Are you looking for the best things to do in Ithaca NY? Then you are on the right page! Welcome to Ithaca, New York, a captivating city bursting at its seams with unique adventures. Ithaca, surrounded by spectacular natural beauty, offers many sights and activities to suit all interests.
Ithaca offers something unique in store, whether you’re a fan of history, food, art, or the outdoors.
There are plenty of exciting things to do in Ithaca, from discovering magnificent waterfalls and picturesque hiking routes to immersing yourself in the thriving arts scene and indulging in farm-to-table cuisine. Come along with us as we set out to explore all that this magnificent city has to offer.
Here, let’s get started;
What are the Best Things To Do In Ithaca NY (New York)?
#1 Robert Treman State Park
The Robert Treman state park is large in Ithaca, covering about 1,110 acres of land in Tompkins County. It is one of the best parts of experiencing spectacular wildlife beauty and one of the places worth visiting for every trip.
It is home to the rugged Enfield Glen George, which features Graggy gorges, over a mile of winding trails, 12 cascading waterfalls, lakes, etc.
The park’s attractions include 115 lucifer falls, devils Kitchen, the historic grist mill, a compound for RVs and tents, a steam-fed pool beneath a waterfall that will suit your swimming taste, etc.
Robert Treman state park is quite a good choice of place to chill out in a free atmosphere.
Touring this park will spice your horizon on attractions and other fun you seek. Plan your trip vacation today with Robert Treman state park on your top list of things to do.
Address: 105 Enfield Fall Road, Ithaca, New York 14850, United States.
#2. Buttermilk Falls State Park
One of the best places to visit in Ithaca, New York, is Buttermilk Falls State Park, where you can enjoy a stunning waterfall, hike along forest trails, swim in a lake, or go fishing.
Located five miles southwest of Ithaca’s city center, Buttermilk Falls State Park is also the gateway to the beautiful Buttermilk Gorge.
This 250-foot waterfall, the largest in the park, cascades over shale and sandstone cliffs, sending a refreshing water spray toward the hiking trail below.
The park’s hiking trails are generally short but steep, so take care if you decide to walk down to the bottom of the gorge.
Address: 106 E Buttermilk Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#3. Cornell Botanic Gardens
The Gardens boast a wide range of plant species, including many rare and endangered species from all over the world. They also have several greenhouses and a fascinating arboretum home to several tree species.
Many different kinds of plants live in the gardens, including trees, shrubs, flowers, and herbs. The Beech Collection, Palmer-Kinne Dogwood Collection, and Pounder Vegetable Garden are just a few of the gardens devoted to particular plant families or themes.
The Cornell Botanic Gardens are open every day of the year, and entry is free. Visitors of all ages enjoy the gardens, which host educational activities and events year-round.
Cornell Botanic Gardens is ideal if you’re searching for a serene and stunning setting to unwind and get in touch with nature.
Address: 124 Comstock Knoll Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#4. Cornell University
Cornell University is one of the city’s best attractions and a place to be as a tourist. The university is a beautiful New York League school in Ithaca.
It is a hilly land area of about 300 acres, founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White.
It is a division into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions. Cornell University is home to the Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art.
With a visit to this place, you will marvel at over 30,000 Art collections, including their prints, photographs, and Asian art.
Plan your trip to Ithaca, NY, with Cornell University as one of Ithaca’s best places to visit.
Address: Ithaca, New York 14850, United States
#5. Ithaca Waterfalls
Are you looking for a place to cure boredom in Ithaca? Then I guess you should try a visit to Ithaca waterfall.
The Ithaca Waterfalls are a fun-filled place with numerous exciting things to experience. It will suit the quest perfectly and features many exciting attractions, including lush greenery, hiking trails, impressive waterfalls falling from a fantastic holiday, etc.
The waterfall is perfect for picnics, excursions, field trips, hiking expeditions, and other fun activities. Ithaca Waterfall is a place to experience life-transforming memories anytime.
Address: 399 Lake Street, Ithaca, New York 14850, United States.
#6. Ithaca Farmers Market
Discover the thriving Ithaca Farmers Market, a must-see location for foodies. This lively market in the center of Ithaca, New York, features a huge selection of locally produced foods, handcrafted goods, and delicious sweets.
There is something for everyone, including locally grown fruits and veggies, handcrafted baked products, and jewelry made by skilled artisans. Enjoy the lively ambiance, help the neighborhood farmers, and learn about the genuine delicacies of the area.
The Ithaca Farmer’s Market is a vibrant community event that has been taking place in Stewart Park (a short walk from downtown Ithaca) since 1982. It is a great place to buy fresh produce and other foods while enjoying the event’s lively atmosphere.
Take advantage of the chance to see the Ithaca Farmers Market’s beauty and abundance. Add this to your list of fun things to do in Ithaca, New York, this weekend.
Address: Ithaca Market Steamboat Landing, 545 3rd St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#7. Cornell Lab of Ornithology
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world-renowned research institute dedicated to studying and conservating birds.
The institute can be found nearby Cornell University and is open to the public seven days a week. The Lab is home to around 300 species of birds, many of which can be seen from the observation decks or two different trails around the facility.
There are also daily guided tours of the research facilities, which are well worth attending if you are a bird lover. If you are looking for what to do in Ithaca, New York, visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Address: 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
The Sciencenter is a hands-on science museum open every day of the year. It is located in downtown Ithaca, near the pedestrian bridge, and is an excellent place for kids and adults to learn about science.
This museum is a center for discovery and education, ideal for curious minds of all ages. Explore interactive displays, participate in exciting experiments, and learn about the mysteries of nature.
The Sciencenter offers a thrilling experience for science fans, with fascinating displays on astronomy and physics and exciting demonstrations of biology and chemistry.
At the center, you can participate in various fun activities, including building and flying paper airplanes, exploring different types of chemistry, dressing up in a costume, and playing make-believe.
Address: 601 1st St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#9. Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art
The Museum of Art is one of the outstanding museums in Tompkins County, situated at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Herbert F Johnson is an award-winning architect specializing in I.M. Pei-designed buildings and houses with almost 40,000 works of art in its museum.
It is famously based on its distinctive concrete facade and two windows from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin’s house, boasting a gigantic view of Cayuga Lake.
The museum has a collection of famous great artistic works like Edouard Manet, Henri De Toulouse – Lautrec, Albrecht Durer, Henri Matisse, and Hudson’s River School members Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keeffe.
A trip to the Herbert F Johnson Museum opens you up to unique and extraordinary packages to fit your spec and specialty in the heart. Add this to your list of one of today’s best things to do in Ithaca, NY.
Address: 114 Central Avenue, Ithaca, New York 14853, United States.
#10. State Theatre Of Ithaca
The State Theatre of Ithaca is an excellent place for locals and tourists. In the history of Ithaca, the state theatre is no exception because it is always mentioned.
It offers over 1600 seats to let its visitors relax and be engulfed in live music performances, silent movies, and art versions.
The theatre hosts over 75 events every year, and theatre is Ithaca’s last remaining historical theatre, including theatrical productions, dance performances, concerts, comedy shows, reading, classic movies, and community performances.
All these stunning performances are done yearly, and visitors and tourists can use this type of Serenity to gladden their hearts and have a fun-filled vacation.
Location: 107 W State Street, Ithaca, New York 14850, United States.
#11. Museum of the Earth
In Ithaca, New York, there is a natural history museum called the Museum of the Earth. Visitors to the museum can go through 4.5 billion years of history, from the creation of the Earth to the present.
Rotating displays on various subjects, including dinosaurs, fossils, and climate change, are also available at the museum.
The Museum of the Earth is a lovely natural history museum in the heart of Ithaca that explores the formation and development of the Earth.
The museum’s exhibits cover everything from the earliest recorded fossils to the effects of climate change, with a particular focus on the diverse ecosystems in the Finger Lakes region. The museum also has a gift shop and a small but well-stocked planetarium.
A fantastic resource for learning about the past of the Earth and its inhabitants is the Museum of the Earth. The museum is also a fun and interactive location, with plenty of hands-on displays.
Address: 1259 Trumansburg Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#12. Cayuga Nature Center
Cayuga Nature Center is located on the west side of Cayuga Lake in Tompkins country. The Cayuga Nature Center is solely an educational institution dedicated to nature and environmental issues.
A trip to the Cayuga Nature Center opens you to hiking trails with gorges, streams, Miles of nature, woods, fields, and a six-story treehouse fondly called Tree Tops. The Tree Tops is for birds-eye views of the forest canopy, and all these are covered, spread across over 120 acres.
Visit the Cayuga Nature Center brings you unlimited knowledge, fun, and happy memories. An understanding of the ecology of the fauna and discoveries on climatic changes are all encapsulated for your adventure. Be sure to add this to your list of things to do in Ithaca, NY.
Address: 1420 Taughannock, Blvd Ithaca, New York
#13. The Antlers Restaurant
In Ithaca, Antlers Restaurant has been eloquent and outstanding in homegrown and well-cooked food since 1972.
It has a comfortable décor, a field Stone heart repossessed from an old farmhouse foundation, and the bar has once graced an old hotel in town. The Antlers Restaurant welcomes you with hearty, traditional meals like House-made pasta, succulent steaks, fresh seafood, fish, vegetarians, salad, and fresh organic.
It also has beers, wines, cocktails, and spirits to gulp the sumptuous meals.
A trip to the Antlers Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, opens you to a world of unimaginable comprehension.
Address: 1159 Dryden Road, Ithaca, New York 14850
#14. Stewart Park
Ithaca, New York, has a 66-acre park called Stewart Park. The park has many different amenities, such as a beach, playground, boathouse, and swimming pool. The park also has some hiking paths and picnic spaces.
This beautiful park is just a few minutes from downtown Ithaca. It is a great place to walk, relax and enjoy nature, especially in the spring and summer when the park is awash with colorful wildflowers.
A small lake in the middle of the park offers fishing in season, and a playground for children open all year round.
Stewart Park is a well-liked destination for both locals and visitors. The park is charming when the flowers bloom in the summer, and the weather is nice.
Guests can swim, hike, picnic, and do outdoor activities in the park. This is also one of the hidden gems in Ithaca, New York.
Address: Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
#15. Ithaca Children’s Garden
If you have children in tow, you should visit the Ithaca Children’s Garden. This charming riverside garden is designed with younger visitors in mind and is a great place to introduce young children to the wonders of gardening and the natural world.
The garden has a wide range of different themed areas, including sensory, fairy, and rain gardens.
You can also participate in several related events, such as story time and the annual Harvest Festival.
Address: 121 Turtle Ln, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#16. Six Mile Creek Vineyard
If you are interested in wine, book a Six Mile Creek Vineyard tour. This vineyard is just a 10-minute drive from Ithaca and is one of New York’s most famous wineries.
You can tour the vineyard, sample the wines and even enjoy a cheese tasting. The vineyard also hosts several events throughout the year, including wine tastings, concerts, and food festivals.
Ithaca, New York, has a family-run winery called Six Mile Creek Vineyard. Since the vineyard began making wine in 1982, a wide range of beverages have been produced there, including Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.
The vineyard is situated above a stunning hillside with views of Cayuga Lake. Wine tastings, vineyard excursions, and picnicking are all available to guests. Weddings, festivals, and concerts are just a few of the activities the vineyard hosts all year round.
A glass of wine and a scenic view of the Finger Lakes can be had at Six Mile Creek Vineyard.
Address: 1551 Slaterville Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#17. Hangar Theatre
The Ithaca-based Hangar Theatre is the oldest professional theater company in New York State. This award-winning theatre has been producing since 1975 and attracts local and international talent.
The Hangar Theatre has three performance spaces: the Mainstage Theater, the black box Studio Theater, and the Barn Theater.
You can visit the theater any day between 10 am and 10 pm, and the staff will be happy to welcome you. Be sure to add this to your list of fun things to do in Ithaca.
Address: 801 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#18. Agava Restaurant
The Agava Restaurant is an eatery with a distressed Wood accent and has a rustic southwestern vibe that serves inspired cuisines and beautiful wines.
It is located in the Restored 19th century East Ithaca train station. Visitors come to the restaurant from North and South and any other country in this historical setting.
Its features are a Latilla Ceiling, soft lighting, and a mural showing the surrounding deserts, which the local artist Bill Benson painted.
Aside from all this, it offers a farm t table of sharing plates of tapas-style appetizers, wood fire flatbread, hearty burgers, tacos, and a bar menu of cocktails like signature margaritas and spirits for a go-down well experience.
Address: 381 Pine Tree Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#19. Moosewood Restaurant
It is in a renovated historic brick school building beside Cayuga Street and Seneca Building. The restaurant has specialized in serving healthy natural cuisines for nearly five-decade years.
It is a collectively owned business and serves a menu of farm to the table which focuses on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and products like fresh vegetables, hand-picked herbs, fruit, grains, nuts, legumes, quality olive oil, and imported as well as domestic cheese to run its restaurant.
The restaurant also has publications on cookbooks which entails all their top useful recipes, including dishes.
Tourists gain thorough knowledge and understanding of these things and other needed areas they would love to indulge in as they travel to Moose Wood Restaurant.
Address: 215 N Cayuga Street, Ithaca, New York 14850
#20. Hangar Theatre
The Theatre of Hangar in Ithaca is fantastic, especially for tourists and visitors.
It is just like a twilight of performances and is meant to enlighten its audience of all ages. It is located on the shores of Cayuga Lake and is home to the Hangar Theatre Company.
The theatre is a venue where diverse artists of excellent articulating performance come to showcase, including community organizations.
VastTourist reconnects you to the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York.
Address: 801 Taughannock Blvd Ithaca, New York 14850
#21. The History Center in Tompkins County
Head to The History Center in Tompkins County to learn about Ithaca’s fascinating history. The center boasts an extensive collection of historical artifacts that depict the area’s rich past.
You can also find out about the city’s First People, the influence of the Cayuga and other tribes that once lived in the area, and their key role in shaping Ithaca as we know it today.
The center’s First People Gallery also features a selection of beautiful handmade artifacts and contemporary artworks by Native American artists.
The History Center also organizes talks, exhibitions, and events throughout the year that shed light on various aspects of Ithaca’s past.
This excellent museum in the city’s heart tells the story of the people in the Tompkins County area and the different cultures that have contributed to its rich history. The museum has more than 20 galleries and some special exhibitions running constantly.
Address: 110 N Tioga St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#22. Namgyal Monastery
The Namgyal Monastery, Ithaca, New York, is a Tibetan Buddhist temple and cultural center. It is the largest Tibetan Buddhist center in the Western Hemisphere and is a hub of Tibetan culture in New York. It was established by two monks who were refugees from Tibet, and some monks still run it today.
Visitors can attend daily prayers, meditation sessions, cultural and religious festivals, and other annual events at the monastery. It is also open for visitors to explore its many exciting galleries, cultural artifacts, and beautiful gardens.
If you visit the monastery, you can also try making a special Tibetan prayer wheel that can be purchased inside.
The Namgyal Monastery is a beautiful place to visit at any time of year, but it is especially striking during fall when the leaves on its large maple trees turn a gorgeous red.
Address: 201Tibet Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#23. The Antlers Restaurant
The Antlers Restaurant, Ithaca, New York, is one of the best tourist attractions in Ithaca and one of the city’s most famous restaurants. It is well-known not just for its fine food but also for its fascinating history.
The Chef and the Restauranteur own the Antlers Restaurant and have a seasonal menu offering a selection of seafood, meats, vegetarian dishes, and more. It is a popular destination, so it is best to make a reservation before visiting.
The charming vintage interior is a treasure trove of kitsch, and the food is delicious, classic American food with a New York twist. Try the famous duck hash or the eggs Benedict and finish with a slice of homemade New York cheesecake.
Address: 1159 Dryden Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#24. Mia Tapas Bar and Restaurant
Mia Tapas Bar and Restaurant, Ithaca, NY, is a beautiful place to eat and drink in Ithaca. It serves authentic Spanish cuisine, with an extensive selection of delicious tapas and other Spanish dishes.
The restaurant also boasts a wide selection of delicious cocktails and Spanish wines, making it a great place to stop off for a drink while exploring the city.
When you visit, try the grilled octopus and the sherry-braised chicken wings. Mia Tapas Bar and Restaurant is located on the north end of Ithaca and is open from 5 pm to 12 am.
It does not take reservations, so it is best to go at an off hour to avoid a wait. If you go at a busier time, try to get there early to secure a table.
Address: 130 E State St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
#25. Ports of New York Winery
Ports of New York Winery is a family-run winery set in a lovely rural location in the southern part of Ithaca. It produces a wide range of award-winning wines made from various types of grapes, including several sparkling wines, Rieslings, and Gewürztraminers.
The winery’s tasting room is open daily and is a lovely place to relax and sample their wines, accompanied by a selection of delicious snacks. You can also learn more about how the wines are made and taste Ports of New York’s sparkling wines, some of the best in the state.
It is a nice place to visit if you are in the southern part of Ithaca and want to learn more about winemaking and sample some delicious local wines.
Address: 815 Taber St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
What to Pack for a Trip to Ithaca, New York?
We advise you to carry the following items with you:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Ithaca New York Worth Visiting?
Ithaca, New York is a city renowned for its scenic surroundings, vibrant arts community, and closeness to the Finger Lakes.
Ithaca is a cool spot to experience the arts in addition to its natural beauty. Numerous theaters, museums, and music venues may be found throughout the city. The Ithaca Farmers Market, one of the biggest farmers markets in the Northeast, is also located in Ithaca.
Ithaca, New York is the ideal location if you’re seeking for a city with something for everyone. The city is attractive to tourists because of its scenic surroundings, vibrant cultural scene, and closeness to the Finger Lakes.
What is so special about Ithaca New York?
Ithaca, New York is a city that is known for its natural beauty and its strong sense of community. The city is surrounded by stunning gorges, waterfalls, and lakes, and it is home to Cornell University, an Ivy League school.
In addition to its natural beauty, Ithaca is also a great place to enjoy the arts. The city is home to a number of theaters, museums, and music venues. Ithaca is also home to the Ithaca Farmers Market, which is one of the largest farmers markets in the Northeast.
But what really makes Ithaca special is its sense of community. The city is home to a number of community organizations and events that help to bring people together. Ithaca is a great place to make new friends, and it is a city where everyone feels welcome.
If you’re looking for a city that has it all, then Ithaca, New York is the perfect place for you.
what is Ithaca NY Known for?
The city of Ithaca, New York, is well-known for both its scenic surroundings and its vibrant arts community. In the canyons that encircle Cayuga Lake, the city is home to more than 150 waterfalls.
Cornell University, an Ivy League institution renowned for its research and stunning campus, is located in Ithaca as well.
Ithaca is a terrific spot to experience the arts in addition to its natural beauty. Numerous theaters, museums, and music venues may be found throughout the city. The Ithaca Farmers Market, one of the biggest farmers markets in the Northeast, is also located in Ithaca.
Ithaca, New York is the ideal location if you’re seeking for a city with something for everyone.
Plan Your Trip To Ithaca
In summary, Ithaca, New York, is a hidden gem full of amazing experiences for tourists with various interests. Ithaca offers something for everyone, whether you want to take in the thriving arts and cultural scene or explore the spectacular natural beauties of the gorges and waterfalls.
Enjoy the wide variety of cuisine on offer, go on gorgeous walks, visit top-notch museums, and take in the welcoming atmosphere of the neighborhood.
Ithaca will surpass your expectations whether you’re looking for outdoor excursions, intellectual stimulation, or a quiet break. Make travel arrangements right away to experience everything Ithaca offers fully.