Sites to See in Syracuse NY

I recently went on a trip to Syracuse NY.  Not really for vacation, but we did find some gems around the area and had some fun.  So if you find yourself in Syracuse here are some places you have to check out!

  1. Watkins Glen State Park

This state park is a very famous and populated state park.  But it has some amazing views. The park is about an hour and forty minutes from Syracuse.  (1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891) Beware however, this place gets busy.  My suggestion would be to go during the weekday while everyone else is at work.  Weekends are nuts and I just want the whole park to myself!  I’m selfish like that.  We did the Watkins Glen Gorge trail.  It is about 2.4 miles round trip but there are quite of few off shoot paths that you can explore to make your hike longer.  The trail is pretty tame although there are a lot of flights of stairs.  And some are fairly steep.  There were however lots of kids and pets so don’t let the stairs intimidate you.  A definite must at least once.  Parking can be tricky and we didn’t really know where to go so we just found a spot on the side of the road, there was no entry fee.

2. Filmore Glen St. Park

I think Filmore was my favorite.  I loved this hike so much.  Filmore is about an hour away from Syracuse (1686 St. Rte. 38 Moravia, NY 13118) To enter the park it will cost you… 7 whole dollars.  Not bad if you ask me.  There is also a little swimming hole for the kiddos if that is of any interest.   There are life guards and everything.

The hike consists of three trails you can choose from, all of which will lead to the falls.  If you take the Gorge trail you will be right next to the creek and get to cross all 9 bridges.  Or you can ditch the path all together and wade up the creek to the falls.  We did the Gorge trail which is roughly 3 miles round trip with a small 899 ft elevation gain. There is also a North and South rim trail, which we didn’t do so I am no help on those.  They do give out a brochure and map upon entry.  The entire hike is just eye candy from the moss covered bridges to the water falls and pools.  When you reach bridges 8 and 9 ditch the trail and get into the water.  The pools are ready for jumping into and the water gets to be about 8 ft deep in one pool.  but be warned… with all the humidity you may not ever dry off.

3. Palmyra NY: The Sacred Grove.

Even if you aren’t a member of the LDS Church the Sacred Grove is a must see.  This place is full of rich history.  There you are shown the Smith farm.  You get to enter the home Joseph Smith grew up in as well as his brother Alvins home across the way.  After the tour of the farm you get free rein to wander through the sacred grove, which is beautiful.  And because of my LDS background it meant a lot to go through and feel the peace within the grove. (843 Stafford Road Palmyra, New York 14522)

4. Carpenter’s Falls

Also Located in Moravia which is about an hour and half away from Syracuse.  These falls took me by surprise.  I wasn’t expecting much because this hike is very short.  If you take the trail to the left, the water fall is only about .1 miles away.  You really don’t do much of a hike.  This water fall is amazing!  then venture to the trail to the right and you will find Carpenters falls which will make the mileage a total of 2.1 round trip with a very small 488 ft elevation gain.  Very kid friendly although getting to the falls requires going down a very steep hill.

5.  Niagara Falls

Okay so Niagara falls is a little bit further away but not too bad of a drive.  I’d say everyone needs to see Niagara Falls once.  But you need to see it from the Maid of the Mist.  You have to go on the boat.  I know a lot of people just go to look from up above and its beautiful.  But you have to experience it and the only way to do that is to take the boat right up next to the falls.  No you can’t really see them when you are so close because of all the mist but you feel it!  You get soaked so wear the poncho!

6.  Destiny USA Mall

I realize all the places so far haven’t really been in Syracuse.  So here is one that is actually located in Syracuse NY!  The Destiny USA mall is the biggest mall I have ever been to and has all the restaurants I would want near my home.  This place is huge!  So if you have some time to kill and money to burn this mall is a must.

7.  Dinosaur BBQ

we tried this place based off online reviews but it did not disappoint.  Definitely not so kid friendly and is more like a bar and a restaurant.  It’s a little more rough around the edges, but I think it is a must go if you are in Syracuse.  It is a cool atmosphere and really good food!


And there you have it!  New York is an amazing State and there are cool places other than Just New York City and Manhattan.

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