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Ithaca overflows with waterfalls and wineries, let alone students rampaging around town. A college town with a permanent population of around the 30,000 mark, it doubles when the students are studying. This is where Vladimir Nabokov wrote his famous book "Lolita" and Leonard Lipton who at the time was physics major at Cornell put those wonderful words to the folk song “Puff, the Magic Dragon” on paper. Sitting in the county of Tompkins on the southern shore of Cayuga Lake in Central New York, Ithaca is home to the Ivy League school, Cornell University with Tompkins Cortland Community College nearby. If you are of the Buddhist persuasion you can study Buddhist philosophy, meditation and the Tibetan language at the Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca.
Make sure you have some form of bathing costume with you when you hit this town, as there are over 150 waterfalls within 10 sq miles to play in. Water seems to flow across, in and out of this town everywhere, through gorges carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago. There are cascades, rapids and a natural swimming hole to frolic in at Buttermilk Falls State Park, whilst Cascadilla Falls has a 20 ft cascading waterfall on a trail connecting Cornell University to College Avenue downtown. As you walk along the creek there are 9 waterfalls dropping 400 ft. Craggy gorges and winding trails with names such as Lucifer Falls and Devil's Kitchen can be found at the Robert H Treman State Park. There is Potter's Falls on Six Mile Creek, Taughannock Falls State Park and Foaming Falls on Fall Creek, to name just a few of these water wonderlands.
When your skin has turned you into a prune like amoeba, head to the Museum of the Earth and check out some prehistoric plant sculptures or gorge yourself silly at one of the funky cafes or restaurants around town. The next item on the agenda has to be the Cayuga Wine Trail where amongst the many vineyards you will find 3 wineries that have been named New York's Winery of the Year. It is a wine connoisseurs dream of decadence and could literally take weeks to cover them all. If you are not into wine, head to one of the craft beer spots such as Bandwagon Brewpub or Bacchus Brewing Company for a sampling.
If the brain's grey matter needs using, go to the History Center, the Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art, the Cayuga Nature Center or the Sciencenter.
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