Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Upstate NY: Some Binghamton Favorites

Many people have no idea where Binghamton is, unless they have visited Cornell, Syracuse, or the Fingerlakes area. It's certainly not a vacation destination, but since I have our family there, I am lucky to know some of the best spots. So, if you find yourself passing by Binghamton, in need of a break (from 5 minutes to all day), here are some of our favorite things to do:
The Story Garden and The Discovery Center (amazing hands-on museum for kids) at Ross Park--this is worth making a full-on stop for. There's also a zoo, the 5th oldest one in the country.
(all above pictures taken at The Story Garden)
We love the pizza and salad at Cortese's (locals are pronounce it "cor-teases"), around since the 40s. The salad is an uneventful iceberg mix, but the Italian dressing is crazy good. We ask for the blue cheese on the side, and never let the waitress take the salad bowl until we are finished with the pizza, because we dunk the pizza in the salad dressing. If you love Cortese's after one visit, you can buy them frozen at the local grocery store, Weis.
Little Venice is another old Italian restaurant, also around since the 40s. The only thing we love there is the homemade ravioli, which are referred to as "ravs". Sit in the main dining room, it has the best vibe.

Favorite coffee is L'Aveggio.

It's the "carousel capital", so there are over six antique carousels you can visit, all free.

Lots of free public swimming pools.

The TJ Maxx is very unpicked over.  Ditto the Salvation Army.

How could I forget?! WEGMANS! One of the best grocery store chains ever. This one is right off of Highway 17 in Johnson City.

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