Summer Destinations: Central New York

May 21, 2015

There are many destinations perfect for a summer getaway in central New York, including:

Carol Watson Greenhouse

Located just 12 minutes from Syracuse, Carol Watson Greenhouse works to help complete your garden, landscape and hardscape projects. A series of farmers' markets occurs during the summer, along with demonstrations and special events. Great for every season of the year and every kind of gardener. Whether it's cleaning up your garden or starting fresh, Carol Watson Greenhouse has plenty for you to work with.

Cazenovia Artisans

Cazenovia Artisans is an artist cooperative gallery located in the center of beautiful downtown Cazenovia.  With over 15 years of success, they have become the area’s premier showcase of regional fine art and craft. Information about artist members and the gallery is available online.

Cazenovia Counterpoint Festival of Expressive Arts

This festival features 17 events during July: Rising Stars and chamber concerts with premieres, Young Composers Corner, Gage opera scenes, Writer’s Corner and Armory Square Playwrights, plus the art of 30 regional artists displayed throughout the historic village. “Celebrating Suffrage: Kindling the Flame” is the theme, celebrating the women’s suffrage movement led by Fayetteville’s Matilda Joslyn Gage. Cazenovia Counterpoint is a presentation of the Society for New Music.

Center for the Arts of Homer

Since its founding, the Center for the Arts has become one of central New York’s preeminent presenter of the arts and a proponent of community enrichment through world-class entertainment and arts education. With a wide array of opportunities to experience the arts, the center attracts audiences from Canada, the Mid-Atlantic and New England states, and from across New York. The center has presented performances by artists of global, national, regional, and local repute, including: Arlo Guthrie, Tim Reynolds & TR3, Rusted Root, and emerging artists.

City Market

City Market reflects the lifestyle of the urban dweller by recognizing the return and desire to live in a city. City Market champions urban creativity and repurposing in downtown Syracuse at Armory Square. Sixty vendors offer mid-century modern styles, antiques, jewelry, silver, industrial design, lighting, collectibles, art and more.

Commerce Chenango Tourism

Enjoy Chenango County, a destination known for its warm, friendly people, unrivaled lifestyle, and beautiful natural surroundings. From nationally known festivals, to miles of trails, to history and performing arts, Chenango County provides you with activities and entertainment that everyone can enjoy. See all there is to do in Chenango County online and then plan your next vacation.

Critz Farms Blueberry Jam

Join Critz Farms for an annual tradition on Saturday, August 19 starting at 11 a.m. Music starts at noon with Root Shock, Count Blastula, Phil Petroff and Natural Fact, Ron Spencer Band, Viva Mayhem and Boots n' Shorts. The family-friendly festival also offers food, drink, kid's entertainment and more.

Earlville Opera House

The 1892 Earlville Opera House is renowned for its quality, diverse programs including Americana, rock, blues, folk, bluegrass and Celtic music; plus drama and children’s shows. Its historic landmark theater features nearly perfect acoustics. EOH has three professional art galleries and workshops in both visual and performing arts. Their Artisan Gift Shop highlights work of NYS artists. More on performances, workshops and exhibitions is online.

The Eis House

The Eis House has proudly served central New York since 1977. Newly acquired in 2014, new offerings are being developed. With exceptional service, award-winning garden weddings and receptions, daily gourmet food, meetings and events. Groups from 8 to 240 people can be accommodated in this coastal northern New England style gathering place.

Erie Canal Museum

Housed in the 1850 Weighlock Building, the last remaining structure of its kind, the Erie Canal Museum is dedicated to telling the great American adventure story of the Erie Canal. Come aboard a full-size replica canal boat. Explore life in a canal town. Put on a puppet show in the Children's Nook. Experience a part of history that played an imperative role in the growth and development of our country. The museum shares 200 years of Erie Canal history through interactive displays, hands-on exhibits, narrative audio tracks and original artifacts. The Erie Canal Museum is open seven days a week with free admission.

Everson Museum of Art

Through dynamic and meaningful encounters with modern and contemporary American art, the Everson Museum of Art engages diverse communities, inspires curiosity and lifelong learning, and contributes to a more vital and inclusive society. The museum is internationally recognized for its extensive and significant collection of ceramics, pioneering art video collection and distinctive structural design by I.M. Pei. The summer exhibition, "Seen and Heard," will take over the entire museum, with related artist projects and public programs happening inside and outside the building. The show features newly-commissioned works by emerging and established artists from around the country as well as locally.

Glimmerglass Festival

Born out of efforts of Cooperstown residents who wanted to bring opera to the area, the Glimmerglass Festival celebrates its 42nd season in 2017. Four main stage productions are offered July 7 through August 22: Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklamhoma!," Handel's "Xerxes," and Donizetti's "The Siege of Calais."

The Great New York State Fair

For 12 days and nights from August 23 through September 4, the fair brings together the best food, music, rides, games, exhibits, animals, agriculture and more. Explore the fairs many agricultural displays, horticultural offerings, concerts, antique displays, arts and crafts, demonstrations, butter and cheese sculptures, parades, and much more. Families can enjoy the adventure zone, petting zoo, Kiddieland, and a monarch butterfly garden.

H. Lee White Marine Museum

Located in Oswego’s historic Maritime District, the H. Lee White Maritime Museum encompasses a main exhibit building, gift shop and many historic vessels, including the 1927 NYS Derrick Boat 8, the last US commercial fishing boat and the WWII tugboat LT-5 (a National Historic Landmark). The vessels are open through September. The museum features an art gallery, a special lighthouse exhibit room and a variety of activities, programs and events for visitors of all ages.

Madison-Bouckville Big Field Antiques Show

This antiques show is truly rain or shine, with 8 big-top tents showing hundreds of quality exhibitors under cover plus many individual tents throughout the field. The show is from Friday, August 18 through Sunday, August 20. There are festival foods, lunch in two dining tents, unlimited parking and an ATM. More information about lodging information and hours can be found online.

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

With more than 13,000 pieces in its permanent collection, concerts, community classes and a college of art and design, MWPAI is the cultural heart of central New York. The museum presents 10 exhibitions annually, drawing from the permanent collection and from traveling exhibitions from other leading institutions. These are featured in a 1960 museum building designed by Philip Johnson and in Fountain Elms, the 1858 ancestral home of the institutes founders.

Oswego County Tourism

Oswego County offers year-round fun and recreation for everyone! History, festivals, fishing and outdoor activities highlight each season. Centrally located in New York state, Oswego County provides a vast number of attractions within driving distance. Download their visitors guide online or browse their calendar of events.


Pastabilities has been happily serving guests in Syracuse for over 30 years. From housemade pastas to sauces, salads and famous Italian stretch bread, everything is made from scratch, with heart and soul. The stretch bread, one of the restaurants most popular items, can be found at Pasta's Daily Bread directly across the street. Pasta's Daily Bread offers salads, soup, sandwiches, pizzas, Pastabilities' sauces (including its famous Spicy Hot Tomato Oil), cookies and assorted baked goods. The tomato oil, featured on The Food Network, is available online. Heat it low and slow and dip your fresh Italian bread in, or toss it over pasta and spice up your dinner plans.

The Picture Connection

The Picture Connection is a custom frame shop located in downtown Oswego. With framing services for diplomas, portraits, art, needlework, antique lace and more, the shop will even assist in hanging the artwork on site. Their services also include stretching of paintings and all fabric work. If you're looking for a print for your space, they have many on hand for custom orders, using only archival quality materials.

Reeves Farm Stand

Reeves Farms is dedicated to producing fresh, nutritious berries and vegetables using sustainable farming practices. The Reeves family has been growing vegetables for more than a century in Baldwinsville. Visit Reeves Farms fruit stand in Baldwinsville for fresh sweet corn, homegrown tomatoes and many other fruits and vegetables.

Riverside Artisans

Riverside Artisans Cooperative, Oswego's premier source for fine art and handmade gifts, in Canal Commons, offers a wide range of professional fine arts and crafts, as well as an opportunity to meet the artists who have created them. From original paintings and handcrafted wood work, to fused glass and handmade jewelry, Riverside Artisans is the place to get a unique gift for yourself and for someone special. The shop takes pride in reasonably-priced, handmade, quality crafts and fine art.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo

This summer the Rosamond Gifford Zoo has exciting new events and activities for the entire family to enjoy. The Explorer's Play Space provides children with unstructured play in a naturalized setting -- encouraging the use of their senses, imagination and creativity. Earthworks! is an interactive outdoor activity that gives children and family the chance to pan for fossils, gems and other minerals using a running water system (sluice). The pool in the Asian Elephant Preserve is also open -- and can be viewed from a guest overlook.

Rudy's Lakeside Drive In

Rudy's has been serving Oswego and the surrounding communities since 1946, continuously providing fresh products, cooked to ordered as you watch. Open from around St. Patrick's Day through September, Rudy's offers both indoor and outdoor seating on the beautiful shore of Lake Ontario. The drive in is a perfect spot for fresh fish and casual family fun.

Saint Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum

Be inspired by a central New York woman's journey into history, as an innovator of healthcare and an advocate for patient's rights in Syracuse and Hawaii. A Sister of St. Francis, Saint Marianne was instrumental in founding St. Joseph's Hospital, providing both care and respect for all individuals. Located next to St. Joseph's Hospital, the shrine and museum offer state-of-the-art exhibits, displays and artifacts from the life journey of Saint Marianne.

Syracuse Arts and Crafts Festival

This three day showcase of the country's most talented artists, craftspeople and entertainers is center on historic Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse July 28 through 30. The show features more than 160 artists representing 25 states and Canada. You can shop and browse; enjoy music, multi-cultural performances, summer refreshments and more.

Syracuse Ceramic Guild

The guild presents the 37th Annual Pottery Fair this summer, August 19 and 20 at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia. Saturday hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fair features functional pottery, sculpture, garden art and jewelry made by over 30 local artists. Visitors can enter raffles, watch demos and even glaze a piece of pottery for firing in the raku kiln. Kids can visit Claytown to make and take home their own artwork. Sculpture gardens and trails are available for exploration. Food is available. The event is handicapped and wheelchair accessible and offers free parking. More information is available online.

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

With 104 acres of conserved land and over four miles of trails, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park overlooks the breathtaking rural landscape of Cazenovia and Madison County. Inspired by the relationship between art and nature, the art park is dedicated to providing a unique environment for emerging and established artists to produce and showcase works in natural and gallery settings. The art park is open from dawn to dusk and encourages public use of its trails 365 days a year. General admission is $5 per person, free for members and children under 16.

Symphoria Summer Concerts

Symphoria's free summer concert series returns this summer, with outdoor performances in parks throughout central New York. Unique concerts with summertime programs inspire and engage concert goers of all ages. Join Symphoria to celebrate another wonderful summer in CNY.

Turning Stone Resort and Casino

A four-season destination resort in upstate New York, conveniently located about 30 miles east of Syracuse, the Oneida Indian Nation's Turning Stone Resort Casino offers golfing, world-class gaming, fine dining, accommodations, concerts and more.

Urban Video Project

Light Work’s Urban Video Project (UVP) uses cutting-edge technology to bring film and video work by artists from around the world to downtown Syracuse. Enjoy video installations projected on the façade of the iconic Everson Museum of Art every Thursday through Saturday night all year round. Special exhibitions and events do not require tickets.  All UVP events are free and open to the public. Visit UVP online for our full summer screening schedule.​