fun. The National Grid ExploraDome theatre and planetarium at the Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) is at the heart of it all, in the former Armory building, which gave the Square its name.

THE JMA WIRELESS DOME
If you’re a sports fan, you’ve seen the The Dome on TV and watched it transform into “The Loudhouse.” This incredible 50,000-seat facility is home to 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.

DESTINY USA
Immerse yourself in more than 200 retail, dining and entertainment venues at Destiny USA. Luxury outlets, fine dining and exciting entertainment await — everything from Michael Kors to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, P.F. Changs, Nordstrom Rack, RPM Raceway, H&M and hundreds more, visitors can enjoy exclusive savings with their AAA/CAA cards. Show your card at one of the two convenient Guest Services locations to receive hundreds of dollars of deals!

DINOSAUR BBQ
Voted Best Barbecue in America in ABC’s “Good Morning America Weekend” poll, it’s a necessity to sample some slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork, mac and cheese, fancy fried green tomatoes and chicken wings. Funky wall art and weekly lineups of blues musicians have made this, the original Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a famous, nationally-recognized favorite.

ERIE CANAL MUSEUM
Immerse yourself in the story of the Erie Canal’s pivotal role in American history. An engineering marvel built completely by hand, the canal was cut from 363 miles of inland wilderness, connecting Albany to Buffalo, and New York City via the Hudson River to the Great Lakes and beyond. This top-rated 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.

THE EVERSON
The Everson Museum of Art houses the most significant collection of American ceramics in the U.S. and debuts rotating exhibits ranging from Yoko Ono to Pollock. Designed by I.M. Pei, this museum also features a children’s interactive gallery and the Museum Gift Shop, as well as the new café Louise.

ONONDAGA LAKE PARK
Long drive? Extra long meeting? Kids cranky? Fresh air and exercise might be just the remedy. Join the locals and head to Onondaga Lake Park, located just a few minutes north of downtown Syracuse, where you can run, walk, rollerblade, bike, BMX or cross-country ski from dawn to dusk on miles of vehicle-free, paved trails.

ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION MUSEUM & RESEARCH CENTER
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."

ROSAMOND GIFFORD ZOO AT BURNET PARK
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 Asian Elephant Preserve, and the half-mile outdoor trail offering views of penguins, wolves, tigers, bears and more. Indoors, visitors will see octopus, primates and an open-air aviary that showcases dozens of tropical birds.

TIPPERARY HILL & UPSIDE-DOWN TRAFFIC LIGHT
Visit Tipp Hill, a historic neighborhood downtown, settled by Irish Erie Canal workers and later Irish immigrants, a majority from Ireland’s 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.