Upstate New York state is jam-packed with weird things to see and do. This featured route will take you on a wild adventure visiting the site of a paranormal vortex, weird historical sights, beautiful waterfalls to dip your toes in and the oldest mini-golf course in the USA! We were sure to include some weird and authentic eats along the way to add to your upstate NY experience. Grab your car keys and let’s get going!

We start off our route in historic Kingston, ON where you jump on the 401 and cross the border at highway 81 towards Watertown, NY. Once you arrive in Watertown at Thompson Park you can find the green alien sign that lets you know you’re in the paranormal vortex. Park your car and approach if you dare, the locals warn that if you approach at the right time you might disappear, only to reappear sometime later (sometimes not!). While this sounds like a quirky urban legend, the city of Watertown has recently come out and acknowledged the strange tales. They’ve even put up a sign to help visitors remain aware while in the area of the “supernatural vortex”.

Photo by: @adk_mtn_junkie on Instagram

If you make it back to your car safe and sound, hop back on highway 81 and head south to Syracuse. In Syracuse 1710 North Salina St you will find a boarded-up factory. What’s so special about an old factory you may ask? Well if you look carefully this one has a Victorian home perched right on top.

The factory was built in 1880 by H. A Moyer and was a staple in the city producing therapeutic mattresses. Unfortunately, it closed its doors in 2005 and the house on top remained a mystery to the locals and tourists alike. It was later found to be an architectural gimmick. The house on top was never used as a residence but instead housed elevator machinery and rafters.

Photo by: @tawanna.martin.lilly on Instagram

You’ll definitely be hungry by now and in Syracuse, you can taste the best ribs in the world at Dinosaur Barbeque. The site of Dinosaur BBQ has been home to barrooms and taverns starting in the 1920s for over 50 years. When Dino took over they started selling BBQ only and then added the bar later on. They have many unique creations (creole deviled eggs and fried green tomatoes!) but they are most famous for their ribs!

Photo by: @dinosaur_bbq on Instagram

After lunch, change the pace a bit and head out on the quieter Highway 690 and 370 to Wolcott Falls. Wolcott falls is a beautiful 40 ft waterfall that you can easily see from the viewing area, or you can head to the bottom and dip your toes in the cool water. It’s a short hike to the falls but it makes for a nice break in the day to cool off.

Photo by: @kaylalynn21 on Instagram

Jump on the 104 to Rochester but don’t forget to stop at a classic American roadside diner for a tasty post-falls sundae. Orbakers Drive-In Restaurant has been open and serving hungry patrons since 1932 so it’s safe to say they know American cuisine. All their food is locally sourced and made in-house. Have you ever had a dirt sundae?

Photo by: @orbakersdrivein on Instagram

Our last leg of the journey brings you into Rochester, NY for the oldest minigolf course in the USA. Parkside Whispering Pines has been open since 1930 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The course has a very unique design made from fossil stone brought over from the west. It’s sure to entertain everyone young and old.

Photo by: @imalexpackard on Instagram

After some dinner and a few rounds of mini-golf, you can take a walk down to the Seabreeze Amusement Park and ride the oldest continually operating roller coaster, the Jack Rabbit. Built in the 1920s this wooden roller coaster has been bringing thrills to the Rochester lakeside for over 100 years.

Photo by: @chopan585 on Instagram

The Great Lakes region of the United States is full to the brim of the weird and wild, so much so that you would need a whole lifetime to see it all. Check out The Weekend Route website to help plan your weekend adventures and don’t forget to include some weird and wild in there!