The first half of 2020 has been really hard for all of us and the pandemic has driven us crazy at some point. So since we are newly weds (kind of), and it’s summer, we decided to take a road trip upstate New York. It was kind of hard looking for a place to go since you have to really check and call establishments to be sure that they are open. After two weeks of researching, we’ve settled on two places – Green Lakes State Park in Syracuse, and Niagara Falls in Buffalo.
Gerald has always wanted to take me to Green Lakes State Park. He saw these photos online when we first started dating, and we planned to go when I was supposed to visit last year (2019), but since I was not able to go back to USA that time. Anyways, Green Lakes is known for its two lakes and man-made beach. It’s perfect for a quiet morning jog because you can just pick your trail. It’s up north, a little over four hours away from NYC. And yes, the lakes were green.
So the struggle of trying to find a hotel is another thing, also we are a bit picky with hotels. For me, I have been to the worst hotels back home but I am not taking the risk during this pandemic. Well, we are already taking a big risk traveling. Gerald is a bit picky when it comes to hotels too. Luckily, I found this hotel 15 minutes away from Green Lakes – The Craftsmann Inn. I am so glad I did and here is why —
They have kind staff. Everyone working in the hotel were very nice. They were always smiling and genuinely happy to assist you. Before getting there, I called them and asked for their protocols and what are the inclusions (LOL, I really want to have that breakfast buffet! It’s why I go to hotels!) – that time unfortunately, they do not serve breakfast. They do, however, give some yogurt cups and unlimited water.
They upgraded us to Signature Suites. I tried booking them on Expedia. That time, their rate was $125. It’s a decent rate for Standard Room, right? I was excited to go because their website had really good pictures, and it had a 3D Virtual Tour thing. I know, I’m like a kid lol. When we got there, they upgraded us to their Signature Suite since I mentioned we are on our honeymoon.
The room had one bedroom. Which was small, but I mean, you’re just sleeping. I love the big windows! There’s a living room and a mini kitchen. I didn’t take a picture of the bathroom, but it was a good size. Overall it was very clean, and cozy, and we had a comfortable stay. The room comes with complimentary coffee, that you can make using their coffee maker. And of course, water.
Their restaurant food and service are the best! Craftsmann Wood Grille & Tap House is the restaurant located right in front of the hotel. That time, we had to do reservations because they had limited capacity. So, the front desk told the restaurant that we are newly weds, so they gave us complimentary wine. They gave us the Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero, topped with a slice of strawberry.
Their food is also amazing! For starters, I had the Craftsmann Salad – heirloom tomatoes, baby cucumbers, pickled red onion, carrot, radish,
wood roasted shallot vinaigrette. And then for my main, I had the Grilled Salmon Fillet. It was topped with fire roasted pepper sauce and some crispy onions. Gerald had steak, the man loves steak! He had the Flat Iron Steak, with fries on the side. They had pretty big servings (hello, I’m Asian! LOL) but we destroyed this!
After that night, we were so tired but we decided to go to Green Lakes Park early because we have to drive to Niagara Falls after that. We wanted to go super early, but the park opens at around 8 in the morning. But, LOL, we just slept until 8am and got ready. It was drizzling a little that time, but we didn’t really care. We arrived at the park around 9am. There was parking right outside. You have to pay around $8, and you’re good for the day. I mean, not sure but we did stay until 10:30am.
Since everything was closed, there was nothing much to do but to walk, or jog, and take pictures and just enjoy the nature. I was fine with it. I was just so happy to be outside, somewhere not inside our room, and just to be able to smell the fresh air!! The park had two lakes, as I mentioned. Those lakes total to I think 2-mile trail around it. You can find the map here. We just walked around it, that’s the only thing to do.
If it was a normal day, there are a lot of activities to do at the park like Beach/Swimming, you can rent a boat, camping, there were also barbecue grills there. There’s also a golf course nearby. You can find all the list of activities and rates here.
Over all, I think Syracuse is such a nice place upstate. It was quiet, and people were very nice! There is not much happening there but at least you get to relax! I love upstate! I hope you guys will consider visiting the Green Lakes State Park, and stay at The Craftsmann Inn. I mean, this is not a sponsored post but we had a really good time! 🙂