couple near falls

Things to do in Ithaca

The 105-acre Kendal at Ithaca campus offers a range of opportunities to stay active and enjoy the outdoors year-round. Residents can be found biking, hiking, running, or strolling along the numerous paved trails that wind through our gardens. For those who prefer a more adventurous route, there are also natural paths to explore. The ever-changing beauty of the Finger Lakes region provides stunning scenery throughout all four seasons.

Explore Beyond Kendal at Ithaca’s Campus

Nestled amidst dramatic gorges and shimmering Finger Lakes, Ithaca offers a unique blend of small-town charm and cosmopolitan vibrancy. Renowned for its exceptional quality of life, Ithaca provides residents with endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, from hiking scenic trails to boating on Cayuga Lake. A thriving downtown beckons with art galleries, shops, and a diverse culinary scene, while the presence of Cornell University and Ithaca College fosters a stimulating intellectual environment. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a culture buff, or simply seeking a friendly community, Ithaca offers something for everyone.

A World-Renowned Bird Watching Destination

While the Kendal at Ithaca campus itself is home to a variety of bird and wildlife species, birdwatchers will be delighted to discover the world-renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology less than two miles away. This 425-acre sanctuary features over 5 miles of well-maintained walking and hiking trails, perfect for both novice and experienced birders. The Lab of Ornithology also offers guided walks and seminars for those who want to learn more about our feathered friends.

Bird watching in Ithaca, NY

Ithaca is Gorges

Nicknamed “Ithaca is Gorges” for a reason, Ithaca stuns with its dramatic natural beauty. Carving their way through the city and cascading down to Cayuga Lake, over 150 waterfalls and gorges create a landscape unlike any other. Hike through state parks, following well-maintained trails that weave past cascading waters and lush vegetation. Buttermilk Falls offers a gentle descent for families, while Taughannock Falls, the tallest free-falling waterfall in New York, provides a breathtaking spectacle. Whether you seek a peaceful walk or an adventurous climb, Ithaca’s natural wonders offer an unforgettable escape.

A Vibrant Downtown

Strolling through Ithaca’s pedestrian mall, Ithaca Commons, is a delightful experience. Lined with galleries, shops, offices, theaters, and a variety of restaurants, it offers something for everyone. Book lovers will find the annual fall Friends of the Library Book Sale to be a treasure trove. The Sciencenter, the only community-built science museum in the world, and the Museum of the Earth attract visitors of all ages with their programs and exhibits. The city also boasts several live theater companies, art film theaters, and the Community School of Music and Arts, which offers instruction for all ages.

Lakeside Recreation and Local Bounty

Located on Cayuga Lake, the longest of the 11 Finger Lakes, Ithaca offers opportunities for boating, swimming, and hiking in the warm months, with skiing, skating, and ice fishing in the winter. The Finger Lakes region is renowned for its wineries, breweries, and cideries, many of which offer tours and tastings. Foodies will love exploring these local establishments. The Ithaca Farmers’ Market, held on the shore of Cayuga Lake, draws thousands each weekend with its bountiful selection of locally grown produce, cheeses, and other treats.

Taughanock Falls
Vibrant downtown Ithaca, NY
Residents cruise Cayuga Lake
Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Enriching Campus Connections

Cornell University and Ithaca College add to the intellectually stimulating atmosphere of Ithaca. The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, mentioned previously, is a world-renowned avian research facility with an observatory and walking trails open to the public. Cornell Botanic Gardens, the Cornell arboretum and horticultural research center, offers hundreds of acres of gardens, ponds, trails, and programs for the public to enjoy. Both universities host concerts, drama productions, and lecture series, bringing world-class events to Ithaca. And for those who enjoy cheering on local athletes, Cornell University is part of the Ivy League.

Experience Ithaca for Yourself

Kendal at Ithaca invites you to experience life in this thriving community firsthand.