These ‘hidden gems’ of the Oswego area worth the visit
By Alex Plate
Oswego has been my home for three years now, and in that time I have gotten to know the city and appreciate what it has to offer.
The area has many hidden gems that visitors, students and residents have all fallen in love with.
Khepera Coffee in the Canal Commons is a very recent addition to the Oswego business community, having opened this past July. The Canal Commons hosts several businesses along West First Street in downtown Oswego.
The owner, Jessica Spano, prides herself on providing expertly brewed, in-house roasted, ethnically sourced coffee, and the central location of the cafe makes it a must visit.
Behind Canal Commons is the Oswego River, whose mouth is home to the Port of Oswego Authority. The river divides the city into its eastern and western halves.
Along the west side of the river, a path follows the river bank up to Utica Street, and is decorated with local art. Anyone with an hour to spare in the downtown area of the city should wander the path to take advantage of its tranquil and beautiful scenery.
The Rice Creek Field Station is another location with plenty of possibilities. Located outside the city on Thompson road in the town of Oswego, the station is run by SUNY Oswego and offers frequent educational programs on a variety of topics relating to the local biosphere.
A long network of trails, along with geocaches and other outdoorsy activities, gives visitors a chance to experience the unique flora and fauna of the Oswego area.
The Oswego area is flush with restaurants as well, with plenty of choices available. One of the must-visits is Wonzones Calzones, a calzone restaurant that specifically caters to SUNY Oswego students. Open only during the academic year, Wonzones offers pickup or delivery anywhere in the city and has become a local staple.
Maria’s Family Restaurant is a traditional diner on West Second Street, perfect for those weekend breakfasts or a casual lunch. Their fast service, fair prices and cozy atmosphere, along with their homemade desserts, make Maria’s a great place to visit for a meal with friends or family.
Ontario Orchards is a farmer’s market west of SUNY Oswego on state Route 104 West in the town of Oswego.
In the fall, apple picking at the orchard is offered, and its wide variety of apples ensures that anyone will find their favorite flavor. Ontario Orchards also has a gift shop, bakery, cider mill, nursery and it even offers Christmas trees for the holiday season.
Breitbeck Park is one of the best places in the city to see the lake. Nestled along the shoreline, behind the breakwall that protects the city from the worst of Lake Ontario, the park gives a wide view of the lake, with a trail running along the shoreline.
The city recently did some work on the park, and a new set of carved stone stairs lead to the water and the marina. Breitbeck Park is home to plenty of local events during the warmer months as well.