We all know what the start of November in Syracuse means: winter weather that somehow lasts for six months. If you didn’t get a chance to see all of what upstate New York has to offer at the beginning of the semester, don’t worry! There are still plenty of trips you can take before the cold permanently traps us inside.

Spend a Day in Little Falls, NY

Little Falls is about a 75-minute drive from Syracuse. Along with beautiful scenery, this quaint town is jam-packed with activities for every type of tourist. Are you an art lover? Check out some galleries and attend a jewelry-making class! Do you enjoy physical activities? Go rock climbing or kayaking! If you’re just looking to spend a relaxing day out, there are plenty of unique shops and restaurants to check out as well. You can visit the town’s website for more information and for in-depth itineraries based on your interests.

Stay in a Historic Bed and Breakfast in Ithaca

There are plenty of cozy and charming inns in upstate New York with rich history and amazing views. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a fun night with friends, you cannot go wrong with spending a night or two in the Ithaca countryside. It’s the perfect opportunity to de-stress before finals season!

Head Out to Skaneateles

Skaneateles offers some great lake views and a downtown area to explore with shops and restaurants. For those 21 and over, Skaneateles is the perfect place to taste test craft beverages the region has to offer or sample ciders made locally from fresh fruits. Complete with live music and pub food, a stop in Skaneateles will give you and your friends the perfect excuse to kick back for a day⁠—responsibly, of course!

Surround Yourself with Nature at the Cornell Botanical Gardens

The Cornell Botanic Gardens are open year-round. They’re also free of charge, which should make any college student’s ears immediately perk up. There are a variety of tours you can take, including a self-guided one where you can explore at your own pace. If you get out there early enough, you may be able to see the last of the fall foliage before winter hits, but there’s still plenty to see and learn after the leaves fall!

Road Trip to Niagara Falls (Before It Gets Too Cold!)

This is definitely the largest time commitment on this list, as the drive from Syracuse to Niagara Falls clocks in at about two and a half hours. However, the best things in life take time, and the Falls are something every Syracuse student must see before they graduate. Take a few friends and make a day out of it! It’s sure to be an experience you’ll never forget.

The arrival of November doesn’t mean you immediately have to hibernate indoors until May. While it may take some extra bundling up, you can still plan some great activities, both indoor and outdoor, to beat the winter melancholy. Stay warm out there!

Written By Madison Manczko ’24, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications