Ithaca is a quaint city in the Finger Lakes region of New York, United States.
It is situated on the Cayuga Lake shore and is the sole county seat of Tompkins metropolitan.
Being the largest statistical area in this Tompkins County, this city boasts numerous fun activities.
Although Ithaca is not as big as Queens and Syracuse; Nonetheless, it’s one of the most beautiful destinations in New York that offers something engaging for travelers of various interests.
Whether you’re planning your next vacation to this downtown during the forthcoming summer or in the winter period, you can never be short of fantastic spots to explore!
From its numerous museums to its several parks and brewery, Ithaca is undoubtedly a tourist city with exceptional offerings.
So, are you ready to read through our best picks for fun and most engaging sites in Ithaca?
Sit back, relax, and read through our 25 sites in Ithaca that will be worth your time upon your arrival!
Things To Do In Ithaca, New York
1. Robert H. Treman State Park
Since your next vacation destination is Ithaca, Robert H. Treman State Park offers lots of fun activities that await your arrival.
Robert H. Treman State Park is a 1,110-acre public attraction situated along Tompkins County in Ithaca.
Its establishment period dates back to 1920, and as of today, as a result of its engaging nature, it’s one of the most explored public attractions in New York.
With its 72 Campsites, this beautiful destination is a paradise for campers, hikers, and cyclists.
Not just that, this favorite spot boasts a large outdoor swimming area with lots of picnic tables and a children’s playground.
It’s not so surprising this awesome site has been receiving over 250,000 tourists on an annual basis.
Anytime you’re in Ithaca, it will surely be worth a drive to be here!
Besides, the cost of admittance is affordable, and there is free on-site parking for all tourists with their vehicles!
Address: 105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
2. Ithaca Cornell Botanic Gardens
If you’re planning to embark on a vacation to a destination, two things are of key importance; ‘ability to enjoy every moment spent and ‘the flexibility of what’s payable as a cost.’
Luckily, beyond these two things, Cornell Botanic Gardens of Ithaca is equally an engaging attraction!
Located at Comstock Knoll avenue, among the numerous activities that’ll be worth your time here include; its 25 acres of botanical gardens, the 150 acres of Arboretum, and several other fun activities that seek to connect every tourist with nature.
Importantly, this nature-rich attraction is accessible all days from morning to dusk without any charge payable by any tourist.
Even at that, there are many tour guides on site whose eagerness to answer visitors’ questions is second to none.
In fact, there is equally a nearby restaurant within this area where you can get delicious meals.
Whether you’re coming to Ithaca during the hot or spring, this is a fun area worth including on your to-do list!
Note, you can plan your trip here between 6:00 AM in the morning through 6:00 PM in the noon!
Address: 124 Comstock Knoll Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
3. Cayuga Lake
The Cayuga Lake is another top relaxing and comfortable place to spend an hour or two if you’re in Ithaca.
It’s the longest Lake in central New York’s glacial, covering an average width of about 1.7 miles.
At the widest point of this destination, it is approximately 435 feet deeper distinct from other lakes in New York.
If you’re here, this beautiful lake’s breathtaking view, its many aquatic animals, and over 95 miles of shoreline available in this delightful area will make your voyage quite interesting and memorable.
Perhaps, fishing might be your favorite activity; that’s a plus to what you’ll enjoy in this awesome spot!
From Yellow Perch to Brown Trout, Alewife, and a host lot of other fishes, you’ll value your fishing adventure at this favorite site!
Most Impressively, there are wine vendors near this lakeside facility and several food vendors.
Not just that, there’s free on-site parking, and the cost of adventure payable in this recreational destination is affordable!
Address: 2678 Lower Lake Rd · Seneca Falls, NY 13148, United States
4. Ithaca Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Among the numerous activities you can engage in while you’re on a trip, hiking is the only weight-bearing adventure.
While engaging in this sporting activity, your muscles and bones work harder against gravity. So doing it will boost your happiness and assist in combating depression.
Since you’re no longer myopic about the benefit of hiking, prioritize Cascadilla Gorge Trail on your bucket list!
The Cascadilla Gorge Trail is a stunningly beautiful area that provides lots of hiking trails for various skill levels.
Beyond its hiking trails, this site also features one of the few waterfalls that are so unique.
Notwithstanding its uniqueness, it’s a free attraction. That means you’ll not have to empty your wallet before you can have a nice time here; what an incredible destination!
Although not a typical attraction, so, don’t expect to see food trucks or a snack store on site.
Nevertheless, you can come with some snacks and possibly, a bottle of water if you plan to stay for a longer period.
Other than this drawback, there’s nothing that will prevent you from having a blast here!
Address: Cascadilla Gorge Trail, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
5. Ithaca Buttermilk Falls State Park
If you’re a parkgoer and you want an inclusive site, Buttermilk Falls State Park is a perfect fit for your itinerary!
As distinct from other parks on our list herein, this favorite spot is an 811-acre attraction, and it’s situated towards the southwestern part of Ithaca.
It was reportedly established in 1924, and according to available records, it has been one of the most explored parks in the state of New York.
The park has about ten waterfalls in total. Besides, this expansion of terrain also offers a fishing adventure, cabins, hiking, deer bow-hunting, nature trails, a playground, playing fields, and lots of diverse recreational activities.
In fact, this destination also boasts several beautiful trailer sites, and its lovely tent is a big draw to this awesome spot.
Truly, it’s an inclusive attraction! So, why would you constitute an exception to over 440,000 meticulous fun-seekers coming to this beautiful location on an annual basis?
Definitely, no excuse can suffice; a must-visit if you’re in Ithaca!
The cost of admission is not high, and just $8 is payable as a parking fee.
By way of summation, bear in mind that you can plan your trip here any day between 8:00 AM through 7:30 PM!
Address: 106 E Buttermilk Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
6. The Cornell Lab Of Ornithology
If you love to do something exceptional during your forthcoming trip to Ithaca, then the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is for you!
This resourceful site is a unit at the Cornell University of New York dealing with the study of birds and other several wildlife, thereby informing, educating, and engaging every traveler on site!
With approximately 250 scientists and a larger proportion of professors awaiting your arrival, this place is certainly going to give you a newer and richer vacation experience like never before!
These sets of individuals are friendly, and their willingness to answer every tourist’s question is just so remarkable.
With the exception of winter break and National day, Cornell Lab of Ornithology is open for visitation between 10:00 AM through 4:00 PM!
Address: 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
7. Ithaca Farmers Market
“Seasonal weekend market with baked goods, produce & crafts, plus music, wine tastings & street food” is just the apt description of what you’ll enjoy at the Ithaca Farmers Market!
So, would you love to get some nice craft, taste the best wine, or enjoy some of the best dishes in this downtown city of New York? Be sure to check out Ithaca Farmers Market when you are next in New York!
The unique attribute that distinguishes this open space area from its contemporaries is that it’s accessible twice a week, that is, on Sundays and Saturdays!
With over 160 vendors that come from major cities in New York, this market is surely a place you shouldn’t expunge from your travel plan.
The prices of their goods are affordable, and the vendors act like old friends to everyone on-site.
Interestingly, aside from being a favorite stop where you can get nice items, the Ithaca Farmers Market also features many cultural presentations, which is considerably awesome!
If you are in Ithaca on a Saturday or Sunday, endeavor to extend your trip to this beautiful place, and it’s promising to be so exciting!
Note, on either of these days; you can conveniently plan your exploration between 10:00 AM through 2:00 PM.
Meanwhile, we suggest you come before 12:00 Noon so as to beat the heavy crowd!
Address: Steamboat Landing, 545 3rd St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
8. Ithaca Sciencenter
Established on the 28th of February, 1983, the Sciencenter is a hands-on science museum in Ithaca.
It’s an initiative that was founded to provide information rather than to maximize profits, and it’s licensed by the ‘American Alliance of Museums.’
This museum presents over 250 fun activities with various hands-on exhibits, an outdoor science playground, a zoo, and a seasonal 18-hole Sciencenter Mini-Golf course.
In fact, it has an informative and entertaining area that is solely designated for kids ages four and below.
Apparently, this museum offers something more fun, engaging, and entertaining for all categories of fun-seekers!
But then, is that all this beautiful place has to offer?
Definitely not! Another unique feature of the Sciencenter that has preserved its relevance for over three decades of its existence is its ‘outdoor science park,’ which presents a series of interconnected ramps and structures featuring over two dozen playground-type activities that are keenly related to engineering, physics, and geology.
Note this attraction is accessible on Tuesday through Saturday between 10:00 in the morning through 5:00 noon, and its cost of admission is not expensive.
On average, adults pay $8, senior citizens pay $7, and kids of 3 – 17 years pay just $6, while toddler of 2 years and below enjoys free admission.
Address: 601 1st St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
9. Ithaca Falls Natural Area
More than what you’ll learn in a classroom or from pages of literature, nature teaches humans many beautiful things!
If you love nature, Ithaca Falls Natural Area is a beautiful area you should visit when next you’re in New York.
This enjoyable location features a beautiful waterfall that is very scenic and pleasant to the eyes.
Besides, there are few trails on site that are suitable for hiking, biking, or jogging.
Impressively, the locals on site are not hostile, and they’re willing to tell the rich history of this city to every traveler on site.
Even at that, there is a handful of restaurants nearby that offers nice American and Canadian dishes that you can’t resist its awesomeness.
Note Ithaca Falls Natural Area allows tourism 24 hours a week, and it doesn’t require any ticket fee; it’s absolutely free!
Address: Lake St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
Looking for the best spots to eat in Ithaca? Check out some of our top best Restaurants in Ithaca to dine at!
10. Ports Of New York Winery
Since lovers of history have tons of sites to explore in Ithaca so also wine lovers are not left out.
If you love wines and you’re in Ithaca, head straight to Ports of New York Winery; they offer delicious wines that are produced from grapes.
Frédéric, the owner, is a multi-generation wine producer who hailed from France with an utterly charming attitude.
Despite that, self-guided adventure and wine-tasting activity here is affordable! With just $9, you’re in for a full day of enjoyment which is so great!
In fact, if you’ll want some toast of pizza or shawarma while on site, with as low as $15, you’ll have a larger proportion to yourself!
How about the sensational musical concerts that are regularly held here?
No doubt, a trip here will reflect the proverbial admonition that “it’s not good to judge a book by its cover!”
Typically small, but the memorable moments you’ll have here will last for a lifetime!
Note this beautiful winery house is open for visitation on all days of the week between 9:00 in the morning through 5:00 PM in the noon.
Address: 815 Taber St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
11. The Museum Of The Earth At Ithaca
Several decades ago, the United States was in a dark age.
During this period, the level of civilization was so low. in fact, modern writing was absent then.
Not until ‘Columbus, the navigator’ embarked on a discovery to the United States this extant status quo did not change.
With the presence of the Museum of the Earth of Ithaca, you can learn all about the past of this beautiful country!
Drive to the Museum of the Earth, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore many ancient artifacts and a series of exhibits relating to this era.
Beyond these exhibits, this lovely museum presents lots of facts about the concurrent evolution of man and life generally.
Among its numerous permanent collections include the ‘North Atlantic Right Whale,’ the ‘Rock of Ages, Sands of Time,’ and a host of others.
On average, admission fees to this destination cost just $9 per person, and with the exception of Tuesdays and Wednesdays, tourists of various interests are welcomed here.
Address: 1259 Trumansburg Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
12. The History Center In Tompkins County
Perhaps you might not be visiting the Museum of the Earth but rather prefer a free attraction that still features lots of historic exhibits! If so, the History Center in Tompkins County is for you!
One impressive feature of this landmark is that it doesn’t only reflect the ancient history of Ithaca but that of Tompkins County and Central New York at large!
The History Center in Tompkins County is just an existing and dynamic history museum that connects national ideas to local learning by providing guided walking tours and exploration through its various engaging exhibits!
If you’re in this downtown, whether for a short trip or holiday vacation, this destination is a great place that’ll surely be worth your time.
Most amazingly, this engaging region in Ithaca also offers individualized research for visitors’ historical interests.
If you have your way here, bear in mind that it opens on Wednesday through Saturday between 10:00 AM through 5:00 PM.
Address: 110 N Tioga St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
Looking for more thrilling sites in New York? Why not check our list of top attractions in Warwick and Lake Placid?
13. Johnson Museum Of Art
For Johnson Museum of Art, it rather celebrates creativity other than historical antecedents.
It is situated towards the northwestern corner of the Arts Quad along Cornell University, featuring over 35,000 beautiful works of Art.
Among its numerous works, including those extracted from Frank Lloyd Wright and Darwin D. Martin House, respectively.
Even if what you desire to explore is beautiful works from the famous William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Albrecht Dürer, Mary Rockwell, or an Asian Art collection of various kinds, you wouldn’t be wrong coming to this lovely site in Ithaca!
Amazingly, these various works span from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century!
Despite that uniqueness, this 1973 establishment is accessible all year round, and there’s no admittance fee payable by anyone. It’s a free attraction!
Whether you’re coming to Ithaca alone, with your spouse, or associate, find time to check out this awesome place.
It will be fun for all!
Address: 114 Central Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853, United States
14. Ithaca Stewart Park
Operated by the city of Ithaca, Stewart Park is a municipal fun site and another great place you can check out anytime you’re in this city of New York.
It is along the southern end of Cayuga Lake, and available records show that it was established in 1921.
This park offers facilities for outdoor recreation, such as tennis, frisbee, fishing, basketball, and paddling.
Not just that, this entertaining area features a carousel that is always in operation throughout the summer.
Also, Stewart Park boasts an expansive and accessible playground for the little ones.
This expansive spot is accessible with wheelchairs, and there are many mobility aids for children with disabilities.
In fact, grills and picnic tables are all over its edges, and its sheltered areas are also a good place to relax if you’re on site.
No doubt, no matter your interest, you can’t be on a visitation here and experience boredom!
The Cost of admission here is about $20 on average, and that’s inclusive of snacks and water.
Address: 1 James L Gibbs Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
15. State Theatre Of Ithaca At New York
The State Theatre of Ithaca is a 1600-seat performing art center in the Tompkins County of, New York.
It’s a favorite destination that hosts various events, from comedy to bands, to plays and several classical movie presentations.
With its Collegiate Gothic, this 1928 gigantic structure is a must-visit for every outdoor fun-seekers coming to Ithaca.
The entire seats are in a good position, and most incredibly, some of them are recycled, which makes it quite comfortable for everyone who desires to stay for a longer period.
Not just that, there are spaces between these seats, the acoustic looks so amazing, and the sound system & other facilities work very well.
Impressively this awesome spot in Ithaca also feature a ‘bear table’ where every bear lover on site can enjoy themselves during the intermission period.
Anytime you plan to take some moment to enjoy yourself in downtown Ithaca, don’t miss out on this rare gem from your to-do list!
After all, the ticket price is just $116, which is absolutely incomparable to the fun moments that await you!
Address: 107 W State St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
16. The Downtown Ithaca
Anchored by ‘Ithaca Commons,’ Downtown Ithaca is a breathtaking 4-block pedestrian shopping area.
It features several gift stores, fashion boutiques, and international eateries.
Other than that, this engaging region in Ithaca also boasts of a historic center that traces the past of this city through its interactive exhibits.
In addition, Downtown Ithaca hosts interesting varying programs. This includes cultural shows, historical presentations, and lots of entertaining concerts.
This fun area is just a vibrant, eclectic destination with many pleasurable activities. You wouldn’t find that boring!
Address: 171 E M.L.K. Jr. St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
17. Ithaca Children’s Garden
Parenting is one of the most challenging but rewarding responsibilities.
However, just as Hodding Carter posited, “there are only two lasting bequests a parent can give to his or her child.”
This eloquent writer summarized these two bequests as ‘Sustainable gifts’ and ‘taking them out for an enjoyable vacation.’
In consonance with that, do you care to make your kid’s next vacation more enjoyable and memorable?
If yes, the Ithaca Children’s Garden offers lots of delightful activities that’ll make their vacation more pleasurable than ever before!
The owners of this initiative believe that the best way to make children happy is to them. By so doing, this beautiful site presents a larger amount of hands-on exhibits that’ll give them a sensory experience of the natural world.
Other than providing a magical and beautiful place for discovery, this insightful location center also offers permaculture-inspired & outstanding environmental education to tourists of various ages year-round.
Most amazingly, this is a free attraction, it costs nothing, and it’s always open every day from morning to dusk.
Address: 121 Turtle Ln, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
18. Ithaca Cayuga Waterfront Trail
The Cayuga Waterfront Trail begins from Treman Marina to Stewart Park, making it list one of the easiest routes in Ithaca that provides an easy waterfront tour for tourists.
Whether you want to walk one mile here or take some moment to roll over all of its eight miles, this enjoyable trail provides a comfortable and safe way to experience what Ithaca’s waterfront has to offer to its fullest!
This waterfront trail is flat, paved, and so accessible. In fact, it is designed with adequate consideration for visitors’ safety and enjoyment which is so great!
Its numerous bicycle racks, trailside benches, wayfinding, and the presence of interpretive signs are also a big draw here.
This allows everyone to linger around every turn easily without limiting what could be explored!
Whatever adventure you want to engage on here, whether run, walk, bike, or skate, this recreational site provides an escape intersection, sidewalks, and an inviting atmosphere that you’ll surely appreciate.
Importantly, the cost of adventure here at Cayuga Waterfront Trail of Ithaca costs $138 on average, and it’s open every day for visitation!
Address: Cayuga Waterfront Trail, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
19. The Cayuga Nature Center
Situated towards the west side of Cayuga Lake along Tompkins County in Ithaca, the Cayuga Nature Center is another beautiful museum in the city of New York.
This attraction is an educational institution with a mission of addressing issues related to nature and the environment.
It was commissioned towards the end of 1981, and as of today, it draws over 25,000 visitors to Ithaca annually.
Aside from its educational programs that relate to nature, this terrain also features exhibits & fossil specimens that highlight the biodiversity and ecology of New York.
Its other facilities that await your arrival here include the ‘Smith Woods,’ which is a great place to relax and sip some wines, the ‘TreeTops,’ and ‘a six-story tree house’ that was constructed by the 2000 class of Ithaca High School.
Suppose you’re not so exhausted during your visit to this spot. In that case, you can also check out its zoological collection, which consists of over 30 animals, and the seasonal Butterfly Garden here will also be worth your time!
Perhaps, you might seek something more after exploring all these; you may conclude your exploration by checking through its five miles of hiking trails for a delightful hiking adventure.
Despite these numerous adventurous activities, the cost of admission here is $5 per person, and with the exception of Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, you can plan your trip here!
Address: 1420 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
20. South Hill Cider Of Ithaca
Celebrating New York’s charm by crafting distinctive ciders from heirlooms, hand-foraged apples, and orchards, the South Hill is a paradise to every lover of ciders!
In contradiction to what’s obtainable elsewhere, this Cider house doesn’t make use of synthetic chemicals but rather utilizes certified organic inputs!
Aside from its worthwhile ciders, this place in Ithaca also features a beautiful restaurant. There, you can order scrumptious meals at low prices.
In fact, the live music that goes up here & the friendliness of their staff will allow you to feel at home during your visit to this rare gem.
If you can, when next you’re in Ithaca, plan to spend an hour or more here, and it will surely be worth it!
While planning a trip, beware that it’s accessible between 3:00 in the afternoon through 5:00 noon on Sundays.
On Thursdays and Fridays, it’s always open between 3:00 PM – 8:30 PM and 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM, respectively.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, it’s open for visitors between 12:00 PM through 7:00 PM. However, it’s generally not in operation on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
Whenever your visitation period to this place is, you’ll surely have a blast!
Address: 550 Sandbank Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
21. Allan H. Treman State Marine Park
The Allan H. Treman State Marine Park is a 91-acre fun area in Tompkins County of Ithaca.
It’s an attraction that is named after Allan Hosie Treman, who was once a Cornell University Law Professor.
This awesome park of Ithaca offers an eight-lane boat launch and an accessible marina that consists of 30 dry boat slips and 30 transient.
Delightfully, the boats launched at this beautiful facility have greater access to this State’s Canal System, which is unprecedented.
There’s also a fishing opportunity, birdwatching, and picnicking, which will make your trip to Ithaca more exciting.
Despite these unique features and engaging activities, the cost of adventure is relatively low.
Even at that, the tour guides are friendly, and there are plentiful parking lots.
If you’re in Ithaca, don’t hesitate to check out this engaging place for an inclusive adventure!
Address: 805 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
22. Ithaca Sciencenter Sagan Planet Walk
The Sciencenter Sagan Planet Walk presents an exceptional way for fun-seekers to enjoy themselves by engaging them through its walkable scale model of the Solar System.
It’s a welcoming exhibition that gains prominence in Ithaca towards the end of 1997 in recognition of Carl Sagan, a resident of Ithaca and a Professor at Cornell University.
In addition, the Sciencenter Sagan Planet Walk features eleven obelisks facilities and a large playground for children.
Remember that “it’s not everyone that wonder around that is lost. Some are only navigating around in order to discover newer sites.”
Definitely, beyond your usual routine, your next adventure to this awesome site of Ithaca will equip you with newer knowledge and something more interesting.
Address: 171 Ithaca Cmns, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
23. Tompkins County Public Library
Of all the resourceful centers in Ithaca, the Tompkins County Public Library stands out.
Established as far back as 1864, this insightful location features many books on history, philosophy, geography, and sciences.
Its aggregate collection size of books is about 264,508, including lots of videotapes, monographs, and lots of exhibits.
With over 130,000 annual travelers that come for research in this resourceful center, whether you’ll be in downtown Ithaca for a short vacation or a holiday trip, it wouldn’t be too good for you to conclude your vacation without having a stop here!
You’ll get to see ancient books that reflect how the state of New York was centuries back, have access to exhibits that illustrate the state of America during the medieval period, and explore other lots of interesting documentation about the American Civil War.
Incredibly, the library also provides electronic access to travelers. This makes it easier to navigate through its collections.
This Ithaca library is accessible from morning to dusk and requires no entrance fee!
Address: 101 E Green St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
24. Tompkins Center for History And Culture
In total agreement with Mahatma Gandhi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever!”
With the presence of the Tompkins Center for History and Culture, you’ll have access to tons of exhibits, programs, and events. These various activities illustrate the true culture and history of this New York City.
For several decades of its existence, this gorgeous place has been bringing tourism groups under one roof with all-inclusive activities.
Whether you’re a history buff or a cultural enthusiast, this is the topmost fun place that should gain prominence in your itinerary if you’ll be in Ithaca!
Except on Tuesday and Wednesday, this insightful location is accessible from morning through evening, and its admittance fee is so affordable.
Address: 110 N Tioga St, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
25. The Southern Tier Balloon Tours, Ithaca
Offering hot air balloon rides to tourists on a daily basis, the Southern Tier Balloon Tours is another top place you can check out if you’re in Downtown Ithaca.
This great site presents the perfect way for every tourist to see the whole finger lakes region of this beautiful city from the air.
The approximate duration of the flight is about 45-70 minutes, with the total period of experience timing around 3 hours.
After the entire adventure, this lovely region brings visitors’ activities to an end with a delightful Champagne toast.
If you can afford about $320 for an adventure, don’t hesitate to check out this existing location during your forthcoming voyage to Ithaca, New York.
Address: 197 Bostwick Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
What is obviously can not be denied! Apparently, Ithaca is too loaded with beautiful attractions!
The above list is just a pointer to the fact that, regardless of your interest, this New York City offers something exciting for all.
So, stand up and plan your trip. Meanwhile, don’t be overshadowed! Make use of the above recommendations, and it’s sure you’ll have the most memorable vacation ever!
Have the best journey ahead!