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Things To Do In Ithaca
The Ithaca Commons is host to an impressive array of events, activities and exhibitions, including the city’s many festivals which flood the spacious venue sometimes spilling out onto the adjacent streets.
Every season offers exciting entertainment opportunities. Catch a film at Cinemapolis, a
distinctive art house movie theatre; or see a performance at the beautifully renovated, historic State Theatre. Touted in the New York Times as one of America’s “Best Emerging Cities,” Ithaca is unquestionably the ideal playground for all.
Downtown Visitors Center
171 The Ithaca Commons (Center Ithaca) | (607) 273-7482
Whether you're looking for maps, sites to see, or events to attend, they've got you covered. Whether you need directions, help planning for a visit, information about the vibrant arts scene, or just need help finding your favorite shop, they're the one stop for all things Ithaca. When you visit the Visitors Center in person, you'll find friendly staff, plenty of brochures for local sites and venues, visitors guides, plus maps and information for most of the major performing arts organizations in Tompkins County.
Downtown Visitors Center Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm - 5:00pm
Special holiday hours may apply. Stop in or visit online at VisitIthaca.com or Ithacaevents.com.
107 W. State St. | www.stateofithaca.com | (607) 277-8283
Ithaca's Historic State Theatre had its opening night on December 6, 1928. The building dates to 1915 and was originally an automobile garage and showroom. Today the 1600 seat State Theatre offers a calendar of events featuring performances of nationally recognized performers, outstanding regional groups, dance companies and theatre troupes. With the non-profit theatre's dedication to historic preservation, the building continues to be renovated while hosting dozens of events each year.
120 E. Green St. | www.cinemapolis.org | (607) 277-6115
Where can you see more Oscar winning films plus all of your favorites? At Cinemapolis, Ithaca's independent first-run movie theater. Cinemapolis hosts evening movies plus Saturday and Sunday matinees. The theater also features an array of special events. Check the website for details. Cinemapolis has been a staple in Ithaca's downtown community for 25 years. In 2009, Cinemapolis opened its doors to a brand new, stadium seating theater with great success. The combination of beautiful space and new programming has made it Ithaca's premier movie theater. Their unique concessions include the best popcorn in Ithaca as well as baked goods, and Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Cinemapolis is located at 120 East Green Street in the Green Street parking garage complex.
Lot 10 Bar & Lounge
106 S. Cayuga St. | www.lot-10.com | (607) 272-7224
Borrowing its name from the actual city designation for its location, Lot 10 is Ithaca's only two floor cocktail lounge and night club. Upstairs at Lot 10 features daily drink specials, live entertainment, DJ's and dancing, along with a pool table, dart board and juke box. Lot 10's second floor is the perfect destination for cutting loose and unwinding with friends. Downstairs at Lot 10 features a sophisticated cocktail lounge with comfortable couches and soft candlelight along with an eclectic music selection provides the perfect ambiance that is sure to put you at ease. Downstairs offers a hand picked wine list, an array of fine liquors, craft beers and the only weekly rotating cocktail menu in Ithaca.
215 N. Cayuga St.
The Dewitt Mall, located at 215 N. Cayuga, has unique, locally owned specialty shops, wellness studios, galleries, and great dining options. Explore this historic building, formerly the Dewitt Junior High School, and discover new wonders around every corner.
The Dewitt Mall is home to the famous Moosewood restaurant, Greenstar Oasis Grocery, and Buffalo Street Books - all cooperatively owned businesses. In addition, you may wish to try Cafe Dewitt, a repeat winner of "Best Brunch" in Ithaca. You can find wonderful treasures at Ithacamade, Kendall's Coin and Stamp, and Decorum-Too. Visit the Cat's Pajamas, a unique shop for kids or browse the bookshelves of the Bookery. For music enthusiasts, don't miss TOKO Imports and Ithaca Guitar Works.
Experience! The Finger Lakes
www.experiencefingerlakes.com | (607) 233-4818
If you are interested in extending your experience beyond the downtown area, Experience! The Finger Lakes can take you there with convenient pickup at the Holiday Inn Downtown. With guided tours including "Made in Ithaca", Cayuga Wine Trail, and Finger Lakes Falls & Gorges, Experience! The Finger Lakes can drive you, or provide you with an itinerary to get the most out of your visit. Experience! The Finger Lakes is a full service touring company offering an array of unique and personalized guided tours throughout the Finger Lakes region. Whether it's wineries, gorges and waterfalls, historical sites, or incredible eateries, the goal on every tour is to have guests explore, engage, and experience the region at a whole new level.
417 W. State St. | www.kitchentheatre.org | (607) 273-4497
With a full lineup of productions, the Kitchen Theatre is, "Bold, Intimate, and Engaging". The Kitchen Theatre challenges the intellect, excites the imagination, informs, and entertains. The Kitchen Theatre Company nurtures a community of diverse artists and brings excellent art to the Ithaca community.
Downtown Ithaca Farmers Market
The Ithaca Farmers Market has market day in Dewitt Park in Downtown Ithaca in the Summer and Fall. With produce, gifts, and prepared food, this smaller version of the popular weekend market at Steamboat Landing can keep you stocked with the freshest local ingredients. Also, don't forget to pick up your own copy of the new Ithaca Farmers Market Cookbook.
Dewitt Park Market Hours
Tuesdays May-October: 9:00am-2:00pm
Tompkins County Public Library
101 E. Green St. | www.TCPL.org | (607) 272-4557
The Library offers something for everyone - CDs and DVDs, classic works and contemporary titles, a diverse offering of programs and exhibits, digital resources, free Internet and wi-fi. If you're looking for it, you'll find it at the Tompkins County Public Library!
801 Taughannock Blvd/Rte 89 | www.hangartheatre.org | (607) 273-8588
The Hangar Theatre is a professional regional theatre that opened in 1975, in a renovated municipal airport hangar. The Hangar Theatre is located just 2 miles from downtown Ithaca on Route 89 at the Treman Marina entrance of Cass Park.
Waterfalls: Ithaca is Gorges!
Five hundred generations ago, mile high glaciers melted away to reveal a landscape of crystal lakes, jagged gorges, and thundering waterfalls. Today the view is green with vineyards and farms and lush with gentle hills and wild forest. It's lively with villages and energized by people who love the sights, sounds and flavors of a region still unspoiled. Many of the local waterfalls are located in state parks with hiking trails that were built by public works projects in the 1930s. The waterfalls are found along creeks that flow into Cayuga Lake. Many parks with trails will have a gorge trail following the creek and there are plenty of gorge overlooks.
Cascadilla Creek Gorge
Connecting the Cornell campus to Downtown Ithaca, this greenway connects the town and gown. One of Cornell Plantations' natural areas, this gorge trail leads into the heart of Ithaca.
Trail Info: The gorge walk is 1.3 miles and has many stairs. The lower portion of the trail is open but the upper section is currently closed for repairs. Enter at Linn St. near Downtown.
A 150 foot cascading fall, the Ithaca Falls is Fall Creek's final plunge into Cayuga Lake. With a drop of 150ft and width of 175ft, Ithaca Falls is the region's most powerful and most impressive waterfall. By 1817, a half-dozen mills were operating here, their ruins are still visible on the south bank.
Trail Info: View falls from bridge on Lake St. to the foot path adjacent the creek. Easy. Open year round.
Directions: from Downtown Ithaca, take Aurora St. north 0.7mi to Lincoln St. Turn right, then take an immediate left onto Lake St. The Falls will be on your right. Park on nearby city streets or the small lot adjacent to the falls. Swimming prohibited. Dogs allowed on leash. No fee.
Additional waterfall and gorge experiences found close to downtown include:
- Taughannock Falls State Park
- Buttermilk Falls State Park
- Robert Treman State Park
For more information go to VisitIthaca.com or stop by and pick up your waterfall guide at the Downtown Visitors Center.
Carl Sagan Planet Walk
Center of the Ithaca Commons --> Sciencenter | Planet Walk Info Page
The Sagan Planet Walk, a scale model of the Solar System, is named in memory of Carl Sagan, a respected scientist and member of the Ithaca community for nearly 30 years. The Sagan Planet Walk seeks to inspire wonder about the immense scale of the cosmos and our precious and fragile relationship with it. The model, at 1 to 5-billion scale, just exactly fits in the 1,200-meter distance between the Ithaca Commons and the Sciencenter. The exhibit, represented by murals during Commons construction, begins adjacent to American Crafts at 158 The Ithaca Commons. Enjoy a cell phone audio tour narrated by Bill Nye, The Science Guy, and the Asteroid station, featuring a touchable, 40-kg meteorite. Pick up your guidebook to the exhibit, Passport to the Solar System, at the Sciencenter or The Ticket Center, or start your audio tour by dialing (703) 637-6237. The tour takes approximately 30 minutes. The Sciencenter is located at 601 First St. in Ithaca and is part of the Discovery Trail www.discoverytrail.com For more information visit www.sciencenter.org.
Cayuga Nature Center | Discovery Trail Info Page
8 world-class locations in Ithaca connecting science, nature and culture. Cayuga Nature Center, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell Plantations, The History Center, Johnson Museum of Art, Museum of the Earth, Sciencenter, Tompkins County Public Library. Visit www.discoverytrail.com or www.facebook.com/discoverytrail for detailed listings of events, exhibitions and programs for all ages year round.
Art in the Heart of the City
Taking a stroll along the new Cayuga Street Art Corridor, you will be sure to come across Downtown Ithaca's permanent outdoor art collection, Art in the Heart of the City, which includes many permanent pieces. The program expands through the summer months with a temporary exhibit from July to October of each year.