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Things to Do in Ithaca, New York State

Ithaca Things to Do

Ithaca is a small city in New York State that’s known for its natural beauty and features like waterfalls and gorges. Take a look at some of the things that you should definitely plan on doing when you take a vacation in Ithaca.

Buttermilk Falls

For an overview of all the features that make Ithaca a popular place to visit, you can’t beat a visit to Buttermilk Falls State Park. The park has ten different waterfalls, including the one that the park is named for. If you enjoy hiking, the park has three trails to choose from: Bear trail, Rim Trail, and the Gorge Trail. Gorge Trail is the one that will give you the best view of the falls, but there is plenty to discover and explore on each of the different trails.

In addition to the falls and the hiking opportunities, Buttermilk Falls is also a great place for camping and fishing. If you’re planning a family camping trip, you’ll be glad to know that there’s even a playground to help keep the kids entertained.

Wine Tours

Ithaca is a great place to take a wine tour. The area is known for its whites and Rieslings and has a number of wineries that are open for tours.

Start off at the Finger Lakes Wine Center, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample wines from several of the local wineries. That will give you an idea of which wineries you’d like to explore next. The Hosmer winery has an incredible view that enhances the tasting experience. The Lucas winery is the one to visit if you prefer red wines. Many wineries offer discounts if you purchase wine during a tour, but if you don’t get the chance to take a tour, you can also purchase local wines in many of the stores in Ithaca.

The Commons

Ithaca’s unique shops are one of the city’s tourist draws. If you want to do some shopping, The Commons is the place to be. The street where the pedestrian mall is located is closed to traffic, so it’s a great place to wander through while you window shop and people watch. You’ll find stores selling from books to crafts to jewelry to clothing, and more. There’s also a cinema where you can take in an art film.

When the weather is nice in the summer time, there is often live entertainment at The Commons. You may see anything from live bands to juggling routines. This is also a good place to grab a bite to eat. There’s a spot in the center of The Commons known as Center Ithaca that has restaurants offering food from a variety of cuisines, including Italian, Japanese, and Greek.

These are just some of the fun things to do when you’re visiting Ithaca. Make sure to include these stops in your itinerary when you plan your trip.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Ithaca.

By Jamie Ditaranto

Jamie Ditaranto is a traveler in a love triangle with writing and photography. Follow the drama on Twitter @jamieditaranto and Instagram @jamieditaranto.

Ditaranto joined SmarterTravel in 2015. She loves ecotourism, cities with history, and discovering local hangouts. Though she likes all the continents equally, she holds a special place in her heart for rainy little islands.

Her work has also appeared online at USA Today, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and other publications. You can check out her photography on her website.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "My instant camera comes in handy for giving instant gifts to new friends."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Befriending penguins in Antarctica."

Travel Motto: "You have to get the hard places out of the way first."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "On short flights, the window. For long flights, the aisle."

Email Jamie at editor@smartertravel.com.

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