About Ithaca, NY

Nestled in New York’s Finger Lakes region, Ithaca is a unique college town that is consistently rated as a top area to live, work and study. As the federal land-grant institution for New York state, Cornell has been part of the fabric of Ithaca since our founding in 1865.

Our Main Campus

Tradition, Beauty, Opportunity

Cornell's main campus in Ithaca, NY provides all of the experiences of a traditional college campus, set against the backdrop of a beautiful, welcoming city. With a wide variety of opportunities and unique offerings at every turn, it is a campus so inviting you need to see it for yourself.

Visit Campus
An aerial view in fall of central campus with Cayuga Lake in the background.

Ithaca has something for everyone

The vibrant community surrounding campus will welcome you as soon as you arrive.

Located at the south end of Cayuga Lake—the largest of the Finger Lakes—Ithaca boasts unsurpassed natural beauty in its gorges, state parks and waterfront.

Collegetown and the Ithaca Commons are a short walk from campus, offering a city atmosphere with an array of shopping, restaurants, cultural activities and nightlife. Between urban life and alluring countryside, Ithaca has something for everyone to see and do.

"Ithaca’s storied past and natural beauty are a wonderful complement to the world-class education experience at Cornell."
- President Pollack

Ithaca through the seasons

Ithaca’s stunning landscape and variety of seasonal experiences offer something for everyone, all year long.


Take in the colors of fall

You will be welcomed into the season by foliage that provides stunning scenery for hiking, cider tastings and pumpkin picking.

Hot cider for sale at the Apple Harvest Festival.
Students enjoy a warm fall walk down Cascadilla Gorge near Stewart Avenue.

Life doesn’t slow down in the winter

Whether you prefer skiing, snowshoeing or enjoying a hot chocolate by the fire, you’ll be looking forward to winter all year long.

Student cross-country skiing on campus.
Serving a cup of steaming hot chili at the Annual Ithaca Chili Cookoff.

Ithaca blooms in the spring

The beautiful flowers, outdoor public art and open-air farmers markets are sure to put a spring in your step.

A shopper buys vegetables at the Ithaca Farmers Market.
A statue of a dancing mother and child on Ithaca Commons.

Soak up the summer

Enjoy the warmer weather with activities such as swimming, boating and wine tours – just to name a few.

A painter captures the beauty of Ithaca Falls.
Students play disc golf on the Palmer Woods Course in summer.