Winter 2015: 36 Hours Syracuse

Beat the winter blues in the Salt City

By Lorna Oppedisano

Clinton Square at night. Photo by Creative Core.

Clinton Square at night. Photo by Creative Core.

Syracuse a nearby retreat for great food, fun

Syracuse is known for a few things: the mall, the Orange and snow. You’ve probably elbowed through crowds at DestinyUSA — and congratulations if you held on to your sanity in the process. If you’re a sports fan, you’ve either cheered, jeered or flat-out cried at a Syracuse University game, depending on the day. And this is the north country so you know snow.

But the Salt City offers more than shopping and a ball game. Whether you want to explore downtown or venture outside the city center, Syracuse has restaurants, museums, boutiques and outdoor activities for days. If you only have a weekend to spare, here are your best bets. [Read more...]

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel opens; new life brought to former Frink property

The view from a 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel room balcony Wednesday, as the doors opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Justin Sorensen / NNY Living

The view from a 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel room balcony Wednesday, as the doors opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Justin Sorensen / NNY Living

The extreme transformation of the former Frink snowplow factory into a 105-room luxury hotel was celebrated Wednesday with the opening of the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel.

During the festivities, local and state politicians thanked the partnering agencies and community members who helped make the day possible. Guests were given champagne and invited to tour the facility.

More than 100 members of the community came out to have their first look inside the four-story hotel and conference center. The facility is designed with windows highlighting views of the St. Lawrence River.

The ceremony, held at the front doors of the new $24.5 million hotel, was attended by more than 100 area residents and visitors and hosted by representatives from Hart Hotels and Krog Corp., part owners of the hotel. Hart Hotels President and CEO David P. Hart said they hope the guests will enjoy the same luxury their corporation has strived to provide customers at its other AAA Four Diamond-accredited hotels.

“We expect to earn AAA Four Diamond accreditation in the future,” Mr. Hart said in an email. “We do not have it yet. The other two Harbor Hotels we operate are rated AAA Four Diamond.” [Read more...]

An adventure on high awaits

Old Forge is quintessential Adirondacks

[Read more...]

Take flight to the city of brotherly love

Philadelphia’s sunset gets an assist from the city’s sparkling skyline and programmable lights that enliven the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Built in 1926, the bridge traverses the Delaware River connecting Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Philadelphia’s sunset gets an assist from the city’s sparkling skyline and programmable lights that enliven the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Built in 1926, the bridge traverses the Delaware River connecting Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Philadelphia combines history, art and great food [Read more...]

Jump in the car & day trip

A view of Skaneateles Lake. Photo courtesy

A view of Skaneateles Lake. Photo courtesy

Beat the winter blues with 10 Empire State destinations each within a reasonable trek of the north country [Read more...]

Sooth your soul in ‘Spa City’ Saratoga Springs: Journey east packs history, arts, culture

Saratoga's famous racetrack is just one of Spa City's many attractions. Courtesy

Saratoga’s famous racetrack is just one of Spa City’s many attractions. Courtesy

Famous for its racetrack, outdoor summer concerts and mineral springs, the city of Saratoga, less than four hours from the north country, makes a great getaway year-round. Known for a robust arts scene that includes the Opera Saratoga and Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the city’s downtown also bustles with art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. And, only about a 30 minute drive from the Capital Region, a weekend trip to Saratoga will also make it easy to jaunt into the state’s capital for a wider range of shopping or to take a detour for a hike in the Adirondacks coming to or from. [Read more...]

Head south for a hippie haven that will delight: Ithaca an outdoor mecca for the foodie at heart

Ithaca Commons is the heart of Ithaca's downtown and makes a great place for shopping and browsing through both funky and upscale shops. Photo courtesy Visit Ithaca.

Less than four hours from most points in the north country, Ithaca is a medium-sized city of about 30,000 year-round residents known for its opportunities for outdoor adventure, hippie culture, robust local food scene and premier colleges and universities. For a weekend getaway, Ithaca offers plenty of great hiking, shopping, cultural events and eating, particularly vegan and vegetarian fare.

Friday, 2 P.M., take a walk in the company of great minds

A quick walking tour of the Cornell University campus is a good way to get a taste of Ithaca before you settle into your accommodations.

Cornell, an Ivy League university with about 22,000 students across undergraduate and graduate programs, boasts a spectacular, hilly 2,300-acre campus full of old, ivy-covered brick buildings and breathtaking views of the city. It offers a great place for a stroll, though you will get a workout from its huge quantity of stairs. Stop inside Cornell’s oldest library, Uris Library, which has a collection of two million volumes combined with Olin Library. Cornell’s other specialty libraries include the Baily Hortorium Library, composed of the combined botanical resources from the personal libraries of Liberty Hyde Bailey and Wiegand Herbarium. It has about 30,000 volumes, more than 200 journal titles and hundreds of shelf-feet of reprints. The Paleontological Research Institution Library contains over 50,000 volumes on paleontology, geology and natural history. The Snee Hall Reading Room is a glass-enclosed room with a beautiful view of the Cascadilla gorge and is a popular place to study. Visit for a list of libraries and their locations.

Grab a coffee or snack in Collegetown, which has numerous award-winning restaurants and shops. Stella’s Restaurant, Bar and Café at 403 College Ave. is a great place to refuel and get a taste of the local culture, offering something for everyone and known for its coffee and espresso drinks. Collegetown Bagels at 415 College Ave. is a great quintessential college town bagel shop and is also good place to grab a quick sandwich. [Read more...]

Discover a world away just across the border in Kingston

Downtown Ontario Street. Photo courtesy Tourism Kingston

‘Limestone City’ offers culture, cuisine and charm

Located where the St. Lawrence River and the Rideau Canal meet Lake Ontario, you’ll find Kingston, a city boasting a heritage that blends the beauty of the past with the many modern amenities of a larger, metropolitan area.

From its urban core, Canada’s first capital sparkles with relaxed boutiques and bistros while its waterfront teems with a mix of historic neighborhoods and pristine parkland. All of this in a city less than an hour or two from most points in Northern New York. Indeed, this cross-border city delights with 19th century limestone architecture and attractions of a major hub, but retains an affable small-town charm. [Read more...]

Go west and discover innovation in the Flower City

Rochester packs a punch a short drive away

The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. Gardens surround the house that was once owned by Mr. Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak.

Rochester is a city built on innovation. A cornerstone of the regional economy, Kodak’s global headquarters, Eastman Kodak, has called this Western New York city home since the early 1900s. Xerox and Bausch & Lomb are among dozens of other companies whose roots are planted in Rochester. Creative individuals who have convened in the Flower City have helped make each tiny neighborhood unique and inviting throughout.

Speaking of neighborhoods — and suburbs for that matter — Rochester has a ton of them. From the uber trendy Park Avenue neighborhood to the affluent Erie Canal village of Pittsford, each offers something different and caters to various clienteles. Want a night on the town without having to drive from a restaurant to a nightclub? Hit the East End. Looking for a good cup of coffee, local foods, hip cafés and shops the cool kids visit? The Southwedge is your place. [Read more...]

Saranac a slice of heaven on higher ground

Take a short drive to the Adirondacks for year-round fun

Photo by Allyson Stone, special to NNY Living.

The natural beauty of the Adirondacks is easily enjoyed during summer months, but can be just as breathtaking during the winter, making it a year-round destination that is always evolving. The evolution can come from the flora and fauna that reside in the mountains and forests, or the people who live in the quaint, quiet towns and villages strategically placed throughout the Adirondack Park. [Read more...]