Planning a trip to the Fingers Lake region? If so then you 100% must check out all of the very best things to do in Ithaca NY that are featured on this list since Ithaca is definitely one of the best small towns In New York.
After all, Ithaca overlooks the Southern end of Cayuga Lake and is known for being the single largest city in the Finger Lakes region – which makes sense since this vibrant metropolis is home to both Cornell University and Ithaca College.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that this city is positively brimming over with fantastic breweries, exciting hiking trails, awesome museums, and idyllic wineries.
So, what are you waiting for? Get off the couch and start planning your Ithaca itinerary now . Because guess what” You’re gonna need all the local help you can get since there are more than 150 different waterfalls in the should be on your list of the top things to do in Ithaca New York.
Therefore, step away from the guidebook and use this nifty, 30+ year local’s list to help you see all of the absolute best Ithaca things to do.
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⏰ Looking for a great place to stay in Ithaca? I would recommend La Tourelle Hotel and Spa. It is a budget accommodation with traditional décor and modern appliances. ⏰
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Best Places to Stay in Ithaca
Not sure where to stay while experiencing all of the very best things to do in Ithaca NY? Well, never fear because I’ve been to Ithaca countless times and want to share all my insider picks with you for the best hotels in Ithaca NY.
This way, you can quickly and easily plan the perfect Ithaca itinerary while checking out all of the best things to do near Ithaca NY, regardless of your budget. So, if you’re ready, drumroll please…because here are my selections for the best hotels in Ithaca NY.
La Tourelle Hotel and Spa (budget)
⭐️ Rating: 9/10 (337 Reviews) Price: $144 per night 📍Location: 1150 Danby Rd, Ithaca, NY Details: Read more on booking.com now!
Easily one of my favorite hotels in the entire region, this upscale accommodation features rooms that start at just over $100 per night. They are also traditionally decorated with fireplaces, fort-poster beds, whirlpool tubs, and any other modern conveniences you might need for a comfortable stay.
Plus, you can book a luxurious treatment at their on-site spa and enjoy divine, farm-to-table cuisine at their on-site restaurant.
Argos Inn (mid-range)
⭐️ Rating: 9.1/10 (226 Reviews) Price: $196 per night 📍Location: 408 E State Street, Ithaca, NY Details: Read more on booking.com now!
This stunning, 4-star, boutique hotel is housed inside a fully restored, Neo-classical mansion that is a mere 15-minute walk from downtown Ithaca.
Sleek rooms here also feature period piece decor, heated floors, rainfall shower heads, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Add in a free Continental breakfast and you have the perfect place to stay in Ithaca.
The William Henry Miller Inn (mid-range)
⭐️ Rating: 9.1/10 (107 Reviews) Price: $269 per night 📍Location: 303 North Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY Details: Read more on booking.com now!
This stately bed and breakfast offers guests refined, comfortable rooms that sit inside a stunning, Victorian-style home with awesome stained glass windows.
Rooms here have a very country-chic vibe to them and include an amazing, complimentary, 3-course breakfast. as well as homemade desserts in the evening. Yup, you had me at free food.
Inn At Taughannock Falls – Luxury
⭐️ Rating: 8.9/10 (697 Reviews) Price: $357 per night 📍Location: 2030 Gorge Road, Ithaca, NY Details: Read more on booking.com now!
The Inn at Taughannock Falls is located a short distance away from Ithaca and it is surrounded by the Taughannock Falls State Park which makes it the perfect place to stay if you are looking at getting away from the hustled and bustle of the city life.
The inn has four buildings. These are all centered around a Victorian house that was built way back in 1873. The best part is that most of the rooms have views of Cayuga lake. Pretty scenic if you ask me. Oh and make sure you book one of the rooms with a private balcony to truly enjoy the view.
And when the weather gets colder, you will fin that there are two fire pits that are set up so you can still enjoy the outdoors!
Best Things to do in Ithaca NY – Natural Areas
1. Ithaca Falls
Ready to embark on one of the best hikes in upstate New York so that you can experience a breathtaking waterfall right in downtown Ithaca?
If so then a visit to Ithaca Falls is easily one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY for you! After all, this stunning, 175-foot wide and 150-foot tall waterfall sits inside the Ithaca Falls Natural Area.
It’s also super easy to find since it can be found right off of Lake Street. So, drive to Aurora Street, turn right onto Lincoln Street, and then make a hard left into Lake Street and you can’t miss it!
Then, upon arrival, park in the small lot just to the right of the falls so that you can enjoy stunning views of Fall Creek plummeting into Cayuga Lake
Pro Tip: For the best photos possible, go over the bridge on Lake Street and head to the path near Fall Creek. Also, try and visit in the summer so you can picnic in the area too.
Address: Lake St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day.
2. Explore Taughannock Falls State Park
Home to one of the best waterfalls in New York, Taughannock Falls State Park is an impressive, 750-acre park that features a wealth of stunning landscapes and awe-inspiring scenery that are all a mere 15-minute drive from Ithaca, NY.
As a result, a trip to this park is easily one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY.
However, the true highlight of any visit here is a stop at the park’s namesake, Taughannock Falls – an awesome, 215-foot waterfall that plunges into the 400-foot deep gorge below and that is known for being the tallest, single-drop waterfall east of the Rockies.
So, after doing an easy, 0.75 mile Gorge Trail to the falls, you can try the 1.25 mile moderate South Rim Trail, and the 1.5 miles moderate North Rim Trail (to your left as you enter the park) before enjoying some fishing, swimming, and boating on nearby Cayuga Lake.
Pro Tip: You can spend the night here at either a campsite or inside a cabin. You can also do a bit of cross-country skiing along some of the trails here in the winter.
Address: 1740 Taughannock Blvd, Trumansburg, NY 14886
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Price: $9.00 vehicle entrance fee for the day.
3. Cornell Botanical Gardens
One of the best places to visit in Ithaca NY is the Cornell Botanical Gardens! In fact, Cornell actually manages over 3,600 acres of diverse landscapes all throughout central New York.
And that makes sense since this institution was first established in the late 19th century and is now said to be one of the most beautiful college arboretums in the US.
So, if you’re looking for one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY, you’ll find the 150-acre F.R. Newman Arboretum, 25 acres of botanical gardens across from the Cornell University campus, and so much more. Plus, the gardens are open year-round and are free to visit, so stop by any time you like.
In particular, though, the F.R. Newman Arboretum is filled with collections of various trees and different gardens. And thanks to its bowl-shaped landscape, you’ll uncover incredible views too!
In fact, one of the area’s most popular views is from the Newman Overlook. It sits atop one of the highest points at the Gardens and features vast panoramic views that stretch out over the arboretum and beyond.
You’ll also find many sculptures and murals found throughout the gardens here, including a giant bell that visitors are encouraged to ring. Additionally, the grounds are home to several wonderful trails, including the Floriculture War Memorial Trail and the Treman Woodland Walk, which you’ll love exploring.
Pro Tip: The Cornell Botanical Gardens are open throughout the year so there’s no bad time to visit. However, if you’re looking for places to visit in Ithaca in the spring, the Gardens are ideal since they are home to a wonderful collection of Jennings crabapple trees that bloom here every spring! You can also download their self-guided tours to your mobile device during your visit to learn more about the gardens.
4. Explore Cayuga L:ake
Without a doubt one of the best lakes in New York State, Cayuga Lake is known for being the single longest lake in the Finger Lakes region since it is 38 kilometers long and 5.6 kilometers wide at its widest point.
So, be sure to stop by during your trip to Ithaca since this city lies at the southern end of the lake and is just a short drive away from some of the best wineries in the Finger Lakes region.
It’s also a fantastic place to visit at any time of the year since you can go can ice fishing/snowshoeing in the winter, do some primo wine tasting amidst gorgeous flowers in the spring, enjoy hiking/camping/biking/kayaking in the summer, and even do a wee bit of leaf-peeping in the fall.
However, regardless of the season that you choose to visit, be sure to book a gorgeous room at the Inns of Aurora since these fabulous cabins sit in a quaint village on the shores of the lake and provide guests with kayak rentals, morning lakeside yoga classes, and an on-site spa where you can book premium spa treatments for a bit of rest and relaxation.
5. Cascadilla Gorge Trail
One of the best things to do in Ithaca NY is hike the one and only Cascadilla Gorge Trail. Because if you’re looking for easy hikes in the Finger Lakes, then this trail is perfect for you.
Because along with the incredible natural scenery you’ll enjoy along the trail, you’ll love its convenient location in downtown Ithaca. Yup, it’s
maintained by the Cornell Botanic Gardens and runs from downtown all the way to the Cornell campus, making it a popular hike for both students and visitors alike.
It also runs for 1.3 miles next to the picturesque Cascadilla Creek and can be easily accessed via the main trailhead in Treman Triangle Park, just off of Linn Street.
So, be sure to stop by and see why this amazing hike was first constructed, in the late 1920’s, with multiple steps that bring you 400 feet into one of the best gorges in Ithaca.
Plus, as you walk along the trai,l you’ll encounter six waterfalls, tons of stairs, and beautiful stone bridges. The trail will then end just behind the Schwartz Center for Theatre Arts on the Cornell campus and will take you about an hour to complete.
Pro Tip: The trail is closed in the winter due to icy conditions. You can also find ample parking at the Hoy Road parking garage or street parking on Linn Street and East Court Street.
Distance: 0.5 miles (one-way)
Elevation Gain: 45 feet
6. Visit Robert Treman State Park
Located just a hoot and holler down the road from Buttermilk Falls State Park, a visit to Robert Treman State Park is definitely one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY for anyone who is into the great outdoors and stunning waterfalls in general.
And that’s mostly because this historic, 1100-acre park was first founded in the 1920s by Robert Treman, who bought the land and planted some trees in the hopes of preserving the area’s vast wilderness.
Well, since then, this park has quickly become both a local and tourist hot spot since it is home to the awesome, 115-foot tall Lucifer Falls.
So, if you want to admire one of the state’s best waterfalls for yourself, hop on the popular, moderately difficult rim trail and take it for about 2 miles (4.3 miles round trip) through Enfield Glen and to the waterfall itself.
Afterward, stop at Lucifer Falls Overlook for stellar views before descending by way of the Gorge Trail so that you can check out some of the 12 waterfalls that are scattered throughout the park.
Pro Tip: This park is best visited between April and November and is just a 15-minute drive from downtown Ithaca. This popular hike will also take around 2.5 hours to complete.
Address: 105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm.
Price: $8.00 for a day-use pass.
7. Cayuga Nature Center
Located 15 minutes north of downtown Ithaca, on the west side of Cayuga Lake, Cayuga Nature Center sits on 100 acres of natural woodlands and meadows and is easily one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY.
It’s also home to over five miles of walking trails that will take you through woods, along streams, and into amazing gorges. So, enjoy a wealth of scenic highlights as you explore a vast netowrk of trails that take you past tranquil ponds and to awesome waterfalls.
If you want, you can also check out a wealth of fascinating exhibits inside a historic wooden lodge from 1939. The exhibits here all provide information on the climate, forest ecology, and wildlife of the Cayuga Basin, in additon to housing the largest public aquarium in the Finger Lakes, which is filled with fish and marine life from Cayuga Lake.
However, one of the coolest attractions in Ithaca is the towering. six-story tall TreeTops structure that is essentially a giant, on-site tree house that gives you a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding forest.
And if that’s still not enough excitement for you, feel free to explore other outdoor exhibits that include animals and a pollinator garden with real monarch butterflies.
Address: 1420 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open Thursday through Monday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm from Labor Day through Memorial Day.
Price: Free but donations welcome.
8. Buttermilk Falls State Park
This stunning, 811-acre park is one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY that is just a 10-minute drive from the downtown area. It also a magical place that is home to no less than ten different waterfalls, in addition to various playgrounds, campsites, hiking trails, and scenic areas.
However, no trip to Buttermilk Falls State Park would ever be complete without stopping to see the awe-inspiring, 165-foot tall waterfall that the park is named for.
So, be sure to stand in awe as Buttermilk Creek crashes into Cayuga Lake (near the park entrance) before going on an easy, 1.7 mile hike along the Gorge Rim Trail and enjoying the vast woodlands, meadows, and beaches that the area is known for.
Pro Tip: Visit in the summer so that you can go swimming and then see nearby Lucifer Falls while you’re here.
Address: 106 E Buttermilk Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm.
Price: $8.00 per vehicle for a day pass.
9. Newfield Covered Bridge
Okay so I’m going to be upfront. The Newfield covered bridge is not in Ithaca but it is close by which is why people visit it when they head to the city. This bridge is pretty cool and is really old so I just had to add it to the list of things to do in Ithaca.
The bridge was built way back in 1853 which makes it close to 200 years old. Despite its age, it is still being used and you can drive across it which is amazing considering its age. .It is also one of the most instagrammable spots in the area.
Now if you want to catch a pic of this, then you can park at one of the many parking spots nearby and just walk across to it. Just be careful because the bridge is an active roadway so stay off the road at all times.
Pro Tip: Take the stairwell downwards and head to the Newfield court building where you can get a great view of the bridge.
10. Ludlowville Falls
Ludlowville falls is another great place to drive to if you are in Ithaca. This waterfall is very easy to reach. It is located on the eastern shores of the Cayuga lake. The waterfall is 35-40 feet high and plunges into Salmon creek which is a popular spot for fishing in the area.
The best part about Ludlowville falls is that it is usually the last waterfall to dry up. So even if the more popular waterfalls like the Buttermilk falls dry up, this one won’t. The area surrounding the falls is also pretty and laid back.
It is the perfect place to head out fishing if you want to. It also has a playground that young children can play in which makes it perfect for a family outing.
Best Things to do in Ithaca NY – Museums, Farms, and Galleries
11. History Center in Tompkins County
If you’re looking to learn more about the area’s local history then be sure to visit the History Center. Yeah, it’s just an all-around great, totally free museum that is located in the Ithaca Commons and that explores the history of Tompkins County and the Finger Lakes region.
It’s also part museum, part research center.so you’ll easily find a ton of different artifacts and interactive displays as part of their permanent collection.
Additionally, this facility also showcases a wealth of temporary exhibitions, like the Breaking Barriers: Women’s Lives & Livelihoods exhibit that is currently on display until the end of March.
So, during your visit, be sure to learn more about the lives of women in history, the women’s rights movement, and social clubs before checking out “Our Passage Through Time”, an impressive display that focuses on the story of the area’s many Aboriginal peoples, like the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ’.
Next, visit the Story Vault, which can be found inside the building’s old bank vaults. It shares the stories of the people who lived in the County as well as its visitors. Plus, you can even record your very own story while you’re here too!
All that being said though, one of the biggest draws in the museum is still the fully restored, completely functional, 104-year-old Tommy Plane! In fact, it was built right here in Ithaca in 1918 and is one of only 15 planes of its kind that are still in existence.
Pro Tip: If you’re visiting with kids, be sure to pick up an activity guide from the front desk. It features history themed coloring sheets and a museum based scavenger hunt too!
Address: 110 N Tioga St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
12. Museum of the Earth
You’ll find so many great museums in Ithaca that it will be hard to know where to start first! But, Museum of the Earth is one of the best since it’s a natural history museum that was first opened in 2003.
Fast forward almost 20 years into the future and it’s now THE place to take kids in Ithaca since it showcases the Earth’s prehistoric history, through to the present day, via a variety of super interactive exhibits.
This large museum is also a solid choice if you’re looking for things to do in Ithaca in the rain. After all, you’ll find everything from fossils to science-inspired art on display here.
Plus, if you and your family love dinosaurs, don’t miss the Hyde Park Mastodon, which can found in the village of Hyde Park. It’s known for being the most complete skeleton of a mastodon ever found and is well worth a look if you’re in the area.
Also of note is the museum’s 44-foot-long right whale skeleton. So, after your kids check out all of these neat fossils, they can dig for their own at the Fossil Lab and take one home as a souvenir.
Pro Tip: On Monday, Friday, and Saturday mornings, you can enjoy free guided tours of the museum.
Address: 1259 Trumansburg Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open Thursday through Monday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Price: Tickets are $9.00 for adults, $7.00 for students/seniors, $6.00 for kids (4-17), and free for children 3 and under.
13. Moore Family Farm
Located on the east side of Cayuga Lake, just 15 minutes north of downtown Ithaca, is a lovely family farm that both children and adults will enjoy.
See, the Moore Family Farm is one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY that started in 1970, when Richard and Kay discovered a perfect plot of land to raise their family.
And what began as a small Christmas tree farm has now grown into a fun place where visitors can come and enjoy a wealth of fun, family-friendly activities.
Currently operated by three generations, this family-run farm is open from mid-September through Christmas, making it an ideal spot to visit in the fall!
In fact, they have over 20 attractions for guests to enjoy that include a five-acre corn maze, wagon rides, an apple cannon, a pick your own pumpkin patch, and more!
Then, during late November and December, they switch gears to focus on Christmas. And with over 50 acres of Christmas trees, the Moore Family Farm is the place to pick up your holiday centerpiece before shopping for wreaths, kissing balls, and ornaments at their quaint, on-site gift shop.
Just choose from their vast selection of pre-cut trees or enjoy the adventure of cutting your own as you experience one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY.
Address: 575 Auburn Rd, Groton, NY 13073
Hours: Open seasonally (fall through winter)on a daily basis.
Price: Varies by activity.
14. Johnson Museum of Art
For those looking for free things to do in Ithaca NY, pop into the Johnson Museum of Art since admission here is always free! It can also be easily found on the main campus of Cornell University, inside the historic I.M. Pei building. where it was first opened in 1973.
And once inside. enjoy upwards of 35,000 pieces on display here, including two windows from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House.
In fact, their collection is so extensive that it covers more than six thousand years of art from around the world, and comes in all different mediums from paintings to sculptures.
It also spans an impressive five floors, includes everything from European to American art, and even boosts a full photography center. Plus, notable artists you’ll find with works here include Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.
Also, before you leave, be sure to make your way up to the top floor since you’ll find the museum’s vast collection of Asian art here, along with sweeping views of Ithaca and Cayuga Lake in the background.
Additionally, take time to admire the unique, Morgan Garden (out front on the northern end of the museum) which is a Japanese-style dry garden that is commonly known as a karesansui.
Address: 114 Central Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853
Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
15. John Hartell Gallery
Another one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY on the Cornell campus, you’ll find this art gallery tucked away inside Sibley Hall – a supremely grand building from the late 1800s that is now home to the college’s administrative offices, classrooms, and this super cool oasis of art.
It’s also named for John Hartell, a noted American artist who was born in New York and who is known for his impressionist and modern styles of art.
So, after his death, Cornell University renamed this space in his honor and you can now see all sorts of art exhibits and architectural works from Cornell faculty, students and guests here.
Address: 129 Sibley Dome Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Ithaca with kids then head over to the Sciencenter. And even if you don’t have kids, you should still visit since nerds and individuals with a curious mind are also welcome too!
See, the Sciencenter in Ithaca was founded in 1983 and was initially operated out of various local storefronts for the first ten years of its existence.
Then the building, that it now calls home, was opened back in 1993 and has become the wonderful, hands-on science museum that we all know and love. It’s also a place that is filled with over 250 fun and interesting exhibits on space, weather, animals, and more!
Plus, along with all the interactive exhibits and educational programs at the Sciencenter, there are a ton of other cool features too, like a seasonal mini-golf course and a touch tank with marine animals.
They also take the concept of a playground to an entirely new level with an outdoor science park that consists of two dozen activities that teach children about physics, geology, and engineering in a fun hands-on way.
Then, there’s always the 4,000-foot long Sagan Planet Walk. See, it was named in memory of Carl Sagan, who was a member of the Sciencenter’s advisory board until he passed, and features an outdoor scale model of the solar system that runs from the Ithaca Commons to the Sciencenter.
So, what are you waiting for? Download an audio tour of the exhibit today and enjoy expert narration from none other than Bill Nye himself!
Address: 601 1st St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Price: Tickets are $8.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors (65+), $1.00 for EBT card holders, and free for children under 2.
Best Things to do in Ithaca NY – Shopping
17. American Crafts by Robbie Dean
Set inside a historic building from 1862, this is a unique find that is easily one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY! That’s because American Crafts is an interesting shop in the Commons that was first opened in 1972 by Robbie Dein.
Originally named People’s Pottery, the shop started off selling pottery alone inside a building that in and of itself is a work of art, complete with cast iron columns and arches.
Later, Robbie transformed this amazing space into a quirky fusion of a fun gift shop with an amazing art gallery since her collection grew to include pieces from hundreds of professional artisans from across the United States.
In fact, this store is now considered to be one of the best ‘Hand Made in America’ specialty stores in the entire country. So, whether you’re browsing for incredible art or are searching for a unique gift idea, there’s something for everyone at American Crafts in their eclectic collection of home décor, pottery, jewelry, and more.
But, the best part of any visit? A wealth of knowledgeable staff members who want to share the stories behind the pieces in their incredible collection.
That’s why, you should stop by and learn all about the artists themselves, as well as the materials and techniques that they use to create their fantastic art.
Address: 158 E State St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Friday/Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Price: Pieces start at around $50.00 each.
Best Things to do in Ithaca NY – Food and Beverages
18. Mercato Bar & Kitchen
There are a ton of great restaurants in Ithaca. But ,one of my all-time faves is Mercato Bar & Kitchen. That’s because this family run, Italian restaurant has been in business since 2010 and has quickly become a crowd favorite among locals and visitors alike.
It’s also situated on Aurora Street’s “Restaurant Row” and is cozy place with a warm and inviting atmosphere, an open kitchen, and a great bar menu full of exceptional wines and artisanal cocktails.
Now, when it comes to their food menu, it features an array of seasonal dishes that use typical Mediterranean ingredients, like pancetta and sausage, in a unique way. However, they do offer vegetarian friendly and gluten free options if you feel so inclined.
So, stop by today and try their scrumptious chicken piccata! Just don’t forget to leave room for one of their decadent house-made desserts too!
Pro Tip: Get the caramel-espresso pot de creme and I promise that you will NOT regret it.
Address: 108 N Aurora St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm.
Price: Entrees start at around $24.00 each.
19. Liquid State Brewing Company
For anyone looking to grab a pint and a bite to eat, head over to Liquid State Brewing Company. Because once you’re here, you can wet your whistle at one of the best breweries in Ithaca!
Yup, this badass brewery can be found in the West End District of downtown and is known for its delicious variety of small batch beers that are made in house and served on tap.
As a result, they really do have something for everyone’s tastes, including Belgian style IPAs and sours of every variety. So, pull up a barstool inside their beautiful beer hall and watch the magic happen right before your eyes as you peer into their brewhouse and fermentation cellar.
And if the weather’s nice enough, they have you covered (literally!) with their covered porch and ample outdoor seating. Plus, if you’re not really feeling like a brew, you can always indulge in a selection of local New York wines and ciders before digging into some delicious food from Silo!
Yeah, it’s basically an on-site food truck that serves unique, Southern-style cuisine (from Wednesday through Sunday) using nothing but locally sourced, organic ingredients.
And one of their most popular menu items is none other than their award-winning, fried chicken, which is absolutely finger licking good.
Address: 620 W Green St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open Monday and Tuesday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Wednesday and Thursday from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Friday from 3:00 pm tp 11:00 pm, Saturday from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm, and Sunday from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Price:: Beers start at around $5.00 each.
20. Gimmie! Coffee
You’ll find a plethora of fine coffee shops in Ithaca and one of the cutest is Gimmie Coffee! See, the original location was first opened on Cayuga Street in 2000. Then, the shop quickly became so popular that there are now multiple locations scattered all across the city.
So, be sure to pop into their Cayuga Street outpost since it’s by far the cutest! Yup, it’s set inside an old red brick building with an awning out front that will make you feel like you’re stepping into a 1950’s-era café.
Upon entering, you’ll be welcomed inside by a wide selection of plants in the windows and friendly baristas who eagerly await you behind the counter at this third-wave coffee shop and roastery.
Then, choose a caffeinated beverage of your choice (I’m partial to their lattes) before grabbing a seat either inside or on a bench out front.
Trust me, you’re guaranteed to have one hella awesome cup of Joe since this place has won numerous awards for their sustainable harvesting practices and for their high-quality coffee.
And even if you’re not a big coffee drinker, this is still one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY for you since this cute café also serves organic tea, hot chocolate, and an array of delicious pastries.
Pro Tip: A few other Ithaca area coffee shops to try include Nothing Nowhere, Press Café, and Ithaca Coffee Company.
Address: 506 W State St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open daily from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm.
Price: Bags of coffee start at $13.25
21. Ports of New York Winery
Whether you’re looking for one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY or somewhere to enjoy a decadent wine tasting, consider visiting Ports of New York Winery.
In fact, it’s considered be many to be one of the best wineries in Ithaca NY. Because although it may be small, it has an extensive history that dates all the way back to the 1800s, when Frédéric Bouché’s family started making wine in France.
Since then, Frederic started this amazing place and poured all of that incredible history and knowledge into Ports of New York Winery. So much so that there’s actually an impressive collection of antique wine-making equipment displayed inside the winery’s charming, on-site museum.
So, visit this fantastic museum as part of a tour of the facility. Then, learn all about the family’s history and their fascinating winemaking process before exploring their vast wine cellar.
Finally,, to top it all off, enjoy a delicious wine tasting that starts at just $6 per person, or $9.00 per person when combined with a wine tour.
Pro Tip: Be sure to try their White Meleau since it’s one of their most popular wines!
Address: 815 Taber St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Price: Wine tastings start at $6.00 per person.
22. Ithaca Farmers Market
A great place to start your visit is at the Ithaca Farmers Market. The market runs every Saturday from April through December and is also open on Sundays from May through November.
So enjoy one of the best things to do in Ithaca NY and uncover over 130 vendors selling a wide variety of goods that include produce, baked goods, crafts, and more.
Additionally, the market also focuses on produce and goods that are grown or made within a 30-mile radius of Ithaca, making it hyper-local!
It’s also set along the Cayuga Lake waterfront, sits inside an award-winning pavilion, and is just an all-around beautiful spot to grab some food and drinks before enjoying a picnic during the warmer months.
Plus, in addition to this stellar, waterfront location, they also run two other markets within the city. So, there’s also a midweek market downtown at Dewitt Park and one at the East Hill Plaza on Wednesday afternoons.
And if you’re visiting Ithaca in the winter, you can even check out their Winter Market on Saturdays at Triphammer. The winter market runs from the beginning of January to nearly the end of March.
Address: Steamboat Landing, 545 3rd St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Hours: Open Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Price: Varies by the vendor.
⏰ Looking for a great place to stay in Ithaca? I would recommend La Tourelle Hotel and Spa. It is a budget accommodation with traditional décor and modern appliances. ⏰