Exploring the surrounding community is a great way to deepen your Binghamton University experience. With the pressure of socializing and getting used to your newfound independence as a freshman student, the first days and weeks of the year can be overwhelming. However, getting acclimated to campus and the Greater Binghamton area will make tackling these issues feel much more manageable. Here are a few ways you can explore the surrounding community.


Binghamton is full of restaurants with a variety of dining options. You can try dishes ranging from Italian cuisine at Little Venice to Thai and Vietnamese-inspired options at Thai Time and Pho Nomenal.

If you’re feeling fancy, head over to 205 Dry, a dimly lit and witchy–themed speakeasy on Downtown Binghamton’s State Street. With an incredible ambiance and a healthy balance of both vegan and non-vegan dishes, 205 Dry is the perfect spot for special occasions. Another local favorite — Los Tapatios, a hidden gem just off campus — offers a ninety-nine-cent taco special on Tuesdays. The Lost Dog Café & Lounge is another Binghamton staple that offers classic American eats.

All in all, taking a break from schoolwork to have a delicious meal with friends is one of the best ways to decompress and feel refreshed.

Chenango Valley State Park

Roughly a 20-minute drive from campus, Chenango Valley State Park is a diamond in the rough, especially because of its gorgeous glacial lake, which is open for swimming until Sept. 1. The park also offers activities like golfing, kayaking, hiking and camping. If you’re looking to stay active and indulge in nature outside of the campus Nature Preserve, visiting Chenango Valley State Park is a great way to do that.


In the past few years, thrifting has become a popular way for young people to shop. Fortunately, Binghamton has some of the best thrift stores, making it easy to find stylish and unique pieces at an affordable price. Located on Vestal Parkway East, Goodwill NYNJ Store & Donation Center is the most accessible as it’s only a bus ride away. Both Thrifty Shopper locations in the area are a bit more difficult to get to but are worth the trek as they offer a huge range of clothing. If curated vintage stores are more to your taste, then head Downtown to Stellar Human.

Day Trips

Day trips are a fun way to explore beyond the Greater Binghamton area. Traveling to one of Ithaca’s many waterfalls is a popular option for tanning and swimming, while Russell Farms — located along the border between New York and Pennsylvania — is great for fall activities such as pumpkin and apple picking. There are so many other fun areas to explore just outside of Binghamton, and if access to a car isn’t an issue, spending the day in a nearby town is a good way to take advantage of your location and resources.

College can feel stressful and overwhelming, but with the right people and right places, getting accustomed to the new environment will feel exciting rather than daunting. If you find yourself struggling to look for new things to do, explore some off-campus options.