Syracuse: A City of Versatility and Historic Charm

New York has some of the greatest cities in the nation, and Syracuse is one of them! With restaurants, museums, history, and activities that will please everyone, this city should not be overlooked!

Sometimes overshadowed by New York City, we often overlook the grand city of Syracuse’s ability to impress. Home to unique restaurants, bars, and small eateries, Syracuse will not let you or your taste buds down—and let’s not forget about its remarkable museums and historic landmarks. Once here, you will not want to leave such a charming and lively city. So if you’re looking for a fun summer, fall, winter, or spring getaway, plan a weekend trip to Syracuse. Travel is made easiest with Amtrak and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

The City of Syracuse, NY

The City of Syracuse

Begin your journey exploring Syracuse’s unique history.

Its rich history, specifically surrounding the construction of the Erie Canal in the mid-1800s, will not fail to hold your interest. Open to the public seven days a week, the Erie Canal Museum ensures the preservation of history behind the canal and focuses on the remarkable impact it has had on the past and present.

Clinton Square

Clinton Square

Perhaps you’d rather visit Clinton Square, which transformed into a center of community for Central New York after the canal’s construction. Winter turns Clinton Square into an ice rink, surrounded by brick buildings that hold the history of this once busy center for trade and commerce. An hour or two spent skating on the rink amidst history certainly will be well worth your time.

Next take a stroll over to the elaborate Landmark Theatre, built in 1926 using the newfound money flowing into the city.  Once deemed “the last word in theatrical ornateness and luxuriousness,” the theater is still active, hosting about 150 events a year! It has accommodated some of the most well-known stars since its construction including Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan, and Harry Belafonte. So before you discount history as boring, visit these fascinating sites!

Landmark Theatre Syracuse NY

The Landmark Theatre – Photo from SyrLandmark

Not a history buff? Experience art and science museums located throughout Syracuse.

Known as the museum of firsts, the Everson Museum of Art will appeal to those who are artistically inclined. This museum houses primarily American art, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, videos, and more. This hidden jewel is especially known for its collection of international ceramics—the largest in the nation.

For those who are less artistic and more science oriented, the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology is a great hands-on experience. This museum includes the only domed IMAX theater and planetarium in New York, allowing ultimate stargazing. The museum also features exhibits about the future of power sources, the effects of climate change on New York State, and the intricacies of the human brain and cosmology.

After all this learning, you certainly will need something to quiet your rumbling stomach!

Kitty Hoyne's

“Kitty Hoyne’s – Photo from Savannah Harmon

Thankfully one perk of big city living (or vacationing) is access to countless restaurants serving various cuisines, like Italian, French, Asian, or often in Syracuse’s case, Irish. Kitty Hoyne’s Irish Pub offers authentic Irish food, drink, and atmosphere that cannot be found anywhere, but Ireland. This “Best Irish Pub in the World Outside of Ireland” nominee is definitely worth a visit, especially on the weekend when a live Irish band is present.

Pastabilities Syracuse NY

Pastabilities – Photo from Pastabilities Instagram

If an Irish experience isn’t part of your travel plans, Pastabilities is a must try. Serving homemade pasta in a contemporary setting, this restaurant is a local favorite. Don’t leave without trying the spicy, hot tomato oil!

End the night with a visit to Eva’s European Sweets. Her sweet, savory Polish desserts are the perfect ending to a fabulous evening. Superb dishes from unique, quaint restaurants are boundless in Syracuse.

At the finish of such a busy day, it’s time to put your feet up and relax.

Jefferson Clinton Hotel - Syracuse NY

Jefferson Clinton Hotel – Photo from

Luckily, there are many places for lodging and tranquility in this bustling city. The Jefferson Clinton Hotel combines both comfort and history in one place. One of the few hotels still located in Armory Square, this hotel, built in 1926, finds a balance between the luxuries of modern living and the preservation of the building’s old charm. If you’re looking for something with an even cozier atmosphere, I suggest you book a room at Turtle Street Bed and Breakfast. Here, you may spend your evenings wrapped in a blanket by the brick fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa in hand, or your mornings around the kitchen table with a home-cooked breakfast, freshly prepared by your hosts, Michael and Sherrie. Both of these places have the potential of becoming your home away from home.

Syracuse is definitely worth a visit.

With countless renowned restaurants offering a variety of cultural foods, this city has something that will please the pickiest of pallets. Similarly, this city offers eclectic activities that will interest all ages, genders, and groups of people. Syracuse has something to offer everyone. So next time, instead of immediately heading to New York City, take a trip using Amtrak and Enterprise Rent-a-Car to the versatile and charming city of Syracuse.

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