Syracuse is abuzz. From the Erie Canal bicentennial and New York State Fair to a bustling craft beer scene, the spring and summer is an ideal time to visit the upstate New York college town. Here’s what to do once you get there.


Celebrate America’s westward expansion at the Erie Canal Museum ($5 suggested donation; 318 Erie Blvd. E., 315-471-0593, The newly renovated first floor shows early upstate New York life and the impact of the canal on American life. In honor of this year’s bicentennial of the canal’s groundbreaking, the museum is also hosting special workshops and lectures throughout the summer.

Take in the American works on display at the Everson Museum of Art (closed Mondays and Tuesdays, admission $8/adults, $6/seniors and students, FREE/active military and children 12 and under; 401 Harrison St., 315-474-6064, Works on hand include Gilbert Stuart’s iconic portrait of George Washington, Helen Frankenthaler’s abstract “The Human Edge” and a large collection of photography and ceramics.

For stimulating displays on the science behind everyday activities, head to the Museum of Science and Technology (closed Mondays and Tuesdays, open seven days a week starting June 26, exhibit halls admission $12/adults, $10 seniors and children, FREE for current New York State teachers, active and veteran military; 500 S. Franklin St., 315-425-9068, Don’t miss the domed IMAX Theater, the only one of its kind in New York State (IMAX Movie admission $10/adults, $8/seniors and children, combo tickets available).


The Syracuse area’s craft brew scene is booming. Newcomers include the Willow Rock Brewing Co. (closed Monday-Wednesday; 115 Game Road, 315-928-6948,, where you can try limited release brews like its award-winning flagship brown ale, Jim. Find British-inspired ales at the 20-plus-year-old Middle Ages Brewing Company (120 Wilkinson St., 315-476-4250,


Syracuse’s dining scene has something for every palette. For homemade pasta, head to Pastabilities (311 S. Franklin St., 315-474-1153, Find a romantic setting — and steak, mussels and more — at Bistro Elephant (238 W. Jefferson St., 315-475-1111). For vegan sandwiches, milkshakes and desserts that meat eaters would also enjoy, head to Strong Hearts Cafe (719 E. Genesee St., 315-478-0000,


Syracuse is home to New York State’s large entertainment, shopping and dining complex, with more than 250 shops, restaurants and craft breweries at Destiny USA (9090 Destiny USA Drive, 315-466-6000, Get in a round of glow-in-the-dark indoor miniature golf at Glow Golf, or head to WonderWorks to tackle the world’s largest suspended ropes course, pilot a fighter jet or play good old-fashioned laser tag.