why ithaca

Some things we love about Ithaca...

If you are considering coming to Ithaca for a vacation, or to work or study with us, here's what we enjoy about living and working in this beautiful place and why we think you might like it too!

Ithaca is Gorges

Ithaca is playfully labelled as “gorges” and it refers to the wealth of natural and stunning scenery woven throughout this small city’s geography. Home to more than 100 waterfalls in 10 square miles, Ithaca boasts a vast array of gorges and scenic panoramas. Most notably, Taughannock Falls State Park has a waterfall that stands taller than Niagara Falls at 215 feet. With four state parks in Ithaca, the surrounding county provides access to 28,000 acres of public forestland for hiking, biking, and outdoor recreation. To find out about events and offerings in this vibrant city explore the VisitIthaca.Com calendar page.

Ithaca is Yummy

Restaurants and eateries abound in Ithaca. We're rumored to have more restaurants per capita than even NYC. Ithaca is home to the world renowned vegetarian restaurant Moosewood, but be assured in the Ithaca restaurant scene there is something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of Thai, Indian, TexMex, farm-to-table, Tapas-style, or gluttonous late night munchies, Ithaca’s got you covered. We'd recommend grabbing a coffee at one of Gimme! Coffee's downtown locations and heading down to the Common's for dinner. For those of the locavore persuasion, the local cooperative, Greenstar, provides an oasis of locally-sourced, organic produce. Looking for more? There’s a whole network of farms that offer community-supported agriculture memberships year-round. For more information about the Ithaca dining scene, click here.

Ithaca is Smart

Ithaca is also home to Ivy league Cornell University and Ithaca College. Full of smart, savvy people with an array of professional expertise, Ithaca has previously been named the Best College Town in America. With a large draw of new residents joining this city every year, Ithaca’s community has developed into its own melting pot of diverse cultures, cuisines, and customs.

Ithaca is Fun

Ithaca night life offers many opportunities for fun and to meet new people. Many bars double as music venues, and with the influx of musical graduates from Ithaca College, there are just as many local bands. There are multiple theaters including the Hangar and Kitchen Theatres who always have something on show, and the State Theatre regularly brings in nationally recognized artists.

There are fun things to do during the day as well - indoors and out. Kids have lots of places to have fun, and learn while they’re at it. The Discovery Trail, Museum of the Earth, and the Children’s Garden at Cass Park are just a few of the places kids can do cool things.

For bigger kids (a.k.a. adults), the Finger Lakes region has been rowing in international recognition for its wineries, cideries, and breweries. In 2014 the Finger Lakes were voted the Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. With 17 wineries on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, and a whopping 40+ wineries along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, not to mention the Finger Lakes Cider House and growing number of local breweries, we highly recommend exploring our local liquid bounty.

Ithaca is Community

The biggest draw for Ithaca has to be its sense of community. For a city comprised of many, diverse cultures and backgrounds, there is a sense of oneness that isn’t the case for a lot of cities of this size. Ithaca’s calendar is teeming with festivals large and small throughout the course of the year. Every June The Downtown Ithaca Alliance hosts the Ithaca Festival, where there’s a parade and a 4-day, city-wide assortment of activities, shows, and food. Festivals like Apple Harvest in the fall, Chili Fest in February, and the Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance in the summer draw crowds of thousands.

Ithaca’s Farmer’s Market was ranked #8 Must Visit Farmer’s Market by Zagat in 2013 and hosts a wide array of local farmers, artisans, and other vendors. Each year Ithaca holds a compost fair at the Farmer’s Market, where attendees can learn about and celebrate the benefits of sustainability. As another green initiative, car shares are also commonplace throughout the city, where people and organizations have access to transportation while reducing the environmental and economic impacts of a city full of cars.

"They love absolutely everything. I really cannot say enough positive things. I love the counselors, I love the program, the safety, EVERYTHING!" L.F., Parent

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