Biking -- This part of the state offers some nice cycling paths, particularly the old Erie Canal trails (www.nyscanals.gov/exvac/trail). The 36-mile Old Erie Canal State Park Trail and the 60-mile Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway are two good options.
Hitting the Beach -- Lined with restaurants and an amusement park, Sylvan Beach is a nice stretch of sand on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake -- one that gets absolutely packed with sunbathers in the summertime. Parking is tight, so if you're planning to soak up the sun, come early or lodge within walking distance. Farther north, Sandy Island Beach, off Route 3 on County Route 15 in Pulaski (tel. 315/387-2657), is part of the Eastern Lake Ontario Dune and Wetland Area, a 17-mile stretch of shoreline on Lake Ontario. This state park includes the only significant freshwater dune site in the northeastern U.S. -- good news for wildlife lovers. The dunes are home to several species of migratory birds and waterfowl, including sandpipers, plovers, killdeer, gulls, and terns. You may also see foxes, deer, beavers, and turtles moving among the wetland and shore areas.
Golf -- Hit the links in Rome at the 9-hole Delta Knolls Golf Course, 8388 Elmer Hill Rd. (tel. 315/339-1280; greens fees $7). In Utica, line up your shots at the Valley View Golf Course, 620 Memorial Pkwy., Utica (tel. 315/732-8755; greens fees $35).