Ithaca, New York
The Two Wonders of Ithaca: Waterfalls and Wineries.

From the March 24, 2003 Issue of New York

Ithaca is an Ivy League town trapped in a state park’s body. You’ll notice two things when you arrive: Everyone drives a Volvo, and every Volvo has a bumper sticker that reads ITHACA IS GORGES. It’s true. The area’s streams have been slicing through rock for eons, leaving behind some breathtaking day-hike destinations. Two of the best are Taughannock Falls (a cascade taller than Niagara), and Buttermilk Falls, whose shale-and-sandstone pools are perfect for a bracing dip. If you’d rather be tasting Finger Lakes Rieslings and Gewurztraminers, New World Tours will arrange it (they’ll drive, too). There are dozens of lovely bed-and-breakfasts (go to, but if you prefer something more formal, Taughannock Farms Inn overlooks Lake Cayuga and serves a great brunch. Red-blooded locals fill up on porterhouses at the John Thomas Steakhouse, but the meat-averse might make a pilgrimage to Moosewood Restaurant, one of vegetarianism’s holiest sites and the birthplace of the eponymous cookbook.

Ithaca is a five-hour drive from Manhattan. New World Tours (607-387-6292;; Taughannock Farms Inn (from $105; 607-387-7711;; John Thomas Steakhouse (607-273-3464;; Moosewood Restaurant (607-273-9610;


Related Websites
Taughannock Falls Official Site - Trail maps and photos.
Visit Ithaca - Guide to restaurants, inns, and things to do. Plus, section on Ithaca's natural treasures.
Ithaca Journal - Check the entertainment section for weekly listings.

Photograph: Courtesy of Taughannock Falls