By Daytripper Contributor Sarah Barth, Class of 2016

Family Weekend is such a fun time every year for parents & their students to reconnect. For freshmen, it usually falls right at that time where they’ve have been on campus long enough to learn their way around and also are maybe feeling a little homesick. So you’ll want to capitalize on this quality time and make sure you show your family the best of Syracuse!


Water Street Bagel is a MUST-GO for bagel lovers. With local ingredients and a commitment to making NYC-style bagels, this newer spot usually has lines out the door, but I assure you it is worth the wait.

Another packed place is the Rise N Shine Diner. They just opened a second spot in Westcott, but the original location is only a 10-minute drive from campus too. A glass of their specialty Iced Hot Chocolates is a must. Sweet-tooths will love their creative waffle and pancake selections, but don’t worry if you’d rather have something hearty, their home fries and omelets are AMAZING.


Faegan’s Pub is conveniently right near campus, so you can enjoy some poutine and a chipotle chicken sandwich after touring around. (As a former waitress, those are my favorite items on the menu!) For those over 21, choose from more than 40 beers and ciders on tap, many of them local! 

If you’re looking to get away from the fray of campus, head up to Heid’s of Liverpool for a quick bite and take a stroll along Onondaga Lake. 

Not in the mood for a hot dog? Head over to The Retreat for a salad.


Family Weekend is the time to splurge on a nice dinner! Check out our regular Syracuse guide for a full list of options from Casual to Fine Dining, but I’ll add a few more unique spots that will be worth the price tag.

Their motto of “eat small live large” rings true whenever you eat at Laci’s Tapas Bar. With a lengthy menu of small bites, go hungry and plan to make a lot of choices. My favorites include the Beef Wellington, Bacon-Wrapped Dates, Apple Brie flatbread, and the Butternut Squash Ravioli.

Citronelle is a new spot in Armory Square. The waitstaff is trained to know everything about the rich menu and is always very professional. You can’t go wrong between the raw bar, extensive cheese & charcuterie menu, and large well-prepared plates.


Don your orange gear and head to the Dome! The SU-Pitt game is always a good one, so make sure to get tickets. Grab some “domecho’s” (nachos in the Dome!) to snack on during the game.


If you’re up for a drive through the majestic Central New York, venture to the Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard. On top of apple picking, they have a fantastic market with delicious apple cider donuts! Afterwards, stop by the 1911 barn for a wine and hard cider tasting.

More into beer? The Empire Farm Brewery in Cazenovia is an idyllic spot to taste some hops. There are games out back on their expansive lawn, too.

If nature is your thing, head to Green Lakes State Park for a trail hike alongside the beautiful green-blues of the lake.