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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.

Ithaca, New York

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 four seasons.

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 community prevails.

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 Morrison, writer.

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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