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Affordable Winter Vacations for Syracuse Students

Affordable Winter Vacations for Syracuse Students

Central New York winters can be brutal, especially in Syracuse, one of the snowiest cities in the country. When gearing up for a Syracuse winter, consider getting out of CNY to refresh. Blustery, below zero temperatures and wind make everyone want to stay inside, but the cold somehow seems easier to bear if you’re in another city.

With bleak weather conditions and unexpected lake effect snow, a change of scenery can be rejuvenating. For those looking to get away, especially college students, here are some inexpensive travel ideas.

Go International

The CN Tower stands above all others. StockSnap/Pixabay

Forget flying and driving. Grab your passport and take the train to Toronto. Round trip tickets can be found for as little as $152 through Amtrak, which is cheaper than buying gas or plane tickets. To stay healthy while traveling, see these three simple steps.

An expansive city, Toronto sits on Lake Ontario. Take in the view from atop the CN Tower that stands 1,815 feet tall, or view the Toronto skyline from the castle, Casa Loma, just outside the city. While the lake can also be seen from New York, the grass is always greener on the other side, right?

The Distillery District has plenty of art, good food, and breweries. This area of Toronto is for pedestrians only, leaving plenty of room to walk around the cobblestone streets and see the Victorian-style buildings.

For the sports fans, pay your respects to Canada’s best sport, and stop at the Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum.

In State & “At Least Once” In a Lifetime Experiences

The Empire State Building shines bright over the city. Hu Ke

Coast into New York City’s Penn Station through Amtrak for as little as $117 round trip and experience all the winter festivities. Depending on what day you leave, one way tickets through Wanderu can be found as low as $5. You can find hostels for less than $50 a night, saving you money for the many sights and shopping!

There’s always Broadway shows, but at Christmas time, catch a showing of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. See the giant Christmas tree lit up at Rockefeller Center and skate around The Rink at Rockefeller Center. If  that’s too crowded, you can also go ice skating in Central Park — a true NYC winter classic. You can always visit a Macy’s store in any city, so skip the crowds, and instead go shopping at the Winter Village in Bryant Park.

As touristy as it is, NYC at night from atop the Empire State Building is something you must do at least once. It’s breathtaking to see the biggest city in the U.S. all lit up.

Another must is the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. There’s a quietness to the museum that is different than others. As heart wrenching as some of the exhibits are, it’s a visit to pay your respects.

On a more cheerful note, if you’re in NYC for New Years Eve, line up early at Times Square to catch the ball drop at midnight. The crowd and inability to move may make you want to never see the ball drop again, but it’s another activity you need to do at least once.

You May Crave Palm Trees & Sunshine

Hear the waves crash and forget about the snow back home. Paul Brennan/Public Domain Pictures

If you’re really tired of the cold and can’t stand the sight of snow any longer, book a trip to Daytona Beach—the more affordable Florida cities to visit. You can book round trip plane tickets from Syracuse for under $400 with one layover. A round trip is even cheaper out of Buffalo and Rochester, with tickets under $300.

The beach will probably be the first thing on your mind, and you have 23 miles of shoreline to enjoy. Check out the sights on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk, where you can ride roller coasters and a Ferris wheel.

If you’re looking for another way to splash around, visit the Daytona Lagoon water park. And, if you’re looking for something really different, participate in the Richard Petty Driving Experience and drive a racecar around the Daytona International Speedway.

Dazzling Lights

The Las Vegas Strip is alive all night long. ngd3/Pixabay

Grab your friends and head to Vegas!

While the travel is more expensive, going as a group can save you money on a hotel room. Plane tickets with one layover fall under $500 starting in early January. Before then, tickets can be pricey because of the holiday season. There are also plenty of free things to do in Las Vegas, so you can save money for the casinos and must-do activities.

Some of the best sights, like the Bellagio Conservatory and the Mirage Volcano, are completely free. If you’re going to Vegas to party, check out the Flamingo Hotel. It’s affordable and the pool parties are legendary. Bonus, there’s a wildlife habitat. Three words; selfies with parrots.

If you’re looking for a thrill, ride to the top of the Stratosphere Tower where you can sky jump, take a nosedive off the tower on the X-Scream, or spin over the Las Vegas skyline on Insanity the ride.

Whatever winter adventure you’re planning to take, whether you want to embrace the cold or get as far away as possible, there’s an affordable winter destination waiting for you in all directions.

About The Author

Christine Oser

Christine is a graduate student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and is from Louisville, Kentucky. She will graduate with a degree in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism in 2018.

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