Ithaca and the Finger Lakes are known as wine regions, but it’s also the most important cider region in the US. Making it the perfect destination for cider tasting. With the highest density of craft cideries in NY state, many of which have received top accolades in national competitions.

 Please contact the venue directly with questions for reservations and check seasonal hours of operation.

cider bottle on table
Heather Ainsworth for South Hill Cider

Recommendations by day

Day #1

Begin your long weekend with a class at Gourdlandia. This art destination is an experience you'll remember, with vases, drums, piñatas, nightlights, and lamps all made from gourds. Take the Pierced Pendants Class and leave with a hanging pendant lamp for your home, made from a 5-6 inch round gourd!

After spending some time with the gourd-geous gourds head to AGAVA for a taste of the region. This farm-to-table restaurant is committed to sourcing ingredients from local and regional sources when possible. Located in the former East Ithaca Train Station, enjoy the seasonal menu in this warm, fun, and community-focused establishment.

Day #2

Start your morning by ordering a breakfast sandwich for pick-up from Creekside Cafe. You can’t go wrong with Breakfast Tacos or a Breakfast Balmy. There is even a gluten-free bread option!

Get ready to be picky because your first stop is Grisamore Cider Works for fruit and vegetable picking. April - November you can find strawberries, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, sweet corn, pumpkins, and more on this family-owned, third-generation U-pick farm.

For lunch with a view make your way to Glenwood Pines for a classic American meal on the outside patio overlooking beautiful Cayuga Lake. Next, head to Black Diamond Cider for a tasting and orchard Tour. Walk and taste through one of the oldest Finger Lakes cider orchards and learn how they make their cider. The orchard contains over 100 varieties of apples and pears—many of them rare heirlooms and European varieties selected especially for their cider-making qualities.

For an early dinner make your way to Ithaca’s world-famous natural foods restaurant, Moosewood. For 45 years this restaurant has been serving vegetarian & vegan entrees featuring local produce while writing fourteen internationally acclaimed cookbooks.

Day #3

Prepare for an active day with a hike through Taughannock Falls State Park to Taughannock Falls. This magnificent waterfall is three stories taller than Niagara Falls. It’s the tallest free-falling waterfall in the northeastern United States and just one of three you can see at Taughannock Falls State Park which offers great hiking trails and swimming in Cayuga Lake.

After an active afternoon go grab a bite and sip some cider at the Finger Lakes Cider House. Here you’ll find local cider, beer, and cocktails by the glass along with farm-to-table food that celebrates the region.

Continue to partake as you head to South Hill Cider for a guided tasting in their spacious tasting room. Or opt for outdoor seating where you can take in the spectacular views.

End the night with a visit to The Rook for elevated and reimagined comfort, soul, and street food. From duck-fat fried chicken and collard greens to pierogies and donuts, there are delicious small bites for everyone here.

strolling field at South Hill Cider
Heather Ainsworth for South Hill Cider

Other Cideries to Visit

Here are a few other cideries you can visit during your time in Ithaca. Please contact each venue directly with questions and check seasonal hours of operation.

Reserve a cider tasting at Eve’s Cidery which is held at socially distant tables in their pop-up outdoor patio and served in flight format.

Make an appointment at Bellwether Hard Cider and Wine Cellars for their Tasting Room or head to the covered patio during open hours to taste their 10 varieties of hard ciders.

Ithaca’s craft cider scene has been growing for the past two decades and deserves to be celebrated. There can never be too much of a good thing, but this wine-rich region is proud of its cideries, apple growers, and producers. We hope you enjoy this Cider Tasting Itinerary and your time in Ithaca!