Explore the Area

Welcome to the Erie Canal in Central New York

At the 2017 World Canals Conference, you’ll discover the canal that transformed a nation and enjoy today’s vibrant waterway.


Originally conceived as a way to connect Midwest farms and communities with East Coast markets and the Atlantic Ocean, the Erie Canal transformed America in ways the canal’s engineers could never have imagined.

Construction on the 363-mile canal began in 1817. Forty feet wide and four feet deep, it crossed rivers on aqueducts, overcame hills with 83 locks and was completed in just eight years. Its impact was immediate and profound. Freight rates fell 90 percent and passenger travel time from New York City to Buffalo dropped from two weeks to five days, opening the Midwest to settlement by the many waves of immigrants arriving from Europe. Social reform movements, like abolitionism, temperance and women’s suffrage, Utopian communities and various religious movements, thrived in the canal corridor.

Two hundred years later, the Erie Canal continues to play a key role in the culture, history and travel of New York State and the entire Great Lakes region.

 The Transformative Erie Canal

 Cafe Kubal



Columbus Square

Everson Museum

Franklin Square

Clinton Square


 Fayette Park

 Forever 21

 Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Everson Museum

 Hanover Square

Onondaga Lake & Syracuse Skyline

Here are just a few of the things you can do in Syracuse, New York, as we celebrate the bicentennial of the Erie Canal

Erie Canal Museum, the world’s leading interpreter of Erie Canal history, home to the most important and comprehensive collection of Erie Canalrelated documents, photographs, prints and rare books.

The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology, a hands-on science and technology museum for people of all ages that includes the Silverman Planetarium and the only domed IMAX® theater in New York State.

Armory Square, trendy spot for shopping, dining and nightlife.

The Carrier Dome, the largest on-campus basketball arena in the nation and home to the Syracuse University Orange NCAA Division I football, basketball and lacrosse teams.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a Syracuse original that’s regularly featured on various Food Network and Travel Channel shows and was named the country’s #1 barbecue on Good Morning America.

The Everson, the first museum to dedicate itself to the collection of American art, to create a permanent collection of ceramics, to collect video art and to hire the now internationally known architect I.M. Pei to design its building, a sculptural work of art in its own right.

Tipperary Hill and the Upside-down Traffic Light are in the one of Syracuse’s West Side neighborhoods, an area settled by Irish Erie Canal workers and later Irish immigrants, especially those from County Tipperary.

Destiny USA, a destination shopping experience featuring more than 250 retail and outlet shops, go-cart racing, and a lively nightlife and comedy club scene.

Wine Tours and local craft breweries and distilleries are close by. Take a tour and sample award-winning Finger Lakes wines, craft beers and spirits.

For more things to see and do, visit Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Visit Syracuse or I Love NY.

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