10 Things to Do in Ithaca That You Shouldn't Miss

March 26, 2018 Kiesha Cripe

"Ithaca is gorges" can be read on proud t-shirts across New York State, and there is definitely truth in advertising. Sitting on the shores of Cayuga Lake, the largest of the Finger Lakes, the hilly town of Ithaca is surrounded by dense forests, towering waterfalls, and many gorges. The natural beauty has a distinctly academic feel, as local universities have filled the woods with museums and education centers like The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which features a 220 acre wildlife sanctuary.
Restaurants in Ithaca

1. Robert Treman State Park

105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850-8757 +1 607-273-3440
Excellent
76%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 999 reviews

Robert Treman State Park

Reviewed By n02578845 - Cortland, New York

Absolutely beautiful park, well kept trails, lots of stairs- so it's a good work out. Nice swimming hole. Nice views of the water and wilderness. Go early in the morning for your hike and avoid people. I think parking is 10$ or something, but they're not always there.

2. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY +1 607-254-4636
Excellent
76%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
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0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 595 reviews

Cornell University

Reviewed By Leon L - Hong Kong, China

Cornell's reputation and academics are without doubt. However, the campus itself is not a tourist attraction. Apart from a couple eye-catching architecture like the Law School or the Statler, the school is just a collection of administrative and educational buildings like any other colleges. Parking is also difficult to find.

3. Cayuga Lake

Ithaca, NY +1 607-273-3440
Excellent
71%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 294 reviews

Cayuga Lake

One of the largest of New York's Finger Lakes, this area is used for swimming, boating, fishing and other outdoor recreational activities.

Reviewed By Cam2Travel - Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Taughannock Falls State Park is a must see, especially after a wet season. My family and I were lucky enough to view the tallest falls, this side of the Rockies, during the summer when we had heavy rain. If parked at the visitor's center, you can park for free and look down at the falls. The center specialists can direct you to the lower parking lot where you have to pay to park, and walk 1.5 miles round trip to the falls. Best part about paying for parking is your receipt gets you in to other state parks for free the same day. Worth the adventure!

4. Ithaca Falls Natural Area

399 Lake St, Ithaca, NY 14850 +1 607-272-1313
Excellent
74%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 154 reviews

Ithaca Falls Natural Area

Reviewed By kenmkboy - Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

wow, what an amazingly easy waterfall view. my wife and I drove around the beautifull campus area only to discover this beautiful waterfall and gorge from the bridge. easy , short hike to this refreshing testimonial to nature's creativity.

5. Cascadilla Gorge Trail

Treman Triangle Park, Ithaca, NY 14850 +1 607-272-1313
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 126 reviews

Cascadilla Gorge Trail

Reviewed By Prawet J - Washington DC, District of Columbia

If you visit Ithaca and/or Cornell University, spare an hour to walk the Cascadilla Trail. It is located on Cornell campus. The trail will take you through beautiful gorge and connect you to other nature trail on and near the campus. A beautiful trail with beautiful scenery around campus. Two small waterfalls provide great feeling for the walk. Don't miss it. It is an easy walk.

6. Cornell Lab of Ornithology

159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850-1923 +1 800-843-2473
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 371 reviews

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Reviewed By RMPgh - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Ok I'm a birder but what's not to like about this stunning building, paintings, murals, sound sculpture by designer of Vietnam Memorial, active bird feeders, trails around the pond and through the woods. Less active visitors could sit in the lobby and watch birds at the pond or sit outside. The personnel at the entry were very friendly and welcoming as was the gift shop woman.

7. Cornell Botanic Gardens

124 Comstock Knoll Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850-2765 +1 607-255-2400
Excellent
75%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 280 reviews

Cornell Botanic Gardens

Cornell Botanic Gardens inspires people - through the cultivation of 150 acres of specialty gardens, conservation of plants and 3400 acres of natural areas, and the education of lifelong learners - to understand, appreciate, and nurture plants and the cultures they sustain. The botanic gardens are located at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and are open year-round, dawn to dusk, free of charge. The Nevin Welcome Center and Gift Shop is open Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu, and Sun 9:00 - 5:00 p.m. Fri - Sat 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Reviewed By RoadTripIzzy - Toronto, Canada

Obviously the reviewers who write before me haven’t been to a real botanical garden. This is definitely more of an arboretum with a small garden then a formal botanical garden. Some teaching gardens, some sculptures etc. Overall not at all impressive - nice gift store though.

8. Ithaca Waterfalls

Ithaca, NY +1 607-272-1313
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 240 reviews

Ithaca Waterfalls

Reviewed By Gastronome37 - Regensburg, Germany

As they say, Ithaca is Gorges. And every gorge has its waterfall or falls. I've read that there are about 150 waterfalls in the Ithaca area, and I've only scratched the surface. But those that I've seen are spectacular (although in the dry season, they may disappoint). My favorites are Ithaca Falls, Buttermilk Falls and Treman State Park Falls. The latter two allow swimming below the falls. In short, visiting some of the Ithaca waterfalls will be one of the highlights of any trip to Ithaca.

9. Sciencenter

601 1st St, Ithaca, NY 14850-3507 +1 607-272-0600
Excellent
73%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 131 reviews

Sciencenter

The Sciencenter inspires excitement for science through interactive exhibits and programs that engage, educate and empower. The hands-on museum offers visitors of all ages more than 250 exhibits, educational programs, a gift shop, an outdoor science park and a seasonal miniature golf course. Look, touch, listen & discover at the Sciencenter. The Sciencenter is open Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm and Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm. Open Mondays in July and August and holiday Mondays. The Sciencenter is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.

Reviewed By ErinKristin - West Islip, New York

My husband had to go to Cornell for work so I went with him along with our children. We were looking for something to do while he was at work. It was a perfect place to visit for my children ages 4 & 19 months....MoreThank you for the wonderful review, Erin. We are pleased to hear that you and your family enjoyed your recent visit to the Sciencenter. We hope you're able to visit us again soon. Best, Amy Gaulke Public and Media Relations Manager Sciencenter

10. Ithaca Farmers Market

545 3rd St, Steamboat Landing, Ithaca, NY 14850-3208 +1 607-273-7109
Excellent
71%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 256 reviews

Ithaca Farmers Market

Reviewed By RMPgh - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Wedding reception held here and the center floor is smooth enough for dancing. The layout worked for long tables then sit-down buffet dinner. Caterers grilled meats just outside the covered area. Separate stalls for bar and dessert were used. String lights above and I'd suggest lamps on tables for sufficient light depending on dining time. Dock very pleasant.

Ithaca residents enjoy the farm produce on farm stand days.

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