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Cornell University

Watering hole for hummingbirds

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Nestled in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region, Ithaca is a charming city renowned for its natural beauty, vibrant culture, and rich history. From stunning waterfalls and scenic gorges to world-class museums and eclectic dining, Ithaca offers visitors a diverse array of attractions to explore. Let’s embark on a journey to discover some of the top attractions that make Ithaca a destination worth visiting.

Ithaca Commons: A Hub of Culture and Commerce
Begin your exploration of Ithaca at the Ithaca Commons, a vibrant pedestrian mall located in the heart of downtown. Stroll along tree-lined streets lined with boutiques, galleries, cafes, and restaurants, where you can shop for unique gifts, artisanal crafts, and locally-made goods. Enjoy live music, street performances, and cultural events that take place throughout the year, or simply relax and people-watch in one of the many outdoor seating areas. Visit the Tompkins County Public Library, which offers a wide range of books, multimedia resources, and educational programs for visitors of all ages. With its lively atmosphere and diverse offerings, the Ithaca Commons is a must-visit destination for visitors to Ithaca.

Buttermilk Falls State Park: Natural Beauty Unleashed
Escape the city and immerse yourself in nature at Buttermilk Falls State Park, a scenic oasis located just minutes from downtown Ithaca. Explore miles of hiking trails that wind through lush forests, meadows, and gorges, offering stunning views of cascading waterfalls and rocky cliffs. Cool off in the refreshing waters of Buttermilk Creek, where you can swim, wade, or relax on sun-drenched rocks. Picnic in shady groves, play a game of frisbee or volleyball, or simply enjoy the tranquil beauty of the park’s natural surroundings. Visit the Robert H. Treman State Park, which is adjacent to Buttermilk Falls State Park and offers additional hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenic vistas. With its breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures, Buttermilk Falls State Park is the perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Cornell University: A Prestigious Institution
Discover the academic and cultural treasures of Cornell University, one of the nation’s leading Ivy League institutions. Explore the historic campus, which is situated atop a hill overlooking the city and offers stunning views of Cayuga Lake and the surrounding countryside. Visit iconic landmarks such as McGraw Tower, Sage Chapel, and the Arts Quad, which showcase the university’s rich architectural heritage and academic excellence. Attend lectures, concerts, and events that feature world-renowned scholars, artists, and performers, or simply stroll through the campus’s scenic pathways and gardens. Explore the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which is dedicated to the study and conservation of birds and offers exhibits, trails, and educational programs for visitors of all ages. With its blend of academic excellence and natural beauty, Cornell University offers visitors a unique glimpse into the intellectual and cultural life of Ithaca.

The Museum of the Earth: A Journey Through Time
Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of natural history at the Museum of the Earth, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum located on the campus of the Paleontological Research Institution. Explore exhibits showcasing fossils, minerals, and geological formations from around the world, as well as interactive displays and hands-on activities that bring the earth’s history to life. Learn about the ancient creatures that roamed the earth millions of years ago, from dinosaurs and mammoths to trilobites and ammonites. Discover the geology of the Finger Lakes region, including its unique rock formations, glaciers, and waterfalls, and learn about the forces that shaped the landscape over millions of years. With its engaging exhibits and educational programs, the Museum of the Earth offers visitors a fascinating journey through time.

From its vibrant downtown district and scenic parks to its world-class universities and cultural institutions, Ithaca offers visitors a diverse array of attractions that showcase the best of the Finger Lakes region. Whether exploring the lively atmosphere of the Ithaca Commons, hiking through the natural beauty of Buttermilk Falls State Park, discovering the academic and cultural treasures of Cornell University, or immersing yourself in the fascinating world of natural history at the Museum of the Earth, visitors are sure to be captivated by the charm and hospitality of Ithaca. So pack your sense of adventure and prepare for an unforgettable journey into the heart of the Finger Lakes, where the attractions of Ithaca await at every turn.

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