Girls’ Getaway: Shop til you Drop in Syracuse

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SHOP TIL YOU DROP It had been 6 weeks since I’d been home from Europe, and I was already looking for a new adventure. The only problem? Well I actually had two: firstly I’d used up all (and more!) of my allotted holidays for the year, and secondly; my bank account didn’t amount to much.  Both of which made for a bit of a travel dilemma. Thankfully my mom came to the rescue when she asked me how I felt about hopping the boarder to Syracuse to do some shopping. Our excuse was that we were both attending weddings this summer and needed something to wear, but in reality we just wanted a bit of girl time and Syracuse offered us the perfect mini getaway.

Getting There

Being only a little under three hours from my hometown in Ottawa, Canada we chose to drive.  There are also options via the Canadian Bus line Greyhound Bus. For those coming from further away, Syracuse does have an airport.

Where to Stay

City center, as per usual, is the best place to spend the night(s). Syracuse is not a large city so traffic problems and getting lost aren’t really an issue. Based on our fantastic experience (read about it here) I highly recommend staying at the Jefferson Clinton Hotel in Armoury square. Not only was the property fabulous but the location is perfect. There are nearly 60 restaurants to choose from within a six block radius and a bunch of little boutique-style shops as well. The Jefferson Clinton is also an easy five minute drive from the main shopping attraction; Destiny USA mall.


The Jefferson Clinton Hotel is the ideal place to stay for your Syracuse Getaway

Where to Eat

The city has a plethora of restaurants with something for every craving: Asian, Italian, American, BBQ. From fine dining to Irish pubs there’s something to suite everyone’s taste. Local favourites include: Dinosaur BBQ: The best rated restaurant in the city comes with a lineup, but don’t let the line (or the multitude of motorcycles outside) throw you off, because inside you will be served some amazing real American BBQ. Make sure you come hungry though because portions are huge!

Dinosaur BBQ -photo credit to

Dinosaur BBQ
-photo credit to

Pastabilities: Also likely to have a wait time, Pastabilities is a local and tourist favourite. Homemade pasta and sauces are the draw here, along with their to-die-for Italian bread (which you can conveniently purchase at their bakery across the road). Another favourite, and perfect for any girls getaway, is the white mango sangria- splurge on the half carafe; you will want it!


Pastabilities restaurant -photo credit: trip advisor

Alternatively, if it’s getting late and you are still at the Destiny USA mall, there are also restaurant options there too including; The Melting Pot for fondue, Koto Japanese Steakhouse, and Cantina Laredo’s Mexican Cuisine. And if you have room for dessert, the mall is also now home to the Cheesecake Factory!


Although there are plenty of boutiques in the city centre, the main shopping draw of Syracuse is the absolutely enormous mall. Formerly known as the Carousel Centre, Destiny USA mall is projected to be the second most popular shopping mall in the USA.  With over 200 stores, it’s easy to spend an entire day wandering this shopaholic’s paradise. Home to American staples such as Macy’s and Lord and Taylor, Destiny USA offers an incredible variety of stores and brand names that are different than what we can find in Ottawa. And although the exchange rate at this time doesn’t make for any great deals, we found that many of the stores were offering spring sales or promotions during the time of our visit (the first weekend of June).  Store sales can also be found listed on the Destiny USA website. Destiny USA mall has also recently undergone an expansion that has brought in an entire new section of designer brand outlets. These include Fossil, Guess, Armani, Michael Kors, and Saks Off 5th Avenue to name a few.  Our shopping showed deals as much as 80% off leather bags and wallets from Fossil, and a large selection of colour and style choices in Michael Kors. This is the perfect place for the fashionista on a budget.

Inside the desiny USA mall -photo credit:

Inside the desiny USA mall
-photo credit:

For further outlet shopping, the Waterloo Premium Outlets are only a 40 minute drive past Syracuse. While many of these outlets can now also be found at the Destiny USA mall, it is another option for anyone with an extra couple of hours to spare.   For more information on Syracuse, and planning your own shopping getaway, contact the Visit Syracuse.


  1. Jen Seligmann on June 19, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Love a good shopping trip! This reminds me that I need to organise a girly getaway soon.

  2. Alli on June 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    This post is fueling my repressed shopaholic within me. I used to have a serious shopping problem – like actually, couldn’t stop buying pretty things. These days I am a frugal Betty because of saving to travel though!

  3. Alexandra C. on June 19, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    This looks like such a nice girls getaway. I’ve never been to Syracuse, but it looks fun! I am also such a shopper…. Luckily I have fallen in love with treasure hunting in thrift stores, so that keeps me within budget these days. 🙂 Nothing like a $6 burberry scarf or copies of your favorite classics from the 1940’s! -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • on June 19, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      I used to be a bigger shopper but try to be better now that travel is such a priority. $6 Burberry scarf sounds like a big win!

  4. Els on June 20, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I’d probably spend all day at Pastabilities 🙂 Not much of a shopper, but Italian olive oil, cheese, salami, …. I’d happily make an exception for that! 🙂

  5. Brianna on June 21, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    There’s nothing like a good girls’ weekend with Mom!

  6. Ashley on June 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    A weekend away with the girls is just what I need right now. This looks like a great option, just a shame I live so far away.

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