Things to Do
Ithaca and Aurora
As the saying in the Finger Lakes goes, "Ithaca is GORGES!" It's because of the 150 waterfalls that flow across the town, funneling water through gorges carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago.
Visit the award-winning Downtown Ithaca Commons. A four-block pedestrian shopping area with over 100 unique shops, restaurants, street vendors & street entertainers; adjacent to Cornell University and Ithaca College. There are year-round events and festivals.
Even though you could spend a whole day in Ithaca, you might want to take a 20-minute drive up the lake to the village of Aurora, where you can dine overlooking Cayuga Lake at the famous Aurora Inn. Originally named Aurora House, the Aurora Inn was built in 1833 by Colonel E. B. Morgan, a native of Aurora and original investor in The New York Times. By the mid-19th century, Aurora became a major stop on the Erie Canal for boats carrying agricultural products from area farmers to New York City. Henry Wells, of Wells Fargo stagecoach fame and the founder of American Express, established Wells College there in 1868.
Aurora is also home of Mackenzie-Childs, where you can see world famous, hand painted ceramic pottery and collectibles. On a tranquil Victorian farm overlooking Cayuga Lake, Mackenzie-Childs produces world-renowned majolica tableware, home furnishings, and more. Just one-mile north of the charming village of Aurora, New York, MacKenzie-Childs is a world away from the day-to-day. As you enter the winding brick driveway, you’ll know you are arriving at a very special place.
For more information on planning your day trip away contact:
Cayuga County Office of Tourism
Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau