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Best Things To Do In Ithaca New York [Weekend Guide]

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Ithaca is located at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes Region. It is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College and is surrounded by beautiful lakes, hiking, wine trails, and gorges that have cascading waterfalls.

‘Ithaca is Gorges’ is the play on words that is on bumper stickers and t-shirts and it rings true. This is a great location if you are looking to escape the big cities in New York and have a relaxing weekend!

Where To Stay Near Ithaca

Go glamping!

And what better way to really disconnect from city life than to go glamping while visiting Ithaca. There is a glamping site about 15 minutes outside of Ithaca, NY -a perfect place to stay while visiting the Finger Lakes area.

Scottland Yard Glamping

Scottland Yard, Glamping

This glamping site boasts two tents, a couple and a family safari tent, and a rustic garden house. In addition, they have an RV on their property if you would prefer to stay there! We stayed in the Garden House and quickly fell in love with our accommodation. Steve said he has never slept in such a comfortable bed and waking up in the morning to the cool air drifting through the window and hearing the birds chirping outside really is the perfect way to start your day.

Scottland Yard Glamping

During the day you can lounge in the garden house, take a nap on the hammocks, or jump in the clean pond from the dock or a diving board! In the evening, bring some dinner to cook on the grill while enjoying a lovely time relaxing in the patio area. When the sun sets, head on over to one of the many fire pits to roast some marshmallows, enjoy the fire, and hopefully have other guests there visiting so you can get to know them as well.

Scottland Yard, Ithaca NY glamping

This was our second time glamping and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would book a return trip in a heartbeat! Thank you Scottland Yard for hosting us!

Things To Do In Ithaca

I know it hard to leave such an amazing glamping location but you must try and escape for a bit to explore the surrounding area! Here’s are a few of the places that we were able to visit that weekend.

Taughannock Falls State Park

It took us about 20 minutes to get here driving north from Ithaca. We arrived early in the morning to beat the inevitable crowds during the weekends. The most notable waterfall in this park is the Taughannock Falls.

There are a couple of different observations points so make sure you find each one of them. The history of Taughannock Falls is pretty crazy (hint-someone gets thrown off this cliff), but I won’t ruin the whole story for you! Check out the history of this place at the base of the waterfall where an informational sign tells all.

Taughannock Falls State Park, Best Things To Do In Ithaca New York

Ithaca Falls

A two minute walk from the side of the road, Ithaca Falls is a must-see! It’s a popular place for a photo op for obvious reasons. We took our treats that we got from the Farmers Market (see below) and found a nice boulder to sit on and took in the whole scene.

Ithaca Falls. Taughannock Falls State Park, Best Things To Do In Ithaca New York

Ithaca Farmers Market

When we first moved to this area we heard about the amazing farmers market from that happens every Saturday morning in Ithaca during the summer months from multiple people so we knew that we had to visit. From bakery treats to Thai food this market has it all. We enjoyed sampling the local cheese and pesto sauces from local vendors and admiring the beautiful flowers that were being sold. Don’t eat breakfast and go hungry because there are plenty of choices.

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

Cayuga lake is one of the many lakes in the surrounding area and in my humble opinion, the best one! The lake boasts a wonderful wine trail that you can start right from Ithaca! You can find more information about the wineries that participate, events happening, and how to buy special passes here- Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

Cornell University

Cornell University is situated at the top of the hill that overlooks Ithaca and deserves to be placed on a this list.  Founded in 1865, this Ivy League schools boasts many famous graduates including Bill Nye the science guy, Ann Coulter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg….and Andy Bernard from “The Office.’ Being huge fans on the office we had to stop by and see Andy’s old stomping grounds  😉

Buttermilk Falls State Park

Summertime can get hot and humid in upstate NY, like real hot and humid. So what better way to cool down at the base of waterfall?! Well let me introduce you to Buttermilk Falls State Park. As soon as you park you come to a giant cascade of water that flows into a pool. This pool allows people to swim during the day. Once you get tired of swimming and laying out, start hiking the gorge trail that leads alongside the stream to witness countless other waterfalls and cascades. Want more information? Find it here- Buttermilk Falls State Park

Robert H Treman State Park

This state park in very similar to Buttermilk State Park. When you purchase entrance to either one of these parks, it will work for the other on the same day. Which really isn’t a problem as they are only about a 10 minute drive from each other.

Robert H Treman State Park also has supervised swimming at the base of the waterfall complete with a diving board! You may want to start with the Gorge trail to work up a sweat. Then, jump into the cold water once you are done  🙂 For my information you can visit their website.

We had an incredible time in Ithaca! A big thanks to Scottland Yard for hosting us. All opinions remain our own.

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