New York State may have travel restrictions in place, including self-quarantine, due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

IthacaUnited States of America

This college town calls itself “gorges,” for the striking ravines that cut through the city and offer spectacular hikes and views. 

You’ll see more than one person wearing the T-shirt, “Ithaca is Gorges,” in this Central New York college town. Explore the ravines in Ithaca and along the shores of Cayuga Lake, the longest of the glacially formed Finger Lakes, to appreciate the beauty of the area’s gorges, hillsides and waterways.

The heart of Ithaca is Cornell University, a world-renowned Ivy League university. Stroll through the large campus past 150-year-old brick buildings. Climb 161 stairs of the McGraw clock tower to listen to chimes played three times daily during the school year by Cornell students. Visit the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, a free gallery with original artwork from various cultures and times and frequent themed exhibitions. If you’re in the city on a clear Friday night, go to the Fuertes Observatory to view the night sky.

Cornell Plantations, the university’s botanical gardens, is over 25 acres (10 hectares) in area with an arboretum of New York trees, colorful annual and perennial garden plantings and numerous natural areas. Wander the walking trails to see gorges, streams, waterfalls, woodlands and meadows. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and nearby Sapsucker Woods offer some of the world’s best bird-watching experiences.

Visit several waterfall areas within the city limits: Ithaca Falls and Buttermilk Falls and Robert H. Treman state parks. Just west of Ithaca at the southern end of Seneca Lake is Watkins Glen, with a long walking trail through an impressive ravine and an international speedway which hosts varied auto races and concerts. You may want to follow the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail around the lake to enjoy vineyard views and flavorful vintages.

In the city, Museum of the Earth, Sciencenter and State Theatre of Ithaca offer additional family-friendly activities. Visit the downtown Ithaca Commons pedestrianized area for numerous shopping and restaurant choices.

Fly into Ithaca or other regional airports. Then see for yourself that “Ithaca is Gorges…” and buy the T-shirt.

Top Hotels in Ithaca

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons
Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons
3.5 out of 5
120 S Aurora St, Ithaca, NY
The price is CA $225 per night

Located in the heart of Ithaca, this hotel is steps away from Ithaca Commons and The History Center. State Theatre of Ithaca and Dewitt Park are also within ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (382 reviews)

"It’s great location. Everywhere is walkable too. Lots of eatables around the hotel"…"

Reviewed on Aug. 13, 2020

Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons
Best Western University Inn
Best Western University Inn
2.5 out of 5
1020 Ellis Hollow Rd, Ithaca, NY
The price is CA $94 per night

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Cornell University, Ithaca Commons and State Theatre of Ithaca. Ithaca College and Cayuga Lake ...

3.9/5Good! (964 reviews)

"It was a very good stay. Just considering that we are under covid19 restrictions."…"

Reviewed on Aug. 4, 2020

Best Western University Inn
Canopy by Hilton Ithaca Downtown
Canopy by Hilton Ithaca Downtown
3.5 out of 5
324 East State Street, Ithaca, NY
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $190 per night

Located in the heart of Ithaca, this hotel is steps away from The History Center and Ithaca Commons. Cornell University and State Theatre of Ithaca are also ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (78 reviews)

"Great location, very clean, very friendly and professional staff. We highly recommend this hotel!"…"

Reviewed on Aug. 13, 2020

Canopy by Hilton Ithaca Downtown

Popular places to visit in Ithaca

Buttermilk Falls State Park
Image for Buttermilk Falls State Park

Buttermilk Falls State Park

4.5/5(11 reviews)

Enjoy an old-fashioned swimming hole at the base of this park’s creek and wander through the sprawling glen and wetlands.

Robert H. Treman State Park
Image for Robert H. Treman State Park

Robert H. Treman State Park

4.5/5(10 reviews)

Watch rapidly cascading water as you follow a winding creek down a gorge through the forest of this scenic terrain.

Top things to do in Ithaca

Ithaca Scavenger Hunt: Big Red Cornell
Image for Ithaca Scavenger Hunt: Big Red Cornell

Ithaca Scavenger Hunt: Big Red Cornell

CA $27
Per adult
Destiny USA Shopping Pass
Image for Destiny USA Shopping Pass

Destiny USA Shopping Pass

CA $20
Per adult
Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of New York
Image for Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of New York

Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of New York

CA $27
Per adult
City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of New York
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of New York

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of New York

CA $14
Per adult
Syracuse Scavenger Hunt: At The Center Of New York State
Image for Syracuse Scavenger Hunt: At The Center Of New York State

Syracuse Scavenger Hunt: At The Center Of New York State

CA $27
Per adult
All day Guided Winery Transport for Six
Image for All day Guided Winery Transport for Six

All day Guided Winery Transport for Six

CA $487
Per adult

Reviews of Ithaca

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
13
5 - Excellent 35.13513513513514%
4 - Good
21
4 - Good 56.75675675675676%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 8.108108108108109%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Dec 10, 2019

The city is all hills. Dont know what it would be like to drive in snow.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Aug 11, 2019

Beautiful place to visit. So many falls and hiking trails plus downtown still have a bit of the small town feeling.

4/5 - Good

Eui

Jul 20, 2019

Great food. Beautiful scenery.

5/5 - Excellent

Maya

Jun 19, 2019

Adventurous, small town but easy to get around. People are pleasant & the waterfalls are a beautiful sight!

Cities near Ithaca

Other places like Ithaca