7.6 out of 10

Syracuse

Ranked 15th best city in New York
43.0438180353422 -76.1462213438763
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
  • Cost of Living
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Syracuse Has Everything To Expect in NY Cities: And More"

Located near Lake Oneida in Onandaga County, NY, Syracuse is a culturally creative and historical extravaganza that's just about bursting at the seams with excitement! No matter what you want to do, it seems that it can be done in Syracuse: with a fantastic Zoo (Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park), wonderful parks (like Onandaga Lake Park), museums (like the Emerson Museum of Art or Automobile Museum, ect.), theaters for live shows and films alike, art galleries, festivals (such as the Jazz Festival), and more, if it's entertainment you want, Syracuse seems like a place where the sky is truly “the limit”!

Not only does it have an excellent collection of venues for visitors and residents alike to enjoy, Syracuse is steeped in history: it was home to the Underground Railroad (once even known as the “City Depot of the Underground Railroad”), helping to get slaves free, and it was also home to an expansive salt and manufacturing industry. It was also home to the Onondaga Native Americans, tribal members of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, whose history is still thriving here in the NY Finger Lakes Region. Later on, Syracuse would be taken over by the French and then, from them, the British.

Today, there are over 145,170 people living in Syracuse to date. Some live here as students attending Syracuse University or the Upstate University Health System (perhaps the neighborhood of Westcott, which is right near University Hill). Others have come to live and work in Downtown Syracuse, where most of the restaurants are located (at Armory Square). There's also culturally-designated areas like Little Italy, but areas such as Butternut Circle, with its pizza shop, barber shops, hair salons, and other stores attracts many people to live there as well. There's also University Hill near Marshall Street (more than 25,000 people work here each day, and love to call Syracuse their home). On top of loads of things to do to keep yourself entertained, and great places to eat, Syracuse offers a lot to people who wish to live here: such as excellent schools (Syracuse City School District, or charter schools like Syracuse Academy of Sciences), and wonderful medical care. There's also two different train stations in Syracuse for commuters: 131 Alliance Bank Parkway and New York 695, both Amtrack stations.

The only negative part about Syracuse is the very high crime rate, but there are hopeful programs such as non-for-profit-based organizations like Syracuse Community Geography (see more info at www.communitygeography.org). Also police are on the lookout, and it's a good idea not to be walking around by yourself after dark. Keep an eye on your kids, and make sure their schools are cracking down on bullying. Charter schools are better when it comes to these issues.

Overall Syracuse is a good place to live if you watch your back on the streets. It's a place that's vibrating with culture and diversity and wonderful places for entertainment, such as museums, parks and art galleries, outstanding night life, awesome restaurants and lots of great means for learning about our country's colorful history. There's great transportation and wonderful medical care, as well as lots of convenient amenities. Homes in Syracuse are very affordable for working middle-class families at around $92,500.
Pros
  • good schools, especially charter schools
  • college town
  • lots to do
  • snow galore
Cons
  • leftover pollution
  • snow galore
  • some crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A Can-Do City of Festivals"

Right in the middle of New York State is Syracuse, its fifth most populous city, and the perennial winner – until this year, when Rochester won in an upset – of the Golden Snowball Award, presented to the upstate New York city that receives the greatest amount of snow in a season. With an average of 121 inches per winter, and with blizzard conditions causing drifts of up to 20 feet, Syracuse is a city of hardy, can-do souls, and, maybe not coincidentally, has a thriving industry of microbreweries.

Until 1900, most of the salt in the United States came from the briny springs around the southern end of Syracuse’s Onondaga Lake, its sale aided by the opening of the Erie Canal. Eventually the salt industry declined, replaced by a wide array of manufacturing businesses. Like Buffalo and Rochester, Syracuse’s population and fortunes swelled thanks to industry, only to taper off and plummet during the 1970s, when companies began moving their factories south or overseas. Today the top five employers are Upstate University Health System, Syracuse University, Oneida Indian Nation, Wegmans Food Markets, and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.

Onondaga Creek runs through downtown Syracuse, flows northward into Onondaga Lake, and eventually ends up in Lake Ontario. Unregulated manufacturing left its mark here, as it did to most industrial cities, and Onondaga Lake is still heavily polluted. Efforts to clean it up and make amends continue, though, and recently National Geographic’s Green Guide named Syracuse “One of America’s Top 20 Green Cities.”

In 2010, Forbes rated Syracuse fourth out of the top ten places to raise a family; in the spring of 2012, CNN Money ranked it 8th in the nation for housing affordability. The median house/apartment/condo price is $106,000, the median income $66,900, so 90% of households can afford a median-priced place to live. There is a wide housing market, with many available. This city is home to about 145,170 people, with 662,577 living in the metropolitan area. There is some crime here, but there are active Neighborhood Watches throughout the city, connected by a group website.

Once an active stop on the Underground Railroad, Syracuse is now home to an array of ethnic groups, and is 56% white, 29.9% African-American, 8.3% Hispanic/Latino, followed by Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander. During the 1980s quite a few immigrants from Africa and Central America moved here - “God Grew Tired Of Us,” a really good 2006 documentary, chronicles the lives of three young men who fled the genocide in Sudan in the 1980s, and ended up in Syracuse.

As with most cities, the rankings of Syracuse’s public elementary, middle, and high schools depend on the area; but its State University (SUNY) schools, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Upstate Medical University, are both well-regarded. US News ranks Syracuse University #62 in the nation. There are two nursing schools located within the city, and in the suburbs is Le Moyne College, as well as several satellite campuses of other universities.

Syracuse has nine Community and three Senior Centers, and over 170 parks and recreation areas with playing fields, pools, ice rinks, and public golf courses. Hikers can head to the glacial lake and forests of Green Lakes State Park, beach lovers to Jamesville Beach and Oneida Shores. There’s all kinds of entertainment for kids: the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Beaver Lake Nature Center, International Mask & Puppet Museum, Saint Marie Among the Irouqois Living History Center, Erie Canal Museum, Museum of Science & Technology (complete with planetarium), as well as all kinds of sports complexes and arcades.

The arts are alive and well here, with forty museums and galleries from which to choose, the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival, the Society for New Music, the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, Syracuse Stage (experimental theater) and the Red House Arts Center, which hosts theater, concerts, art exhibitions, films, and special events. The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra was a cultural mainstay until it went bankrupt in 2011, but from its ashes rose the Syracuse Opera Company and the Clinton String Quartet. There is even Metal ‘Cuse – which describes itself as “one of Upstate New York’s most anticipated yearly Heavy Metal Events.”

Sports lovers can revel in Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome. Seating almost 50,000 people, it is the largest domed stadium in the Northeast and the largest of any college campus in the country. Baseball fans can watch the Syracuse Chiefs play at Alliance Bank Stadium; shoppers can head to Armory Square for stores, restaurants, and a view of the historic Jefferson Clinton Hotel; and beer aficionados can tour seven breweries along the Syracuse Beer Trail.

Syracuse loves its festivals, and hosts – to name just a few - the Syracuse Jazz Festival, the largest free outdoor jazzfest in the country; the Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival, also free; the Polish Festival, hosted by the Polish Scholarship Fund; the Home and Garden Show, the Taste of Syracuse, the Jamesville BalloonFest, OktoberFest, Great American AntiqueFest, Empire Brewing and Music Festival, Syracuse WinterFest, and, of course, the 12-day Great New York State Fair, which draws nearly a million people and is held at the Empire Expo Center just west of the city.

There’s something for everyone in Syracuse, especially if you love the challenge of a snowy winter.
Pros
  • lots to do
  • college town
  • snow galore
Cons
  • leftover pollution
  • some crime
  • snow galore
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers

Travelling to Syracuse?

Find Hotels

Unranked Neighborhoods in Syracuse

Brighton

2.5/5
"Not a bad place to throw the old pigskin around...."
43.0233883495156 -76.1492944390766

Downtown

3/5
"Get your drink on."
43.0478902280073 -76.1510609184751

Lakefront

3.5/5
"Shopping, Eating, Movies, Just wasting time"
43.0626126754438 -76.1682091828072

Meadowbrook

3.5/5
"Syracuse University's West Gateway"
43.0395816713869 -76.0976182688626
""A weird street to live on, quite a mixed use""
43.058384372618 -76.1412452766163
"Nice Residential Area...."
43.0415601425462 -76.1653102433842

Salt Springs

2.5/5
""You need a place to grab a decent meal, dont know where to go? This street is your best chance""
43.051428919606 -76.1007306961039

Southwest

1/5
"Just an Industrial area...."
43.0363060340402 -76.15287851718

Strathmore

3.5/5
"South ave/ side living"
43.0263958294764 -76.1781494290824
"You have now arrived at Syracuse Univesity...."
43.0417323965218 -76.1380538448091

Unanswered Questions in New York

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More