15 Best Things to Do in Oswego, NY

Oswego, NY
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Situated on the coast of Lake Ontario, the city of Oswego was branded as the “Port City” of New York.

Due to its proximity to the sea, the historic city offers a lot of water activities during the summer, such as boating, swimming, fishing, kayaking, boating, and sports fishing.

Oswego is home to numerous historical attractions where you can learn interesting histories.

Whether you like to go shopping, visit historical attractions, go on an outdoor adventure, or have a peaceful vacation, there’s definitely something for you here in Oswego.

The city of Oswego is a treasure trove waiting for you to discover and explore.

So start your adventure with the 15 best things to do in Oswego, New York, below.

Indulge in the History of Fort Ontario State Historic Site

Exterior of the two-storey headquarters of fort ontario state historic site.
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

The Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located on the eastern side of the Oswego River and it stands high overlooking Lake Ontario.

Originally constructed in 1755, the Fort Ontario State Historic Site was built to safeguard the area on the eastern edge of Ontario.

View of lon, blockk walls, green grass, and the U.S.A flag.
Ad Meskens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can visit the fort and talk to knowledgeable staff to learn the history of the Fort Ontario State Historic Site.

You can also enjoy the picturesque sceneries around the fort and the overlooking view of Lake Ontario.

Visiting actual historical sites, like the Fort Ontario State Historic Site, is a fun way to learn about the stories behind each significant structure in history, so don’t forget to check this gem in Oswego!

An old artifact sitting on the green grass of Fort Ontario.
Ad Meskens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy a Fun Learning Experience in the Children’s Museum of Oswego

The Children’s Museum of Oswego is a place dedicated to children, where they can learn, play, explore, and discover new things through hands-on activities.

Children will love playing with other children while learning; you’ll never regret bringing your kids to the Children’s Museum of Oswego to have a fun learning experience.

Children’s Museum of Oswego believes that children play an important role in society.

Learning has never been this fun in the Children’s Museum of Oswego.

All you have to do is bring your kids, have fun, and let them explore and discover new things.

Watch Cars Race in the Oswego Speedway

If you’re a fan of the racetrack, then Oswego Speedway is the perfect place for you!

Since 1951, the Oswego Speedway has been providing entertainment to all the thrill-seekers and petrol-heads with the weekly races held in the racing facility.

The Oswego Speedway boasts its capacity to accommodate at least 10,000 visitors inside the grandstand.

The Steel Palace, as what many people call the Oswego Speedway, is home to the modified and super modified cars that are used to race on the 5/8 paved tracks.

You can watch the supercars from the sides of the racetracks compete with each other to see who is the fastest.

If you’re around Oswego, you shouldn’t miss the chance to see and experience the excitement while watching your favorite car race and compete with others.

Visit the West Pierhead Lighthouse

View of the Pierhead lighthouse with body of water surrounding it.
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

The West Pierhead Lighthouse is a significant piece of Oswego’s history, and it is one of the must-visit attractions in this historic city.

You can have the opportunity to explore the West Pierhead Lighthouse through the tours offered by H. Lee White Marine Museum.

To get to the West Pierhead Lighthouse, you need to ride a boat and travel for 15 to 20 minutes.

The West Pierhead lighthouse in the middle of a body of water - during a pink sunset
Tomrobertsphoto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you arrive at the dock, you will be greeted by docents, and they will talk about the history of the lighthouse.

After that, you can see the insides of the lighthouse; you can get an “insider’s look” and see how the lighthouse keepers lived in West Pierhead Lighthouse.

You can even climb up the lighthouse and gaze at the wonderful vistas that the lighthouse offers.

Dine and Have Some Wine in La Parilla Grill and Wine Bar

After spending an entire day touring and visiting historical destinations in Oswego, you’ll surely get hungry, so fill your stomach with delicious meals at La Parilla Grill and Wine Bar.

The La Parilla Grill and Wine Bar is a Mediterranean restaurant that serves an authentic farm-to-table experience.

The restaurant's menu changes regularly, so it is guaranteed that the ingredients used in the dishes are fresh and locally sourced.

You can choose among the wide variety of meals in the restaurant; from breakfast to dinner, there’s definitely something for you.

You can also bring a date to La Parilla Grill and Wine Bar and spend a romantic night with some mouthwatering meals and a nice glass of wine.

Grab a Bite in Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-in

Since 1946, Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In has been one of the favorite go-to destinations to get some mouthwatering seafood dishes.

The drive-in features house specialties that include the homemade Texas hot sauce, fried scallops, and salmon burger.

Over the years, Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In has been providing the best quality products with the freshest ingredients locally sourced from the fishermen of Oswego.

You can have a taste of the best seafood in the city when you visit Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In.

Not only do you support local businesses when you purchase from Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In, but you also help the local community of the city.

Relax in the Oswego River

Looking southward along the Oswego River with the bridge covered in snow, and tall buildings standing on the right side.
Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This 23.7-mile river is the second-largest river flowing through Lake Ontario, and it is one of the crowd’s favorite relaxing places.

The walkways along the river offer a scenic view of the Oswego River and serve as a charming place to stretch your muscles and be active.

Northward face of oswego river - towards lake ontario with the top of the water frozen.
Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can try some water activities in the river, such as fishing, swimming, or walking the shores of the river.

Oswego River is a beautiful location to go to if you like having a peaceful time by yourself.

You can find the best spots to enjoy the fantastic breeze and the breathtaking sights that the Oswego River can offer, and who knows, this might be your next favorite destination in the city.

The back view of the oswego river on a cloudy day.
Ron Shawley, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Browse the Bookshelves of Oswego Public Library

The Oswego Public Library first opened its doors in 1857, and, at present, it has become the oldest public library in the country.

You can find the public library sitting prominently on a hilltop, with its castle-like design derived from the Norman Revival architecture.

Because of this, the Oswego Public Library is also called the “Castle on the Hill.”

The library is still open to the public, and you can find perfectly maintained and preserved books, magazines, and other reading materials on the library's shelves.

You can bring your children to the library and help them develop a love for reading while they are young and let them use their imaginations when they read storybooks.

The Oswego Public Library is a great destination for all the people who like to read and learn something new every day.

Watch the Sunset in Breitbeck Park

Situated in front of Lake Ontario, the overlooking Breitbeck Park has something to offer to all visitors who stop by.

You can find some picnic tables and benches around the park, where you can relax and gaze at the fascinating panoramas of the lake.

The park also features a 5.9-mile loop where you can enjoy nature trips and physical activities like walking and running.

You can bring your children and let them play in the playground and basketball park, which are available for public use.

Breitbeck Park is the perfect place to spend the afternoon and watch the sun go down in the waters of Lake Ontario.

Join a Guided Tour in Oswego Expeditions

Biking? Hiking? Walking? Kayaking? Mountaineering?

Whatever kind of activities you need, the Oswego Expeditions can provide you with a fun yet safe experience.

Oswego Expeditions specializes in “Education through Exploration,” in which you can explore new activities while learning.

You can choose your own adventure – whether you want to go to a park, beaches, historic spots, mountains, forests, or anything you like, you can let Oswego Expeditions guide you throughout your journey.

The guides of the tours are informative and helpful, so it's guaranteed that you can feel comfortable and safe during the expedition tours.

Book your adventure with Oswego Expeditions and have a memorable experience that will last a lifetime.

Have a Tour around the H. Lee White Maritime Museum

The H. Lee White Maritime Museum was established in the year 1982 to serve as an office building, a powerhouse, and a workshop before it was converted into a museum.

The museum features 12 exhibit rooms that showcase the rich maritime history of Oswego in the past 400 years, such as a Normandy Barge, a tug boat from World War II, and a gift shop where you can buy nautical items.

You can join a lighthouse tour or a guided tour around the museum to learn and see interesting items from the past, which you can also interact with.

Large oswego, new york boat display.
Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com

You shouldn’t miss the most exciting part of the tours offered by the museum, which is the boat ride to the lighthouse.

The H. Lee White Maritime Museum might be small, but it has a lot of stories to tell, so come and visit the maritime museum for a fun learning experience.

Hunt Ghosts in Haunted Oswego Tours

If you love hearing haunted stories while visiting creepy and scary places, you’re in for a treat in the Haunted Oswego Tours.

The Haunted Oswego Tours feature a 90-minute tour around the haunted locations in Port City.

While other tours feature the most attractive destinations around the city, the Haunted Oswego Tours is dedicated to introducing visitors to the places where paranormal activity happens.

You can listen to spine-chilling stories while you walk through the streets, tunnels, and other locations.

This is one of the unique experiences in Oswego you can try, so make sure to check it out and give it a shot.

Stop by the Oswego Railroad Museum

The Oswego Railroad Museum is a must-visit attraction for train enthusiasts and people who want to learn about the interesting history of the railroads in Oswego.

The museum features a collection of miniature train designs that are displayed all over the museum, as well as a model of railroad setup that illustrates the history of the railroads.

You can learn about the local rail history when you roam around, and you can view the pictures and memorabilia displayed in the museum.

The railroad models will provide you with entertainment for hours, and you’ll never regret visiting Oswego Railroad Museum.

The trip to Oswego Railroad Museum is definitely worth it; it is a fun place for people of all ages.

Catch a Fish with K&G Sport Fishing

You can have the best fishing experience of your life with K&G Sport Fishing.

If you want to go on a fishing trip but don’t know where to go, you can always visit the K&G Sport fishing in Oswego.

Along with the experienced fishing guides and high-quality equipment, you can catch different species of fish like Lake Trout, King Salmon, Rainbow Trout, and more.

You don’t need to be an expert in fishing to join the fun; you can just bring yourself and rent some equipment, and you’re ready to go.

Spend your day with K&G Sport Fishing and have a great fishing trip with the experts in fishing.

Watch Movies in Oswego Cinema 7

Oswego Theater/Cinema 7 at night with movie titles in front.
Doug Kerr (Dougtone), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Formerly known as “Oswego Theater”, the Oswego Cinema 7 has been providing entertainment to the residents and visitors of the city since 1940.

The classic cinema was beautifully designed, with an art-deco style that still charms visitors up to this day, which gives a great character to the building.

You can watch the latest films on one of the seven big screens of the cinema while relaxing at the reclining chairs that will keep you comfortable all throughout the film showing.

Even if the cinema is old-fashioned, you can still enjoy the best services and ultimate comfort from Oswego Cinema 7.

Netflix may be popular these days, but nothing beats the actual experience of watching movies on the big screens of Oswego Cinema 7.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a location to spend your vacation, the historic city of Oswego is a place worth traveling to.

You can try different unique restaurants, visit historical sites, appreciate the breathtaking views, and experience all the fun activities and events that Oswego can offer.

Bring home pictures and memorable experiences that you can tell your friends and family after your visit to the wonderful city of Oswego.