A Complete Visitor's Guide to Ithaca

              Looking over Ithaca College to Cayuga Lake            

There’s certainly no shortage of natural wonders, picturesque vineyards, and historical landmarks in beautiful Ithaca, NY, home to La Tourelle, a French-style chateau that stands on a sprawling, 70-acre estate. As we subtly shift from autumn’s peak to the holiday season, it’s critical to note that Ithaca is a beloved four-season haven. Astute travelers will discover Ithaca’s true spirit is embedded in so many facets of the city’s overall experience, including quiet botanical gardens, bustling craft breweries, and hushed art museums. In hopes of enhancing your next escape into the Finger Lakes, we’ve compiled 30 unique things to do in Ithaca. Please keep in mind that some of these offerings may or may not be available, depending on COVID-19 and seasonality. That being said, even in the heart of the winter, Ithaca is as lively as ever.


Hot Air Balloon Ride

30 Things to Do in Ithaca, NY: Four Seasons of Pleasure

Compiling this comprehensive list of things to do in Ithaca certainly brings back countless extraordinary memories, such as game-winning overtime goals at Lynah Rink, startingly-delicious specialty roasts purchased at Ithaca Coffee Company, and jarring live performances at the State Theatre. We didn’t want to overcomplicate this list by providing lengthy descriptions of each attraction and destination. Instead, take each attraction’s inclusion to denote its splendor. Perhaps your group can use this compilation as an Ithaca bucket list—one that requires multiple vacations to finish. Without further ado, here are 30 of our favorite things to do in Ithaca.


  1. The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail—America’s first

  2. Ithaca Falls

  3. Buttermilk Falls State Park (located on La Tourelle’s estate)

  4. Cornell University

  5. State Theatre (also: Hangar Theatre Company and Kitchen Theatre Company)

  6. Cornell Botanical Gardens

  7. Taughannock Falls State Park

  8. Johnson Museum of Art

  9. Southern Tier Balloon Tours

  10. Ithaca Farmers Market

  11. Downtown Ithaca: shopping, dining, and events

  12. Cayuga Nature Center

  13. A.D. White Library

  14. Paddledockers: kayak, canoe, and paddleboard tours

  15. The Sciencenter

  16. Out on the Trails: Bicycling, hiking, Nordic skiing, etc.

  17. Lynah Rink—go Big Red!

  18. Ithaca Children’s Garden

  19. Ithaca Beer Co.

  20. Museum of the Earth

  21. The Fall Creek Suspension Bridge

  22. Discover Cayuga Lake boat tours

  23. The Finger Lakes Sailing Charter

  24. Press Bay Alley food hub and pantry

  25. South Hill Cider

  26. Ithaca Coffee Company

  27. Namgyal Monastery

  28. The Bistro at La Tourelle

  29. Angry Mom Records

  30. Hillendale Golf Course

La Tourelle Lobby

La Tourelle, a Luxury Hotel in Ithaca, NY

Start and finish each day of exploration, adventure, and relaxation at La Tourelle, a multi-purpose French chateau along the eastern border of the aforementioned Buttermilk Falls State Park. La Tourelle is also a quick drive from the Namgyal Monastery, Ithaca Beer Co., and Ithaca College, an architectural marvel. On-site luxuries include gourmet dining (at The Bistro), August Moon Spa treatments, free access to the state park, complimentary shuttles to a bevy of the city’s landmarks, and, of course, a nightly wine reception from 5–6 p.m. The chateau boasts 54 uniquely-designed rooms and suites, many of which feature fireplaces, balconies, hardwood floors, and king beds.


Stop stalling and book a well-deserved escape into the heart of the Finger Lakes. Click the Book Now button or call us directly at 800-765-1492.