By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
While SUNY Oswego campus offers plenty of fun things to do, you should try to explore off- campus activities and events to experience what the area offers.
If you want to catch a concert, check out St. Joseph’s Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse, one of the area’s biggest venues, according to Linda Lowen, author of “100 Things to Do in Syracuse Before You Die” (www.100ThingsSyracuse.com).
The amphitheater is near the New York State Fairgrounds and “hosts concerts with rock, classic rock, country, and metal bands performing in an open-air venue with covered ticketed seating and cheaper lawn seats on the grassy slope overlooking the lake.
“Another benefit of lawn seats: you’re close to the food, the beer and beverage tents, the bathrooms and concessions. Many of the biggest names currently touring come through Syracuse to play at the Amp. There’s nothing better than music outdoors especially when the performance coincides with sunset.”
As another way to get outdoors while the weather is warm, try apple picking at Beak & Skiff in Lafayette. The “apple campus” is huge, with wagon rides to the orchard, a large gift shop, bakery, cafe, and (for those 21+), 1911 barn tasting room.
“You can sample hard ciders and other legal beverages,” Lowen noted.
For more harvest fun, Ontario Orchards in Oswego sells local goods, including apples and hosts its annual Fall Jamboree Sept. 17-18.
“Or you can pick apples and pears at Greco Family Farm & Orchards in Oswego,” Lowen added.
In Syracuse, try Salt City Market in downtown, “probably the buzziest spot these days,” Lowen said. Various vendors at the indoor market offer Thai, Burmese, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, Jamaican, and soul food.
“There’s also bubble tea, pies, cakes, and coffee at Salt City Coffee,” Lowen said. “Lots of seating gives you a view of Salina Street, Syracuse’s main drag. There’s also free parking in the lot behind the building.”
Nearby, check out Parthenon Books, just down the street, which sells Skytop Coffee and baked goods in addition to books.
“They’re Syracuse’s only independent bookstore downtown, and between the wall murals throughout the store and cafe, it’s a great place to read and sip,” Lowen said. “It’s open most evenings until 9 p.m.”
Other interesting cafes include Syracuse’s cat cafes, Luna Café, which Lowen described as “a Japanese-themed cafe with Midwestern family recipes and Japanese dishes, as well as bubble teas.”
A visit to their cat room can help if you miss your feline buddy back home. At the CNY Regional Market, Pawsitivitea CNY Café and Cat Lounge, enjoy coffee, tea, baked goods, vegan and gluten-free options along with purring companions.
The Regional Market is also home to the Sunday Flea Market “if you like to thrift and dig through piles of clothes and tables stacked with treasures and trash,” Lowen said.
The year-round market “is a fun place to hunt for vintage finds. It’s best to show up early – like 7 a.m. – because often the vendors pack up by noon.”