The city of Syracuse is located in central New York State at the intersection of two main highways Interstate 90 and Interstate 81. This city was christened Syracuse in 1819 because of its similarity with the Sicilian city of Sircusa. Both cities were equipped with salt-water springs and were situated south of towns called Salina. The salt-water springs in Syracuse turned out to be a money spinner for the city in the mid-1840s when the city became the leading producer of salt in the country.
Aside from the production of this vital condiment, the city soon had another claim to fame. As Syracuse is situated on the half-way point of the Erie Canal, it came to be equipped with Weighlock buildings, which were especially constructed next to the canal and were used to measure the passing ships and asses their taxes.
Today Syracuse is known as a university town which is home to prominent colleges and universities like Syracuse University, Le Moyne College and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Additionally, the city which has a largely industrial feel to it is often used by tourists on vacation as a gateway to the Finger Lakes region though Syracuse does offer some interesting attractions of its own, like the Salt Museum, the Erie Canal Museum and the I.M.Pei designed Everson Museum of Art along with big shopping malls like Destiny USA and the Carousel Center.
Most visitors on a business or a vacation trip to Syracuse prefer to stay within its downtown area. Downtown Syracuse is equipped with a wide range of hotels that range from luxury hotels to mid-range business hotel properties and discount hotels and budget accommodations. The area also hosts numerous shopping, dining, entertainment and business venues and attractions like Carrier Dome, a concert venue which routinely hosts big name music acts.
The neighborhood of eastern Syracuse is located close to its downtown area. This area hosts a good selection of mid-range hotels along with attractions like the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse University, Lemoyne College, the Museum of Science and Technology and the Hancock International Airport.
West Syracuse is yet another popular location for accommodations in Syracuse and the area hosts several business hotels and bed and breakfast inns. West Syracuse hosts the city’s attractions like Lake Onondaga and the Carousel Mall.
If you are on a vacation in Syracuse with your children, you should make it a point to visit the city’s famed Rosamond Gifford zoo, which hosts 900 species of animals. Biodiversity is the central theme of this zoo and it hosts its charges in sections that resemble their natural habitats. The zoo is also equipped with a ‘petting zoo’ which is popular with young children.
The Iroquois Indian tribes who were the original inhabitants of the Syracuse area invited the French to build a mission on the Onondaga Lake in the sixteenth century. Today this site hosts a living history museum, which offers displays of everyday life in the mid-sixteenth century.
Syracuse’s historic Landmark Theatre dates back to the Depression years. This theatre, which was designed by celebrated architect Thomas Lamb, opened for business in 1928. The theatre was known for its double bill, which consisted of a movie and a live show. The Landmark theatre was restored in 1977 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today this theatre offers tours of its premises and hosts several concerts and plays.
The Everson Museum of Art was the first museum that was designed by renowned architect I.M.Pei. The museum is known for its excellent ceramics and contemporary American art collections.
Syracuse’s famous Salt museum was built using timbers from an actual 19th century salt warehouse. The museum seeks to explain the ‘Salt City’ heritage of Syracuse. Syracuse is equipped with salt water springs and used this natural resource to become the primary producer of salt in the country in the mid-1800s. Salt was produced by creating ‘boiling blocks’, which were built to boil water and evaporate the brine. This process succeeded in leaving behind the salt. The museum is equipped with many attractions of this era including a full-scale model of a boiling block, kettles, wooden barrels and more.
The Erie Canal Museum is housed in an authentic ‘weigh lock’ building. These ‘weigh-lock’ buildings were used to measure and assess the tax on ships that passed through the section of Erie Canal between Albany and Buffalo. The museum offers audiovisual presentations, interactive exhibits and artifacts to illustrate the process which brought much fame and wealth to the city of Syracuse.
Syracuse is a ‘snowy city’, in fact so much that it often wins the Golden Snowball Award for its record snowfalls. The average amount of snowfall in Syracuse usually totals to 121 inches annually. One of the main reasons for this heavy snowfall is the ‘lake effect’ from Lake Ontario though the city is also in located in the path of nor’easters which routinely dump a lot of snow on the north eastern state. The hottest month in Syracuse is usually July and temperatures during this month often register 82 °F (28 °C ).
The coldest month in Syracuse is generally January during which temperatures of 31 °F (-1°C) are common. The best season to book a vacation to Syracuse is late spring, which extends between the months of May and June and is characterized by moderate temperatures that range from 68.5 (20.28) to 77.0 (25) and are ideal for walking around and taking in the sights.
Syracuse is served by its Syracuse Hancock International Airport, which is located ten minutes away from downtown area and is served by variety of domestic and international carriers. These air links make Syracuse easily accessible from all parts of the country.
In fact GoPit periodically announces attractive flight deals for Syracuse so if you are looking for cheap air tickets to Syracuse, your best bet for cheap air flights is GoPit.
Syracuse doesn’t have much of a public transport system so most visitors to the city choose to rent a car for the duration of their stay in Syracuse rather than ride the intermittent public bus network.
No destination is complete without shopping and Syracuse has a number of locations that can hold their own when it comes to shopping pursuits. Armory Square situated in downtown Syracuse is a restored former warehouse district, which is home to an assortment of trendy boutiques, hotels and restaurants offering much opportunity to shop and play, while on a visit to the city. Other popular locales for shopping in Syracuse include Erie Boulevard and University Hill; both areas host several outposts of national chains, restaurants and various fashion-forward boutiques.
For mall shopping in Syracuse, consider locales like the Carousel Center, Towne Center at Fayetteville, Fairmont Fair Shopping center and the Shopping Town mall. These malls offer an abundance of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Syracuse also offers outlet shopping at the open-air Waterloo Premium Outlet malls accessible via a one hour drive from Syracuse. This mall offers 100 factory stores belonging to well-known brands like BCBG Max Azira, Bose, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gap amongst others.
For a bit of local shopping flavor, do include a visit to the city’s Central New York Regional Market, which features an indoor and outdoor collection of stalls offering arts and crafts, gift items, jewelry and apparel along with artisan baked goods and products. The market is especially lively on Sundays when it features a large flea market and much fresh produce from local farms.
The dining scene in Syracuse is quite varied and the city’s eateries offer a good assortment of local and international eats. Popular dining spots in Syracuse currently include joints like Dinosaur Barbecue(barbecue), Mother’s Cupboard Fish Fry and Diner, Blarney Stone ( all serving traditional American fare), Koto Japanese steakhouse, Byblos Mediterranean Café, Riley’s, Chorong House Restaurant(Korean), Dosa Grill (Indian) and New Century(Vietnamese).
Bars of all types feature on the city’s vibrant nightlife scene. Sports bars, whiskey bars, Irish bars, dive bars, live-music bars, Syracuse offers them all and more. Popular nightlife haunts located currently include establishments like Bittersweet, Faegan’s Café and Pub, Al’s Wine and Whisky Lounge, Chuck’s Café, Shifty’s, Tully’s Good Times, Ale n Angus Pub, Riley’s, the Blue Tusk and Alto Cino.