Ithaca, NY: A Jewel in Upstate New York

Published Date Author: , September 29th, 2013

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By Robert Saldarini, for Diversity Rules Magazine
www.diversityrulesmagazine.com

As we pack away the beach balls and pails, let’s turn our attention to some autumn adventures. September is a great time for a weekend in Finger Lake region; especially, the town of Ithaca. This ‘Cornell Community’ has been LGBT friendly for decades and the natural beauty of the region is extraordinary. As a college-town, Ithaca is an easy commute by many means – even by bus.

The expression, “Ithaca is Gorges,” is by no means shy of the truth. Visitors find the trails, the waterfalls (there are over 100-waterfalls in this region of New York), and views to be breathtaking. September may offer some warm temperatures. So, if the weather prediction is a hot late summer’s day, you might want to plan a water adventure on Cayuga Lake. Another appealing activity centers on exploring the wineries along the Cayuga Wine Trail.  If you wish to do a wine tour in a grand way, companies like Finger Lakes Winery Tours can provide a limo and driver to take you about.

If you are in Ithaca on September 7, cheer on the cyclists at the 15th Annual AIDS Ride for Life (Stewart Park).  Should you have the flea market bug, do not miss the September 15, “Found Flea” (Cherry Street) that hosts 50-dealers selling an unimaginable array of vintage and unique items. On Friday night, September 20, join the Cornell crew for its 2013 Homecoming (Schoellkoph Field) by attending the University’s annual Fireworks Laser Light Show Spectacular.

Lodging in Ithaca can be found to fit almost any budget. Although there are no excusive LGBT hotels or inns, The William Henry Miller Inn (North Aurora Street) is both friendly and beautiful; whereas, a guest room can be had for less than $200 a night. If you are traveling with a hound, the Inn is ‘dog friendly’ and can accommodate your pup as long as you prepare ahead. Conserving financial resources can make always make a Super 8 (South Meadow Street) attractive.

Eateries abound in Ithaca as the area hosts more restaurants per capita than New York City. Most vegetarians own one or more Moosewoods’ cookbooks. Ithaca is home to the internationally known Moosewood Restaurant (Cayuga Street). Even meat-eaters usually find an excellent dining alternative from the menu’s non-meat options. Interestingly, Ithaca holds the title of being “the Official Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae.” Therefore, regardless of where you eat, skip dessert at the restaurant and head over to Sweet Melissa’s Ice Cream Shop (West Seneca). Melissa’s is unique and caters to most everyone’s sweet tooth. The Shop’s diversity is impressive as they even serve ice cream made from coconut milk for our Vegan friends.

Ithaca does not have an exclusive LGBT bar scene. Now that Common Grounds closed to become the more mixed Oasis Dance Club (Danby Road), a relaxed atmosphere may be found at Felicia’s Atomic Lounge (West State Street). Felicia’s is a bit trendy and known mostly for its unique martinis and infusions. You may want to consider one of their Farmer’s Market Cocktails.  If you arrive early on a Friday, think about going to Silky Jones (East State Street) to grab a drink during Happy Hour which goes until 8PM.

Get outside and enjoy while making some early autumn memories in Ithaca; truly, the region is a jewel of New York State. As always, make reservations to avoid any disappointments.

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