Campus & Community
Ithaca is a small city with a big-city outlook. With about 30,000 year-round residents, Ithaca is remarkable for the diversity and erudition of its population, its commitment to the arts and civic life, and the natural beauty of its environment. Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, the city is spread over rolling hills at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake and offers a pleasing study in contrasts between pastoral countryside and urban living, well-preserved nineteenth-century buildings and modern amenities, tree-lined residential neighborhoods and a lively downtown, traditional sensibilities and cutting-edge experimentation.
Ithaca has much to offer in the form of entertainment and leisure activities. There are restaurants to suit every taste, occasion, and budget: fast food and French bistro fare, sushi and submarine sandwiches, tapas and tacos and well as Greek gyros, Middle Eastern pitas and pizza in every shape and size. Shoppers can choose from among the weekend farmers market on the waterfront, specialty stores on the downtown commons, “big box” outlets in the south end of town, or the malls in the northeast. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike miles of state and local park trails, bike the hilly terrain, sail or paddle on the lake, and go skiing, snowboarding, and tubing at the Greek Peak resort in nearby Virgil. Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the Finger Lakes wine trails, which provide access to one of the great wine-making regions in the United States. For more information about visiting and staying in Ithaca, see VisitIthaca.com.
The award-winning Downtown Ithaca Commons is adjacent to Cornell University and Ithaca College and is in the heart of downtown Ithaca. Newly renovated, this four-block pedestrian shopping area has over 100 unique shops, restaurants, street vendors & street entertainers. Year round events and festivals are hosted on the commons including the Apple Festival, Chili Festival, Winter Festival and the Ithaca Festival.