ITHACA, N.Y. – Ithaca has achieved a perhaps exciting, definitely surprising accolade: it is one of the 21 most scenic East Coast cities, according to Expedia. No, Ithaca does not boast ocean views or salt water beaches. The shores of the Atlantic are four hours away on a good day. Nevertheless, we beat out countless beachside destinations for the honor.

“Feast your eyes on the natural wonders of one of the must-see places on the East Coast,” the entry about Ithaca begins. You might have to squint, standing more than 200 miles away on the shore.

The description notes the “sublime waterfalls” at Taughannock Falls State Park, in Ulysses, and Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca.

“In the winter, the sublime waterfalls at Taughannock Falls State Park freeze around the icy gorges, but in autumn the changing leaves in Robert H. Treman State Park steal the spotlight,” the description says.

“With the onset of spring and summer, the vineyards along scenic Cayuga Lake Wine Trail deserve your utmost admiration,” it goes on. We concur, when you’re not heading out of town to the beach.

The list’s author, Chloe Mulliner, explained via email that all cities in states along the East Coast were in the running. “Although Ithaca does not specifically sit on the coast, the picturesque destination is in New York, which is an East Coast state known for being easy on the eyes.”

Buffalo is surely grateful for the compliment by association. Killington, Vermont, which came in at number five on the list, could not be reached for comment; it’s busy looking for Vermont’s coast.

East Coast scenery is not Ithaca’s first claim to unearned fame.

Outside Magazine memorably named Ithaca one of the top 10 river towns in America. “Ithaca isn’t your classic river town,” their review began. Indeed it is not, what with its lack of a river.

Ithaca is among the top 50 most underrated cities to visit, according to Thrillist. This accolade is listed six entries into a list of 99 “best of…” rankings on Visit Ithaca.

Jokes aside, the city has much to recommend it as a tourist destination and place to live. Its coastal scenery is just one selling point.

Featured image: Robert H. Treman State Park by Jacob Mroczek/The Ithaca Voice

Devon Magliozzi

Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at or 607-391-0328.