Located on the southern shore of Onondaga Lake in central New York State, Syracuse sits at the crossroads of the New York State Thruway and Interstate 81. By virtue of its location, Syracuse is a major hub of transportation and shipping by road, rail, sea, and air. The city is also a major regional education center, with Syracuse University, LeMoyne College, Cazenovia College, SUNY - Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Upstate Medical Center, SUNY Empire State College, and Onondaga Community College.

Major employers aside from the various schools and hospitals within the Syracuse Metropolitan Statistical Area include Carrier, Anheuser-Busch, Bristol-Myers, Wegmans, Lockheed Martin, UPS, and Verizon.

Much more entertainingly, Syracuse is home to the Great New York State Fair, Hellfest, a thriving local and regional arts community featuring a theater company, an opera, and a symphony orchestra. Downtown Syracuse is pretty much like downtown small city USA, with a couple of cool neighborhoods, shopping area, and bars to suit any mood. Downtown is also home to the excellent Dinosaur Bar-B-Que bar and restaurant, which alone justifies a stop in the city.

Within day trip distance is the Turning Stone casino, Onondaga Lake, the Finger Lakes region (try the wine), Seneca Falls, and Ithaca.