15 things to do near Syracuse NY for any budget

November 29, 2020

If you’re looking for things to do near Syracuse, then this list should give you lots of ideas and inspiration!

If you’re staying in Syracuse, you might be looking for things to do near Syracuse to make your trip more fun! The good news? There are loads of things to do near Syracuse, so you definitely won’t be struggling for ideas – especially after reading this list!

We’ve oped for things to do near Syracuse that are within an hour or so drive – so if you’re staying in Syracuse, you’ll be able to enjoy the activity as a day trip or morning / afternoon out.

So anyway – hopefully this list will be useful and you’ll find some ideas for things to do near Syracuse!


Onondaga Lake

One of the most stunning things to do near Syracuse, NY is to pay a visit to Onondaga Lake. If you’re staying in Syracuse, then this amazing lake is just on your doorstep!

Though it’s not one of your traditional lakes, it’s one of the most interesting lakes in New York due to its high levels of ammonia and phosphorus. As these elements cause algae to bloom in mass quantities, it gives the lake a very interesting look that you won’t find anywhere else.

As this lake has a large bank, you should be able to bring a picnic here and hit the trails if you wish!

things to do near Syracuse NY for any budget

Camillus Forest Unique Area

Located 8 miles west of the city of Syracuse is the Camillus Forest Unique Area. If you’re even remotely into the Great Outdoors, then you’ll fall in love with this area of natural beauty.

With hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, bow hunting, and fishing at the top of the list of activities that you can do here, it’s the perfect place for people who just can’t get enough of mother nature.

One of our favorite things to do here is hiking; as there are a series of looping trails in the forest, you’ll have your work cut out trying to complete them all! 

things to do near Syracuse NY

Beaver Lake Nature Center

Another one of the best things to do near Syracuse, NY is to pay a visit to the Beaver Lake Nature Center. Just 15 minutes northwest of Syracuse, Beaver Lake Nature Center features 9 miles of trails and over 400 annual programs for visitors to enjoy.

With a rich mix of habitats that houses over 200 species of birds and 800 varieties of plants, this is a place to really get lost in nature and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Be sure to grab a kayak or a canoe to head out on the water if you’re visiting in the summer!

things to do near Syracuse

Fishing at Cross Lake

Another beautiful lake worth visiting near Syracuse, NY is Cross Lake. Though this lake isn’t huge, it’s home to a wide variety of fish.

So, if you fancy yourself an angler, be sure to grab your rod and head on down. As fishing is one of the top things to do near Syracuse, it’s unsurprising that fishing at Cross Lake has made it onto our list!

As it’s known for producing some of the largest northern pike around, it’s well worth visiting if you want to grab your very own catch of the day.

things to do near Syracuse

Cicero

If you’re looking for things to do near Syracuse, then why not consider heading to the nearby town of Cicero?

Whether you’re looking for some trampolining at Get Air Trampoline Park or you want to check out Cicero’s Historical society, this place is a lovely sleepy town that offers a surprising number of fun activities for visitors.  


Oneida Lake

If you’re looking for one of the most beautiful lakes in New York, then you’ll want to pay a visit to Oneida Lake.

Deemed one of the best things to do near Syracuse on account of its Wild Animal Park, Amusement Park, and State Park, it’s a family-friendly area that we highly recommend putting on your list. Though we don’t recommend heading too far out into the waters due to depth concerns, it’s well worth dipping your toes in at least! 

things to do in Syracuse NY for any budget

Shopping in Fulton

Though you may not have heard of Fulton, it’s home to some of the best shopping near Syracuse, NY.

Though you won’t find a ton of chain stores in Fulton, it’s packed with great village shops, thrift stores, and even kitsch jewelry stores! So, if you’re looking for some shopping that doesn’t quite follow the usual mall route, then Fulton is sure to hit the spot. 

stuff to do near Syracuse NY for any budget

Rosamond Gifford Zoo

If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of elephants and penguins whilst you’re near Syracuse, then be sure to hit up the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. This lovely and well-kept zoo is perfect for a family day out and remains one of our top things to do near Syracuse, NY. 

With some truly excellent indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as amazing regional and international wildlife, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is an absolute must-visit in our books!

activities near Syracuse NY for any budget

Indian Village

If you want to get a taste of history whilst on your next trip to New York, then why not stop by the Caughnawaga Indian Village Site?

An archaeological site that was discovered in 1950 by Rev. Thomas Grassman, this site is the only fully excavated Mohawk village in the country. Though this place used to home to an established French Jesuit mssion, it’s not a center for recreation and culture! 


Marcellus Falls

If you can’t get enough of waterfalls, then be sure to pay Marcellus Falls a visit. Located near Syracuse, NY, this stunning waterfall is one of the most stunning sites in Marcellus.

In case you were wondering, this little gem is located next to an old mill, and it’s said that the old wheel is still fully functional! Though it’s a small waterfall, the quaint mill, rocky surroundings, and gushing waterfall creates a beautiful small-town feel that’s well worth experiencing. 


Split Rock Falls

Another amazing thing to do near Syracuse, NY is a walk near Split Rock Falls. Located near New Russia, this waterfall is decidedly grander than Marcellus Falls.

This waterfall can’t be seen from the road, so you will need to put in a small walk to reach it, but the trails are well marked, so you should have no issues when trying to find it!

Just be sure to be extra cautious on your walk over, as some of the drops around the falls are a bit steep. 


New York State Fairgrounds

Located on 581 State Boulevard, the New York State Fairgrounds is one of the most popular things to do near Syracuse, NY.

A famous 18-day showcase of everything from agriculture to technology, this annual event at the end of the summer is a tradition that you’ll certainly want to get on board with!

However, even if you can’t visit during the main event in the summer, the New York State Fairgrounds hosts a bunch of events throughout the year, so be sure to check out their online events calendar to make sure you don’t miss out!


Timber Banks Golf Club and Marina

If you want to experience one of the best golf courses near Syracuse, NY, then Timber Banks Golf Club and Marina definitely fits the bill.

As the only golf club in upstate New York that boasts a Nicklaus Design, it’s well worth a visit just for the bragging rights! Great for players of all skill levels and always impeccably groomed, this is a high-class golf course for those that want a taste of the high life. 


Brewerton

If you want to visit a small town that offers a surprising number of things to do near Syracuse, then Brewerton won’t disappoint.

With a whole host of amazing seafood restaurants, seaway tours, and even a central museum, Brewerton has all the small-town charm you could ever ask for in one neat package!  


Big Dons Wild River Mini Golf

The final thing on our list of things to do near Syracuse, NY is Big Dons Wild River Mini Golf. Though it may be a bit of a mouthful, this place knows its stuff when it comes to the art of mini golf!

Whether you’re looking for the perfect birthday party location or just need a place to kill some time with the kids, this place is sure to be perfect. What’s more, this place is said to be just awesome for laser, so you better get practicing!

mini gold syracuse

Hopefully this list of things to do near Syracuse is helpful!

There are loads of things to do near Syracuse, and hopefully this list has given you loads of ideas and inspiration for your trip to Syracuse.

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