North America, USA, New York State, Tompkins County, Ithaca

Look out point on the Cayuga Lake inlet

HOME TO CORNELL UNIVERSITY AND ITHACA COLLEGE in the central Finger Lakes Region of New York State, Tompkins County and Ithaca exemplify a small-town atmosphere, while showcasing the qualities of a larger metropolitan city. The Finger Lakes Region is made up of 14 counties that occupy 9,000 square miles of the state. Tompkins County measures 476 square miles. Ithaca sits at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, the longest of the 11 Finger Lakes.  By car it is just four hours from New York City, one hour from Syracuse, two hours from Rochester, and four hours from Philadelphia, PA.

The climate of Tompkins County provides for a variety of outdoor activities ranging from boating, swimming and hiking in summer, to cross-country skiing and ice-skating in winter. “Ithaca is Gorges” has become the indelible adage that aptly describes the Ithaca area, which has been blessed with deep cut gorges and spectacular waterfalls. Ithaca and Tompkins County are more than just great places to live and work, they’re exciting travel destinations.

Nearly 500,000 people visit the area annually and their choices for town charm meets Ivy League sophistication amid a backdrop of breathtaking gorges, towering waterfalls, outstanding recreation and world-class thinking.  The area’s rich culture, fine lodging and abundance of top-quality restaurants make it an ideal base for any Finger Lakes getaway.

01 Ithaca Falls

Ithaca Falls

Specialized shopping and restaurants provide a unique and exciting variety for all tastes and ages. The state parks and many lakes offer the best in fishing, hunting, swimming and boating. Local wineries, art galleries and museums provide something for everyone – which is why so many people return to Tompkins County year after year


  • Land area – 476.1 square miles
  • Persons per square mile – 213 (2000 census)
  • Connecticut Hill – Highest point in Tompkins County (2,099 ft. above sea level)
  • Cayuga Lake – Lowest point in Tompkins County (382 ft. above sea level)
  • Average high temperature in January – 31 degrees F.
  • Average high temperature in July – 80 degrees F.
  • Average yearly rainfall – 36.7 inches
  • Average yearly snowfall – 68.2 inches

Source: Northeast Regional Climate Center