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Onondaga County

Overview - Onondaga County

Onondaga County is centrally located in New York State, on the eastern end of the Finger Lakes-Wine Country region. The county seat is Syracuse, the fourth-largest city in the state. Syracuse is the longtime host of the New York State Fair, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors around Labor Day every year. The region is renowned for its salt mining operations, and there’s a Salt Museum in the village of Liverpool. Onondaga County is home to the Onondaga Nation, one of the original five nations of the Haudenosaunee. The Onondaga Nation occupies about 7,300 acres in an area just south of Syracuse.

The county has several lakes, the largest of which is Oneida Lake, the largest lake entirely in New York State and located on the northeastern edge of the county. Onondaga Lake is northwest of Syracuse. The others are both Finger Lakes: Skaneateles, on the western end of the county, and Otisco, the easternmost and one of the smallest of the Finger Lakes. The region is extremely popular with boaters, fishermen and –women, campers and summertime visitors, and wine-lovers, who flock to the area to sample products from the many vineyards. Onondaga County is home to Green Lakes State Park in the village of Fayetteville and to Clark Reservation State Park in the hamlet of Jamesville, along with the popular Onondaga Lake County Park in Liverpool and Long Branch Park in Syracuse.

Syracuse University has more than 18,000 students and is well-regarded for its communications program, with many famous graduates in national broadcasting circles. LeMoyne College, a Jesuit-run liberal arts college, also is in Onondaga County, along with the State University of New York’s Upstate Medical University and Onondaga Community College.

Syracuse is about 90 miles east of Rochester and about 150 miles west of Albany. Onondaga County is well served by the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) and Interstates 81, 481 and 690 all pass through the county.



Recreation & Entertainment

Syracuse is well-known in sports circles as the home of the Carrier Dome, the only domed stadium in the Northeast and the largest structure of its kind on a college campus in the United States. Syracuse University’s men’s basketball team is nationally ranked and the winners of the 2003 national championship. SU’s football team also is well known and plays a Division I schedule. Both teams draw huge crowds to the Dome, which also hosts concerts and other events.

Syracuse has a number of well-respected museums and art galleries and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

For shopping, Destiny USA is the largest shopping center in the state and the sixth-largest in the nation. The Great Northern Mall in Clay is another popular shopping area. Syracuse also is home to the first Dinosaur Barbecue restaurant, a regional chain that has been expanding in recent years.

The area is known for its brutal winters, with snowfall totals well over 100 inches annually. That provides ample recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, and summers are wonderful here. The Erie Canal passes through parts of Onondaga County.