#10 Ithaca, New York
When the cold and snow are gone, the Finger Lakes region comes alive. In the summer enjoy fresh produce, new wines, beautiful gorges to hike around. Ithaca stands out for being a pedestrian-friendly college town full of eclectic shops and high-quality restaurants and makes the perfect home base from which to explore this region.
Enjoy a meal at the famed Moosewood Restaurant (www.moosewoodcooks.com) or head to the Farmer’s Market (www.ithacamarket.com) by the lake for a mix of local produce and delicious prepared foods (which make a great picnic if you’re out hiking!). There’s swimming in Cayuga Lake, along with sailboat, kayak and canoe rentals. Stewart Park and Cass Park both offer spectacular views of the lake and plenty of opportunity to enjoy a summer sunset.
Ithaca’s famous gorges are not to be missed. The most popular hikes are to Buttermilk Falls, Taughannock Falls, and the magnificent Treman State Park. You can only access these trails from April until November due to icy winter conditions so enjoy them in the summer, especially on a hot day as the big trees offer plenty of shade and there’s lots of swimming!