Syracuse, New York: Farm Tours, Tastings and Shopping
By Wuzhi Lu
When people talk about New York, we naturally think of the bustling, fashionable New York City. But there is, in fact, an entire state to explore full of vast landscapes and amazing natural scenery. It was my second trip to New York State, and for a little something different, I chose Syracuse as my destination. I arrived right before the end of October. The leaves were red and yellow, and the mountains and plains were colorful.
Enjoy Apple Picking and Liquor Tasting at Beak and Skiff/1911 Spirits
Syracuse is full of recreational activities. Early in the morning, I could not wait to get up and visit my first stop: the Beak and Skiff apple orchard. The harvest season welcomes many kindergarten children picking apples here. There are different types and colors of apples, and it was the first time I got a chance to participate in such activities. The apple just came right off the tree and it was really crispy and sweet! There is an apiary in the gift shop displayed in a glass box, so you can see the bees working. Beak and Skiff also runs a distilling company, 1911 Spirits; of course, all of the hard ciders here are brewed with local apples and I tried each one of them on the list. The distilling company also produces vodka and gin from its apples.
Higher Education with a View
The campus of Syracuse University has beautiful scenery, covering nearly 5,000 acres and more than 300 buildings, many of which are centuries old. The campus has many unique features of Gothic architecture, some of which have even been included on the list of world cultural heritage. In addition to the world-class Syracuse University, Syracuse has other educational institutions such as Onondaga Community College. This campus surprised me – it was as impressive as a regular four-year university.
Beautiful Onondaga Park, Downtown Syracuse and Shopping at Destiny USA
My next stop was beautiful Onondaga Park, with a beautiful lake surrounded by lush green grass. The sound of the lakeside reeds blowing in the breeze and the variety of birds was soothing. There was also a pretty white gazebo for people to rest and enjoy the view. It is worth mentioning that around the neighborhood surrounding the park, every house here is unique; it is hard to find two houses that are exactly the same.
In the afternoon, I went to downtown Syracuse. There are many historic buildings and fountains and it has a special charm after sunset. Before I left, I visited Destiny USA, the sixth-largest mall in America and home to a variety of boutiques, restaurants, a children's playground, museums and an indoor go-kart track.
Syracuse is not like the hustle and bustle of New York City. All of the attractions are in close proximity and most residential areas are 15 minutes from the city center. It’s a great city to visit and enjoy!