Destination guide

Inspirational Ithaca

A vibrant college town on the southern shore of Cayuga Lake, cosmopolitan Ithaca might be known for its scenic gorges and waterfalls, but it is also bursting with great restaurants, cultural events, and fascinating museums. Stay at an Ithaca vacation rental and, from its Southern Tier-Finger Lakes location, you can explore nature at its finest: from hiking and biking the beautiful forested hillsides, to exploring the famous waterfalls of upstate New York, and some of the best wine-tasting tours in the country.

Things to do

Ithaca’s fabulous museums

If you’re staying at your Ithaca vacation rental with kids in tow, don’t miss a trip to Ithaca’s Sciencenter. It has more than 250 fun, hands-on exhibits, including the Sagan Planet Walk, an outdoor walking scale model of the solar system named in memory of former Ithaca resident Carl Sagan. Kids will also love the Dino Zone, a dinosaur-themed play and learning area at Ithaca’s Museum of the Earth. This paleontology and natural history museum has some amazing specimens, including the North Atlantic right whale, and the Hyde Park Mastodon.


Where culture and nature combine

Cornell University brings many visitors to Ithaca vacation rentals, not least for the renowned Cornell Concert Series every spring and fall. But the region’s biggest draw is the beautiful natural environment; river gorges, tumbling waterfalls, and enchanting broadleaf forests that call to be explored on foot, bike, or kayak. There is always something happening in this vibrant college town, whether contemporary theatre, live music, or comedy. The city plays host to the Finger Lakes International Dragon Boat Festival in July, and to an Apple Festival in the fall.


The Finger Lakes’ microclimate makes for great wine!

Ithaca summers are warm, but temperatures remain comfortable for enjoying outdoor pursuits. It’s worth noting that the microclimate created by the Finger Lakes creates the perfect conditions for winemaking, so the region is home to many vineyards and wineries. While winters in Ithaca are cold, this brings its own beauty to the icy waterfalls around town, and the long snowy season makes the advent of greenery and birdsong in the spring even more beautiful. And fall brings an incredible spread of color to the broadleaf forests that flank the hillsides around town, making for a particularly spectacular time to visit.

Natural features

Ithaca’s gorgeous gorges

Ithaca is known for its gorges and waterfalls, starting with Ithaca Falls in town. The surrounding countryside is home to many notable waterfalls, including at Cascadilla Creek gorge and Buttermilk Falls State Park, where tiers of white water tumble over the dark rock. A little further away, Taughannock Falls State Park is home to the highest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. There are abundant opportunities to fish, kayak, hike, or mountain bike around the local area. Keen gardeners should not miss a visit to one of Ithaca’s more manicured natural wonders – the extensive plantations of Cornell Botanic Gardens.

How to get there

How to get to and around Ithaca

Fly into Ithaca, NY (ITH-Tompkins Regional), the closest airport, located 4.2 mi (6.7 km) from the city center. If you can't find a flight that's convenient for your trip, you could also fly into Cortland, NY (CTX-Cortland County), which is 17.9 mi (28.9 km) away.

Where to stay around Ithaca?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 210 vacation rentals near Ithaca. From 111 Houses to 53 Cabins, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Ithaca for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Ithaca?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Ithaca. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Cornell University: 618 vacation rentals
  • Robert H. Treman State Park: 320 vacation rentals
  • Buttermilk Falls State Park: 297 vacation rentals
  • Ithaca Falls Natural Area: 257 vacation rentals
  • Cayuga Nature Center: 399 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Ithaca listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Ithaca?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 111 Houses in Ithaca. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Ithaca include:

  • Cabins: 53 rentals available
  • Cottages: 53 rentals available
  • Bungalows: 53 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Condos/Apartments and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Ithaca?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 13 vacation rentals with pool available in Ithaca. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.