By Jennifer B. Brown
Ithaca
New York
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Ithaca is Gorges has been the city’s bumper sticker slogan for over 30 years, and with the lasting beauty of the physical landscape, hardly needs updating.  Ithaca, however, is so many more things. Ithaca is culture. Ithaca is dining. Ithaca is parks.  Ithaca is for everybody. 
   
Allow EscapeWizard.com to help you book your next vacation to the heart of the Finger Lakes.  Ithaca is easily reachable from 2 airports: Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport (SYR), as well as the Tompkins County Airport (ITH). One click puts you that much closer to your stay in Ithaca, NY, so book your flight today with EscapeWizard.com: just follow the link to make flight arrangements (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php). Also, when booking your hotel with EscapeWizard.com, please refer to our top selections of hotels in the Ithaca area for assistance with finding accommodations.  Then to book your hotel experience, click on this link to book today (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).

Regardless of which airport you arrive from, your descent into the valley where Ithaca lies will give you a taste of the scenery and sites awaiting you on your trip.  Your first stop should be the Ithaca Commons, a pedestrian mall home to shops, galleries, spas and restaurants, located in the heart of downtown.

Named one of the foodiest small towns in America by Bon Appétit Magazine, you’ll definitely want to grab something to eat at one of the local restaurants while on The Commons. You may even want to plan your trip around Gallery Night, the first Friday of every month, when Ithaca celebrates its many galleries and many artists with new shows, receptions and gallery openings across town.

Also across town, and up the hill, accessible by foot, car of bus, you’ll find Cornell University, home to arboretums, museums, stunning architecture and amazing views of the gorges, the lake and the city.

While Cornell is home to many museums and collections, the most famous of which is the Herbert F. Johnson Museum (fine arts), Escapewizard.com thinks you’d be remiss if you skipped a visit to Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology, located next to Sapsucker Woods, where guided bird watching tours are offered, or a visit to the Paleontological Research Institute/Museum of the Earth located on the Ithaca city limits.

The Museum of the Earth will give visitors an idea of how the lakes and gorges were created before you head out to explore the many State Parks located in or nearby Ithaca.  Whether it’s Buttermilk, Treman, or Taughannock Falls State Park, EscapeWizard.com suggests you visit at least one of the waterfalls in the area.  Ithaca Falls is located right in the city limits, whereas Buttermilk, Lucifer, and Taughannock Falls are located just a short drive from downtown.  Taughannock Falls, the largest sheer drop falls east of the Mississippi River, is the farthest from the city, but only about a ten minute scenic drive along Cayuga Lake.

Driving up the lake is a perfect way to check out the other main attraction of the area: the wineries.  EscapeWizard.com suggests spending at least a day touring one of the lakes and its wineries. Whether it’s Cayuga or Seneca Lake, the Finger Lakes wine region is home to award winning whites, notable reds, a distillery and a several micro-breweries.  And, if you like a little cheese with your wine, why not check out the newly dubbed “Cheese Trail,” over ten local creameries offering tours, and pairing options for the wines you may have picked up.

After your day of touring the local scenery, Ithaca offers plenty to do for your evening. Whether it’s enjoying performances that are part of the local festivals, or catching a show at one of the local theatres, there are plenty of options.  Two award winning professional theatres, the Hangar Theatre and the Kitchen Theatre offer plays year round; both Ithaca College and Cornell University offer award winning theatre and musical performances and the State Theatre, located in the heart of downtown, offers a refreshing mix of  musical, comedy and other touring performances.

EscapeWizard.com promises you that Ithaca’s got something for everyone and you’ll want to plan to give yourself time to enjoy all the city has to offer. Most sites in the city are accessible by foot, though there is public transportation as well as car rental available at the local airports. Let EscapeWizard.com help you plan your getaway to Ithaca today.
Hotels in Ithaca
By Jennifer B. Brown
Hotel Ithaca
222 South Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY
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The 10-story Hotel Ithaca (formally the Holiday Inn) Ithaca is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Ithaca, less than one block from The Commons. It’s also just a short drive from Route 13, which will bring you into town if you’ve arrived at Ithaca’s regional airport or if you’re coming from Syracuse’s Hancock International. You might want to catch the complimentary shuttle to and from the Tompkins County Airport as well.
   
With all the amenities you’ve come to expect from the Hotel Ithaca, Hotel Ithaca Ithaca offers all services of an upscale hotel with a smaller price tag. Check in is quick and easy at the front desk and the staff is eager to make your stay in Ithaca, and at the Hotel Ithaca, a pleasurable one.

Equipped with 177 guestrooms, including 3 suites, two of which are penthouse, you’re sure to find a room to meet your needs from single to double to king. Standard in room amenities include Wi-Fi access, televisions with on-demand movie access, ironing boards, and coffee makers. The hotel offers significantly more in the way of services though, including: on site laundry or dry cleaning pickup, concierge and room service, baby-sitting, and business services. 

The Hotel Ithaca Ithaca offers guests an inhouse dining option at Max’s Classic American Grill and Sports Bar, which offers a variety of burgers, sandwiches, and standard grill fare is open for both lunch and dinner, with the bar staying open an hour after the kitchen closes.  This downtown hotel is also conveniently located near many downtown eateries, coffee shops, and right across the street from the Finger Lakes Wine Center. 

While staying at the Hotel Ithaca Downtown Ithaca, you’ll also be able to keep up with your regular workouts by taking advantage of the on-site fitness center and indoor pool. Because of its location, you’ll also be able to take your fitness routine outdoors and enjoy nearby hiking and running trails.

With a full array of services, convenient location, on-site parking and a variety of guest room offerings, the Hotel Ithaca Ithaca is the perfect choice for travelers looking to stay in the heart of Ithaca. Just click on this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to book with EscapeWizard.com.
Hotels in Ithaca
By Abby Carney
Homewood Suites Hilton Ithaca Hotel
36 Cinema Drive, Ithaca, NY
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The Homewood Suites Hilton Ithaca Hotel is the only all-suite hotel in the city, located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region and just six minutes from the Tompkins Country Regional Airport (enjoy free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel). The hotel accommodates extended stay and short-term guests in the area to visit local attractions such as Cornell University & Ithaca College for the scholars, Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, Buttermilk Falls State Park, and Ithaca Falls for the nature lovers, Cayuga Wine Trail for the vino lovers, and Pyramid Mall for the shoppers. Check-in time is at 3 p.m., but if you plan to arrive earlier, baggage storage and luggage hold is available for your convenience.

What can you expect from your suite? A fully-equipped kitchen with a full size refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, two burner stove and dishwasher, two 32-inch flat screen televisions, complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access, two telephones with data ports and voicemail, and a custom-designed alarm clock/radio with MP3 player capabilities. There are choices a plenty as far as your accommodations are concerned. Stretch out in a 1 king 1 bedroom suite, 1 king bedroom studio, 2 queen 1 bedroom suite, 1 king/2 queen 2 bedroom/2 bath suite, and many more.

Outside your room, take advantage of the fitness center and sports court or the plethora of outdoor activities in the surrounding area like horseback riding, hunting, jet skiing, sailing, snow skiing, water skiing, windsurfing and hiking, and more. Or if relaxation is what you’re looking for, take it easy at the indoor pool and spa, grab a snack at the Suite Shop convenience store, and don’t even lift a finger for dinner, because Hilton Ithaca offers a complimentary grocery shopping service and a complimentary Welcome Home Reception on Monday-Thursday.

Mornings at the Hilton Ithaca are ushered in with a complimentary Suite Start hot breakfast and an easy check-out process at 12 p.m. Interest piqued? Find out more information and book your room at EscapeWizard.com (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).