Why does Syracuse love the color orange: 10 reasons to visit Upstate New York

I’m leaving for Northern Ireland tomorrow night and I could not be more excited!  Although I’m heartbroken that I can’t take my family and friends with me, I’m ready for this new adventure.  In the mean time, I’ve been tweeting and facebooking my top ten things I’m going to miss about Syracuse, NY.  I’m guessing the majority of you have only heard of Syracuse due to our kick ass basketball team at SU.  We also are the host of the Great New York State Fair every year (which has more fried food then you can ever imagine-this past year the main food attraction was a deep-fried donut with a deep friend hotdog wrapped in bacon on the inside…great or gross?!)

When I have friends or colleagues pass through this little city, I always hear the same response: “It’s such a gray area” or “it snows too much” and lastly “I can never find anything fun to do”.  Yes, Syracuse is a pretty gray area and we’re ranked number 1 for cities with the highest average snowfall in a year (115.6 inches) On the flip side, Syracuse University was also ranked #10 for top party schools in the USA.  So even if it is snowing like crazy outside, at least we know how to party….and make amazing snowmen.

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And I have to give my hometown some credit, for being a smaller city, if you know where to look there is PLENTY to do here.  If you’re driving through Upstate I would without a doubt recommend stopping in to check it out.  Need some tips on where to go? Read on to see my top ten favorite things about Syracuse, NY.

10.  Sakana-Ya Sushi.  For those of you who don’t know, I’m a tad bit obsessed with sushi (and it breaks my heart that I’ve heard rumors of the sushi being less than delicious over in Northern Ireland). Sakana-Ya, located in Armory Square, has half off sushi all day every Monday and half off your first bottle of wine on Wednesday nights.  Very low-key, fun atmosphere.  (Not a sushi fan?  Other restaurants to check out in Syracuse include Dinasour BBQ for some tasty ribs, L’Adour for authentic French cuisine and freshly squeezed mimosas, Strong hearts café if you’re a vegetarian/vegan, and Alto Cincos for Mexican meals with huge portions.

9.  Coleman’s authentic Irish Pub: I grew up on Tipperary Hill in Syracuse, a very irish neighborhood.  My parents house in smack dab in between Coleman’s Pub and the Upside down traffic light.Upsidedown-light2

Living 5 houses away from a pub makes it very hard not to become a regular when you’re back home.  Favorite things about Coleman’s?  The list is a long one:

  • Tuesday night trivia: Every Tuesday Coleman’s hosts free trivia.  Besides testing your intellectual skills there’s also a contest to see who can come up with the “dirtiest” team names.  Prizes include cash and free brew 🙂
  • Block Party:  In the summer, every Thursday, Coleman’s host free live music in their outdoor pavilion.
  • Green Beer Day: In Syracuse, specifically Tip Hill, we start St. Patrick’s day a bit early with Green Beer Day.  This day starts off our month-long celebration of St. Pattys.  Green Beer day starts at around noontime with one of the shortest parades rolling through Tompkins Street, featuring traditional Irish bagpipers and step dancers.  The main attraction is Coleman’s tanker beer truck-which stops in front of the pub as hundreds of thirsty people gather around for their cup of free green beer. IMG_0674 24052_758713659636_7110216_n0
  • St. Patrick’s Day: Two weeks after Green Beer Day is our Shamrock Run that takes place on Tip Hill as well.  The weekend after that is Syracuse annual St. Patrick’s Parade that marches through downtown.  If you’re around Syracuse anytime throughout the month of March, you’ll be sure to find something to do!

8. Upstate New York Wineries: Although these wineries aren’t located directly in Syracuse, NY, I still have to give my favorite one a shout out.  Stop by Bully Hill (and read my review here) if you’re out and about in the Finger Lakes region.
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7. Blue Tusk:  Very chill bar in Armory Square in Downtown Syracuse.  Tusk has over 100 beers on tap, dart boards in the back and serves food til 11.  Tusk is always occupied by people of all ages. Best thing about Blue Tusk? My favorite bouncer Larry.  Give him a wink and he’ll buy you a shot 😉 BA7Y5J9CMAAJ9kD.jpg-large

6. Empire Brewing Company: Not only do they have the best bloody mary’s I have ever tasted, they have a delicious brunch menu (I recommend the creole huevos rancheros).  They also have killer bands seven nights a week.

Looking for a bar in Syracuse that’s a bit more “rowdy”?  Try Al’s Wine and Whiskey Lounge or Benjamin’s on Franklin.  Bars to stay away from? Corner Bar and PJ Dorseys…sketch ball central. 

5. SYRACUSE BASKETBALL: Like any true Syracusian and like every SU alumni, I’m a little crazed when it comes to our basketball team and the color orange.  106_543524595246_5873_n 106_543524590256_5574_n 106_543524600236_6172_n 106_543524620196_7381_n

And in case you need even more convincing….162702_861523283326_1143784_n 162720_861523383126_2092052_n 39429_861523762366_2400519_n 163648_861523552786_6929722_n

I was a sophomore when the famous G-Mac played his last game and there were tears in the audience, along with signs saying “I wish I knew how to quit you Jerry” smb_090612_sdc_gmac

We screamed and swore when Carmelo decided to trade in his SU colors for the Nuggets…and yes most of us still hold a grudge against him. ANTHONY

and we all worship Jim Boeheim (Who recently celebrated his 900th win and then some!).jim-boeheim

Game day is when Syracuse really lights up (I mean literally, all you see is orange).

4. Syracuse University:  Not only does SU have a baller basketball team, but the campus itself is really stunning.

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Syracuse University - Hall of Languages
Syracuse University – Hall of Languages (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Check out the local dive bar Chucks: It has $3 pitchers, $2 shots and you can graffiti all over the walls as much as you would like.165_552103817416_9310_n

3. The Parkway:  Located in Liverpool, about a 7 minute drive outside the city of Syracuse, Onondaga Parkway is a beautiful spot for runners, bikers and rollerbladers.  It’s always packed in the summer time and during the winter it is the prime spot for Lights on the Lake.

2.  I hate to say it, but the mall: There has been a lot of controversy in the past five years about our main mall.  To me, and every kid who has grown up in Syracuse in the 90’s or before, will always refer to our biggest mall as Carousel.  Now, our tiny city is trying to expand the mall (And calling it Destiny USA…something I refuse to do) into one of the biggest malls in the America.  As most girls my age, I’m a shop-o-holic.  But these days, going to the mall is more of a stressor then a relaxer with all the construction and the lack of parking. The county believed that by expanding the mall, our employment rate would go up and tourism would sky-rocket.  I’m still on the fence.  If all goes according to plan and the mall is complete with a race track, water park and hotel in the next ten years, I dare say this will be one of the biggest attractions in Syracuse.  If not, major fail Robert Congel

1. The best thing about Syracuse, NY? My friends and family of course 🙂 Need a tour guide while you’re here? Msg me and I’m sure one of my friends would be more than happy to show you around.  Mind you, the majority of my friends are lushes so be prepared to have a drink or two.229104_10100670464216186_1034074290_n 309120_10100670412205416_1356990204_n 483372_10100637935139716_1759867201_n

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