Guidebook for Ithaca

Paula

Guidebook for Ithaca

Food Scene
Best fresh bagels and a quick walk!
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Collegetown Bagels
203 North Aurora Street
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Best fresh bagels and a quick walk!
Excellent Korean food and sushi, friendly atmosphere.
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Asia Cuisine
126 North Aurora Street
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Excellent Korean food and sushi, friendly atmosphere.
Delicious street food from around the world. Vegan-friendly (but plenty o' meat if you want it).
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Luna Inspired Street Food Downtown
113 N Aurora St
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Delicious street food from around the world. Vegan-friendly (but plenty o' meat if you want it).
Great selection of local beer as well as dinners and snacks made with local ingredients. The Cauliflower Dip disappears instantly with any group. Excellent Sunday brunch.
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Northstar House
202 East Falls Street
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Great selection of local beer as well as dinners and snacks made with local ingredients. The Cauliflower Dip disappears instantly with any group. Excellent Sunday brunch.
Classic diner in the middle of the neighborhood. Go early on Saturday or a weekday morning. Also often hosts Fish Fry-day for dinner.
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Lincoln Street Diner
309 East Lincoln Street
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Classic diner in the middle of the neighborhood. Go early on Saturday or a weekday morning. Also often hosts Fish Fry-day for dinner.
An Ithaca tradition, now serving fabulous weekend brunch and weekday lunch. Vegan-friendly.
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Purity Ice Cream Co.
700 Cascadilla Street
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An Ithaca tradition, now serving fabulous weekend brunch and weekday lunch. Vegan-friendly.
Everything on Restaurant Row (this block of Aurora Street) is worth trying, but this take on local-style tapas stands out - flights of local wines, an eclectic and lively variety of dishes, and cozy atmosphere (especially the back garden in summer).
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Just A Taste
116 North Aurora Street
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Everything on Restaurant Row (this block of Aurora Street) is worth trying, but this take on local-style tapas stands out - flights of local wines, an eclectic and lively variety of dishes, and cozy atmosphere (especially the back garden in summer).
Southern-inspired, great seafood, and a fair amount of live music.
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Maxie's Supper Club & Oyster Bar
635 West State Street
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Southern-inspired, great seafood, and a fair amount of live music.
Arguably the best Thai food in town (though there are a lot of contenders). More of a drive than a walk though.
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Taste Of Thai Express
209 South Meadow Street
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Arguably the best Thai food in town (though there are a lot of contenders). More of a drive than a walk though.
Yummy Thai food and a short walk - convenient if you're already on The Commons.
Thai Basil
118 W State St
Yummy Thai food and a short walk - convenient if you're already on The Commons.
Probably the closest coffee to the Cottage, and a well-loved local roaster.
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Gimme! Coffee
430 North Cayuga Street
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Probably the closest coffee to the Cottage, and a well-loved local roaster.
Delicious Moroccan tagine dishes, great felafel and hummus, and the friendliest proprietor you'll ever meet (he will most likely offer you mint tea). Lunch and dinner.
The Commons Kitchen
124 E State St
Delicious Moroccan tagine dishes, great felafel and hummus, and the friendliest proprietor you'll ever meet (he will most likely offer you mint tea). Lunch and dinner.
If you're away from your own small furry animals and craving that contact, check it out - you can snuggle some cats while you sip!
Alley Cat Cafe
312 E Seneca St
If you're away from your own small furry animals and craving that contact, check it out - you can snuggle some cats while you sip!
Our Indian friends' favorite Indian place in Ithaca. Their lunch buffet is always fresh, zingy, and delicious, and always has vegetarian and vegan dishes. For $10.50 it's a bargain. Dinner menu is also extensive and well done.
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New Delhi Diamond's
106 W Green St
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Our Indian friends' favorite Indian place in Ithaca. Their lunch buffet is always fresh, zingy, and delicious, and always has vegetarian and vegan dishes. For $10.50 it's a bargain. Dinner menu is also extensive and well done.
The newest Indian place in town - the chef is a friendly fellow who worked at New Delhi Diamond's for years before starting his own place with his son. It's a smaller space in comparison and a similar menu; the standout is that it's the only place in town to get dosas, and they have chai and gulub jamun at the lunch buffet.
Shahi Pakwan
The newest Indian place in town - the chef is a friendly fellow who worked at New Delhi Diamond's for years before starting his own place with his son. It's a smaller space in comparison and a similar menu; the standout is that it's the only place in town to get dosas, and they have chai and gulub jamun at the lunch buffet.
Parks & Nature
This is literally the quickest route up to Cornell's Collegetown, and while you're in the gorge, there's little sign that you're in a city at all. "Ithaca Is Gorges," as we say, and this gorge couldn't be more conveniently located. It has steep staircases, so take it slow if you're not used to hill climbing, but the views are worth it. Closed during the winter, and occasionally for trail repair after heavy rain.
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Cascadilla Gorge Trail
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This is literally the quickest route up to Cornell's Collegetown, and while you're in the gorge, there's little sign that you're in a city at all. "Ithaca Is Gorges," as we say, and this gorge couldn't be more conveniently located. It has steep staircases, so take it slow if you're not used to hill climbing, but the views are worth it. Closed during the winter, and occasionally for trail repair after heavy rain.
It's a quick walk from the Cottage, and the falls are a must-see while you're here. View them from the Lake Street bridge or walk in a few hundred feet to feel the spray. If we've had rain, you'll have to shout above the sound!
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Ithaca Falls Natural Area
Lake Street
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It's a quick walk from the Cottage, and the falls are a must-see while you're here. View them from the Lake Street bridge or walk in a few hundred feet to feel the spray. If we've had rain, you'll have to shout above the sound!
The Lab is a world authority on bird research, has excellent exhibits, and the walking trails around the pond are a great place to view many species of birds.
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Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
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The Lab is a world authority on bird research, has excellent exhibits, and the walking trails around the pond are a great place to view many species of birds.
Because you can walk or bike all the way to Trumansburg! This trail is connected to several other notable trails - see ithacatrails.org.
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Black Diamond Trail
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Because you can walk or bike all the way to Trumansburg! This trail is connected to several other notable trails - see ithacatrails.org.
The closest of the lakeside parks. Picnic tables, play structures for the kids including a carousel, tennis courts and a golf course - and Cayuga Lake of course.
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Stewart Park
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The closest of the lakeside parks. Picnic tables, play structures for the kids including a carousel, tennis courts and a golf course - and Cayuga Lake of course.
Our favorite part of Taughannock State Park. A lovely and relatively secluded spot for picnics - keep going to the left until you see the boat racks, then down to the shore.
North Point
Our favorite part of Taughannock State Park. A lovely and relatively secluded spot for picnics - keep going to the left until you see the boat racks, then down to the shore.
One of the most iconic scenes of Ithaca is Taughannock (ta-GAN-nock) Falls. Well worth the moderate (and flat) walk from the parking area, and there are more extensive trails if you want them.
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Taughannock Falls State Park
1740 Taughannock Boulevard
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One of the most iconic scenes of Ithaca is Taughannock (ta-GAN-nock) Falls. Well worth the moderate (and flat) walk from the parking area, and there are more extensive trails if you want them.
The Upper Falls trail has some of my favorite gorge views in the area, particularly when you round the bend and see Lucifer Falls. It's another iconic scene, but usually not too mobbed.
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Robert H. Treman State Park
105 Enfield Falls Road
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The Upper Falls trail has some of my favorite gorge views in the area, particularly when you round the bend and see Lucifer Falls. It's another iconic scene, but usually not too mobbed.
Not the highest or most spectacular of our gorges, and not the easiest to get to from the Cottage, but a good meandering, meditative walk if you go up the trail.
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Buttermilk Falls State Park
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Not the highest or most spectacular of our gorges, and not the easiest to get to from the Cottage, but a good meandering, meditative walk if you go up the trail.
Arts & Culture
First-class collection of Asian art, other wonderfully-curated exhibits, and excellent views of Cayuga Lake from the top floor.
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Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
114 Central Avenue
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First-class collection of Asian art, other wonderfully-curated exhibits, and excellent views of Cayuga Lake from the top floor.
In the middle of downtown and bordered by "the God Quad" of various churches, DeWitt Park is the original public square of Ithaca and now houses war memorials. This area of town has many of the older and architecturally interesting buildings. The Farmer's Market is held here on Tuesdays.
Dewitt Park
102 East Court Street
In the middle of downtown and bordered by "the God Quad" of various churches, DeWitt Park is the original public square of Ithaca and now houses war memorials. This area of town has many of the older and architecturally interesting buildings. The Farmer's Market is held here on Tuesdays.
If you like old gravestones and mausoleums, you'll enjoy exploring this cemetery. If not, it's still a good alternate route to Cornell from downtown - go up past the cute houses nestled into the switchbacks on Cascadilla Park Road next to the gorge rim and then cut over through the cemetery to head up through West Campus.
City of Ithaca Cemetery
If you like old gravestones and mausoleums, you'll enjoy exploring this cemetery. If not, it's still a good alternate route to Cornell from downtown - go up past the cute houses nestled into the switchbacks on Cascadilla Park Road next to the gorge rim and then cut over through the cemetery to head up through West Campus.
Frequently changing exhibits, usually on Gallery night (the first Friday of each month). Always interesting and local.
State of the Art Gallery
120 W State St
Frequently changing exhibits, usually on Gallery night (the first Friday of each month). Always interesting and local.
The public face of the Paleontological Research Institute, this is a well-curated showcase of fossils, skeletons, dinosaurs, and geology, presented in a holistic and lively way.
Museum of The Earth
The public face of the Paleontological Research Institute, this is a well-curated showcase of fossils, skeletons, dinosaurs, and geology, presented in a holistic and lively way.
Essentials
Wegmans has been the highlight of some of our visitors' trips - if you don't have them where you're from, it's worth a look. Their multi-ethnic hot bar and prepared food section is a great place to stop before a picnic, especially if you have a group and want to cater to everyone's tastes.
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Wegmans
500 South Meadow Street
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Wegmans has been the highlight of some of our visitors' trips - if you don't have them where you're from, it's worth a look. Their multi-ethnic hot bar and prepared food section is a great place to stop before a picnic, especially if you have a group and want to cater to everyone's tastes.
A small healthy-food co-op in downtown, offers basics and convenience items, including prepared foods and a small hot bar. A quick walk from the Cottage. GreenStar's bigger store is in the west end of town.
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GreenStar Food Co+op @ DeWitt
215 North Cayuga Street
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A small healthy-food co-op in downtown, offers basics and convenience items, including prepared foods and a small hot bar. A quick walk from the Cottage. GreenStar's bigger store is in the west end of town.
Your closest coin-op laundromat - four blocks away.
Northside Laundry
517 North Cayuga Street
Your closest coin-op laundromat - four blocks away.
Only slightly farther than the Northside Laundry from the cottage (four longer blocks). Just down from the Lincoln Street Diner.
Fall Creek Laundromat
1012 N Aurora St
Only slightly farther than the Northside Laundry from the cottage (four longer blocks). Just down from the Lincoln Street Diner.
Your closest option for quick necessities, including some packaged snacks, fruit, cooking basics, and the usual drugstore stuff.
Kinney Drugs Store
513 N Cayuga St
Your closest option for quick necessities, including some packaged snacks, fruit, cooking basics, and the usual drugstore stuff.
Entertainment & Activities
First-run art-house films, well curated. An active non-profit. And where else can you get nutritional yeast on your popcorn, and Red Zinger iced tea?
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Cinemapolis
120 East Green Street
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First-run art-house films, well curated. An active non-profit. And where else can you get nutritional yeast on your popcorn, and Red Zinger iced tea?
We haven't tried this yet, but have enjoyed the "escape room" genre elsewhere and it's had good reviews.
Escape Ithaca
124 W State St
We haven't tried this yet, but have enjoyed the "escape room" genre elsewhere and it's had good reviews.
Shopping
It's the center of town; you should go there. Highlights for us include Mockingbird Paperie, Autumn Leaves Used Books, Trader K's (used clothing), and Home Green Home, as well as the new fountain, the playground (sadly closed for adjacent construction for the rest of 2017), and the start of the Sagan Planet Walk.
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Ithaca Commons
171 East Martin Luther King Jr. Street
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It's the center of town; you should go there. Highlights for us include Mockingbird Paperie, Autumn Leaves Used Books, Trader K's (used clothing), and Home Green Home, as well as the new fountain, the playground (sadly closed for adjacent construction for the rest of 2017), and the start of the Sagan Planet Walk.
So much good food, local products, and always live music! Very popular on the weekends, so go early. Check their web site for seasonal hours. If you're here on a Tuesday the market is downtown, a much shorter walk.
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Ithaca Farmers Market
545 3rd Street
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So much good food, local products, and always live music! Very popular on the weekends, so go early. Check their web site for seasonal hours. If you're here on a Tuesday the market is downtown, a much shorter walk.
Sunny Days is owned by our friend and Aurora Street neighbor Deirdre. It's a fun place to look for locally-sourced gifts, crafts, and souvenirs of Ithaca and upstate New York.
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Sunny Days Of Ithaca
123 S Cayuga St
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Sunny Days is owned by our friend and Aurora Street neighbor Deirdre. It's a fun place to look for locally-sourced gifts, crafts, and souvenirs of Ithaca and upstate New York.
Sightseeing
The tower is one of the iconic views and symbols of Cornell, and it's also the home of the Cornell Chimes, which you may hear throughout the day depending on where you are in Ithaca and how the wind is blowing. Full concerts are generally played on the chimes three times a day, and if you time it right you can climb the stairs to the top, view the Lake and beyond, and experience the loudest non-electrically-amplified music you may ever hear.
Cornell University - McGraw Tower
Tower Road
The tower is one of the iconic views and symbols of Cornell, and it's also the home of the Cornell Chimes, which you may hear throughout the day depending on where you are in Ithaca and how the wind is blowing. Full concerts are generally played on the chimes three times a day, and if you time it right you can climb the stairs to the top, view the Lake and beyond, and experience the loudest non-electrically-amplified music you may ever hear.