Why we love Ithaca

If you are considering coming to Ithaca for a vacation, to work, or to study with us, here are a few highlights we enjoy about living and working in this beautiful place.

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. Check out the Ithaca Trails website to seek out your perfect hike!

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, our local food 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 check out the section about restaurants on the VisitIthaca website.

Ithaca is Smart

Ithaca is home to Ivy League Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins County Community College, and the Finger Lakes School of Massage. 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 music graduates from Ithaca College, there are numerous local bands. There are multiple theaters including the Hangar and Kitchen Theatre Company 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 growing 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. To find out about events and offerings in this vibrant city explore the VisitIthaca.Com events page.

Ithaca’s Farmer’s Market was ranked #8 Must Visit Farmer’s Market by Zagat 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.

I have had the most beautiful and life-changing adventure. I cannot even begin to thank you enough for reawakening my curiosity, fueling my desire for adventure, and introducing patience and so much beauty to my life.”

Wilderness Skills Alumna