Historic Gristmill Turned Boutique Hotel Overlooking Erie Canal
The Erie Canal stretches 363 miles from Albany to Buffalo; the waterway effectively connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, and it helped cement New York’s status as the Empire State. A portion of the canal winds along the Seneca River through Baldwinsville, a small town just 13 miles northwest of Syracuse. Here, The Red Mill Inn—an old gristmill-turned-hotel—overlooks Lock 24 of the Erie Canal. Outside the inn, you can watch boats as they park in the lock, a sort of elevator system that pulls vessels up and down so they can continue further down the river.
In 2006, local entrepreneurs found the 19th-century flourmill and transformed it into a modern hotel, at once preserving it and taking advantage of its lovely location on an island amid the Seneca River. The inn features Arts and Crafts–style architecture—characteristic of the late 1800s—with handcrafted wood furniture, stained glass, and artisan tiles.
You can enjoy views of the river or the canal from any of the hotel’s 32 guest rooms, each equipped with cable TV, bathrobes, high-speed Internet access, and, as part of this deal, chocolates from The Speach Family Candy Shoppe and wine. During your stay, enjoy a complimentary breakfast that includes waffles, coffee, fruit, and more, or pop into the onsite LockSide Pub for a drink beside the fireplace.
Greater Syracuse, New York: Industrial Upstate City Along the Erie Canal
The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 ushered in a population boom in western New York, particularly for the small towns along the canal, such as Syracuse. Syracuse remains an important industrial center in the Northeast today; visit the Erie Canal Museum to learn more about the vital role the canal played in Syracuse’s history.
Near the city center, the Museum of Science and Technology is known for its hands-on exhibits—you can climb into the simulated cockpit of an F-16 jet, walk through a giant replica of a human heart, and dig for fossils in the Earth Science Discovery Cave. Less than 2 miles away in Burnet Park is the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, which has more than 700 animals. Here, on a half-mile wildlife trail, you can journey past grey wolves, amur tigers, snow leopards, and spectacled bears. Be sure to check out a zoo favorite, the Lion Corridor, home to three lions, lemurs, monkeys, apes, and meerkats.