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Perfect spots for adventure in Syracuse

Perfect spots for adventure in Syracuse

As the fifth most populous city in  New York State, Syracuse isn’t front-of-mind when you think of adventuring. But with a long history, rich culture, and diverse landscapes, Syracuse has lots of places to find unusual experiences. Want to take a unique photo for Instagram? Searching for different things to do in Syracuse? These places will meet your needs:

The Upside-Down Traffic Signal

If you want a one-of-a-kind selfie, head over to Syracuse’s Tipperary Hill neighborhood and snap a (color) pic with the nation’s only green-on-top traffic light.

In 1930, a traffic light was placed at the intersection of Tompkins Street and Milton Avenue. Like every other traffic light, the red light was oriented above the green. Unfortunately, this was interpreted by the Irish neighborhood residents as Britain having a higher position over Ireland. This caused… dissatisfaction amongst the citizens who immediately smashed the red light by throwing stones. 

After several months (and several light repairs), the city reached a compromise with the Irish community, and the Upside-Down Traffic Signal was approved. It remains to this day, the only “right-side-up” light in America.

Niagara Mohawk Building

Built-in 1932, the former Niagara Hudson Building (now Niagara Mohawk building), was once the headquarters of the nation’s largest electricity supplier. It is an outstanding example of Art Deco architecture and the Age of Electricity. 

As a product of the Great Depression, the Niagara Mohawk Building is probably the most unusual building in Syracuse. If you are looking for a spot to take a unusual selfie, come and see it!

Skytop Quarry

Just North of the many buildings of the Syracuse University campus is the quarry that supplied most of the stone. Today, the big empty space left by the quarrymen is an awesome spot for mountain biking.

The ground is used by many cyclists, and there are tracks for both beginners and advanced riders. Be forewarned–many local cyclists claim that the area is considered off-limits and trespassers might be prosecuted. Bike at your own risk.

Tree of 40 Fruit

Another unique and famous attraction is the living art of Professor Sam Van Aken, an artist at Syracuse University. His “tree of 40 fruit” has become famous. In winter, it is not different from other trees, but in spring, it blossoms into pink, white and red flowers, and in summer, it produces 40 different kinds of fruit.

Find it just outside Hines Hall on the main quad, and visit it in late Spring for a one-of-a-kind Instagram selfie.

photo source:

Doug Kerr from Flickr; Sean Marshall from Flickr from Trailforks ; Tree of 40 Fruit-Wikipedia

About The Author


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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