Day Trip to Ithaca, NY

Pretty much every summer growing up, I would spend time in Ithaca, NY. Some years, we’d make it a couple day mini-vacation. More recently, my family has made it a day trip to visit all of our favorite spots. Recently, I made my annual trip up and it was a near perfect day.

Of course, the scenic drive is always a delight, but to fill in some of the spare time, I read a bit more of “People We Meet on Vacation” and caught up on my Instagram. Once we got to Ithaca, we decided to jump right into the action and go straight to Cornell’s campus for a little mid-day snack at the Cornell Dairy Bar. I’ve loved the ice cream at the dairy bar for years and picked up a new hoodie while I was there (it had a cute cow on it, so I had to). After snack time, my family and I walked over to the Cornell Botanic Gardens – a place I’ve visited almost every year since I’ve been a young kid. We wandered around, admired the herbs and flowers, and of course, took some pictures. We made it through the whole garden, then drove through the rest of the campus to get to the main town and the state parks.

In addition to being a college town, Ithaca is also home to three waterfall state parks. The first on today’s list was Taughannock Falls. My family drove up to the overlook, and while the view is always stunning, today’s visit was made extra-special by the sighting of several hawks flying not far from the overlook balcony. My family also noticed a state parks poster in a vintage art style I love for Taughannock that was available at the lower park office, so we stopped by to pick one up. We also got one for Buttermilk Falls (good art that goes to a good cause? yes, please!). 

Treman Falls was our second waterfall stop of the day, and we were in for a little bit of a surprise! The swimming area was under “construction” to remove excess stones for water flow, so there was a walking path that lead us out to right in front of the waterfall – a spot closer than I’ve ever been able to go. While getting gorgeous pictures was a plus, it was so incredible to see from a new perspective. We did visit Buttermilk Falls briefly after Treman, but Treman was certainly my favorite surprise of the day.

After our nature-based adventures, we stopped for sandwiches at DiBella’s Subs (a regional favorite that makes great sandwiches), stopped by Purity Ice Cream for another few scoops, and made a quick pit stop at the Cornell bookstore on the way out, where I picked up a card with a starry night-inspired rendering of the Cornell campus. 

I had a wonderful day in Ithaca, and now, it’s time to share some photos from the day!

Have a terrific day!

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