Explore Downtown Ithaca
Explore the Downtown Ithaca Commons
No matter the season, no matter the time of day, there is always something exciting going on in the award-winning Ithaca Commons. This four-block, pedestrian-only section of Downtown is home to many unique stores and Ithaca restaurants. With its close proximity to Cornell University and Ithaca College, the Ithaca Commons is the perfect place for friends to gather for a day of strolling through shops or to grab a late night bite. Some of Ithaca’s most popular annual events and festivals are held in the Commons, including Downtown Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival in the fall and Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-Off in the winter. Ithaca Commons events, such as musical and street performances, happen year-round, so visitors are sure to find something of interest during any time of the year.
Beyond the Commons, there is even more to discover! Downtown Ithaca is a diverse environment that is easily described as eclectic, vibrant, and constantly changing. Ithaca is known for its art influence, and the downtown district is living proof. Walk past any alley and you’ll see building walls covered with incredible public art by local artists. The restaurants are culturally diverse, nightlife is abundant and exciting, the shops are far from mainstream, and entertainment is all around.
If you’re visiting Ithaca, or are in Tompkins County, make sure to add Downtown Ithaca and the Ithaca Commons to your must-see list!
Things to Do in Downtown Ithaca and the Commons
There is never a shortage of fun things to do in Ithaca. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Downtown Ithaca and on the Commons:
- Sip local craft beers at Ithaca Ale House.
- Find your new favorite vegetarian dish at the legendary Moosewood Restaurant.
- Discover affordable hidden gems at Pastimes Antiques and more unique shops in the Dewitt Mall.
- Join an Ithaca is Foodies Culinary Tour and get an insider’s look into the best restaurants in the Ithaca Commons.
- Begin the Sciencenter Sagan Planet Walk in the heart of the Commons and learn about our solar system.
- Visit Waffle Frolic and indulge yourself with a gourmet waffle with all the toppings you desire.
- Considered a true treasure in Ithaca – Cinemapolis is a great place to view films of all kinds, including international, art, festival entries, and classics.
- Enjoy happy hour or see a show at The Range.
- Buy or sell comics and graphic novels at Comics for Collectors.
- Take a hike on the short, yet gorge-ous, Cascadilla Gorge Trail from Downtown Ithaca to Cornell University and get lost in nature.
- Participate in a 2-hour painting class at Wine & Design and feel like an artist.