It had been 6 weeks since I’d been home from Europe, and I was already looking for a new adventure. The only problem? Well I actually had two: firstly I’d used up all (and more!) of my allotted holidays for the year, and secondly; my bank account didn’t amount to much. Both of which made for a bit of a travel dilemma. Thankfully my mom came to the rescue when she asked me how I felt about hopping the boarder to Syracuse to do some shopping. Our excuse was that we were both attending weddings this summer and needed something to wear, but in reality we just wanted a bit of girl time and Syracuse offered us the perfect mini getaway.
Being only a little under three hours from my hometown in Ottawa, Canada we chose to drive. There are also options via the Canadian Bus line Greyhound Bus. For those coming from further away, Syracuse does have an airport.
Where to Stay
City center, as per usual, is the best place to spend the night(s). Syracuse is not a large city so traffic problems and getting lost aren’t really an issue. Based on our fantastic experience (read about it here) I highly recommend staying at the Jefferson Clinton Hotel in Armoury square. Not only was the property fabulous but the location is perfect. There are nearly 60 restaurants to choose from within a six block radius and a bunch of little boutique-style shops as well. The Jefferson Clinton is also an easy five minute drive from the main shopping attraction; Destiny USA mall.
Where to Eat
The city has a plethora of restaurants with something for every craving: Asian, Italian, American, BBQ. From fine dining to Irish pubs there’s something to suite everyone’s taste. Local favourites include: Dinosaur BBQ: The best rated restaurant in the city comes with a lineup, but don’t let the line (or the multitude of motorcycles outside) throw you off, because inside you will be served some amazing real American BBQ. Make sure you come hungry though because portions are huge!
Pastabilities: Also likely to have a wait time, Pastabilities is a local and tourist favourite. Homemade pasta and sauces are the draw here, along with their to-die-for Italian bread (which you can conveniently purchase at their bakery across the road). Another favourite, and perfect for any girls getaway, is the white mango sangria- splurge on the half carafe; you will want it!
Alternatively, if it’s getting late and you are still at the Destiny USA mall, there are also restaurant options there too including; The Melting Pot for fondue, Koto Japanese Steakhouse, and Cantina Laredo’s Mexican Cuisine. And if you have room for dessert, the mall is also now home to the Cheesecake Factory!
Although there are plenty of boutiques in the city centre, the main shopping draw of Syracuse is the absolutely enormous mall. Formerly known as the Carousel Centre, Destiny USA mall is projected to be the second most popular shopping mall in the USA. With over 200 stores, it’s easy to spend an entire day wandering this shopaholic’s paradise. Home to American staples such as Macy’s and Lord and Taylor, Destiny USA offers an incredible variety of stores and brand names that are different than what we can find in Ottawa. And although the exchange rate at this time doesn’t make for any great deals, we found that many of the stores were offering spring sales or promotions during the time of our visit (the first weekend of June). Store sales can also be found listed on the Destiny USA website. Destiny USA mall has also recently undergone an expansion that has brought in an entire new section of designer brand outlets. These include Fossil, Guess, Armani, Michael Kors, and Saks Off 5th Avenue to name a few. Our shopping showed deals as much as 80% off leather bags and wallets from Fossil, and a large selection of colour and style choices in Michael Kors. This is the perfect place for the fashionista on a budget.
For further outlet shopping, the Waterloo Premium Outlets are only a 40 minute drive past Syracuse. While many of these outlets can now also be found at the Destiny USA mall, it is another option for anyone with an extra couple of hours to spare. For more information on Syracuse, and planning your own shopping getaway, contact the Visit Syracuse.