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Visit “Gorges” Ithaca As The Weather Warms Up

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2021-04-02 15:08:00


On the south end of Cayuga Lake, nestled in among the hills and gorges of the Finger Lakes region, lies an Upstate New York treasure: the Town of Ithaca. Once you visit, it won’t take long to see why the slogan “Ithaca is Gorges” has caught on and become the town’s tagline.  


The gorges are not a figure of speech—they’re a geological marvel in this area. Thousands of years ago, during the ice age, gigantic glaciers carved valleys and depressions in the landscape that we now know as the Finger Lakes region, leaving behind a network of waterfalls and gorges that is second to none in its beauty. In fact, more than 100 waterfalls can be found in and around Ithaca.


Some are in the three of the area’s most popular state parks: Robert H. Treman State Park, Buttermilk Falls State Park, and Taughannock Falls State Park  in nearby Trumansburg. All three feature impressive cascades, along with places to go swimming, picnicking, and hiking; a trip to any of them is a great way to spend a warm spring or summer day. And while spring is a little early for swimming season, the beauty of Cayuga Lake itself still beckons, offering the opportunity to fish, kayak, or rent a boat to get out on the water, even if getting in the water is still a few months away.


Back on dry land, science also comes to life at eight stops along Ithaca’s Discovery Trail: the Sciencenter, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Cayuga Nature Center, the Cornell Botanic Gardens and Arboretum, the Museum of the Earth, Cornell's Johnson Museum of Art, the History Center, and the Tompkins Public Library each present the opportunity to learn about plants, animals, and fossils, as well as the culture, art and history that make this region unique. 


In fact, Ithaca is the heart of the arts and culture scene in the Finger Lakes. Numerous art galleries and theaters cater to a wide mix of tastes in music, art, theater and dance. And you won’t want to miss a trip to the downtown pedestrian mall, Ithaca Commons, where arts and culture meet shopping, dining and relaxation. The specialty shops and boutiques in this district are filled with unique creations and fashions for all tastes and budgets. 


If all that exploring has you working up an appetite, you’re in the right place. Culinary delights abound in Ithaca; there are actually more restaurants per capita here than in New York City!


Choices range from fine dining to casual fare to delectable desserts, ice cream and world-class coffee. If you prefer to cook for yourself, visit the Ithaca Farmer’s Market, held on the lakefront every weekend from April through December, for locally grown produce and other fresh, local goods and specialty treats. Of course, good food should be accompanied by good wine, and there’s no shortage here! Ithaca is located on the Cayuga Wine Trail, the oldest wine trail in America. You’ll also find a variety of craft breweries and cideries in the area, so there’s no excuse to be thirsty.


With so much to see and do, an overnight trip is the best way to experience Ithaca. Hotels and resorts, bed and breakfasts, cottages and campsites, and vacation rentals are plentiful in the area, so make your reservation today and see why Ithaca is so unique—and Gorges. 


PHOTO CREDITS
Buttermilk falls photo wikimedia commons
Ithaca Commons photo credit James Willamor
Cornell Botanic Gardens photo credit Chris Waits
Cayuga Lake Wine Trail photo credit Cayuga Lake Wine Trail


 
posted at: 2021-04-02 15:08:00, last updated: 2021-04-06 20:43:30

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