If you’re planning a trip to the Finger Lakes, make sure you add Ithaca to your itinerary —a vibrant city that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and a thriving food and drink scene. Plus, it’s only a short drive away from our vacation rentals in Burdett.
Ithaca has something to offer everyone, which is why it’s one of our favorite places to spend time when we’re in the FLX. From stunning waterfalls to eclectic shops and eateries, here are the best things to see and do:
- Explore Cascadilla Gorge and Waterfalls: Begin your Ithaca adventure by exploring the breathtaking Cascadilla Gorge. Follow the winding trail that leads you through a series of picturesque waterfalls, lush greenery, and enchanting stone bridges. The experience is nothing short of magical, providing the perfect opportunity for Instagram-worthy moments.
- Discover the Cornell University Campus: As one of the Ivy League universities, Cornell University is an iconic landmark in Ithaca. Take a self-guided tour of the campus and immerse yourself in the rich history and beautiful architecture. Don't miss the stunning views from the McGraw Tower or a visit to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, which showcases an impressive collection of contemporary and ancient artworks.
- Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Buttermilk Falls State Park: Embrace the natural beauty of Ithaca by spending a day at Buttermilk Falls State Park. Hike the scenic trails that wind through woodlands, enjoy a refreshing swim in the natural pool formed by cascading waterfalls, or simply relax with a picnic amidst nature. This park is a perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.
- Experience the Ithaca Farmers Market: Join the locals at the Ithaca Farmers Market, where you'll find an array of local produce, handmade crafts, and delicious food. This vibrant market showcases the region's agricultural bounty and is a great place to stock up on fresh ingredients or find unique souvenirs to take home.
- Explore the Shops and Cafes of the Downtown Commons: The Downtown Commons is a thriving hub of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Stroll along the pedestrian-friendly streets, pop into eclectic boutiques, browse vintage stores, and discover unique artwork at local galleries. Be sure to grab a cup of locally roasted coffee or try some innovative cuisine at one of the trendy eateries in the area, like the legendary Moosewood Restaurant.
- Sample Craft Beer and Local Wine: Ithaca is known for its vibrant craft beer and wine scene. Visit the numerous breweries and taprooms in the area, such as Ithaca Beer Co., which offers a range of handcrafted brews. If wine is more your style, explore the nearby Finger Lakes wine region and indulge in tastings at wineries like Six Mile Creek Vineyard or Americana Vineyards. Cheers to experiencing the local flavors!
- Attend Festivals and Events: Ithaca hosts a variety of festivals and live events throughout the year that everyone can enjoy, so think about booking your stay with us when something is happening! From the Ithaca Festival, which celebrates arts and culture, to the Finger Lakes Cider Week or the Chili Fest, there's always something exciting to go to. Love to see a show? Live music? You’ll be able to catch something at Cornell or Ithaca College, in the Bernie Milton Pavillion (they have a great summer concert series!), or at The State Theatre, which hosts concerts, comedians, and more.
- Relax by Cayuga Lake: Include some time on the water during your Ithaca adventure! There’s nothing better than a relaxing afternoon by Cayuga Lake. Find a lakeside spot, bring a picnic (we recommend snacks and sandwiches from Ithaca Bakery!), or rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the lake on your own.
Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, incredible food and drink, or simply a place to unwind and enjoy the good life, Ithaca has it all. So, pack your bags, embrace the youthful energy of the city, and get ready to have THE BEST time on your Finger Lakes escape!