About Ithaca & Tompkins County
Ithaca (pop. 30,000), and Tompkins County (pop. 102,000) are located in the Central Finger Lakes Region of New York State at the southern tip of 40-mile-long Cayuga Lake.
Ithaca is 227 miles from NYC, 231 miles from Philadelphia, and 251 miles (408 km) from Toronto.
Ithaca is home to Ivy League Cornell University, Ithaca College, four New York State Parks (including Taughannock Falls State Park which boasts a New York waterfall with a higher vertical drop than Niagara Falls), and many art galleries, museums, theaters, and cultural attractions. Tompkins County abounds with outdoor activities to suit any enthusiast.
The local slogan, "Ithaca is Gorges" refers to the 100+ gorges and waterfalls located within 10 miles of downtown. The largest, 215-foot Taughannock Falls (pronounced Tuh-GAN-ick), is three stories taller than Niagara Falls. Along with the waterfalls, gorges and beautiful lakefront, the surrounding county offers access to 28,000 acres of public forestland for hiking, mountain biking and outdoor recreation.
Popular activities include dining at local Ithaca restaurants, visiting museums and galleries, attending the theater, and enjoying the live (many free) musical attractions at the numerous music venues and events in the region. Our events page gives an excellent overview of the nature and variety of fun to be had, as does our attractions page.
Learn more about Ithaca and Tompkins County at the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce.
Get away to Ithaca and Tompkins County. Whether you're visiting for a wedding in Ithaca, or a short trip with your family, there is something for everyone. The Ithaca community itself is centered around Downtown Ithaca and its pedestrian mall, the Ithaca Commons, but Ithaca and Tompkins County actually encompass several adjacent towns and villages. Each community has its own unique character and identity, and each offers visitors its own warm welcome.
Towns of Tompkins County
South and east of downtown, these two communities are known for their beautiful rolling hills and valleys. Some of the area's best hiking, mountain biking and XC skiing are here at Hammond Hill and Shindagin Hollow State Forests.
Six miles south of Ithaca, Danby is a rural gem known for its sweeping farmland views and outdoor recreation. Danby State Forest and Jennings Pond are local favorites.
These two historic villages just east of Ithaca maintain their independent charm through longstanding community events like Dryden Old Home Days and the Ellis Hollow Fair. Recreation abounds in Hammond Hill State Forest and around Dryden Lake.
West and southwest of Ithaca, the towns are home to spectacular Enfield Glen and Lucifer Falls in Robert Treman State Park. The Newfield Covered Bridge, built in 1853, is the oldest in the state. Connecticut Hill (elev. 2,097) and Arnot State Forest are great for outdoor recreation.
Northeast of Ithaca, Groton has a picturesque, historic downtown with restaurants, shops and plenty of small-town charm. Groton Olde Home Days, every August, is just one of the local festivals that makes this village a great place to call home.
Stretching 14 miles along the east side of Cayuga Lake, Lansing is a pastoral town that also offers some of the best shopping in the area (the Shops at Ithaca Mall). The Lansing Harbor Festival (August, at Myers Park) is one of the area's best waterfront events with family activities, food and live music.
On the west coast of Cayuga Lake, Trumansburg in the town of Ulysses charms visitors with its artsy downtown, cozy restaurants, quaint B&Bs, and eclectic shops. Home to Taughannock Falls State Park, the GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance, the Trumansburg Farmers Market, and more, T-Burg is also the gateway to the Cayuga Wine Trail. No trip to Ithaca is complete without a visit to Trumansburg, If just for a tour of its chocolate factory....
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