Ithaca, New York

Committee City

Looklyloo Score: 85

View Full Profile


What's it like to live in Ithaca?

What is Ithaca like for non-college students?

There are plenty of people your age in this town- lots of graduate students, post-docs, and young professionals. You'll be fine. I moved here when I was 25 and had a great time.

One thing to keep in mind is that people move to this town/ Cornell temporarily- there is a big turnover in the population. People come for training/ jobs then move on to the next thing elsewhere. I've had several friends move away during my time here- it sucks but its just part of it.

There is a ton of great outdoorsy things here- and a wonderful freshwater lake that provides lot of entertainment in the summer. Great swimming holes, a ton of great restaurants for such a small town, lots of great music comes through as well. COVID has shaken things up, but it is slowly returning back to "normal"

What is Ithaca like for non-college students?

I stuck around town after college to keep playing in some local bands until my girlfriend-now-wife and I could get it together to move to a bigger city.

And we never did.

Through the music scene, we built a little extended family of musicians and creative people. I got a job at Cornell about four years ago that sealed the deal — enough stability to actually go to the doctor, get married, buy a house — but we just came to love the town and the community and the life we built. Lots of interesting, smart, fun people, and it’s a small town, so you get to know em. Lots of the downsides of a small town apply, too, and people will get on your nerves, and lord knows I was never a city boy to begin with, but Ithaca is home now and I love it. Just my two cents!

What is Ithaca like for non-college students?

Ithaca has a lot of great aspects but it can be hard to be in the mid 20’s here. But it all depends! We welcome you though with open arms!! There is a large group of 20-somethings, blending into 30-somethings. You can find them! Looking into gym cultures, colleges admin related, post docs, and the service industry there are groups and very cool amazing folks. You may get a beer served by a PhD and fulbrighter who fell in love with the area or go biking with an entrepreneur who decided—after living all over the world—to open their own clothing line here. One of the best summers of my life was meeting a group like this—eclectic, brilliant transplants and locals—after moving back to this community. The group seemed to span a good 15 years, and we all sort of clicked. It can happen! This too can be you!

On the other hand—what u/gogogergie mentioned, is that it can be quite transient. That can be hard, I suspect part of the reason locals are sometimes hard to get to know, is because of this reason as many do not know if the person who moves here will be here for a season only. I have had to say goodbye to lots of folks, it is difficult but part of life, no? The other hard thing is whether you are looking for a partner and how tied you are to dating and a “social” culture? This can be a refrain about Ithaca as they begin looking elsewhere to fill that void.

Your tastes are though definitely up your alley. This is an amazing place to live and be in the world. Namaste.

How do you like living in Ithaca?

Ithaca is one of the most beautiful “cities” you can find. I love it here. the beauty of campus and the waterfalls and gorges is amazing, while The sunsets are the best I’ve seen anywhere. As an undergrad, I’m kept busy, but I find that when I need it, there’s always something to do somewhere. That being said, I personally would not want to go to grad school here. I think it’s probably harder to meet and date people in Ithaca than in a big city, and, well, there’s just less to do than in a big city, even if, as I mentioned, I’ve personally never found that to be an issue. I’ve also never lived in a big city tho, so that’s part of the reason I wouldn’t want to live here in my mid 20s; if you’ve lived your whole life in the city, it might not be too bad, esp. since it’ll just be three years of your life.