Image via Flickr by Markus Spiske

Syracuse is the fifth-most populous city in New York state. Once known for its salt production, it is now renowned as an academic and cultural center. The surrounding area offers some spectacular scenery, with several lakes and hills, especially during the winter snowfalls. Syracuse also boasts the sixth-largest mall in the country, along with a wide variety of restaurants and luxurious hotels. It would be easy to just focus on food and relaxation when vacationing there, but what are the best options for those of us who want to stay fit and active?

Healthy Activities at the Hotel

There is nothing more frustrating for an active person on holiday than bad weather curtailing their planned activities. You can prevent this by booking a hotel with good leisure facilities, like a pool and a gym.

A Good Walk and a Round of Golf

Syracuse is surrounded by a number of fine golf courses. Some are private, but two public courses that would be ideal for visitors are Green Lakes and the West Course at Drumlins. Green Lakes lies within the Green Lakes State Park and was one of the first courses designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones. When the golf is over, players can explore the rest of the park, including the two lakes. Drumlins is a leisure complex featuring tennis courts and a heated pool; visiting golfers can play the public West Course.

Explore the Inuit Way

Image via Flickr by Alan Levine

Propelling yourself around one of the local lakes in a kayak is a great workout and is also an excellent way to enjoy the scenery. Onondaga Lake Park allows visitors to bring their own boat, or to rent one, although certain times of day are reserved for training by the university teams.

Take Your Fitness to Another Level

The Central Rock Gym in Syracuse offers a fitness challenge that may be unfamiliar to some. It has 16,000 square feet of climbing on 45-foot walls, catering to all standards. For those who are less keen on heights, it offers a traditional gym and fitness classes.

Traveling Downhill at a Ski Resort

For winter visitors, there is a good chance that the area will be blanketed in snow. If so, why not head to Song Mountain Ski Resort and give skiing a try? The resort can get quite busy, but it is a family-friendly facility.

Take a Hike

Highland Forest is a very popular site for hiking. In the summer there are various trails to explore, and horseback riding is also an option. In winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are offered. For a less physical challenge, the Onondaga Creekwalk offers the chance to get to some parts of Syracuse that you would otherwise miss.

Most of the activities described here are available all year round, so, whatever the weather, you can enjoy a healthy vacation and have fun at the same time. A vacation in Syracuse can be as luxurious as you want, but there’s no need to feel guilty about indulging, as you can return home in better shape than when you left!