10 COVID-friendly places to visit in CNY this spring

10 COVID-friendly destinations to visit in CNY this spring

As temperatures rise and COVID restrictions continue, Central New York offers a wide range of safe attractions that you must go to this spring.
Published: April 8, 2021

Spring is upon us, and Syracuse University students seem to be over not only the dreaded winter but also the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even with millions of vaccines being administered in the U.S. and on campus, the pandemic is still very much rampant as new strains and variants of the coronavirus incessantly, it seems, spring up. As you await your vaccine, it is still encouraged to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and participate in activities outside as opposed to indoors. Central New York offers a plethora of COVID-friendly activities for you and your friends to participate in now that the weather is starting to warm up. Here are some destination recommendations:

The Lincklaen House (Cazenovia Hotel and restaurant)

The Lincklaen House is an elegant hotel restaurant in Cazenovia with an interior that will make you feel like a Vanderbilt during the Gilded Age. It’s definitely not something you would expect from the outside of the nearly 200-year-old building. The restaurant has a quaint little courtyard where you and your friends can enjoy a delicious meal in a European-esque atmosphere.


Green Lakes (Fayetteville hiking area)

Green Lakes is a great state park and surprisingly close to the city of Syracuse. The looping trail around the lakes are a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can also rent a campsite and pitch a tent.

Beak and Skiff (Lafayette, NY distillery)

As many already know, Beak and Skiff is a wildly popular destination for college students of age. They have a strong variety of spirits, hard ciders, and other drinks, with outdoor seating for up to 600 people. The campus holds activities like apple picking and hayrides and has even announced the return of concerts this summer. With the splendid ambiance and great views of the rolling hills nearby, it’s definitely a great place to take your mind off of schoolwork.

Donny Dixie, the general manager, seems excited to reopen this spring.

“The General Store is always a fun thing to do. The tavern has a great menu, and I suggest finishing it up with the tastings,” he said.


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Lakeside Vista Restaurant & Tavern (Marietta restaurant overlooking Ostico Lake)

Lakeside Vista Restaurant is a hidden gem that all the locals seem to know about but none of the college students and seasonal visitors do. The service is great, as the staff is very accommodating while the food is well-portioned.

What really makes this place special is how it overlooks Ostico Lake, one of the smaller, quainter Finger Lakes.

Anyela’s Vineyards (Skaneateles Winery)

Anyela’s Vineyards is a destination winery with some great views overlooking Skaneateles Lake. The family-owned winery emphasizes their practice of burying their budding grape vines during the winter to protect them from the harsh cold. They also started doing flights of four different wines because of the pandemic.

“Instead of the intimacy at the bar, you are able to go back to your seat and enjoy the wines with your friends,” owner James Nocek said.

The Retreat (bar and restaurant near Onondaga Lake)

The Retreat is a highly rated restaurant and bar that sits near Onondaga Lake. With great outdoor seating, you can enjoy the sunsets near the water. Additionally, it’s a great spot for either before or after a stroll through Onondaga Lake Park.

Tinker Falls (Tully, NY hiking trail)

Tinker Falls Trail is a neat trail tucked away in a small valley in the town of Tully. Along with the falls, there are some beautiful overlooks above.

SU mathematics senior Parker Bair hiked the trails with his friends, and they set up a few hammocks when they saw a man proposing to his girlfriend at the overlook.

“I went over and told them what song was playing during the proposal because that’s something I would want,” he said. “It was definitely a very electric feeling and moment.”

Tinker Falls trail is a hiking trail in Tully, New York with beautiful views of waterfalls and overlooks.
Tinker Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Tully, New York with beautiful views of waterfalls and overlooks.

Greek Peak Mountain Resort (Cortland)

Greek Peak Mountain Resort offers an abundance of activities from a high ropes course and zip lines to an outdoor rollercoaster. They also offer downhill mountain biking for those seeking even more of an adrenaline rush.

While it’s a little expensive, if you are into these kinds of attractions and willing to splurge, it’s definitely worth it.

Drumlins Golf Course (Syracuse)

Drumlins is an extremely convenient golf course, especially considering it’s free (minus the golf balls) for SU students. That’s right; just bring your SUID, some golf balls (you can also buy some there), and you’re good to go. They will supply the clubs. Golfers can also pay for a golf cart as well since it can be quite tiring lugging around your equipment.