Best Quiet Spot
The Cornell Botanic Gardens Cascadilla Gorge Trail connects downtown Ithaca with the Cornell Campus among one of the most picturesque gorges in the Finger Lakes Region and was voted Ithaca’s favorite gorge. And aside from the whoosh of the waterfall, it is quiet along the path.
What path? Ascending over 400 feet, this historic set of stone trails and staircases was originally constructed in the late 1920’s, and takes visitors through the gorge formed from ancient bedrock and past six waterfalls. At a leisurely pace, this 1/3-mile section of the trail takes less than an hour from the Treman Triangle Park in downtown to the upper entrance by the College Avenue Stone Arch Bridge. In Collegetown, the trail crosses College Avenue and the Goldwin Smith Walk continues to follow Cascadilla Creek for another half mile through a flat, wooded area that leads to two footbridges over scenic waterfalls. The lower gorge from Linn St to College Ave is closed during the winter months, but the gorge above College Ave is open year round.
Best College Hangout
tie: The Nines and Collegetown Bagels
Lindsey Brous Gitlin says, “We are so honored to be voted Best College Hangout! We have had the best customers for the past 40 years and we have loved every minute of it. It is truly our amazing staff and patrons that make CTB what it is. Thank you!”
Best Neighborhood Street
This makes sense to us. The Fall Creek neighborhood has been a consistent winner in past polls, and Utica Street is a nice quiet six-block residential street sandwiched between Tioga and Cayuga Streets.
Best Wilderness Area
Robert H. Treman State Park
Whenever we have first-time visitors from out of town, Robert H. Treman State Park is always on the itinerary.
Robert H. Treman State Park is an area of wild beauty, with the rugged gorge called Enfield Glen as its scenic highlight. Winding trails follow the gorge past 12 waterfalls, including the 115-foot Lucifer Falls, to where visitors can see a mile-and-a-half down the wooded gorge as it winds its way to the lower park. Campers can choose from tent or RV sites or cabins. Enjoy nine miles of hiking trails, or swim in a stream-fed pool beneath a waterfall. Swimming is allowed in lifeguarded area only.
Best FLX Day Trip
Seneca Lake Wineries
Take an afternoon to delve into the area’s culinary masterpieces, or check out the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. (2 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891 (607) 535-8080 | (877) 536-2717) If wine isn’t your favorite, Schuyler County has two micro-breweries that are always brewing up local favorites, as well as a brand new distillery that offers locally made spirits from locally grown ingredients.