Syracuse Travel Guide

Nearby Airports

Write a Review
Popular Travel Destinations

Recently Reviewed Hotels Around Syracuse

Syracuse Travel Guide

Syracuse Local History

Before the Europeans came to this area it was inhabited by the Haudensaunee (people of the Longhouse) or as they are better known; the Onondaga nation. These Native Americans belonged to the Iroquois Confederacy, which was powerful in the surrounding territory including the Syracuse area.

In the 1600's traders, missionaries and other Europeans came to visit the area. It was the French who established a mission along the shores of the Syracuse Lake, which was named Onondaga Lake. This was done in recognition of the Onondaga Nation. The Federal government had given large pieces of land to Revolutionary War officers in the Syracuse area. One ex-soldier, adventurer, Ephraim Webster, travelled from New Hampshire, by water as there were no roads, to the area with the intention of trading with the Onondaga. He built a trading post on the shores of the lake near the Onondaga Creek; this area is still known as 'Webster's Landing'.

The area around the lake was covered with swamps and bogs and a large forest. As more towns started growing along the inland rivers, forests were being cut down to make room for fields to be planted, except around the Onondaga Creek. It was felt that the value of the swampland was worthless; however, the water was important, as it was salty and everyone needed salt. With no one having refrigerators salt was used to cure meat. Without too much trouble salt was procured by boiling the water away until only the salt remained.

Syracuse was first known as Bogardus Corners as the first building an inn belonged to Mr Bogardus. He later sold the inn to Mr Cossit and the name was changed to Cossit's Corners. As the town grew the community wanted a post office and a new name. It was on the suggestion of John Wilkinson, the first postmaster that the name changed to Syracuse, as he had read about a city in Sicily called 'Siracusa' and he felt that it sounded very much like Cossit's Corners. It was when the Erie Canal was opening that Syracuse had its named changed and became a village.

In 1825 the Erie Canal opened and Syracuse dominated the nearby settlements as it became the biggest producer of salt for the United States. In 1848 the villages of Salina and Syracuse merged and together they became a city. The first mayor was Harvey Baldwin.

Syracuse today was shaped after the Civil War when salt went into decline, however different industries started growing and the economy prospered. Companies took advantage of the good transportation system of Syracuse, its good location and its skilled labour force.

Syracuse Attractions

Syracuse Shopping

Historic Armoury Square This square can be found in downtown Syracuse and you will find shops, galleries, pubs and more. In this friendly, comfortable area you will find plenty of opportunities to browse and shop as there is a wide variety of shopping prospects available.

Carousel Centre This is New York State's premiere shopping centre where the visitor will find more than 170 stores. You will find the service friendly and there is much to choose from such as Best Buy, The Bon-Ton, J C Penney. The great feature of this centre is the restored 1909 antique carousel.

Syracuse Activities

Rosamon Gifford Zoo - at Burnet Park. This zoo is a totally new experience, here you will be able to trace the impressive and diverse life of over 1 600 animals from 600 million years ago. There is the 'Wild North' hike where you will discover how people and some special animals have been interacting for thousands of years. There is a restaurant and gift shop and the zoo is open throughout the year, except for thanks-giving, Christmas and New Year

Open Hand Theatre's International Mask & Puppet Museum 518 Prospect St, Syracuse. The museum is situated in a superb castle which was built in 1890. Every two months exhibitions are changed at the museum and it also has a unique Open Hand theatre of 'giant' puppets telling really great stories. Children are sure to enjoy this section of the museum.

Sylvan Beach Amusement Park Oneida Lake. This amusement park is situated on the lovely Oneida Lake shores and offers rides, games and much more. Entrance is free and the park is open from April September every day. A great fun day for the entire family.

Syracuse Parks & Gardens

Onondaga Park - This Park is a must, as it has beautifully landscaped gardens which was the work of Frederick Law Olmsted. It is situated in a truly lovely neighbourhood and is registered in Onondaga County with the NYS Historical Association. In the Park you can see such attractions as the Hiawatha Lake with a beautiful Gazebo in its midst and the Fire House close to Bissell Wood. It should definitely be part of your visit to Syracuse.

Beaver Lake Nature Centre This nature centre is situated on 200 acres of 'wilderness' lake which is surrounded by forest and meadows. Here you will be able to learn and enjoy the natural world. The Park also features many activities such as guided nature walks, canoe tours, natural history courses and plenty more. Here there are plenty of Canadian geese, especially during spring and autumn, as it is a resting place for them. Entrance fees are $1 per vehicle and it is open every day from dawn until dusk. In winter the Park is open for cross-country skiing.

Syracuse Restaurants and Bars

Syracuse Restaurants

Captain John's Restaurant Route 13 Sylvan Beach. They serve fresh Roasted Prime Ribs of Beef, Brazilian Lobster Tail, Black Angus Porterhouse Steaks and much more. Try the seafaring Lounge where you can order a Paradise Parrot, Bahama Mama and a Tropical Itch. The crew will serve your meal to the beat of steel drum music of the Caribbean.

Kaunaville 9090 Carousel Centre, Syracuse. For regional cuisine with tropical influences Kaunaville is a must. The meals are generous and the prices moderate and for more entertainment check out the bartenders who juggle bottles to mix really great tropical drinks. The servers wear Hawaiian shirts and line dance. This is certainly a restaurant with a difference.

Daniel Jack's This restaurant has a sophisticated, yet relaxing atmosphere and whether you're looking for an intimate setting or a warm and friendly place you will enjoy this place. Thursday nights are Karaoke nights, so go out ready to let your hair down. They have an extended menu with fabulous dishes which is sure to please everyone.

Syracuse Bars & Clubs

There are many bars and clubs in Armoury Square, unfortunately not many are listed.

Colemans 110 S. Lowell Ave., Syracuse. This classic Irish pub was opened in 1933 when Prohibition was repealed. Inside the visitor will find lush dark oak woodwork and multi-hued stained glass. This once working- man's saloon has become a popular first class restaurant and bar, catering for all ages.

Syracuse children's activities

Rosamon Gifford Zoo - at Burnet Park. This zoo is a totally new experience, here you will be able to trace the impressive and diverse life of over 1 600 animals from 600 million years ago. There is the 'Wild North' hike where you will discover how people and some special animals have been interacting for thousands of years. There is a restaurant and gift shop and the zoo is open throughout the year, except for thanks-giving, Christmas and New Year

Open Hand Theatre's International Mask & Puppet Museum 518 Prospect St, Syracuse. The museum is situated in a superb castle which was built in 1890. Every two months exhibitions are changed at the museum and it also has a unique Open Hand theatre of 'giant' puppets telling really great stories. Children are sure to enjoy this section of the museum.

Sylvan Beach Amusement Park Oneida Lake. This amusement park is situated on the lovely Oneida Lake shores and offers rides, games and much more. Entrance is free and the park is open from April September every day. A great fun day for the entire family.

Featured Hotels in Syracuse

Know a thing or two about Syracuse ?

Please share your experiences and tips with your fellow travellers.
Your personal details and email address won't be published.

Fields with an * are required. Errors will be indicated in red