The City of Ithaca, New York sits on the southern shore of Cayuga Lake, in Central New York State. The valley in which Cayuga Lake is located is long and narrow, with a north-south orientation. Ithaca was founded on flat land just south of the lake.
Ithaca experiences a moderate continental climate, with cold, snowy winters and sometimes hot and humid summers.
Nestled in the heart of New York State’s
beautiful Finger Lakes region, is the city of Ithaca. The Ithaca area offers
mountain biking and hiking through glacially carved gorges. Theatre and
the arts abound in the region, and local restaurants downtown and in Collegetown
aresure to serve up the ethnic cuisine of choice. Ithaca is an active and
energetic community; withoutdoor recreation and sport choices for each of the
Ithaca is a college town,
fortunate enough to have two major institutions of learning looking down upon it
from the beauty of the surrounding hills. Ivy League Cornell University and the
smaller, but no less academically prestigious, Ithaca College add zest and
vitality to Ithaca and swell its population during the academic year.
It was Cornell University that made the name
Ithaca known worldwide. Named after Ezra Cornell, who had made a fortune
through his early involvement in the telegraph industry, the university was
founded, bearing his name. The school opened to students in 1868 and has become
known as one of the greatest universities in the world. Ithaca Conservatory of
Music, which followed in 1892, is now known as Ithaca College and has a student
population of over 6,000.
Located on the southern end
of Cayuga Lake, the New York State city was named after the island home of the
Greek hero Ulysses. With the advent of rail transportation as well as the
steamboat, by the mid-19th century the city was a busy transportation center for
the region, served by several rail lines and daily steamboat departures.
Ithaca had an early history
of filmmaking. On the Cornell University campus is a suspension bridge over the
gorges where the silent serial thriller "The Perils of Pauline" was filmed. In
those days of the Wharton Brothers film production, Ithaca was known as
“Hollywood on Cayuga.” It provided the perfect setting for spectacular feats
involving villains and heroines of the silent screen. Live music provided by
local orchestras accompanied the films when they were shown in downtown Ithaca
at the Lyceum Theater. In recent years, the city also served as the location
for the filming of the 1985 movie, The Sure Thing.
During a visit to Ithaca
you can visit central New York's award-winning wineries, swim beneath towering
waterfalls, ski and skate throughout the winter, take in the museums and
galleries, or just stroll and shop along the downtown Commons or at the Dewitt
Mall, home of the world famous Moosewood Restaurant. Pick up a souvenir moose
or “Moosewood Cookbook” after enjoying a fabulous home cooked meal.
On Saturdays and Sundays in
season, a visit to the local Farmers’ Market is a must. The rule there is that
all items sold must be grown or crafted by the vendors or their families. What
a fascinating place to explore! The Market consists of a series of pavilions on
the shore of Cayuga Inlet. It is filled with stalls offering fresh produce,
jams and jellies, local dairy products, meat and eggs, bouquets of seasonal
flowers, plants, and handcrafted items. Tables and benches arranged on the
lawns overlooking the water provide a pleasant setting in which families
congregate to spread out the homemade delicacies purchased at the market for a
picnic lunch. There are boat rides on the inlet and a festive spirit of
The Finger Lakes region is
rich in vineyards, and is ideal grape growing country. For a time during the
1980s California wines dominated the market and many Finger Lakes wineries shut
down. They have reopened and tours and tastings are back! New York State wines
are grapey and fruity, similar to Rieslings, but perkier. They are much sought
after by wine connoisseurs.
Ithaca ishome to some of
the world's leading scientists and researchers, and boasts abusiness
environment that values intellect, achievement, and success. Some of Ithaca’s
well known residents have included: Carl Sagan, scientist, Alex Haley, writer,
Vladimir Nabokov, writer, Rod Serling, creator of "The Twilight Zone", and Toni
Whether you're looking for
natural beauty, urban sophistication, or hometown friendliness, Ithaca has it .
Rolling hills, breathtaking gorges, and splendid lakes offer countless outdoor
activities. Fantastic restaurants, exciting nightlife, vibrant theater,
mainstream and independent cinema, and live music abound. Time spent in Ithaca
will be remembered and treasured forever.
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