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An image of the grounds of Cornell University in early autumn, showing vivid fall colors.


The natural world of Ithaca is breathtaking. You can easily escape your desk by hiking trails along the gorges, taking dips in waterfalls and lakes, biking on woodland paths, skiing down slopes and across fields, or picnicking in the area's many state parks.
“There was no better option for me than Cornell Law and its location in Ithaca.”
Zellnor Myrie '16
New York State Senator

Cornell University overlooks Cayuga Lake, and many gorges and waterfalls are just steps from the Law School. Schedule a Law School or campus tour here.

Ithaca weather allows for a variety of outdoor activities, ranging from boating, swimming, and hiking in the summer to cross-country skiing and ice skating in the winter.

When taking a break from your studies you can jog or bike on trails in one of Ithaca’s local or state parks. Enjoy wine tasting year-round and apple picking in the fall. Rent a kayak or take sailing lessons on Cayuga Lake. Visit an organic winery or farm. Or head eight miles north to Taughannock Falls, the tallest waterfall in the northeast. There’s no end to the ways you can explore and get active.

It’s not uncommon to run into friends, neighbors, professors, or fellow students on any downtown street. Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than New York City, and it attracts diners from all around the world. Ithaca was recognized as one of the “foodiest” towns in the U.S. by Bon Appetit magazine. Ithaca is home to the famous Moosewood Restaurant, whose award-winning vegetarian cookbooks attract diners from around the country.


According to a local bumper sticker, “Ithaca is gorges”, and most people here would agree.

Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Ithaca is surrounded by waterfalls, gorges, lakes, and parks. With a four-season climate and close access to kite sailing, skiing, skating, mountain biking, hiking, polo, canoeing, windsurfing, and other sports, Ithaca is an ideal place for getting outside.

Outdoor Activities

State Parks and Waterfalls

Educational Outdoor Activities

Mountain Biking

Golf Courses

Family Outdoor Fun

  • Ithaca Farmers’ Market
    The Ithaca Farmers’ Market is open from April-December. Best time to go, when it’s nice out and on a Saturday or Sunday!
  • Ringwood Raceway
    Go-kart racing open April-October


Sledding is one of Ithacans all-time favorite winter sports! Get a sled, find any hill in Ithaca, and go. Local favorites include Cornell Plantations and Taughannock Park. **Avoid Libe Slope, as it is dangerous and against Cornell regulations to sled down.

Downhill Skiing

Cross-country Skiing

Ithacans ski on many of the local golf courses, trails, or at Sapsucker Woods or Podunk Ski Touring in Trumansburg.

Ice Skating

Indoor Activities and Nightlife

Indoor Activities

For a more complete listing, please visit VisitIthaca.

Performing Arts

Movie Theaters

  • Cornell Cinema
    Cornell Cinema screens nearly 400 films per year, including first-run, foreign, and classic films. The cinema is a program of the Department of Theater, Film, and Dance and is cosponsored by the Dean of Students.
  • Cinemapolis
    Located downtown, Cinemapolis shows independent and new release films.


As a college town with a thriving local music scene, Ithaca has a wide variety of clubs and bars. Whether you feel like going for a few drinks or dancing all night, the list below will give you some ideas on what to do and where to go.

  • The Haunt
    Live music and DJ’s and drink specials. Go to 80’s night on Saturdays for the most fun dancing in Ithaca!
  • Mahogany Grill
    The Mahogany Grill is a nice place for a casual drink and meal. Seating outside in the summer.
  • Ithaca Ale House
    Great food, atmosphere, and beer selection — nearly 20 on tap! Sit outside to people watch during the summer.

Getting to Ithaca

Ithaca is located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Natural beauty surrounds the campus with its many gorges, lakes, and parks. In fact, the Law School is bordered by Cascadilla Gorge. Its waterfalls and trail lead to downtown Ithaca.

Ithaca is easily accessible by plane, bus, and car. Most major Northeastern cities are a reasonable drive or a short flight.

Approximate Distances to Major Cities

  • Syracuse: One hour
  • Rochester: One and a half hours
  • New York City: Four hours
  • Philadelphia: Four hours
  • Toronto: Four hours
  • Boston: Five and a half hours
  • Montreal: Five and a half hours
  • Washington, D.C.: Six hours

Airlines, Taxi Cabs, and Rental Cars


Hotels and Restaurants

Ithaca has a wide variety of accommodations and cuisines.


The following business-style hotels are close to campus, and many have shuttles to campus and to the airport.  This is just a brief listing of local hotels.  If you plan to visit campus during Cornell University’s graduation weekend, be prepared to stay outside of Ithaca. Alternative towns include: Dryden, Cortland, Elmira, Syracuse, and Binghamton.

The Statler Hotel at Cornell University

Best Western University Inn
Only about 2 miles from the law school and near food and stores.

Courtyard by Marriott – Ithaca
Close to the airport and the Ithaca and Triphammer malls.

Homewood Suites by Hilton
Located at the Triphammer Mall.

Hampton Inn Ithaca
Downtown location, newly built.

Hilton Garden Inn
Relatively new hotel off of The Commons.

Country Inn & Suites
Near Ithaca College on South Hill.

Hotel Ithaca
Near The Commons and close to everything downtown.

For a complete list including inns and B&B’s, please visit Visitithaca.com.


The following scale is per person for dinner with an appetizer, entrée, dessert and beverage plus tax and gratuity. Some of the restaurants have lighter fare as well; please call ahead to get exact estimates.

$$$$ – $50+

$$$ – $30+

$$ – $20+

$ – $15+

Heights Cafe & Grill
Cayuga Heights/Corners Community
One of Ithaca’s most upscale restaurants with an extensive wine list.

Moosewood Restaurant
Downtown/Commons Area
If you don’t know of this vegetarian restaurant by its world-famous cookbook, definitely you will remember forever after you taste the terrific food.

Maxie’s Supper Club and Oyster Bar
Downtown/Route 13
Cajun menu with all the frills. Don’t forget your colorful beads when you walk into Maxie’s.

Taste of Thai
Best place to eat wonderfully prepared Thai food that is priced just right and in a great location on The Commons to boot.

The Boatyard Grill
On the Inlet
Comfort food with a twist. The Boatyard has one of the more beautiful views in Ithaca.

Glenwood Pines
Route 89
Overlooking the lake and very casual.

Ithaca Bakery
Downtown/Route 13
Gourmet deli and bakery.

Viva Taqueria
Good healthy Mexican food in a fun atmosphere with margaritas, of course.

For a complete list, please go to VisitIthaca.com.

hours to New York City, Philadelphia, and Toronto
5 1/2
hours to Boston and Montreal
hours to Washington, DC
Gender Justice Clinic members Marie Nercessian ‘24, Shay Storz '25, and Scarlett Zhou ‘24, along with clinical professor Liz Brundige, speak about the impact of recent legal developments on LGBTQ+ health equity at a meeting of the American College Health Association's LGBTQ+ Health Equity Task Force. 

Read more about the Gender Justice Clinic and its work at the link in our bio. 
@marienercessian @scarlett_zhou98 @acha_updates

#CornellLawSchool #CornellLawClinics
Wishing our Cornell Law School community a Happy Thanksgiving!🍂🥧 #HappyThanksgiving #CornellLawSchool
“In just a few short months, my classmates and I have impacted real lives. We’ve helped veterans pursue the benefits they deserve and fought ‘bad paper’ discharges that have been hanging over their heads for years—sometimes decades. We owe it to our veterans to ensure they haven’t been forgotten.” 
Patrick George ’24, a founding member of the Veterans Law Practicum, reflects on the work he and his classmates have undertaken since the practicum launched in August. Now, they’re crowdfunding in the hope of making an even greater impact. Learn how you can support their efforts at the link in our bio! 

#CornellLawSchool #CornellLawClinics
Check out Lizzy Barrett's (pictured left) incredible journey from seeking help at Cornell Law School's Entrepreneurship Clinic to the successful release of her new film, "Divisible"! 🎥🌟 For more details on Lizzy's story, click the link in our bio! #CornellLawSchool #EntrepreneurshipClinic #FilmSuccess
Last Wednesday, Cornell Law alumni came together in New York City for the 91st annual Curia Society Dinner. The Curia Society was formed in the decade beginning in 1930, in response to discrimination against Jewish Cornell Law students. Since that time, the society continues to gather to uphold and celebrate its principles of inclusion.

We were thrilled to welcome Beth Van Schaack, Ambassador-At-Large for Global Criminal Justice, Office of Global Criminal Justice, U.S. Department of State (pictured right with Jens David Ohlin, Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law, center, and Neil Getnick, AB ’75, JD ’78), who discussed the U.S. Government's approach towards accountability for the war crimes and other atrocities being committed in connection with Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, and the events unfolding in the Middle East.

Thank you to all who participated in this important discussion! Learn more about the Curia Society at the link in our bio. #CornellLawSchool
Congratulations to students in the Labor Law Clinic for winning their recent arbitration! 
Hearty congratulations to Cole Quigley ’25 who handled the hearing, pictured here at right with Professor Angela Cornell and the two clients; and Jack Ligon ’24, Robb Ridgely ’25, and Malcolm Drenttel ’25, who helped draft the post-arbitration brief. Jason Steuerwald ’23 also moved the case forward.  Learn more about the Labor Law Clinic by visiting the link in our bio! 

@robb_ridgley @colequigley @jackligon
On November 3, students and faculty from our First Amendment Clinic traveled to New York City for a newsroom visit at NBCUniversal. Students met with several NBC executives to learn more about the intersection of journalism and media law. 

Thank you to our host Alex Ziccardi ’12, vice president, legal, at NBCUniversal Media, LLC, (pictured center), for organizing this fantastic event, and to the leaders who shared their expertise: General Counsel Gail Gove; “Letters from Sing Sing” podcast producer/reporter Dan Slepian and subject JJ Velazquez; Executive VP of Worldwide Newsgathering David Verdi; podcast writer/producer Preeti Varathan; and retired SVP of Legal David Sternlicht. Learn more about the First Amendment Clinic at the link in our bio!
Cheers to Cameron Misner '24 and Jack Ligon '24, champions of this year's 2023 Cuccia Cup at Cornell Law School! Their victory showcases the remarkable sense of community that defines our institution. 👏🏆 To find out more about the 2023 Cuccia Cup, click the link in our bio! #CornellLawSchool
Today and every day, we salute the honor, courage, and bravery of our veterans. Happy Veteran’s Day and our sincerest thanks to all who have served. 
To learn more about how Cornell Law students and faculty are making a positive impact on our local veterans' community, visit the link in our bio!
Congratulations to Cornell Law School's Pro Bono Reentry Legal Assistance program for being honored at the 13th annual Town-Gown Awards! 🎉 To find out more about this program and the awards ceremony, click the link in our bio! #CornellLawSchool
"When we talk with our veteran clients, there is a feeling of relief that there is something that can be done about what’s happened to them. They know that there is someone who will be there to walk them through it and give them direction and options.” – Daniel Imakyure ’24 (back row, second from left) 

This fall, the Veterans Law Practicum joined the more than 20 clinics and practicums that empower our students to start making a difference in their communities. 

Throughout the month of November, and today, as we observe Veterans Day, our entire law school community is joining forces to support this vital new clinic through a crowdfunding project. To join our efforts, visit the link in our bio.

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