Overview - Onondaga CountyOnondaga 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.