With so many women-owned businesses to explore, we recognize the role of women in shaping history within the region. Ithaca is just a short drive from Seneca Falls, home of the first Women’s Rights Convention. Today, the drive along the Cayuga Lake hillsides is dotted with female winemakers, cider makers, farmers and artists. This list focuses on self-care and some of the best activities in the Finger Lakes region to support wellness.
For a jolt of inspiration, sometimes all it takes is quality time in nature or exploring a new spot. Self-care could be a trip to the spa, practicing meditation, savoring a coffee and breakfast, or learning a new skill. Keep in mind when you are visiting Ithaca for the first time or as a returning guest, the Ithaca area has many vibrant women-owned businesses to explore, some of the suggestions here have just recently opened and others are well-established.
Research has shown that anticipating something can bring positive emotions that can help us live happier lives. Give yourself something to look forward to!
10 Ways to Practice Self-Care in Ithaca
1. Rasa Spa
Rasa Spa in Ithaca is a full-service, holistic healthcare spa. In addition to elevating classic treatments, they offer services you will not find anywhere else such as Ananda based on an ancient Ayurvedic treatment massaging warm oils into your hair and scalp. Rachel Hogancamp, the owner of Rasa Spa, truly cultivates wellness in the Finger Lakes Region with a mission to “focus on the well-being of the whole person through healing, empowerment, fostering a mindful community, and creating a tranquil atmosphere.”
2. August Moon Spa
Stop by August Moon Spa at La Tourelle, for a customized treatment featuring locally sourced ingredients and products, many of which incorporate herbs and botanicals grown on their grounds. Relax in the Vichy Waterfall room, which brings nature inside to you! Perhaps try healing your spirit through an Energetic Reiki session, or one of the popular exfoliating scrubs. Kash Iraggi-Wiggins runs the spa and owns Balance Aromatherapy, a company used to supply products to her spa. Her daughter Phoenix used to help manage the spa but now works with her mother in operating Balance Aromatherapy. They have an ever-changing collection of seasonal scent blends to make your treatments feel extra special.
3. The Inn at Gothic Eves
Warm, inviting, and a bit luxurious sets the tone for The Inn at Gothic Eves and the Spa at Gothic Eves. The intimate setting is conveniently located right in the Village of Trumansburg. You will find relaxing packages to enjoy solo or with friends. Owner Rose Hilbert opened The Inn at Gothic Eves over 20 years ago, and she continues to come up with fresh ideas to provide her guests with the best experience. Rose enjoys time in nature exploring the Finger Lakes and takes pride in cooking nutritious breakfasts for guests with ingredients sourced from local farms.
4. Mighty Yoga
Whether this is your first time practicing yoga or as an experienced yogi, connect with your body, breath, and mind at Mighty Yoga. They offer both small in-studio classes and have a live stream option. Mighty Yoga believes that if you are truly connected to yourself and have the support of your community behind you, then you are unstoppable, and from there you can begin creating positive change. Owner Heather opened Mighty Yoga in Ithaca to expand the practice of yoga in the community. Practicing yoga is a great way to stay in shape and take the time to truly be with yourself.
5. Hound and Mare
Wake up its food o’clock, located in downtown Ithaca, sisters Tam and Christine have opened Hound and Mare, a cafe and bakery. The restaurant business runs in the family, as their parents own the Saigon Kitchen in Ithaca as well. Hound and Mare offers fresh, healthy, and convenient feel-good food to share with everyone. While their menu is mostly influenced by the American culture Tam and Christine grew up in, you will certainly see inspiration from their Asian roots.
6. Botanist Coffeehouse
Flourishing in the Fall Creek neighborhood, Botanist Coffeehouse has opened in the former Ithaca Flower Shops Storefront. Alongside coffee, espresso, and snacks at Botanist, you will find houseplants, hand-tied bouquets, and cut flowers. Botanist Coffeehouse offers the serene vibe of a flower shop in a space where you can sit with a cup of coffee. While Ithaca Flower Shop has relocated their main operations to Cortland owner Stacey Twigg, will remain in collaboration with Botanist Coffeehouse owned by Matti Sgrecci. The two share love for americanos and plant-loaded corners.
7. Hammerstone School
The Hammerstone School in Trumansburg offers a variety of carpentry classes for women. Give yourself something to look forward and browse their upcoming course selection.Taking care of yourself can involve learning or expanding upon a skill. These classes range from basic skills-building workshops, to longer, more in-depth intensives. Maria Klemperer Johnson repeatedly found herself to be the only woman in her building classes. What started as a tiny house class opened the door for opportunity for Maria. In her free time, Maria enjoys time with her family skiing and sledding, swimming in the Finger Lakes, and maintaining a small homestead.
8. Taughannock Falls State Park
Hiking can be one of the best activities for maintaining physical wellness. As one of the most photographed waterfalls in New York state, you will particularly enjoy visiting the iconic Taughannock Falls regardless of the time of year. Taughannock Falls carves a 400ft deep gorge through layers of sandstone, shale, and limestone. Multiple hiking trails provide views of the gorge, main falls, and smaller surrounding waterfalls. Go alone or with a friend and feel connected to yourself and nature during your hike.
9. Greater Ithaca Art Trail
Let yourself feel inspired by the works of Ithaca and Tompkins County’s diverse artists. Open to all and free of charge, you can join the monthly Gallery Night Ithaca, a walkable art show across many galleries and unique spaces in Ithaca. The Open Studio Weekends along the Greater Ithaca Art Trail held annually in the fall are also worth adding to your calendar, along with other First Saturday Tours that allow for a peek into artists’ studios live and through video.
10. Six Mile Creek Natural Area
Take a quiet walk with mother nature and it will nurture your mind, body, and soul. The Six Mile Creek Gorge is a diverse ecological area consisting of streams, gorges, waterfalls, marshland, forest, and meadows of goldenrods, asters, shrub thickets, or young forests. The Elizabeth Mulholland Wildflower Preserve on the northside of Six Mile Creek, offers gentle walking paths along the creek. On the other side, you’ll find steep cliffside trails, take particular caution in the winter and spring. This area contains the City of Ithaca's reservoirs and is also designated as a unique natural area.