Syracuse, New York, USA. The City History, Travel and Tourism. Vacation Packages. Enjoy fun-filled days of outdoor activities, shopping and cultural pursuits in the geographic heart of New York State. Syracuse has old roots as the primary supplier of salt for the United States. The modern presence of Syracuse University and numerous attractions give it a youthful vigor. Kick-start your visit with outdoor activities at local parks. Spend half a day or more at Onondaga Lake Park. Walk along 7 miles (11 kilometers) of shoreline, rent a boat, visit the butterfly garden and play ball games on the sports fields. While you’re there, investigate the Salt Museum on the lake’s eastern shore to learn about the industry that built Syracuse. Many of today’s Syracusans, especially those who have lived here for a bit, might recall that our city’s namesake is an ancient town on the Italian seacoast in Sicily. The Italian immigrants that settled in Syracuse, New York, however must have wondered how this upstate locale wound up with the name of that Sicilian town. In some regards, it is not surprising, but in the case of Syracuse, it has an interesting tale and a bit of a twist. Today, names of communities like Lysander, Pompey, Cicero, or Marcellus are second nature to local residents. No one usually ponders their origin. But, on occasion, an area student studying ancient history or literature, will be surprised that the name of his or her town was being used by some Roman or Greek citizen centuries ago. In fact, classical history and localities formed the identity for many Onondaga County place.