Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Want to know how to “do” Syracuse? We’ve got you covered. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Syracuse, New York?”
It’s safe to say that Syracuse’s reputation precedes it. So, let’s just get this out of the way: Yes, it snows a lot here. Syracuse’s position relative to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie make for the perfect storm of what’s known as lake effect snow — a weather pattern that happens when cold air from the north moves over the relatively warm lakes, causing moisture to quickly rise and condense into snow. That snow then dumps directly onto Syracuse, making it the snowiest city in the U.S., with over 120 inches per year.
Those of us who call Syracuse home know that there is much more to the area than snowy winters. In fact, this central New York city is full of great food, rich history and really fun college sports games. It’s also a hop, skip and a jump away from some of the most beautiful lakes in the entire country. And yes, the summers are warm and absolutely gorgeous here. Read on to find the best things to do in and around Syracuse, N.Y.