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Ithaca, NY

Travel Guide

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.

Where to stay in Ithaca

Hotel Ithaca
Hotel Ithaca
3 out of 5
222 South Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY
The price is ¥15,152 per night from Aug 30 to Aug 30
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of State Theatre of Ithaca and Ithaca Commons. Cornell University and Ithaca College are also ...
4/5Very Good! (903 reviews)
"Theo hotel was pleasant. Close to the Commons, restaurant and close distance to activities. The breakfast is delicious, the staff is super friendly. The only complains I have would be I wish the pool was open, also our room had a dirty underwear hanging in the bathroom. Under the beds are filthy. ..."

Reviewed on Aug 3, 2021

Hotel Ithaca
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 ¥17,560 per night from Aug 31 to Aug 31
Located in the heart of Ithaca, this hotel is steps from Ithaca Commons and The History Center. State Theatre of Ithaca and Cornell University are also within ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (526 reviews)
"Very nice updated property in a great area."

Reviewed on Jul 19, 2021

Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons
The Statler Hotel at Cornell University
The Statler Hotel at Cornell University
4 out of 5
130 Statler Dr, Ithaca, NY
The price is ¥26,162 per night from Aug 8 to Aug 8
Situated in Ithaca, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cornell University and Cornell Botanic Gardens. Ithaca Commons and State Theatre of Ithaca are also ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (880 reviews)
"Across the board the personnel, from greeters/valet, to front desk and restaurant, came across as efficient, happy in their work, and committed to a positive guest experience. The consistency of those attributes is, in my experience, as rare as it is welcome. Good job."

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2021

The Statler Hotel at Cornell University
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Small House, Walking Distance From Suny or Downtown Cortland
Small House, Walking Distance From Suny or Downtown Cortland
Cortland, NY
The price is ¥6,541 per night from Aug 9 to Aug 9
Located in the heart of Cortland, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Cortland Beer Company and State University of New York-Cortland. 1890 House Museum ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (8 reviews)
Cute house
"Quaint little house in a quiet neighborhood location. Easy walk to the downtown area for my son‘s college graduation, numerous restaurants and pubs nearby. Ideally suited for only four adults."

Reviewed on Jun 13, 2021

Small House, Walking Distance From Suny or Downtown Cortland
Homewood Suites by Hilton Ithaca
Homewood Suites by Hilton Ithaca
3 out of 5
36 Cinema Dr, Ithaca, NY
The price is ¥18,439 per night from Aug 29 to Aug 29
Situated in Ithaca, this aparthotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Triphammer Marketplace and within 3 mi (5 km) of Cornell University and Cayuga Lake. Shops at Ithaca ...
4.4/5Excellent! (772 reviews)
"Clean and comfortable rooms. Good breakfast with nice variety. Hotel provides easy access to the many waterfalls throughout the city."

Reviewed on Jul 25, 2021

Homewood Suites by Hilton Ithaca
Ithaca Boat House
Ithaca Boat House
3.5 out of 5
1180 East Shore Drive, Ithaca, NY
Situated in Ithaca, this apartment building is within 3 mi (5 km) of Cayuga Lake, Cornell University, and State Theatre of Ithaca. Ithaca Commons is 3 mi (4.9 ...
4/5Very Good! (6 reviews)
"The location of the property was beautiful and the size is good as well, however, we stayed in the lower unit and two out of the three mornings, we awoke to toddlers running above our heads. It was miserable waking up at 5 and 6 am to kids running through the house above. If we ever stay again at ..."

Reviewed on Nov 11, 2019

Ithaca Boat House
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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