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The Best Places To Cool Off in Utica – Eric Meier’s Top 5

Kids keeping cool
Mario Tama, Getty Images

Now that we are into the heat of summer, we’re all looking for some way to beat the heat. Leave it to me, Lite 98.7’s most ardent lover of air conditioning and all things cool, to bring you the top 5 places to keep cool in Utica and Central New York.


Vernon Downs on Route 31 in Vernon has completed a huge renovation to their resort and part of that new look is a cool patio on one of the upper floors of the hotel that overlooks the race track. Watch harness racing Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights under a cool Central New York sky high in the air to catch the breeze on the new outdoor patio at Vernon Downs.



What is more cool and refreshing on a summer’s afternoon then freshly picked strawberries? The best known stawberry farm in Central New York is Tasselberry Farm in Westmoreland. Oh, you may get warm doing your picking, but the rewards of the fresh strawberries straight from the crate or worked into a shortcake topped with whipped cream right from the icebox is instant summer cool.



For some folks, nothing quenches the thirst of a summer squelcher quite like a iced cold beer. So how better to beat the heat than by watching some of that beer get produced. The brewery tour at the FX Matt Brewery on Court Street in Utica takes you though the process, including the refrigerated rooms of the holding tanks. And of course, you can top off your tour with a sample of the Saranac product.



Thunder Island in Fulton between Oswego and Syracuse is a great water park. Imagine the sweltering heat of summer as you wait in line for one of their waterslides like Thunder Rush. The breeze starts to pick up as you climb the tower higher, step by step. If your nerve holds out, you’ll be able to keep the heat at bay with every slip, slide and dive.



It doesn’t matter whether it’s 90 degrees or 5 below at the surface, once you descend 156 feet down into the bowels of the earth, the temperate is a constantly cool 52 degrees. The caverns, just south of the Mohawk Valley near Cobleskill, were first explored by Lester Howe in 1842. The tour you’ll take of the cave is a combination of walking and boat ride. Even on the warmest summer days, you might want to bring a light jacket, after all 52 might be a little chilly!


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