Syracuse: Orange, Spunky and Only a Ride Away

Syracuse: Orange, Spunky and Only a Ride Away

53166167When most people think of New York, images of Broadway, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square might pop into thwie mins. But chat with anyone from beyond NYC and you’ll quickly learn there’s more to New York than the concrete jungle. With over 30 stops serving New York state, we love taking travelers to see the different sides of the Empire State. For those wanting a little more info about what to do beyond the city, we spoke with, Syracuse alum, employee and local, Sam Edelstein. He loves his city and happily describes it as, “Spunky and orange”.

Amtrak: As a Syracuse alum and local, tell us why you love about living there.
Sam: This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but Syracuse gets a lot of snow. But even when it is coldest and snowiest, there is still so much to do. There are museums, bars, and restaurants downtown that are great in the winter. Then by the time summer comes around, I appreciate the beautiful weather that much more. I try to spend any of my free time outside in the spring, summer, and fall where I can go hiking at some of the great parks around the area. Plus, we have the world’s greatest grocery store, Wegmans.

We hear that Syracuse is a great destination for families. What are some family-friendly activities you enjoy with your family?
There are tons of parks right around Syracuse. Green Lakes is great for a mellow hike or beach time. Clark Reservation has fun rocks to climb on. Onondaga Lake Park is perfect for a run. We also love the Regional Market that is open on weekends and baseball games – both just steps away from the Amtrak station!

SyracuseIf you only had one day in Syracuse, what three things you would you have to do?
This is easy. Lunch at Pastabilities, with lots of stretch bread and hot tomato oil. Milkshakes at Strong Hearts Cafe. And a trip up to SU’s campus. Also, take a detour to see the upside down traffic light on Tipperary Hill, I know that’s four things.

Is there something Syracuse has to offer that you can’t find anywhere else?
Syracuse has a level of diversity that is unusual for a city of this size. We have an influx of a lot of new cultures even as Syracuse is firmly rooted in history.

 Locals give the best recommendations. So we want yours, rapid fire style. Tell us your…

  • Favorite place to eat: Alto Cinco – they’re burritos are amazing.
  • Favorite Syracuse outdoor space: Creekwalk that spans from downtown Syracuse to Onondaga Lake. 
  • Favorite place to grab a beer/cocktail: Beer Belly Deli
  • Favorite place to watch the game: At the Carrier Dome with 30,000 of my closest friends!

Finally, here’s your soap box. Why should an Amtrak traveler visit Syracuse?
Come in the winter and you’ll see more snow than almost any other city. Come in the spring and you’ll see people thrilled to be enjoying the outdoors. Come in the summer, and on almost any weekend you can take part in a cultural festival. Come in the fall, and you’ll see the trees turning beautiful colors and people taking advantage of the last bit of warmth for the year. In a short weekend, you can really feel like you belong. People are welcoming and it is really easy to get around.

Did Sam’s love of Syracuse rub off on you? Then book your ticket and see what it’s all about for yourself. Amtrak Tip: Book today and you could save 15% on travel to upstate New York.

From August 27 -30 Amtrak Train Days will pull in to Syracuse bringing exclusive train fun, the Amtrak Exhibit Train and The Amtrak Experience, an installation that allows attendees to see and feel the perks of train travel. Learn more at