The A to Z Guide to Summer in Central New York
There's nothing like a Central New York summer. No matter what you want to do, you'll find it - and likely not that far from your front door.
We put together an A-to-Z guide to cover just some of your summer options. We suggest you keep tabs, and see if you can get through the entire alphabet.
Antique Fest - If you love searching for treasure, Bouckville Antique Week is for you. This year's big show takes place from August 12-18th, and attracts hundreds of vendors to the town on Route 20. Get more information HERE.
Breweries - From the FX Matt Saranac Brewery in Utica, to Ommegang in Cooperstown, or the Empire Farm Brewery in Cazenovia, there are several great breweries to visit in Upstate New York.
Concerts - Upstate New York has it's share of great concerts. Catching one is the perfect way to spend a summer evening. Venues include Saranac Thursdays in Utica, for smaller scale performances, The Stanley Theater, or Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse. The Empire Farm Brewery even features concert at their venue.
Darien Lake - Six Flags Darien Lake is the perfect destination if you enjoy thrilling roller coasters, splashing around at a water park, and live music.
Erie Canal Cruise - Not only is an Erie Canal Cruise a relaxing way to spend a summer afternoon, it's also a cruise into history. You'll learn all about the history of the canal, and "travel back to a time when the canal was just a vision and the barges were pulled by mules and horses."
Farmers Markets - Upstate New York is in the center of acres of farmland, so it's no wonder that we boast some of the best farmers markets anywhere. From the Oneida County Public Market, to the Clinton Farmers Market, the New Hartford Farmers Market...everywhere you look, you'll find fresh produce, delicious baked goods, and hand-crafted items.
Glamping - If rustic camping is not your thing, try glamping - electricity, showers, and gourmet food - all in the heart of the Adirondacks. If you'd like to give it a try, find out about all of your glamping options in NY.
Hiking - Whether you'd like to scale one of the 46 High Peaks, or a simply walk a wooded trail, you'll find it all in Central New York. Visit the Adirondacks, Green Lakes State Park, Chittenango Falls, or the trails along the Erie Canal.
Ice Cream - This might be our favorite. Bonomo's, The Ice Cream Factory, Nicky Doodles, RocStar, Tasty Treat, The Ice Cream Station...it's not summer without some delicious ice cream.
Jamesville Balloon Fest - Get ready to look up at this summer festival. You'll see hot air balloons of all sizes and colors - and you can even go for a ride in one.
Kayaking - What's more relaxing than paddling your way down a serene waterway? You can buy your own kayak, or rent one for the day - but it'll will give you a new perspective on the natural beauty of Upstate NY. NewYorkUpstate.com has recommendations on where you can start.
Letchworth State Park - Known as the "Grand Canyon of The East," Letchworth is almost always near or at the top of the most beautiful places in the state. Hike, kayak, camp, and check out the gorgeous waterfalls.
Mining at the Herkimer Diamond Mines - Do you really live in Central New York if you haven't visited the Herkimer Diamond Mines and hammered at rocks for hours looking for a specimen of a Herkimer Diamond?
North Star Orchards - Get homemade pie, plants for your garden, farm fresh produce, and even pick your own berries at this iconic farm in Westmoreland.
Old Forge - There's so much to do in Old Forge, from the waterfront, to the charming shops, and the great food - you'll need to spend the whole day there to take it all in. Make sure you don't forget to visit...
Paul Bunyan and Enchanted Forest Water Safari - Your visit to this Old Forge landmark water park has to start with a picture with Paul Bunyan. It's practically a rite of passage.
Quilt Camp - This unusual camp in Long Lake - the Adirondack Quilt Camp - teaches lessons in quilting, from advanced to beginner - and even offers a week-long camp for adults.
Renaissance Festival in Sterling, NY - Grab a turkey leg, watch a joust, and just take in the sights at one of the biggest Renaissance Festivals in the country.
Sylvan Beach - Whether you're there to have fun in the waters of Oneida Lake, visit the amusement park, or grab some delicious eats at one of the local restaurants, there's plenty to do at Sylvan Beach.
Train Ride on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad - All aboard the Adirondack Railroad. Take a day trip to Thendara, hop on board one of the wine trains, or enjoy the newly added rail bikes. No matter what you choose, you'll enjoy this unique experience.
U-Pick Farms - Pick your own berries at any of the great farms you'll find in Central New York. You can either eat them straight from the basket or bake them into your favorite goodies. Looking for strawberries? Here's where to find the freshest.
Voss' Bar B-Q - It's not officially summer until you've had your first burger or dog from Voss'.
Wild Walk - Walk among the tree tops at this Tupper Lake attraction. Wild Walk is an elevated walk across the tree tops featuring a trail of bridges, a four-story twig tree house, a giant spider web and a full size bald eagle's nest. This trail is easily accessible to everyone, regardless of their age or abilities. Check out video here.
X Marks the Spot aka Geocaching - Okay, this one is a stretch - but X is tough! Geocaching has been going on for a while - even right here in Utica - but you can do it anywhere. You use simple tools - even an app - to find 'caches' hidden all over the place. Find out how to get started.
Yummy! Sample State Fair Food - Yes, the Great New York State Fair has a LOT going on - from livestock, to the midway, live musical performances, and educational programs - but lets face it: we're REALLY there for the food. Deep fried Oreos, Milky Buns, BBQ, the Food Truck Competition - YUM!
Zoos - Of course, we love our zoos. The Utica Zoo - which is open year-round and has great educational programs for the kids, and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. Of course, there's also the Animal Adventure Park - home to the most famous giraffe in New York, April, and her calves.