Binghamton is a city in upstate New York located at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers. It is the cultural and financial center of the Greater Binghamton Metropolitan Area and is the Broome County seat. Binghamton is part of the "Triple Cities" with Endicott and Johnson City.
Binghamton has many fantastic examples of Romanesque Revival Architecture in the city's center and is known as the Parlor City for this and for its collection of ornate mansions and nice homes. The Binghamton area is also the Carousel Capital of America, home to 6 of the remaining 150 antique carousels in the nation. Other historic attractions are the Roberson Museum, Kopernik Space Center, and the Ross Park Zoo. Both Rod Serling and the regional sandwich known as the "spiedie" were born here. They are celebrated at the annual Rod Serling Video Fest and the Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally, respectively. Despite Binghamton location as the urban core of the region, it has been named a Tree City by the National Arbor Day Foundation for many years, and has been ranked as the 9th best Green City by Better Homes and Gardens. The city has also achieved international recognition as a finalist for Philips Livable Cities Award for its Design Your Own Park program.
The city is also home of The State University of New York at Binghamton (aka Binghamton University) , which acts as an athletic, academic, and cultural center for the city.
The Perry Block on Court Street. The Press Building rises in the background
The historic NYS Inebriate Asylum as of 2010
The first Dicks Sporting Goods Storefront
The City of Binghamton is divided into seven neighborhoods.
This is the region's administrative, business, entertainment and transportation center. It is located at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers south of the Norfolk Southern rail tracks and west of the Brandywine Highway. Generally, the city is characterized by commercial properties and several high-rise apartments towards the rivers with lower class single- and multifamily dwellings towards the highway. There are several areas of urban blight, most notably along the Brandywine industrial spine.
Downtown Binghamton is notable for its architecture and is the site of the Court Street Historic District. This district contains many historic buildings (89 in total) from the turn of the previous century, of which the Press Building and the Security Mutual Building are the most notable. A number of buildings on the National Register by famed architect Isaac G Perry are located here as well, including the Perry Block, the Broome County Courthouse, and the Phelps Mansion.
Located across the Chenango River from Downtown. This area is largely residential and its character ranges from urban to suburban. In general, the area between Seminary Avenue and the Susquehanna River is inhabited by middle to upper-class residents, while the area north of Seminary Avenue to the First Ward is inhabited by working-class residents and students from the neighboring colleges. There is a commercial corridor along Main St with mostly light commercial facilities and a couple of large plazas. Binghamton High School, location of the Helen Foley Theater, is located here, just across the Court St bridge from Downtown. Lourdes Hospital can also be found here.
Despite its residential character a number of historic and architecturally significant buildings can be found on the Westside. The Roberson Museum, the Gen. Edward F. Jones House, and the Abel Bennett Tract can be found here, to name but a few.
The Southside refers to the area of the city south of the Susquehanna River. It varies from upper-class homes in the western and southern portion to mostly middle class everywhere else. There is a small commercial center at the southern end of the S Washington St bridge including a variety of light commercial and restaurants and is also the site of Binghamton General Hospital. More light commercial and some light industrial can be found along parts of Conklin Ave, with more industry the further east one travels.
The Southside is also home to the Ross Park Zoo and the Discovery Center.
The Eastside lies east of the downtown area along the north bank of the Susquehanna River. It is mostly characterized by the Brandywine Industrial Spine, a region of heavy industry and urban blight that separates it from the rest of the city. Beyond this the neighborhood is largely working class, with various shops and restaurants concentrated on Robinson St. Rt 11, or Upper Court St as it is known once it passes under the Brandywine, is more commercial in nature, with several strip malls and home to most of the regions adult entertainment outlets.
The original Dicks Sporting Goods store is still in operation here, it can be found on Upper Court St a little past the Salvation Army. The area is also home to the New York State Inebriate Asylum, the first mental health facility to treat alcoholism as a disease. It too was designed by Isaac Perry and is listed on both the State and National historic registers.
The Northside is located just north of downtown across the Norfolk Southern rail tracks. It is characterized by large sections of commercial activity just north of downtown and along Chenango St. The rest of the area is residential, mostly working class single family homes.
The First Ward is largely a residential neighborhood. It occupies the area west of the Chenango River between the Norfolk Southern tracks I86/Rt 17. There are several notable Victorian style mansions along front street that have been transformed into mutli-family dwellings, but beyond that the First Ward is mostly known for Antique Row, located along Clinton St. Many portions of this street are blight, particularly toward Front St, but what is left has been turned into numerous antique shops. The Tri-Cities Opera can also be found on Clinton St.
Ely Park is the area west of the Chenango River and north of I86/Rt 17. It is generally residential and is primarily known for the municipal golf course and the government subsidized housing project of the same name located here.
While the Binghamton Metropolitan Statistical area includes all Broome and Tioga Counties, the area referred to as Greater Binghamton is much less defined. Generally, it refers to the larger region of conurbation surrounding the city of Binghamton, from Kirkwood in the east to Endicott in the west and includes the following list of towns and villages. Most of these communities are considered to be small suburbs or bedroom communities with a couple of thousand residents, however, there is an exceptionally high level of integration between them, so much so that most outsiders will not realize they have crossed a municipal line. Many natives, even, will have trouble distinguishing where one community ends and another begins. Ultimately, these communities are only meaningful within the region itself, as the entire area is known as 'Binghamton' to the outside world.
A small suburb of Binghamton, it is located the furthest north along the Chenango River. It is notable for the Rt 12A bridge across the river.
Located just east of Binghamton along the Susquehanna River. Its industrial park is home to several major employers in the area including L-3 Communications, Universal Instruments, and Frito Lay. There is a small castle built as a residence by Alpheus Corby in 1900. It currently houses several of the town offices.
A generally upscale residential suburb sandwiched between Endicott and Johnson City and across the Susquehanna from Vestal. It is home to Highland Park and its well known Fourth of July fireworks display, as well as several golf courses and the IBM Glen. Traditions at the Glen Spa and Resort can be found here.
Located north of Binghamton on the east bank of the Chenango river; it is between Port Dickinson and Chenango Bridge. This is a small residential suburb.
Part of the 'Triple Cities' (although, again just a village), Johnson City is one of the major communities in the region. The village immediatly borders and is indistinguishable from Binghamton's west side. One of the regions main shopping centers, the Oakdale Mall can be found here, as can the Endicott-Johnson Industrial Spine, a 230 acre area of industrial ruins that is slowly being revitalized. There are many small shops along Main St in Johnson City's center.
Located north of Binghamton on the opposite side of the river from Hillcrest. Broome Community College can be found here, as can Otseningo Park: home of the Spedie Fest and Balloon Rally. Port Dickinson (Port Dick) is largely residential in the immediate vicinity of BCC, however, further north is the Upper Front Street commercial district. This is a smaller version of the 'Parkway' in Vestal and contains many shops, restaurants, plazas, and strip malls. A few of the bigger chain stores can be found here such as Lowes and Regal Cinemas, one of the regions two multi-screen movie theaters. Port Dick is also home to Sam the Beer Man.
Vestal occupies all of the southern bank of the Susquehanna River west of Binghamton. This is the regions commercial center, with many large plazas, strip malls, shopping centers, and most of the regions big box stores built along the Vestal Parkway. There is also a lot of heavier industry and a sewage treatment plant located along Old Vestal Rd. Upper-class residential areas are built along the hillsides and hilltops to the south. The western part of Vestal, known as 'Four Corners' is home to the Vestal schools (ranked among the highest in the nation) and has more of a small town character, with small shops along Front St and middle class neighborhoods. The Parkways is the areas busiest roadway and is best avoided unless you have a reason to be there.
Located just north of Endicott along Rt 26, this is generally considered the furthest westward extent of the Greater Binghamton region. There is a small shopping plaza surrounded by residential areas. West Corners is only notable for being home to the nationally recognized Phil's Chicken House.
Binghamton has a humid continental climate with 4 distinct seasons and is well known for its gloomy weather. On sunny days, it is common to hear locals remark on the absurdity of sunlight in Binghamton: "What is this crazy yellow orb and why does it hurt my eyes so?" This doesn't happen often though considering Binghamton averages only 52 sunny days a years. Binghamton also has a reputation as one of the rainiest cities in America. Its not, it only gets about 36in a year, but it does average 161 days of precipitation so it can certainly seem like it.
Spring weather in Binghamton is often very unsettled, especially early on. Snowstorms in late April, although uncommon, are not unheard of. Often times, snow is preceded or followed by warm weather... sometimes in the same day! Spring flooding is common and the rivers are often elevated through the entire season as first snow melts and then heavy rains come. Rainy days, are no more common than the rest of the year but are often heavier. However, once the unsettled weather of March and April is over, the weather is often fantastic with warm, pleasant days and the scent of myriad spring blooms filling the air.
Summer is generally not too hot, with temperatures often in the low to mid 80's. However they tend to be very humid, often oppressively so, and are best described as 'swampy'. Humidity tends to be worse in August and in the afternoon when temperatures are highest. Frequently the humidity will stay elevated for days at a time with no break, and often gets worse at night, making sleep uncomfortable without air conditioning. Swarms of enormous mosquitoes patrol the city on these days and have been known to carry off cats and small dogs.
Fall can be one of the most beautiful seasons in Binghamton and not just for the scenery. The humidity generally breaks in mid September and temperatures will usually remain pleasantly warm right up until it snows... usually on Halloween.
Winter tends to be cold, snowy, and unpredictable. Some years are subject to repeated freeze/thaw cycles that leave the city covered in a thick layer of hard packed snow and ice. Other years, it starts snowing and never stops, with each new storm packing the snow underneath into a thick layer of hard packed snow and ice. See the trend here? The city is perfectly situated to take advantage of both lake-effect snows off the Great Lakes and Nor'Easters coming in off the Atlantic (a Nor'Easter is like a hurricane, only with snow instead of rain). However, the cities distance from the Lakes and the barrier formed by the Appalachian Mountains tends to limit these to only a foot or two at a time. The Public Works Dept does a passable job of keeping the highways clear, but in recent years has done a terrible job on city streets, with some streets not getting plowed at all until days after the storm has passed.
The area is served by the Greater Binghamton Airport IATA: BGM, approximation 7mi/ 12km Northwest of the city center. As of 2012, destinations served by the airport include Philadelphia (US Airways Express), Detroit (Delta Connection), and Washington-Dulles Airport (United Express). There are 3-4 flights a day to and from each destination. Service is provided primarily by 35 seat turboprop aircraft, although the three daily flights to Detroit are on regional jets.
On-site car rental is available from Avis, Budget, and Hertz.
Licensed taxis line up right outside the terminal, no need to call ahead. Fare to any point within the Binghamton, the Tri-Cities or Vestal is a flat $25 one-way.
A handful of weekday trips on the 7 Clinton bus serve the airport by request, see . Riders must call BC Transit at (607) 778-1692 thirty minutes prior to pickup to schedule airport service.
More flights and destinations are available at Syracuse-Hancock International Airport IATA: SYR, roughly 70 miles north of Binghamton, with another alternative being Albany International Airport IATA: ALB (95 miles northeast). Syracuse is served by low cost carrier JetBlue, while Albany is served by Southwest Airlines.
Combined map of the BC Transit bus routes in Greater Binghamton
Public transportation in Greater Binghamton and outlying areas is served by BC Transit, a service of the Broome County Department of Transportation . Transit options are not limited to the local fixed-routes buses. BC Country provides transportation in outlying areas but must be arraigned in advance. BC Lift and OFA Mini-bus provide direct pickup for disabled and elderly residents who register with the Transportation Dept.
Taxis are plentiful in the city but generally have to be called for a pickup. There are a few areas, such as State Street late at night, major shopping areas (e.g. Walmart), and the airport where they congregate uncalled, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Taxi companies do not require you to call ahead, except at certain peak times (such as late Friday and Saturday nights) they can usually have a car to you in 15 minutes or less.
Bicycle routes exist but are limited. There are several streets with designated bike lanes, and several more with markings to warn drivers of possible bicycle traffic. However, bicycle transportation is not common, an many drivers, while not hostile, seem unsure of how to handle bike traffic.
Students at Binghamton University are also served by OCCT (Off-Campus College Transport) .
I-81 is a north-south federal highway that passes through the central and southeastern part of Greater Binghamton.
The Senator Warren M. Anderson Expressway/Susquehanna Expressway. It is a direct link from Binghamton to Albany.
I-86 is an upgrade of the existing New York State Route 17. Known as the Southern Tier Expressway, the route will connect Interstate 90 with Interstate 87 (New York State Thruway). Construction generally takes place on small sections at a time with a great deal of the upgrade already completed. Major projects that remain are Kamikaze Curve (the I-81/I-86 interchange) and eastern stretch through the Catskill Mountains.
U.S. Route 11
US 11 is paralleled by I-81 for most of its route and Binghamton is no exception. US 11 is also a north-south route through the central and southeastern part of the city, however US 11 goes right through the city rather than around it. US 11 follows Court St through downtown, then turns north onto Front St after crossing the Court St bridge.
New York State Route 7
Parallels US 11 on the south bank of the Susquehanna River from the PA border until it turns north at the Tompkins St bridge. Conklin Ave runs concurrently with NY 7 for much of its length. It is known as the Brandywine Highway from the Tompkins St bridge until it intersects I-88.
New York State Route 12
Bears mentioning mostly because it begins in the Greater Binghamton region, it diverges from US 11 just north of Port Dickinson. Upper Front St continues along NY 12 for a mile or two north. NY 12A diverges from here to the community of Chenango Bridge.
New York State Route 17
FUTURE Interstate 86
NY 17 is an important route in the area, serving as the main east-west travel axis in the Greater Binghamton region. Traffic can be heavy during rush hours but generally moves along at speed without problems.
New York State Route 17C
NY 17C is the old NY 17 route. It travels west to east into Greater Binghamton from Owego and is Main St for most of the communities it passes through. It terminates at Front St in Binghamton, but the road continues across the Court St bridge and becomes, oddly enough, Court St.
New York State Route 26
The major north-south route on the western end of the Greater Binghamton region. It starts at the PA border south of Vestal and travels north to Endicott, West Corners, and beyond.
New York State Route 201
Known as the 201 Flyover. It is a short, north-south highway that connects the major shopping districts on Harry L Drive (including the Oakdale Mall) and the Vestal Parkway with NY 17C and I-86/NY 17. This is one of the most heavily traveled bridges across the Susquehanna and traffic can easily grind to a halt on the southbound lane during rush hours due to poor design. Construction is currently underway to replace the NY 434 interchange and improve traffic flow. Traffic has not been affected much yet, but it may be wise to seek alternate routes.
New York State Route 363
Known locally as North Shore Drive, it is a short, north-south limited-access highway that bypasses downtown Binghamton and links NY 434 to NY 7.
New York State Route 434
Generally called the Vestal Parkway between the Binghamton city line and the NY 26 overpass, this road is heavily traveled and best avoided when at all possible. The section between Bunn Hill Rd and African Rd is almost all plazas and strip malls and is very congested at all times.
Chenango Street Main thoroughfare through Binghamton/Port Dick/Hillcrest on the east bank of the Chenango River.
Clinton Street Main thoroughfare through the First Ward in Binghamton. Home to Antique Row.
Conklin Ave Main thoroughfare through Binghamton/Conklin on the south bank of the Susquehanna River.
Court Street Main thoroughfare through Binghamton east of the Chenango River.
Floral Ave Largely residential. It connects Main Street in Binghamton to the Traffic Circle.
Front Street Main thoroughfare through Binghamton/Port Dick on the west bank of the Chenango River.
Hooper Road Main thoroughfare through Endwell.
Main Street Once was the major connecting road of the Triple Cities (Binghamton, Endicott, and Johnson City) and served as the commercial heart of each. Many unique small shops can still be found in each of their respective shopping districts.
Old Vestal Road Once was the main east/west thoroughfare through Vestal. It now serves as an alternative to the Vestal Parkway, but can become congested with other people seeking to do the same.
Riverside Drive Main thoroughfare through Binghamton/Johnson City along the north bank of the Susquehanna River. Notable for the number of large, historic residences along its length.
Traffic Circle In Johnson City, connects Floral Ave, Riverside Drive, and NY 201.
Kamikaze Curve The I-81/I-86/NY 17 interchange. This dangerous interchange is a modification of the normal Direction-T form with the interchange built as a three-level crossover directly over the Chenango River. While highly disconcerting, this is not inherently dangerous (discounting the ice that forms on the bridge during winter). The danger mostly comes from the sharp curve I-86/NY 17 makes around Prospect Mountain immediately preceding/following the interchange. In all directions, there is very little warning about how sharp the curve is and, with I-81 intersecting on the curve, it can be difficult to merge. However, the eastbound lane on I-86/NY 17 compounds this by giving very little advanced notice of the interchange layout. To further complicate an already dangerous situation, the interchange itself is located at the bottom of the hill, around a very tight banked corner, so oncoming drivers (who are very likely driving too fast for the corner already) cannot see the interchange until they have rounded the corner and it is right in front of them. This leads to many instances of vehicles suddenly barreling across multiple lanes of traffic to get in the correct lane. All of this is further complicated by the heavy 18-wheeler traffic on the road. Kamikaze Curve is a major portion of the I-86 Upgrade. The curve itself will be straightened out to highway standards, and traffic will be separated prior to entering the curve. Other upgrade will include replacement of the bridges and movement of the Front St exit currently located on the curve. Signage will also be improved to reduce driver confusion. Construction was slated to have begun by 2007, however, there have been many delays due to funding. Construction is currently expected to begin in 2012.
Confluence Park, (at the east end of Riverside Dr bridge). any time. A fairly new public park, this provides an scenic location to enjoy the meeting of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers as well as enjoy the historic Washington Street bridge. Nearby cafes and bars are found at the south end of the bridge. It is easily accessible by canoe or kayak from the river, and kayakers are often seen surfing a standing wave on the Susquehanna nearby.free. edit
Cutler Botanic Garden, 840 Front St (Use exit 5 from Interstate 81). daytime. A teaching and research garden of 3.5 acres maintained by the Cornell Cooperative Extension.free. edit
Greenwood Park, (Rt.17 to Exit 71 N (Airport Road). Go approximately 6 miles north on Airport Road. Turn left onto Commercial Drive. At end of Commercial Drive take right onto East Maine Road. Go 3 miles on East Maine Road to stop sign. Go straight onto a.m.es Road to stop sign. Turn right on Nanticoke Road- travel 7 miles. Turn left onto Greenwood Road.), ☎ 607.778.2193, . This county park offers good recreational opportunities in all seasons. In winter, it offers affordable cross-country ski rentals and 5.5 miles of groomed trails with good options for beginners.edit
Otsiningo Park, 1 Otsiningo Park (take exit 5 off Interstate 81 and go S, park is left very shortly after), ☎ (607) 778-6541, . dawn to dusk. Extending for about three miles along the west bank of the Chenango River, Otsiningo Park offers many recreational opportunities, including several miles of paved pedestrian/bicycle trails. There are several good locations for birdwatching. Restrooms and water fountains are available in several areas as well as soccer and baseball fields.free. edit
Recreation Park and Carousel, vicinity of Beethoven St and Seminary Ave (turn N on Beethoven St from Riverside Dr). dawn to dusk. A neighborhood park built as part of local shoemaker George F. Johnson's "square deal" for his workers, "Rec Park" is a popular place year-round. It features public pools, playgrounds, and the second-largest of the six Herschell Carousels Mr. Johnson donated to the community on the condition that they be maintained with free admission in perpetuity. When it works, the Wurlitzer music machine makes the ride around particularly fun.free. edit
Temple Concord/Kilmer Mansion, 9 Riverside Drive, ☎ (607)723-7355. Built at a cost of $1 million in 1901, the Kilmer Mansion is easily the most elaborate single family home ever constructed in Binghamton history. The Kilmers played a prominent role in Binghamton history, and the estate formerly covered much of the town's West Side. The home has been owned and maintained for more than 50 years by Temple Concord, a Reform Jewish congregation which opens it up for a seasonal "Hanukkah House" exhibition during the winter holiday season. Even if you're not around when the exhibit is open, the building itself is something to behold from the outside.edit
C.Fred Johnson Park, 98 C.F.J. Boulevard, Johnson City, NY, ☎ (607) 797-3031. May 28th through September 5th (Labor Day). Memorial Day weekend through June 24th; Monday-Friday 4pm-8pm; Saturdays & Sundays 12 noon-8:00pm. June 25th through Labor Day daily 12 noon-8:00pm. Free. edit
George W. Johnson Park, 201 Oak Hill Avenue, Endicott, NY, ☎ (607) 757-0856. Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10:00 am – 5:00pm and 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Free. edit
Highland Park, 801 Hooper Road, Endwell, NY, ☎ (607)786-2970. Memorial Day through June 19th 12:00 - 7:45 pm, Saturday and Sunday only. June 25 through Labor day 12:00 – 7:45PM daily. Free. edit
Recreation Park - Closed for renovations through August 2011, 58-78 Beethoven Street, Binghamton, NY, ☎ (607) 722-9166 or (607) 772-7017. Call in August for opening date and hours of operation. Free. edit
Ross Park, 60 Morgan Road, Binghamton, NY, ☎ (607) 722-9166 or (607) 772-7017. Memorial Day, May 30th through June 17th, Weekdays 3 – 6PM, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 6:00 pm and from June 18th through Labor Day, daily 10 am – 6:00 pm. Free. edit
West Endicott Park, 501 Maple Street (at Page Avenue), Endicott, NY, ☎ (607) 786-2970. Memorial Day through June 19th 12:00 - 7:45 pm, Saturday and Sunday only. Free. edit
Bundy Arts and Victorian Museum, 129 Main Street (west side, just across Chenango River from Court Street), ☎ (607) 222-0921, . 11a-5p Tu-Su. This museum is located in the former home of Harlow Bundy, who with his brother Willard, built up what eventually became the International Business Machines (IBM) corporation. The stated mission of the museum is to honor local entreprenuers, artists, and personalities by showcasing the fruits of their labor and the culture they influenced. The museum includes an extensive collection showcasing the Bundy Time Recording company with the clocks and punch-cards that became IBM's first major boon. Also features an eclectic collection of arts and antiques.$5.50 - $7.50. edit
Discovery Center of the Southern Tier, 60 Morgan Road (take Park Ave south 1 mi and turn L on Morgan Rd), ☎ (607) 773-8661, . Summer: 10a-4p M-F, 10a-5p Sa, closed Sundays; Winter: open, hours unkown. The mission of The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier is to develop the intellectual, physical and emotional well-being of the children of the Southern Tier through participatory exhibits and programs. Everything is hands-on.$6 or less depending on age. edit
Kopernik Observatory and Science Center, 698 Underwood Road, Vestal (Follow Route 17 West to Route 26 South (Exit 67s). Proceed 5 miles and turn right at Glenwood Road. (Note the green observatory sign). Take the first left onto Underwood Road and proceed 1.8 miles up the hill. Kopernik Observatory will be visible soon on the left.), ☎ (607) 748-3685, . 7:30p F March-November; limited winter hours. The Kopernik Observatory bills itself as "the best-sited and best equipped public observatory in the Northeast United States for over 25 years". During the warmer half of the year, it offers regular educational programming and observation every Friday evening.$5 adults, $3 children & seniors; discounts for groups and large familes. edit
Phelps Mansion Museum, 191 Court Street, ☎ 607-722-4873, . 12p-3p Sa, Su, & Tu; 6p-9p first Friday of the month. A well-preserved and maintained example of Binghamton architecture in the guilded age, the Phelps Mansion was the home of a successful local banker in the 1870s. It was designed by Isaac Perry, known for many locally significant historic landmarks as well as the New York State Capitol. Tours are available during regular hours or by appointment.$4 per person. edit
Roberson Museum and Science Center, 30 Front Street (on Riverside Drive, from downtown, turn R), ☎ 1-888-269-5325, . SWRS 12-5p, F 12-9p. Roberson Museum and Science Center engages people of all ages and backgrounds by providing community-relevant exhibitions and programs in art, history and science education. It hosts the Binghamton Visitor's Center, which is open daily, free of charge. The museum features a planetarium with regular shows for an extra $2 per person. The permanent exhibit on the region's role aviation and flight simulation is particularly good.$8 adults, $6 seniors and students, children free. edit
Ross Park Zoo, 60 Morgan Road, ☎ (607) 724-5461, . daily 10a-5p, in season. The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park, is the nation's fifth oldest zoo in continual operation. In recent years the zoo has benefited from increased community investment and management, and you can see the care taken in its volunteer maintained gardens and well-kept if modest exhibits. It makes an enjoyable and educational half-day visit. Be sure to spend some time with the Golden Lion Tamarins. If you stay a while, you may hear the gray wolves howl at the sound of sirens from the occasional ambulance approaching nearby General Hospital. The antique carousel by the zoo entrance is, like all others in the area, open to the public free of charge.$7 adults, discounted for seniors, students, children and groups. edit
Anderson Center for the Performing Arts, Binghamton University Campus, Vestal Pkwy (First left after traffic circle on BU campus), ☎ 607-777-6802, . Consisting of three individual theaters (Osterhout Concert Theater, Chamber Hall, and Watters Theater), The Anderson Center provides a world-class venue for any size performance that may come to the region. The Center strives to bring in a variety of international performances in keeping with the universities multicultural perspective, however, it also hosts many local and national performances.edit
Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, 31 Front Street, ☎ 607-723-3931, . Lead by Jose-Luis Novo, the Binghamton Philharmonic produces a classical and chamber music series at the Anderson Center for Performing Arts and a popular music series at the Forum Theater downtown.edit
Blues on the Bridge, Washington Street Pedestrian Bridge (downtown). noon to 10pm. Blues festival held annually on the historic South Washington St Bridge in mid September. 180 (or so) bands will perform along with food and crafts vendors.Free. edit
Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena and the Forum Theater, 1 Stuart Street and 236 Washington St. respectively (downtown), ☎ 607-778-1528, . Binghamton's two largest indoor venues are managed by the Broome County Department of Parks and Recreation. The Arena hosts numerous traveling productions and music concerts. It is also the home venue of the local professional ice hockey team, the Binghamton Senators. The Forum is a restored vaudeville house and hosts the Tri Cities Opera, popular music productions of the Binghamton Philharmonic, and Broadway Theater League shows.edit
First Fridays, Washington Street and vicinity, . 6p-9p first Friday of each month. 35 to 45 downtown venues provide gallery hopping, art openings, music and theater shows to fine dining and entertainment on the first Friday of each month.edit
First Night, city-wide, ☎ 607-723-8572, . Begins 5pm New Years Eve. Nationally recognized arts and culture celebration to bring in the new year. City buses provide transportation to events scattered around the city through-out the evening. At midnight a massive bonfire is lit outside The Arena.$10, $6 in advance. edit
Otsiningo Powwow, Otsiningo Park (exit 5 off Interstate 81 and proceed S). first weekend in June. A festival showcasing native peoples of the Americas, particularly the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) heritage of upstate New York. The park itself was the site of an 18th century Haudenosaunee village.edit
Rod Serling Video Festival, 31 Main Street, ☎ 607-762-8202, . first weekend in August. State wide film contest for would-be directors in grades k-12. Film entries are screened at the Helen Foley Theatre in Binghamton, and aired publicly on WSKG Public Television Stationedit
Spiedie Festival and Balloon Rally, Otsiningo Park (use exit 5 from Interstate 81), ☎ (607) 765-6604, . first weekend in August. The Spiedie Fest brings together about 100,000 people to celebrate local culture, launch a hot air balloon rally, and yes, serve up lots of spiedies. The name of the food is from the Italian word for "skewer", appropriate as the dish was invented/adapted by Italian immigrants who settled here in the early 20th century. There are also many arts, crafts, live music, and all the other sorts of things you'd expect at a big fair.edit
St. Patrick's Parade Day, Downtown/Westside Binghamton. 2 weeks before St. Patrick's Day. By having its parade day early, Binghamton gets to showcase some of the best groups from NYC, Philadelphia, Scranton, and elsewhere.edit
Tri-Cities Opera, 236 Washington Street, ☎ 607-772-0400, . $16 adults; discounts for children, students, senior and others. Founded in 1949, the Tri-Cities Opera delivers three major opera productions each year at the Forum Theater as well as a number of shorter productions at its Clinton Street location.edit
Binghamton Mets Baseball Team, (downtown, follow signage from Court Street exit off 363), ☎ 607-723-6387, . AA minor league team. Feeder for New York Mets.edit
Binghamton Senators Hockey Club, (downtown at the Veterans Memorial Arena), ☎ (607) 722-7367, . Professional hockey team of Binghamton area.edit
Chris Thater Memorial Races, Recreation Park, ☎ 607-778-2056, . Premier cycling and running event held in honor drunk driving victim, Chris Thater. Traditionally falls on the last weekend of Augustedit
Dick's Sporting Goods Open, En-Joie Golf Course, 722 W Main St, Endicott (From I86, take rt 26N to 17c (Main St). Go west until almost out of town.), ☎ 607-785-1661, . Formerly the BC Open, it is now a stop on the PGA Tournament of Champions.edit
Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger, Recreation Park, ☎ 607-754-5952, . Men's Challenger tennis tournament held over 9 days a few weeks prior to the US Open. Challengers are Pro Circuit tennis players from around the world.edit
STOP-DWI Holiday Classic, Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena (downtown), ☎ 607-778-2056, . World famous high school basketball tournament held during the Christmas season. Host some of the best teams from across the nation.edit
STOP-DWI Tournament of Champions, BAGSAI Softball Complex (Upper Front St, across from Regal Cinema. On the left, past Broome Community College.), ☎ 607-778-2056, . One of the top high school softball tournaments in the country. Heavily visited by college softball coaches.edit
World Youth Classic, ☎ 607-778-2056. American Legion youth baseball tournament featuring world-class Legion baseball teams held annually in Julyedit
Oakdale Mall - anchored by Macy's, The Bon-Ton, JCPenney, Sears, and Burlington Coat Factory, it is the only indoor super-regional mall in the Greater Binghamton area and within a 50-mile radius. Located in suburban Johnson City.
Vestal Parkway in suburban Vestal has most of the area's big box retail strip centers.
Downtown Binghamton has several shopping options including a Boscov's department store.
Anam Cara Art Gallery, 204 State Street, ☎ 607-722-2220. edit
Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts, 186 State Street, ☎ (607) 772-0485, . 12p-4p Sa. Anthony Brunelli is known particular for his photorealist works, but his gallery features several other artists including Marla Olmstead whose early childhood was the subject of the 2007 documentary "My Kid Could Paint That".edit
Cooperative Gallery 213, 213 State Street (from N Shoreline Dr turn N onto Washington St, then R on Hawley St and L on State St), ☎ (607) 724-3462, . 3p-6p F (9p on first of month), 12p-4p Sa. A local artist cooperative with about two dozen members, Cooperative Gallery 213 has some work of each member on display at all times and a rotating feature exhibition for one of its members.edit
On Point Productions and Gallery, 67 Court Street, 2nd floor (downtown), ☎ (607) 773-7850, . 6p-9p F, 12p-3p Sa. In addition to providing multimedia production services, On Point has gallery featuring one or two local artists at a time.edit
Orazio Salati Gallery, 205 State Street, 2nd floor, ☎ 607-772-6725, . 6p-9p first Friday of month, 11a-4pm Sa. Features paintings by various local artists, including a large rotating solo exhibition.edit
Tom's Coffee, Cards, and Gifts, 184 Main Street (west of Front St about 1 mi), ☎ 607-773-8500, . Su 11a-9p, M-S 9a-9p. Billing itself as Binghamton's premier craft gallery and gift shop, Tom's does not disappoint. There's something for just about everyone in here, and if you get hungry while you're looking expect a variety complementary gourmet treats: chutneys, salsas, biscuits.edit
Mad Hatter Antiques, 284 Clinton St (turn W from Front St and proceed about 1.5 mi), ☎ (607) 729-6036. Stuffed with wonderful items old and older, the Mad Hatter is among the best of the shops on Clinton Street, which is also billed locally as "Antique Row". Leave yourself a good hour to explore the shop.edit
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This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Less than $10
From $11 to $20
Greater than $20
Binghamton has always been (and still is) a melting pot of ethnic flavors. The city's history has been strongly influenced by German, Italian, and Polish immigrants; with many today coming from Eastern Europe, Latin America, and India. The eateries in the city reflect this and provide that big city cultural and culinary experience largely missing in many small cities. Many of the national chains are present in the city as well, and are easily located.
Cyber Cafe West, 176 Main Street (from rt 201, head east on 17C. Around a mile down the road near Schiller St. next to a Wendy's), ☎ (607) 723-2456, . 11AM-11PM M-W, 11AM-1AM Th-Sa, 11AM-9PM Sun. Innovative and tasty sandwiches and wraps and 20+ beers on tap. (Wine and bottled beer also available.) Great vegetarian options.Budget. edit
Java Joe's, 81 State St, ☎ (607) 774-0966. Tasty panini and pastry with decent coffee and laid back atmosphere make Java Joe's a comfortable place to grab a snack or light meal.Budget. edit
Laveggio Roasteria and Espresso Bar, 101 Court Street, ☎ (607) 779-1100, . 7a-4p M-F, 6p-9p first Friday of month. This local coffee house roasts coffee beans to order and emphasizes direct trade and sustainable practices.Budget. edit
Pat Mitchell's Ice Cream
Lost Dog Cafe, 222 Water Street (from Court St, follow Water St north two blocks), ☎ (607) 771-6063, . 11:30a-10p. This eclectic fusion restaurant serves great and generous dishes. Though they offer lunch, the place really heats up at night and often has live music. It can get busy, particularly when the university is in session so you may want to call ahead.Mid-range. edit
River Muse Cafe, 7 South Washington Street (just of NY 434 in South Bridge neighborhood), ☎ (607) 235-3122. Delicious, homemade baked goods and fine coffee await you at this South Side gem. It has a friendly owner, laid-back atmosphere, and often shows local artists' work on its walls. There are free tango (or salsa, can't remember) lessons every week that make you part of the entertainment!Budget. edit
Tranquil Bar and Bistro, 36 Pine Street #1 (from Court St turn N onto Carroll St and R onto Pine St), ☎ (607) 723-0495, . see website. Excellent French dining in downtown Binghamton. Depending on the time of day and day of the week, this place offers brunch, lunch, dinner, and nightlife.Mid-range. edit
Binghamton Farmers Market, Collier Street (next to county courthouse), ☎ (607) 778-2131, . 9a-2p Tu, F June - September; F only in October. Live musical performances often accompany the Friday farmer's market.edit
Grandes Bella Cucina, 1171 Vestal Avenue, Binghamton.
Grotta Azzurra 52 Main St # 1, Binghamton.
J Michaels Restaurant and Lounge, 59 Court Street, ☎ (607) 720-6453. Don't let the facade fool you! This restaurant sits in the basement of one of Binghamton's oldest buildings. The winding stairwell that you follow down drops you at what used to be the ground floor when State Street was the Chenango Canal. The light fare is the best here, especially the thin crust pizza.edit
Little Venice Restaurant, 111 Chenango Street (near the bus station), ☎ 607-724-2513, . 11a-11p daily, closed M. This charming little restaurant offers more than the outside suggests. Several pasta dishes are homemade, and the manicotti are especially good. The original owner was quite an art collector and you will find dozens of paintings to look at while you wait for your order, including several idyllic, impressionistic paintings of local landmarks by Armonodo Dellasanta.Budget. edit
Mama Giuseppa Restaurant, 4 South Liberty Street, Endicott (from I-86, take exit 67N then Main St west for about 1.5 mi, then R on Liberty St), ☎ (607) 748-7200. Among the very best Italian restaurants in the Binghamton area. The location is a bit odd, but the food is exceptional. Make sure to come hungry -- the servings are extremely generous and you'll want to leave room from dessert.Mid-range. edit
Pizza in Binghamton is predominantly New York Style. However, Binghamton is well known (and sometimes reviled) for its 'sheet' or square pizza.
Bella Pizza 1116 Chenango Street, Binghamton.
La Cucina Pizzeria 62 Glenwood Ave, Binghamton.
Leroy Pizza & Subs 67 Leroy St, Binghamton.
Nandos 286 Conklin Ave, Binghamton.
New York Pizzeria 33 W State Street, Binghamton.
Nirchi's 954 Front Street, 219 Main Street, and 166 Water St, Binghamton.
Pronto Cucina 790 Conklin Rd, Binghamton.
Mama Giuseppa Restaurant, 4 South Liberty Street, Endicott (from I-86, take exit 67N then Main St west for about 1.5 mi, then R on Liberty St), ☎ (607) 748-7200. Among the very best Italian restaurants in the Binghamton area. The location is a bit odd, but the food is exceptional. Make sure to come hungry -- the servings are extremely generous and you'll want to leave room from dessert. Mid-range.
Park Diner, 119 Conklin Ave, 607.722.9840. Traditional greek diner located on a little hill above the Rockbottom Dam and across the river from downtown Binghamton. It has a fantastic view and the food is is just as good. The Par is very popular with locals and eeekend mornings (in particular Sunday) are generally very busy... there can be a wait. Budget
The Spot, 1062 Upper Front St, 607.723.8149. The Spot is open 24/7 and is frequented by the local college scene. The food and service are great with some of the best french toast ever offered on a menu. Mid-range
Thirsty's Tavern, 46 S Washington St, 607.771.0660 . This local tavern specializes in providing the down-to-earth experience. The decor is barn-like with rough wood floors and barrels for tables and stools for seats. Good beer, a burger-heavy menu, and frequent local bands provide a good atmosphere. There is a banquet hall and catering as well. Budget
Kilmer Brasserie & Steakhouse, 31 Lewis St, 607.217.7270 . Located in the historic Kilmer Building, this is Binghamton latest edition to the upscale dinning scene. French and American cuisine is featured along with steaks. The restaurant has many interesting specials including B.Y.O.W. Thursdays. Splurge
Number 5, 33 S Washington St, 607.723.0555 . Built in the old Fire Station #5 building (circa 1897), this is generally considered Binghamton's premier upscale restaurant. Splurge
Whole in the Wall, 43 S. Washington St, 607.722.5138 . Pleasant restaurant on the Southside that specializes in natural and wholesome meals. Mid-range
The Spiedie is a regional dish born in Binghamton to Italian immigrants. It consists of marinated chunks of meat grilled over charcoal on metal skewers. It is served still on the skewer with a slice of italian bread (almost always Felix Roma's) used to pull the meat off, usually with a little marinade drizzled on top. The meat was originally lamb, but has come to include chicken, pork, and venison.
Sharkey's Restaurant, 56 Glenwood Ave, 607.729.9201. Purported to be the birthplace of the spiedie, it is certainly the oldest remaining purveyor and one of the tastiest. Budget
Lupo's S&S Char Pit, 6 West State Street, 607.723.6106 . One of the two major spiedie sauce labels in the area (the other being Salamida's). Budget
Spiedie and Rib Pit, 1268 Front Street, Binghamton, 607.722.7628 and 3908 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, 607.729.2679 . Budget
One of the most popular areas in Binghamton for the drinking crowd, particularly among BU students. The pub area of the street is generally closed town to vehicular traffic in the evenings on weekends. This is the epicenter of the annual 'Pub Crawl' among graduating BU seniors.
Dillingers Celtic Pub & Eatery, 77 State Street, Binghamton, NY 13901, ☎ (607) 724-7779, . edit
JT's Tavern, 98 State Street Binghamton, NY 13901, ☎ (607) 722-5985. edit
Paradigm Nightclub and Flashbacks, 93 State Street, Binghamton, NY 13901, . Monday - Thursday 9pm, Friday: 9pm - 3am, Saturday: 9pm - 3am. edit
The Rathskeller Pub, 92 State St Binghamton, NY 13901, ☎ (607) 722-0255. edit
The Scoreboard, 85 State St Binghamton, NY, ☎ 607-723-0063. edit
Tom and Marty's Town House, 89 State Street, Binghamton, NY 13901-3384, ☎ 607) 722-9823. edit
Binghamton has many places to stay, but if you will be visiting around Binghamton University's Commencement (late May, early June), be sure to book VERY early. Hotels have been known to fill up a year in advance.
Binghamton Riverwalk Hotel & Conference Center, 225 Water Street, Binghamton, NY 13901 (From NY Route 17W to I-81N & From I-81S Exit 5 (Front Street). Left to Front Street, left at East Clinton Street, go over bridge, right at 1st light onto Water Street. Hotel is on right. From NY Route 17E: Exit 72 (Front Street) right onto Front Street, see above), ☎ (607) 722-7575 or (800) 723-7676, . $76 - 101+. edit
Comfort Inn, 1000 Upper Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13905 (Exit 5 off I-81, right at end of ramp. 1.3 miles on right.), ☎ (607) 724-3297 or (800) 463-7009 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . $76 - 101+. edit
Econo Lodge Inn & Suites, 690 Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13905 (From I-81 to Exit 5, I-88 to I-81S to Exit 5. NY Route 17 to I-81N to Exit 5.), ☎ (607) 724-1341, . $51 – 75. edit
Fairfield Inn – Binghamton, 864 Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13905 (From I-81 (N or S) at Exit 5, make a right off Exit, ¼ mile on right), ☎ (607) 651-1000 (email@example.com), . $101+. edit
Hampton Inn & Suites, 3708 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850 (NY Route 17W to Exit 70S (Route 201S). Follow Route 201S to Route 434W hotel is ¼ mile on left), ☎ (607) 797-5000 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . $101+. edit
Holiday Inn Arena, 2-8 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY 13901 (I-81 & NY Route 17: Exit 4S. Take Route 363. Turn right on Washington Street (Downtown).At end of Washington Street, turn left onto Hawley Street, hotel is on left), ☎ (607) 722-1212 (email@example.com), . $101+. edit
Howard Johnson Inn & Suites, 1156 Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13905 (From I-81N Exit 6 left at bottom of ramp, 1/8 miles on left.I-81S Exit 6 left at ramp right at light, 2 miles on left.), ☎ (607) 722-5353. $76 – 101. edit
Knights Inn, 2603 East Main Street, Endwell, NY 13760 (Route 17W Exit 69, 2 miles on right. Route 17E Exit 67N. Endwell Exit to Main Street hotel ¼ mile on left.), ☎ (800) 531-4667, . $50 – 75. edit
Red Roof Inn, 590 Fairview Street, Johnson City, NY 13790, ☎ (607) 729-8940, . $50 – 75. edit
Traditions at the Glen, 4101 Watson Boulevard, Johnson City, NY 13790, ☎ (607) 797-2381, . $101+. edit
Pickle Hill Bed and Breakfast, 795 Chenango Street (From Interstate 81 take Exit 4N (Rte. 7–Hillcrest) to the stop light. Turn left and continue through a residential section to Chenango Street. Turn right onto Chenango Street and continue north to Pickle Hill at #795 (diagonally across from Port Dickinson Police Station).), ☎ 607-723-0259, . A well-kept and friendly B&B in a comfortable home that dates from the 19th century. Hosts serve a generous and wholesome breakfast.$40-60. edit
Greek Peak Mountain Resort, 2000 NYS Rt. 392, Cortland (From Interstate 81 exit at #9 and then take Route 11 North to 392 West), ☎ 800-955-2SKI, . Greek Peak is the nearest downhill ski resort to Binghamton. It has expanded significantly in recent years and also offers nordic options. About 40 minutes drive from Binghamton.edit
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