With today’s official start to summer, I am changing my format slightly to accommodate the (hopefully, eventually….) nicer weather and sunnier skies that we can expect (fingers crossed) in beautiful upstate New York. I don’t want to focus exclusively on businesses for this season, so I plan to include parks and places that people of all ages can enjoy (and often with their four-footed friends). I’ll also focus on a few locations within a specific town in order to give some suggestions for a full day of fun. If that sounds good to you, check in with this blog on Fridays this summer. And now for my first summer post, “Fun Times in Liverpool, NY.”
The Village of Liverpool, NY, is located along the shore of Onondaga Lake, which may have been heavily polluted in the past, but has been cleaned up so well that Onondaga County is in talks about putting in a beach for swimming. That’s pretty wonderful news, and I look forward to that. But for now, there are a ton of options available to enjoy the lake and adjacent park, and there is truly something for people of all ages and abilities. Although most locals are aware of it, people from farther out may not know there is a multi-use paved trail for walking, roller blading, and bicycling that extends around the lake for 7.5 miles in each direction. Bring your dog, they are certainly welcome! There are several locations from which you can join the trail, but if you want to rent bikes (including multi-person bikes and cycle buggies), the entrance by Onondaga Lake Parkway is your best bet.
That entrance is also home to the Griffin Visitor Center, from which you can borrow equipment for bocce ball, shuffleboard and sand volleyball. There is usually an ice cream truck nearby on weekends.
From that same entrance, you can hop on board the free tram all summer, which is a nice ride and ideal for people who don’t have the ability or desire to enjoy the multi-use trail in other ways. There is also a skate park and the Wegmans playground at that location. Further up the lake at Willow Bay, there are picnic shelters with grills available and another playground, as well as a location to rent kayaks and paddleboards.
If you have your own boat, check out the Boat Launch and Marina’s website here. If you travel up to Long Branch Park on July 23rd, you can sail on a dinner cruise on Onondaga Lake sponsored by the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce at this link here.
To get out of the sun for a little while, or on a rainy day, check out the Salt Museum, which is inside of Onondaga Lake Park and details the history of salt in Central New York and its importance to Onondaga Lake and Syracuse in particular. Just down Onondaga Lake Parkway, you’ll find the Skä•noñh – Great Law of Peace Center, a Haudenosaunee Heritage Center that is open from 11 – 4 on weekends, and from 10 – 4 during the week.
After all of this activity, you’ll find yourself hungry or thirsty. There are multiple restaurant options nearby, and it really depends on your tastes. If you want ice cream, there are plenty of options available. I’ve sampled a few and for convenience and quality, I would most recommend either Heid’s or JT’s Creamery and Cafe, though there are several good options to choose from in the area. For coffee or a quick snack, definitely check out Freedom of Espresso or the Cafe at 407. Although both places have great drinks and snacks, I’d like to highlight that the Cafe at 407 supports the work of Ophelia’s Place, which is “a nonprofit dedicated to changing the culture and conversation around eating disorders, body image and body dissatisfaction.” Read more on Cafe 407’s Our Story website.
After a long day, you may not have energy, but the Minor League team Syracuse Mets play just a short drive down the road at NBT Bank Stadium, and they often have specials and fireworks on weekends. Lots of people are excited to hear that Tim Tebow (the NFL star) is a member of the team, but the rest of the team is worth cheering for as well. Most nights, it’s easy enough to buy walk up tickets, but you can also purchase in advance at this link.
If you decide to go, have fun on your day in Liverpool! I’ll be heading to Lake George in a couple of weeks and plan to do a post on that area, we well as one related to Old Forge. Stay tuned and check in every week!