Waterfront and marina view of Ithaca NY

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

#88. Ithaca, NY

Waterfront and boats in Ithaca NY
iStock/DKart
Ithaca, NY
Quality of Life
Liv Score

601
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 68
Demographics 38
Economy 53
Education 71
Health 69
Housing 51
Infrastructure 46
Amenities 52

Why Ithaca is one of the best cities to live in

Live and learn. In Ithaca, NY, you can do both at the highest level. As home to Cornell University and Ithaca College, the community benefits from the educational and cultural advantages of having two highly ranked collegiate programs located within the city limits. Ithaca, which is part of New York’s Finger Lakes region, is situated along the southern shore of Cayuga Lake and is blessed with uncommon beauty. Surrounded by trees and water, there are 150 cascades in and around the city, including Ithaca Falls on the edge of downtown spanning 175 feet in width and 150 feet in height. All these attributes make Ithaca one of the best places to live in the U.S.

But wait, there’s more. Ithaca also enjoys excellent dining and shopping, strong health care and education systems, a high level of walkability, and a commitment to preserving its natural beauty by lowering the city’s carbon footprint. And if all that wasn’t enough, it’s also home to Circus Culture as one of a handful of places in the country where you can learn the fine art of circus performance, so if you’re feeling inclined to leave it all for the big top, Ithaca is the place to do it!

What are Ithacas major industries and employers?

Ithaca is a college town through and through, and jobs in higher education are industry heavyweights here. Other major employers include BorgWarner Morse TEC and Cayuga Medical Center. 

What are the major colleges and universities in Ithaca?

Cornell University & Ithaca College

What is the weather like in Ithaca? 

With all that water, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Ithaca can be pretty wet, with an annual rainfall of just over 37 inches and snowfall of 65 inches. January is the coldest (highs average 31 degrees and lows average 15 degrees) and snowiest (18 inches) month. Come May, residents get their revenge with mild weather that lasts through October.

What is there to do outside in Ithaca?

Less than 3 miles from downtown, Buttermilk Falls State Park offers more than 800 acres of natural playground with its namesake cascade, a small lake, woodland hiking trails, camping, picnic areas, playing fields, a natural pool and a wetland area with nature trails.

Ithaca, NY is Remote-Ready

What makes Ithaca a great place for remote workers?

Most of Ithaca’s residents rent their homes due to higher home costs and lower rent costs. 100% of Ithaca residents have access to high-speed internet at a reasonable price. The city’s average age is fairly young, and the crime rates are relatively low. Although there are no specific incentives for remote workers, there are plenty of coworking spaces, i.e., Foundry Ithaca and The Common Spot, as well as laptop-friendly bars and cafes.

What Locals Love in Ithaca, NY

What is the best local bookstore in Ithaca?

You know that warm, cozy feeling when you settle into your favorite spot with a good book? That’s how Odyssey Bookstore feels the minute you walk through the door. Warm lighting reveals carefully curated shelves with thousands of titles, including special sections highlighting local authors and history.

How do you spend a weekend in Ithaca? 

Enjoy an authentic farm-to-fork experience at the Ithaca Farmers Market, which has been recognized as one of the must-visit markets in the nation. Held at the pavilion at Steamboat Landing from April through mid-December, the market features farmers, chefs and artisans all from within a 30-mile radius of Ithaca.

What can you do for free in Ithaca?

Soak in the beauty of art and architecture at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, which is housed in an I. M. Pei building with panoramic views. The art collection includes more than 40,000 pieces, including works by Rembrandt, Whistler, Manet and Matisse.

Whats the best way to spend happy hour in Ithaca?

With beer, bubbles, cider, “boozy sippers” and wine, The Watershed features a great selection of beverages for cocktails (or mocktails) and conversation. 

Whats something only locals know about Ithaca?

With a climate similar to Germany’s famous wine-making Rhine Valley, Ithaca has also successfully cultivated cool-climate grapes. Today, the region is home to 25 wineries, including Six Mile Creek Vineyard and Ports of New York Winery.

Thinking of Moving to Ithaca, New York?

You’ll find listings of Ithaca homes for sale as well as all of New York real estate on eXp Realty and you can refine your search. These top-rated real estate agents in Ithaca are local eXperts and are ready to answer your questions about the best new neighborhoods.

Quick Facts About Ithaca, NY

Average Commute
15.4
Median Home Value
$294,880
Med. Household Income
$38,019
Total Population
30,715
Median Property Tax
$7,553

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