Quality of Life

Key anchor institutions, a skilled workforce, eager entrepreneurs, access to capital and space to grow – all are critical to economic vitality. But it’s that special Ithaca vibe that drives our most successful enterprises.

Welcome to Ithaca, Where Innovation and Culture Converge!

Take back those hours you spend just getting from one place to another. Say “Hello” to a quality of life that makes you feel connected.

In Ithaca, you can build your business career and still spend time with your friends and family – know your neighbors; sample great restaurants; visit nearby wineries; enjoy a vibrant arts scene; expand your education and take time for yourself.

Located at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake in the middle of the Finger Lakes region of New York, Ithaca is one of the best small cities in America, the country’s “most enlightened city,” and one of Kiplinger’s top ten “Smart Cities,” Ithaca offers big city culture alongside small town community. With its great natural beauty and diverse, cosmopolitan, and highly educated workforce, the Ithaca area is an attractive and exciting place to invest, work and live.  

Add to the mix of pioneering local governments, a low crime rate, excellent schools, an innovative spirit and the kins of cultural riches that a great university and top-flight college attract, and you can come close to perfection. Below, you may view a snapshot of Tompkins County Community Profile and you may click here to download the full profile.

 Ithaca: Where Innovation & Culture Converge (published 2009) A brief overview of the quality of life in Ithaca


Attractions for All Ages. Tompkins County offers a wide range of attractions for children and adult interests. The County is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, beautiful parks and gorges, a lively restaurant scene, and a great selection of music and theatre. Some top attractions include:

Ithaca Farmers Market
Museum of the Earth
Cornell Botanic Gardens
Downtown Ithaca Summer Concerts
Greater Ithaca Art Trail
Kitchen Theatre Company
Cayuga Waterfront Trail
Cayuga Lake Wine Trail
The State Theatre
Hangar Theatre
Downtown Ithaca Commons

More Information 
More Ithaca Attractions
Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce


Tompkins County offers the best of small-town life with the cultural qualities of a larger metropolitan city. The higher education institutions attract great thought leaders from all over the world, offering opportunities to enrich the community.

Higher Education:

Public Schools (Primary and Secondary):

Private Schools (Primary and Secondary):

Natural Beauty

Bordering the City of Ithaca is Cayuga Lake, one of the largest of the Finger Lakes.  Cayuga Lake  and its tributaties have shaped life here in Ithaca. Rivulets and streams have carved dramatic gorges and beautiful waterfalls, inspiring the city’s catch phrase “Ithaca is Gorges.” Their testament to nature’s greatness greets us everyday, in local parks and in our own backyards.

The climate in Tompkins County provides a variety of outdoor activities ranging from boating, swimming, and hiking in the summer to cross county skiing and ice-skating in the winter.

Parks and Nature Areas: