I'll be spending about 24 hours in Ithaca and know that there are waterfalls there, but that's about it. What should I prioritize/do? What are the prettiest waterfalls for photography? Is there a local food we ought to try? Anything else special in the area?
I'll give you my master list.
Here are some of my favorite places:
Just a Taste Wine & Tapas Bar (116 N Aurora St) - wine & tapas bar on Aurora St, Downtown - great wine selection and good array of small plates - some of my favorites are the brussel sprouts with pecans and a cinnamon butter glaze, the mushrooms and the chicken wings. If full, Mercato Bar & Kitchen (108 N Aurora St) two doors down also has great food and wine, though a little pricier. Both open til 10pm.
Maxie's Supper Club (635 W State St) - great Cajun food and live music (though I'm not sure which nights) on State St, Downtown. Favorites include gumbo, cajun popcorn, shrimp and grits, fried chicken. Half price on seafood between 4-6. Open until midnight.
Bandwagon Brew Pub (114 N Cayuga St) - nice selection of beers brewed in house. Also food, but the two above and the burger places below have better. Cozy atmosphere. Downtown on Cayuga St. Open til 1 am.
The Haunt/Razorback BBQ (702 Willow Ave) - a little out of the way on Willow Ave, this BBQ place/music venue has character and live music. The food isn't superb, but if you're looking for more of a divey bar check it out.
Corks & More (708 W Buffalo St) - nice wine bar right on Cayuga Lake, where you can sample many wines and enjoy the water view. Eat before coming, as the food isn't amazing. Open til midnight.
Ithaca Ale House(111 N Aurora St) - good burgers on Aurora St, Downtown. Gets crowded on the weekends. Also brews beer in house, but less of a laid back atmosphere than Bandwagon.
Glenwood Pines(1213 Taughannock Blvd) - a divey burger place over looking the lake about 15 minutes away from Downtown Ithaca. If you're visiting Taughannock Falls or really craving burgers, it's worth a visit.
Cafe Dewitt (215 N Cayuga St) - my favorite brunch place in the basement of an old building. Local and organic food and hipster servers. Cash only. If you're looking for nicer atmosphere - though less unique - try Carriage House Cafe(305 Stewart Ave) near Collegetown.
Taughannock Falls (2221 Taughannock Rd) - highest waterfalls in the region. About a 15-20 minute drive from downtown. Beautiful views and choice of level or hilly walking.
Buttermilk Falls (112 E Buttermilk Falls Rd) - beautiful rock formations hiking between the gorge. The waterfall is less steep than Taughannock, but I think the hike is as pretty.
Robert H Treman State Park(105 Enfield Falls Rd) - completes the third major park with a waterfall in the region. Gorgeous views as well, though a bit marred for my because of the paved trails.
Ithaca Falls(end of Lake St) - high falls that you can get up close to in Downtown Ithaca, at the intersection of Falls St and University Ave.
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (114 Central Ave) - great free art museum at Cornell with panoramic views of Ithaca and the lake. Open until 5pm.
Cornell Cinema (114 Willard Straight Hall) - indie and foreign flicks on a small screen at Cornell. Cheap. If you go here and want to eat nearby Koko(321 College Ave) is a decent Korean place in Collegetown and Stella's Restaurant, Bar, and Cafe (403 College Ave) a nice bar/restaurant. Warning that all three will be packed with undergrads and parking may be a pain.
Cinemapolis (120 E Green St) - great indie, foreign, underground theater downtown - close walking if you eat at Just a Taste, Bandwagon, Ithaca Ale House or Mercato.
There's a mainstream theater out by the mall. (Regal Ithaca Mall Stadium 14 - 40 Catherwood Road) If you go out here, there's a good Italian place nearby called Ciao! (2 Hickory Hollow Lane) - looks like a chain, but isn't and has great thin pizza.
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