One of the great things to do in Ithaca is to commune with nature. A beautiful place to enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature is Cornell Plantations.
Whether you want inspiration for your home garden, are interested in native plants or enjoy bird watching Cornell Plantations is a great place to spend the day. And there are even hiking trails to choose and each offers breathtaking vistas. One of the most impressive views is at Newman Overlook. The stone structure was made from a form of New York State Bluestone called llenroc which is Cornell spelled backwards. And before you leave don’t forget to ring the bell. Admission to the grounds is free and it is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. And there are even organized tours and classes.
With so much to do in Ithaca you might want to make a weekend of it and stay overnight. The Taughannock Farms Inn is filled with charm and beauty, surrounded by breathtaking views of Cayuga Lake. The inn was built in 1873 and has over 22 guest rooms.
“It’s a very quiet peaceful place,” said Susan Sheridan owner of Taughannock Farms Inn. “We’re right on the tip of the Cayuga Lake Wine trail, so a lot of people visit that or go over to Seneca Lake. They can walk back to Taughannock Falls. So a lot of people just like this as a get away.”
Taughannock Farms Inn also has a restaurant with an enclosed tiered porch which allows diners to take in gorgeous views of the lake.
“It’s unique in the sense that we serve, for the price on an entrée, you get a total of four courses,” Owner Tom Sheridan said.
The restaurant features American cuisine and for the price of an entrée you get an appetizer, salad, sides, freshly baked rolls and dessert. So if you leave hungry… that’s your own fault.
Ithaca is the home of the ice cream sundae and the foundation of a great sundae starts with great ice cream. The Cayuga Lake creamery scoops up the freshest tasting ice cream in the Finger Lakes, using local wines fruits and chocolates and was named one of the top 50 ice cream parlors in the US by USA Today.
“We go the gamut from very regular standard flavors like vanilla and chocolate to much more specialty type things like asparagus,” Co-Owner Jeff Kostick said.
Everyone has their own favorite flavor even if it’s not asparagus.
“Mine’s twist in a waffle cone... Mine’s mocha chocolate chunk...”
Their menu is always changing and today it includes flavors like Purple Cow, and Seneca Salt Carmel.
The Cayuga Lake Creamery is making a special flavor for the Ithaca Scottish Games and Celtic Festival this weekend, Celtic cream made with Irish Cream Liquor.
This weekend in Stewart Park you are sure to see an influx of kilts and bag pipes for the annual Scottish Games and Celtic Festival.
“We have demonstrations, historical reenactments, sheep shearing, wheel spinning and then we have also implemented a lot of children’s activities,” Scottish Games and Celtic Festival Founder, Mary Archin said.
You can also take Irish dance lessons or learn a bit of gaelic while you’re at the festival. The festival also includes bagpipe and highland athletic competitions, bands and traditional Scottish and Celtic food.