Cornell Botanic Gardens

Finger Lakes

The verdant spaces in and around campus includes a 100-acre arboretum, a botanical garden and numerous trails. Stop at the Nevin Welcome Center for maps and to find out about tours.

A great way to reach the campus is by hiking up the dramatic Cascadilla Gorge, which starts near the center of town.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Finger Lakes attractions

1. Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art


IM Pei's brutalist building looms like a giant concrete robot above the ornate neo-Gothic surrounds of Cornell University's campus. Inside you'll find an…

2. Cornell Lab of Ornithology

1.92 MILES

Cornell's world-famous ornithology lab has a visitor center with art and interactive exhibits. Surrounding it is leafy Sapsucker Woods with nature trails…

3. Cascadilla Gorge

2.03 MILES

Downtown Ithaca is connected to Cornell's campus by the Cascadilla Gorge Trail, which winds its way past cascading falls. Join it near the First Church…

4. Sciencenter

2.43 MILES

The local children's museum provides plenty of educational and fun activities, including an ocean touch tank and a science-themed mini golf course ($7).

5. Buttermilk Falls State Park

3.78 MILES

At the base of the eponymous falls, near the park entrance, is a popular swimming hole (11am to 7pm Friday through Sunday July and August). At other times…

6. Robert H Treman State Park


Five and a half miles southwest of Ithaca, the biggest state park in the area offers extensive trails and a very popular swimming hole (late June to early…

7. Taughannock Falls State Park

9.83 MILES

This park, 10 miles north of Ithaca, has two major hiking trails, a dramatic waterfall plunging 215ft (11am to 7pm mid-Jun-e to August), canoe rental for…

8. Lucas Vineyards

17.62 MILES

In business since 1974, this is one of the region's pioneer wineries, run by three generations of the Lucas family. It can easily be visited from Ithaca,…