Whether you are visiting Oswego to relax, bond with friends and family, have a fun vacation, or learn a new skill, Oswego is a place that has many great offerings for just about everyone. The city is full of many historical sites, parks, museums, noteworthy restaurants, festivals (such as the Harborfest), a beautiful beach, and is famous for its automobile racing facility. Also, being a city inside Oswego County, you can expect a lot of nearby natural attractions that you may also be interested in visiting once you’re done with the city. If you are visiting the city of Oswego and are currently thinking about what to do upon your arrival, listed below are the best things to do in Oswego, New York
1. Explore the remarkable Fort Ontario State Historic Site
A stunning star-shaped fort from the 1840s, Fort Ontario State Historic Site is a place where guests learn about interpretive signs, watch live historical re-enactments, observe demonstrations, have a picnic, as well as enjoy scenic views of the beautiful surrounding areas. The fort was built on top of three other earlier buildings that were supposed to act as fortifications during the Indian and French War, Revolutionary War, World War I and II, and was used as a refuge site for the Nazi Holocaust survivors. Several important events have happened in Fort Ontario and its neighboring areas. If you are interested in the history of Oswego, this place is the best place to learn it.
Fort Ontario State Historic Site
Address: 1 E 4th St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Fort Ontario State Historic Site
Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 10am - 4:30pm; Sun: 12pm - 4:30pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
2. Jog through Harbor Rail Trail
Your visit to the city of Oswego won’t be complete without having a day to relax and stroll along with its beautiful parks and trails. The Harbor Rail Trail was instantly one of the more popular trails in Oswego after its construction. The trail was reconstructed on top of an 1880 train bridge making it possible to walk on a walkway that is on top of a rapidly flowing river while enjoying the beautiful view of the city, harbor, and river that it provides. The trail has been approved to be used for walking, biking, inline skating, and jogging. So if you ever need a beautiful and calm place to relax and exercise without going too far out of town, Harbor Rail Trail is easily a great place you should try out.
Harbor Rail Trail
Address: 275 E 1st St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Harbor Rail Trail
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
3. Check out the exhibits at H. Lee White Maritime Museum
With exhibits that showcase over four centuries of Oswego’s maritime heritage, H. Lee White Maritime Museum is an interesting museum to see. It houses extensive collections of artifacts such as building tools, boat models, artwork, and Fresnel lens collected from the Oswego Lighthouse. Get a chance to view the original 1925 New York State boat and the WWII Tugboat LT-5. In the museum, guests will be able to learn about Oswego’s history when it comes to its military and commercial transportation prowess, and also get a look into how the people maintaining and working on these vessels entertained themselves. This museum is great for visiting with family or friends.
H. Lee White Maritime Museum
Address: 1 W 1st St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: H. Lee White Maritime Museum
Opening hours: 1pm - 5pm (daily)
Price: 8 USD
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4. Enjoy boating at Oswego International Marina
Oswego International Marina is a place of great importance for Oswego. With only 350 miles (563.27 kilometers) from the Northeastern American shipping market, the port can reach up to 60 million people, helping them make their livelihoods, which is essential for the whole county of Oswego. The marina is a leading port, gaining a reputation for its efficient handling of massive amounts of cargo. If you have your own boat or ship at Oswego, the marina offers amenities such as diesel, gated security, hotel and lodging, ice, laundry facilities, showers, and maintenance for your vessel. If you are visiting without a vessel, you may still enjoy other amenities such as the spa, ship stores, picnic and grill area, nearby restaurants, as well as the beautiful view of the waters.
Oswego International Marina
Address: 19 Lake St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Oswego International Marina
Opening hours: 7am - 5pm (daily)
5. Tour the historic Dr. Mary Walker Memorial
Dr. Mary Walker's final resting place is in Oswego Town Rural Cemetery.Posted by Beth Clark on Wednesday, 15 June 2011
An early pioneer for women’s rights and an army surgeon in the Civil War, Dr. Mary Walker is the only female that ever received the Congressional Medal of Honor. She had lived a meaningful and adventurous life. She was once captured as a prisoner of the Confederate, she published treaties pushing for women’s rights, and she is also the second woman in history to earn a medical degree. Today a monument of her is standing in front of the museum on Route 7. If you would like to pay tribute to her major role in the fight for women’s rights, her monument is free for everyone to visit.
Dr. Mary Walker Memorial
Address: Oswego, NY 13126
Website: Dr. Mary Walker Memorial
6. Visit the beautiful West Pierhead Lighthouse
Built as a new and improved version of the old existing lights of Oswego’s harbor in 1934, West Pierhead Lighthouse is a fully functional lighthouse that has a colorful maritime history. There is a tour that you can join when visiting West Pierhead Lighthouse. On the tour, you and several other guests would get to visit the lighthouse by boat and spend two hours exploring the area and talking to the captain to learn more. The tour is available for visitors aged five years and above, however, guests who are under 18 would need to be accompanied by an adult to participate in the event.
West Pierhead Lighthouse
Address: Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: West Pierhead Lighthouse
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
7. Delve into history at Safe Haven Museum
Dedicated to preserving the stories of the 982 refugees of World War II, Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum serves as a memorial to those who survived the Holocaust and took refuge in Fort Ontario. The museum itself has seen military action in all of the American war and was built on top of three earlier ruined fortifications. One of the main features of the museum is its library. The library houses a wide variety of historical books about the plight of the refugees, historical fiction about the Holocaust, original accounts of the refugees’ experience throughout the entire ordeal, and videos and photographs of the survivors.
Safe Haven Museum
Address: 2 E 7th St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: The Safe Haven Museum
Opening hours: Thu - Sun: 11am - 4pm (closed from Mon - Wed)
Price: 3 - 5 USD
8. Go fishing at Oswego River
Joining the Seneca River and Oneida River, the Oswego River is the second-largest river in Northern New York. Abundant in natural resources such as fish, the river offers a year-round supply of salmon and bass. Other available fishes you may encounter on the river are the rainbow trout, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, freshwater drum, round goby, gizzard shad, and common carp. If you are interested in fishing, the Oswego River can be a place where you can catch and cook fishes all year round.
Address: Minetto, Oswego, New York, USA
9. Enjoy some quiet reading time at Oswego Public Library
The Oswego Public Library is a place where you can read, learn, and learn basic computer skills in a quiet and well-maintained environment. The library is known to hosts various activities and classes to help anyone interested to join. A few of the classes and activities are the Microsoft Office Overview Class, No Stress Chess, and Oswego Country WWI Casualties. If you are interested in some of their books, they also have an ongoing book sale where you can go and purchase their books for cheap.
Oswego Public Library
Address: 120 E 2nd St #2107, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Oswego Public Library
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am – 8pm; Sat: 12pm – 5pm (closed on Sun)
10. Stroll along Oswego River Walk
Enjoy the breeze and beautiful sights as you take a stroll along Oswego River Walk. The place has several interlocking paved trails where you can walk, jog, or bike. Along the way is the beautiful view of the river and trail itself. After you finished walking around the trail, you can reward yourself by enjoying food from several eateries near the place. Other activities you can do would be fishing on the river and bird-watching.
Oswego River Walk
Address: 200 W 1st St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
11. Catch a car race at Oswego Kartway
Oswego Speedway is known as the Indy of the East. Some of their popular riders are Gordon Johncock (two-time winner of the Indy 500 event) and Mario Andretti (Indy 500 winner of 1969). Watch the karts as they battle for the Novelis Supermodifieds held on weekdays and have fun betting on the winning team. The speedway also has camping facilities and have partnered up to provide visiting guests with proper lodging while waiting for the event.
Address: 300 E Albany St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Oswego Kartway
12. Sail together with Oswego Yacht Club
Enjoy your vacation with a fun and engaging activity such as sailing. Oswego Yacht Club is an organization where you can get a membership and sail the waters of Oswego. Socialize, learn new skills, and have fun while you join activities such as junior sailing, fleet sailing, and World-Class Regattas. After sailing and making friends, enjoy the fireworks and the festive atmosphere as you party through the night.
Oswego Yacht Club
Address: 39 Lake St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Oswego Yacht Club
Opening hours: 11am – 11pm (daily)
13. Hunt for antiques at Lake Ontario Antiques
Have fun hunting for rare and precious items and socializing with other enthusiasts as you walk your way around the 3,800 square feet (353.0316 square meters) of antiques at Lake Ontario Antiques. The place is a mini-mall that has over 20 antique vendors that sell all kinds of items such as re-purposed goods, designer clothes, old armor, and numismatic coins. Near the area are several restaurants and other tourist attractions that you may go to further enjoy the day.
Lake Ontario Antiques
Address: 157 E 1st St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Lake Ontario Antiques
Opening hours: Sun, Wed - Fri: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
14. Purchase farm-fresh produce at Oswego Farmers Market
Oswego Farmers Market is a place where you can purchase quality food and support the farmers of Oswego at the same time. They sell seasonal local fruits, vegetables, jams, jellies, baked goods, fresh seafood, meats, nuts, and potted plants. The market boasts a regular 80 food and plant vendors and over 8,000 customers every week. The place also hosts live musical performances during the morning to midday and also features a kid’s corner where your children can play along with other kids during the events.
Oswego Farmers Market
Address: 153 Main St, Owego, NY 13827, USA
Website: Oswego Farmers Market
Opening hours: Tue, Fri: 9am – 1pm (closed from Wed - Thu & Sat - Mon)
15. Buy organic goods at Ontario Orchards
If you are looking for items to purchase before you leave Oswego, try visiting Ontario Orchards to purchase some of their locally made scented bathing sets. They sell a range of organic goods such as soaps, oils, fruits, pastries, and meat. Many of their products are of the highest quality and are locally produced, thus, purchasing from them will not only benefit you but also the local community of farmers and producers. They also have an online store where you can shop online with great convenience.
Address: 7735 St. Rte. 104, Oswego, NY 13127, USA
Website: Ontario Orchards
Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)
16. Try fried seafood at Rudy's Lakeside Drive-In
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
GET IT IN THE ADK at RUDY’S SCAR BAR + GRILLE! www.rudyschaletwhiteface.com You don't have to go back home for...Posted by Rudy's Lakeside Drive-In on Thursday, February 25, 2021
Serving the community of Oswego ever since 1946, Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In has been one of the most popular places to get your fill of delicious seafood dishes. They only use the freshest of ingredients mainly sourced from the local community and the river itself. Some of the house specialties are Rudy’s Homemade Texas Hot Sauce, haddock sandwich, fried scallops, and the salmon burger. Eating at Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-in does not only guarantee you fresh food but also contributes to keeping the local community of farmers and fishermen in business.
Rudy's Lakeside Drive-In
Address: 78 Co Rte 89, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In
Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)
17. Bring your kids to Children's Museum of Oswego
Children’s Museum of Oswego is a place where you can take your children to develop their skills and learn about the world through fun and engaging activities and exhibits. Some of their popular exhibits are the Water Table, Novelis, Creation Station, Town Square, and The Imagination Playground. The museum is geared toward children from ages 0 to 12 and is available to all differently abled kids with special needs. The general admission allows for an entire day of play in the museum and two hours of parking.
Children's Museum of Oswego
Address: 7 W Bridge St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Children’s Museum of Oswego
Opening hours: Tue- Fri: 9am – 4pm; Sat: 10am – 5pm; Sun: 11am – 4pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 8 USD
18. Dine at GS Steamers Bar and Grill
GS Steamers Bar and Grill is a place that hosts classy banquets and other special events. They serve delicious foods made from only the highest-quality ingredients collected from the local market and other parts of the county. Enjoy the evening on a spacious and well-ventilated room or choose to dine outside where you can view the beauty of the city lights of Oswego. They serve a wide variety of dishes, having a vast menu for buffets, luncheons, buffet dinners, and sit-down dinners. They also accept reserved events for family reunions, parties, birthdays, bridal showers, and bachelor/ bachelorette parties.
GS Steamers Bar and Grill
Address: 70 E 1st St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: GS Steamers Bar and Grill
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 4pm – 9pm; Sun: 12pm – 9pm
19. Hike through the Rice Creek Field Station
The Rice Creek Field Station is a 26-acre (10.5-hectare) facility surrounded by 400 acres (161.8 hectares) of lush forest in Oswego. Several trails are open all year round. The most popular trails would be Red Trail, Green Trail, and Blue Trail. The Red Trail passes through hedgerows, woodlands, a pond, stone fences, and mature hardwood forest. The Green Trail will lead you to a path with locus grooves, shrubs, native flowers, local trees, and a beaver habitat. The Blue Trail will pass through several habitats of conifer, meadows, hardwood, and wetland forest then travels along the rice creek.
Rice Creek Field Station
Address: Brownell Rd, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Rice Creek Field Station
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 4:30pm; Sat: 9am - 3pm (closed on Sun)
20. Catch a movie at Midway Drive-In Theatre
Drive-in theaters are rare these days. Experience it here at Oswego, as Midway Drive-In Theatre is still going strong. Feel the nostalgia or the novelty of watching a movie at a drive-in theater, enjoy the breeze of fresh air while under the stars, pay for less for both the movie and snacks, and get the luxury to freely sit, stand, or position yourself in any way while watching the movie. The theater features both old and new movies from mainstream movies to indie movies.
Midway Drive-In Theatre
Address: 2475 NY-48, Fulton, NY 13069, USA
Website: Midway Drive-In Theatre
Price: 3 - 9 USD
21. Unwind in the green spaces of Breitbeck Park
Breitbeck Park is a place near Lake Ontario where you can take a soothing stroll while watching the sun set on the lake. The place has a wide-open space where you can do various activities such as walking, running, enjoying frisbee or ball games with friends, snapping beautiful pictures, or just lying down and relaxing. If the open area is not enough, the park also has several facilities such as a basketball court, playground for children, rocking chairs, and benches.
Address:91 Lake St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Breitbeck Park
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
22. See the unique Richardson-Bates Museum
Keeping intact and showcasing the history of Oswego since 1896, Richardson-Bates Museum is a wonderful place to see and is even considered as a National Historic Site. The museum offers a way for visitors to have a glimpse into the life and style of one of Oswego’s most well-known families through exhibits and educational activities. Some of the popular exhibits would be the Richardson Bates House, Bicycling History in Oswego featuring a painting of Norman Bates bicycles, and the Oswego Country History timeline.
Address: 135 E 3rd St, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Website: Richardson-Bates Museum
Opening hours : Thu - Sat: 1pm - 5pm (closed from Sun - Wed)
Price: 3 - 8 USD
23. Tee off at Battle Island State Park Golf Course
Getting its name from a historic battle on the Oswego River in the mid-1700s, Battle Island State Park is a historical place with many great stories. Today the park has an 18-hole golf course where you and your family can try out your golfing skills. The place has lovely greens and fairways and also boasts nice views. The park also has certain facilities such as a clubhouse, lockers, restaurants, showers, and a banquet area.
Battle Island State Park Golf Course
Address: 4132, 2150 NY-48, Fulton, NY 13069, United States
Website: Battle Island State Park Golf Course
Opening hours: 7am - 9pm (daily)
Price: From 13 USD
The wonderful city of Oswego
Oswego, New York is a place worth traveling if you are looking to spend your vacation trying out the food, connecting with nature, visiting historical sites, and appreciating beautiful views. The place has a lot of museums, parks, and market places where you can learn and interact with people. Take photos, socialize and make friends, learn about Oswego’s history and culture, bring home great stories that you can share with your family and friends, and don’t forget to make great memories upon your visit to the wonderful city of Oswego.
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