Motels in Syracuse

by Meg Jernigan

Motels in Syracuse, concentrated around the airport and along the New York State Thruway, seem geared to travelers trying to get from here to there, rather than visitors to the city. Downtown is home to several grand old hotels that provide upscale accommodations. No-frills motor courts, reminiscent of the early days of auto travel, remain tucked around the edges of the city.


Motels serving Syracuse Hancock International Airport are largely located at the Interstate 81 interchange with Airport Boulevard. Econo Lodge, Candlewood and Holiday Inn as well as the privately owned Airflite Motel provide the expected amenities. Best Western Syracuse Airport Inn is the closest motel to the airport. Standard rooms and suites, with pillow-top mattress bedding, have high-speed Wi-Fi access. The motel’s large outdoor pool in a courtyard setting is open seasonally. Best Western does not provide a free park-and-fly option, but it does provide shuttle service to the airport.

Carrier Circle

Carrier Circle, named for the Carrier Corporation’s nearby factory complex, is located just off the New York State Thruway in northeastern Syracuse. The area is convenient to downtown, Syracuse University and the airport. Carrier Circle is heavily commercial, with restaurants, small businesses and almost two-dozen chain motels. Comfort Inn, just off the circle, provides guests with a free hot breakfast, Internet access, and both smoking and non-smoking rooms. Set on a less busy street near the circle, Residence Inn is a AAA three-diamond suites hotel that offers grocery shopping service for guests. The motel participates in the Nickelodeon Your Stay program for kids.


The annual New York State Fair, named one of the top 100 events in 2010 by the American Bus Association brings thousands of visitors to the fairgrounds west of downtown Syracuse. Comfort Inn, Clarion and Holiday Inn Express operate motels along the Thruway to the west of the fairgrounds. The Inn at the Fairgrounds, opened in 2008, is within walking distance of the festivities. Standard rooms have two queen beds or one king bed and free Wi-Fi. The motel’s restaurant, Daniella’s Steakhouse, offers standard American fare like pizza and sandwiches at lunch. Dinner offerings include steaks, seafood and chicken.

Bed and Breakfasts

Located on three acres of land near the Burnet Park Zoo and golf course, Ophelia’s Garden Inn offers five rooms with private baths in a home built in 1925. The expansive property has bocce ball courts and a croquet area. Dwight James Baum, a distant relative of Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, designed some of the buildings at Syracuse University and several homes in the city, including Ophelia’s. Bed and Breakfast Wellington, just north of downtown, is an arts & crafts home designed by Ward Wellington Ward in 1914. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the bed and breakfast has four standard rooms and one suite. Most of the rooms have private baths.

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