Driving to Ithaca is a lot like riding a roller coaster. The roads are narrow and wind through steep hills, and the town is almost a valley in itself. Ithaca is well-known as a campus town and has two well-reputed academic institutions to its name: Cornell University and Ithaca College. When class is in session, the population of Ithaca doubles to almost 58,000.
Ithaca College is perched on one tall hill and Cornell University is perched on another. In a sense, both ivy-covered institutions keep watch over the town below. The flat, central area of Ithaca is called Ithaca Commons and is home to a pedestrian mall. Like many towns in New York, Ithaca is an ideal place for the walking tourist. The shops and restaurants are embellished by flowers and fountains and children will find the Sciencenter on Franklin Street fascinating.
Ithaca, again, is surrounded by steep hills and a kind of rugged natural beauty and this is worth exploring. Three waterfalls thunder their way right into town and for those who'd like to venture farther out, Cayuga Lake is nearby, as is Taughamnock Falls State Park. For those who love Ithaca's three waterfalls, the latter is an especially good trip. The Cornell Plantations preserve all sorts of flowers and plants native to New York.
Ithaca is about 40 miles from Syracuse and 180 miles from Albany. Although the roads to get there are indeed winding, they make even the drive visually rich. For more information on Ithaca's attractions, refer to the navigation bar on the left-hand side.