Ithaca is Gorges

Ithaca is Gorges is seen on bumper stickers everywhere in Ithaca. Indeed, the dramatic gorges and waterfalls carving their way through the city to Cayuga Lake make Ithaca an unusually beautiful place. A number of state and municipal parks, marinas, and bicycle and walking paths provide access for hiking, boating, birding, fishing, skiing, photography, or just sitting.

Ithaca has received national recognition as being an exceptional place to live. Such distinctions as America’s Most Enlightened City and being named fourth in the list of 500 in Life in America’s Small Cities have made Ithaca a well-known destination.

There is good reason for this. The downtown area of Ithaca has been made into a pedestrian mall, lined with galleries, shops, offices, theaters, and a variety of restaurants. On the shore of the lake is the Ithaca Farmers’ Market, which draws thousands each weekend.  People come from great distances to attend the annual fall Friends of the Library Book Sale, one of the largest and best known in the country. The only community built science museum in the world, the Sciencenter, and the new Museum of the Earth attract children and adults to their programs and exhibits. Several live theater companies make Ithaca their home, as do art film theaters. The Community School of Music and Arts offers instruction for all ages.  Throughout the Finger Lakes area are a large number of estate wineries, all offering tours and tastings, and several house fine restaurants.

Cornell University and Ithaca College further add to the stimulating ambience of Ithaca. The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology is a world-renowned avian research facility with an observatory and walking trails open to the public. The Plantations, the Cornell arboretum and horticultural research center, has hundreds of acres of gardens, ponds, trails, and programs available for the public’s enjoyment.  Concerts, drama, and lecture series at both institutions bring world-class events to Ithaca. Athletic meets of all kinds are heavily attended by local residents.

It is easy to see why we say Ithaca is Gorges.