The Best Things to Do on Cayuga Lake

Cayuga Lake is one of the beautiful Finger Lakes near Ithaca. Because it's so close to our properties, we highly recommend visiting some of the attractions that lie on the shores of Cayuga, or hopping in the water yourself.

Not sure where to start? Not to worry! We've reviewed some of the most popular attractions to set you on the right path.

Ithaca Trails

Speaking of paths, hiking trails are one of the most sought after activities near Cayuga Lake, and with good reason. While none of the hikes will be mind-numbingly intense, many of them offer the perfect blend of exercise, gorgeous scenery, and local wildlife. Most of the hikes will be around 3 miles long at most.

Check out the ones in Taughannock Falls State Park and Long Point State Park if you want people around you throughout the journey. If you'd prefer a quiet, isolated venture through the woods, there are plenty of independent hikes that will provide a quieter experience to you.

Lighthouse Point

Perhaps the most fascinating trail in the area, Lighthouse Point is 1 mile round-trip, but offers a spectacular view of the lake and its inlet. Just find the Newman Municipal Golf Course—the walking trail will be on the western side of it, and is pretty easy to find.
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Cayuga Lake Boat Tours

Adventurers who'd rather travel through the water instead of around it should go on one of public tours of the lake, or rent a private charter for a customizable excursion.

Public Tours

The Public Cruise options will have you board a 70-passenger boat and sail off on the Cayuga. Cruises typically last an hour and a half. You'll be taught about the local wildlife and ecosystems that thrive in the Finger Lakes of New York. Sunset Cruises are also an option for guests wanting to add a bit of romantic flair to the cruise.

Private Charters

If you're hoping for a more secluded and special adventure, spend the extra money for a private charter. It can be a fabulous way to spend special events like rehearsal dinners, birthdays, and anniversaries. You're free to chat with the crew about the lake, or you can bring your own festivities for your own special occasion.

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Cayuga Nature Center

Address: 1420 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, NY
Hours: 10AM - 5PM (Open Memorial Day - Labor Day)

Do you love the outdoors, but want a more structured experience? Come to the Cayuga Nature Center, a trailblazers paradise. Learn about the many creatures that wander the woods. You can meet some of the animals the experts at the Nature Center have helped heal like Oakley the Great Horned Owl, or Daisy the Red Fox.

Popular exhibits here include the Layers of Life Exhibit, a look at Cayuga Lake's History, and the impacts of Climate Change in Central New York.

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Cayuga Lake Fishing

Freshwater fishing is abundant on Cayuga Lake. Rainbow Trout love to gather in the center of the lake and in some of the inlets, making for ample angling adventures. Are you intrigued with the idea of spending a day with your pole in the water with nothing but the sounds of nature to keep you company? Learn how to prepare for a Cayuga Fishing Trip here.

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Hangar Theatre

Address: 801 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, NY

Exhausted from all the outdoor activities going on? Catch a show at the local Hangar Theatre afterwards. It's one of the best music and theater scenes in Ithaca, with local talent showing off their skills. Check out showtimes and see what you may be able to watch.

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We hope that you enjoyed our guide! We know that Ithaca can be overwhelming with the variety of attractions to choose from, but we hope to guide you through the process.