Live, Work, Play

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.  

If you’re searching for the ideal place to raise a family, enjoy the outdoors and arts scene, and broaden your horizons, look no further than Ithaca and Tompkins County.

Many move to Ithaca to get an education – both Cornell University and Ithaca College are here – but they stay because they are smart enough not to leave.” – Outside Magazine 


Living in Tompkins County

Ithaca and Tompkins County are located in the Finger Lakes Region of central New York; four hours from New York City, three hours from Buffalo and Niagara Falls, two hours from Rochester and four hours from Philadelphia.

Communities that grow and prosper, manage not only to retain their talented workforce, but also attract professionals and businesses to the area. Despite many areas of New York State and the US having relatively high unemployment rates, Tompkins County maintains a low unemployment rate; avoiding the swings other communities face due to financial downturns.

Our community continues to experience exciting growth and revitalization. With a variety of choices for restaurants, shopping, recreation, education and entertainment providing for unique and exciting opportunities, Tompkins County is a place where culture and connectivity converge and where  people of all ages, lifestyles and backgrounds choose to live and work.

In Ithaca, you can build your business career while still spending time with your friends and family, knowing your neighbors; sampling great restaurants; visiting nearby wineries; enjoying a vibrant arts scene; expanding your education and taking time for yourself.

Learn more about our community by visiting the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce or Visit Ithaca.

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Ithaca consistently ranks high on lists, but don’t just take our word for it. Consider this:

– Outside ranked Ithaca at #5 for Greatest Places to Live in America

– Ithaca ranks #8 in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine as Great Places to Live

– Ranked #10 on the Huffington Post for Best New York Art Spot, Not in NYC

– ranks Ithaca #1 for Smartest City

– MSN Real Estate News ranks Ithaca #4 for 10 Most Liveable Cities

– Forbes ranks Ithaca #7 for Best City for Job Growth


Downtown Ithaca serves as the city’s centerpiece and is currently undergoing a revival. One of the few outdoor malls left in America, Ithaca’s Downtown Commons with locally owned one of a kind specialty shops and numerous eateries, underwent a two year long repair and upgrade project, with a grand re-opening in 2015.

Throughout the year, Ithaca Downtown is also home to the Ithaca festival, harvest festivals, dance festivals and the chili cook-off.


Ithaca is a mecca for artists – both visual and performing and both locally and internationally known. Ithaca College and Cornell University supply terrific theatre, as do several local companies including the Kitchen Theatre and Hangar Theatre, combining local talent with big-city performers. The area’s rich culture and variety of events are available throughout all seasons of the year.

If you prefer learning about the natural world, check out the Sciencenter, the Museum of the Earth, Cayuga Nature Center, or Cornell’s Laboratory of Ornithology.

Local wineries, art galleries and museums provide something for everyone – which is why so many people return to Tompkins County year after year.

Ithaca Farmers’ Market

The well-known Ithaca Farmers’ Market has a permanent home on the waterfront of Cayuga Lake. Featuring over 150 vendors, the Market’s products are all made or grown within a 30-mile radius of Ithaca.

Health Care

Today, the Cayuga Medical Center (CMC) is a 204 bed state-of-the-art regional medical facility supplying the community with topflight diagnostic and treatment services; including a new, world-class radiation oncology center. CMC is committed to providing the highest quality healthcare and a strong economy in partnership with the community. They also have Convenient Care Campuses to provide outpatient surgical services and two VA clinics.

In addition, Ithaca also enjoys a large representation of alternative medicine practitioners, a new fitness and rehabilitation center, the Finger Lakes School of Massage, and nearby is the New York Chiropractic College.


Ithaca has been ranked one of the “10 Best Places to Retire” (US News Report, 2012) for the educational and cultural amenities of the area. Senior housing units range from independent apartments to skilled nursing care, including a beautiful Hospicare residence.

An active senior center aptly named Lifelong, and volunteer opportunities through the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, ensures our seniors remain a vital part of the community.

In 1995, Kendal at Ithaca became the first Continuing Care Retirement Community in New York State.