In the heart of the Finger Lakes, an adventure awaits every type of traveler. Dubbed "Napa East," the region is famous for its award-winning wine country, culinary treasures and vibrant farming community, art and music, and the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding lakes, waterfalls, gorges and parks.
During your stay, you can indulge in the amenities offered on the grounds of Firelight Camps and La Tourelle Resort and Spa, explore Downtown Ithaca (Gateway to the Finger Lakes), or journey to neighboring towns and lakes. To get you started, we've provided links and descriptions for some of our friends and favorite locations to help you make the most of your stay in the Finger Lakes.
Download AskPearl app on your phone for current events in the area. We've also included a calendar below for events and activities at Firelight Camps.
Cafes and Restaurants
One of the easiest ways to sample a variety of Ithaca's culinary offerings is through a walking food tour with Ithaca is Foodies Culinary Tours. Ithaca is Foodies offers guided walking tours of Ithaca's unique restaurants which satisfy your appetite for inventive and delicious food while giving you a taste for our town's history, culture, and architecture. Visit www.ithacaisfoodies.com to book a private tour for your group, or join a pre-scheduled tour and mingle with locals and other visitors.
John Thomas Steakhouse: Quaint, charming, traditional steakhouse located a few minutes walk from your tent.
Dolce Delight: Our closest cafe, featuring freshly-baked, gorgeous pastries and treats, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, smoothies and more.
Agava: southwest-inspired, farm-to-table food with an impressive tequila menu, fun atmosphere and salsa dancing nights.
Le Cafe Cent-Dix: One of Ithaca's best restaurants, serving cutting-edge, gourmet French cuisine complimented by a carefully curated wine menu.
Gimme! Coffee: Outstanding, co-friendly, fair-trade coffee in Ithaca, with a chill shop vibe for reading or coffee-on-the-go.
Maxie's Supper Club: New Orlean's style eatery and oyster bar. Live music on Tuesday nights.
Ithaca Bakery: One of Ithaca's longest-standing eateries with an extensive selection of sandwiches, prepared foods, breads, bagels and pastries.
Northstar Public House: Comfortable, farm-to-table, neighborhood gastropub with a craft beer menu, creative cocktails and gluten-free / vegan options.
Purity Ice Cream & Pancakes: Home of the original Ice Cream Sundae, you'll find classic and creative ice cream flavors daily and a full brunch menu on the weekends. Don't forget to try a slice of pie!
Stonecat Café: Located in the heart of Seneca Lake wine country, this restaurant serves sensational, seasonally-inspired dishes made from scratch, with impressive views from the back patio.
Hazelnut Kitchen: One of the region's best restaurants, serving creative, mouthwatering, farm-to-table food in a comfortable but elegant setting.
Ithaca Beer Company: Fresh pub-style food and flights of the best beer in town, set on a sprawling farm with outdoor games and an on-site kitchen garden. Brewery tours available.
Just a Taste: One of Ithaca's longest-standing restaurants serving seasonal tapas and wine flights.
Saigon Kitchen: Family owned Vietnamese restaurant serving fresh, authentic cuisine. BYO.
FARMERS MARKETS AND GROCERIES
Ithaca Farmers Market: Set on the top of Cayuga Lake, this is one of the country's most iconic farmers markets, offering fresh produce, prepared foods, arts and crafts produced within 30 miles of the market.
Trumansburg Farmers Market: A lively market in Trumansburg's central square, with live music and an array of fresh produce and other locally-produced foods.
Dewitt Park Farmers Market: A smaller version of the Ithaca Farmers Market, located in downtown Dewitt Park on Tuesdays from 9 AM to 2 PM. A great place for lunch.
The Piggery: Family-owned, farm-to-table butcher shop serving an array of cuts (including hamburgers and pig dogs) and charcuterie. The market also has farm-to-table staples such as milk, eggs, cheese, veggies, buns, condiments and more - making it a one-stop shop.
Greenstar Natural Foods Coop: Natural health food store with everything you need.
Cellar D'or: Wine and cider shop on the Ithaca Commons, specializing in small-batch products.
Wineries, Cideries, distilleries and other "spirit"ed adventures
One of the best way to experience that fabulous artisanal beverages of the Finger Lakes is to tour with one of our favorite tourism partners: Experience! The Finger Lakes offers experiential guided tasting tours to the area's premier wineries, with planned itineraries that allow guests to learn first-hand what makes the Finger Lakes one of the most popular wine regions in the country. Visit experiencefingerlakes.com to book a sightseeing tour, a wine-tasting tour, or a culinary tour; plan a trip with your own group, or join a pre-scheduled tour; enjoy the sights and flavors of the Finger Lakes with a sophisticated, professional, local-owned tour company.
If you are more of an independent explorer, here is a list of some of our favorite producers in the region:
Finger Lakes NON-Wine Trail: A complete guide to each lake's virgin, craft beverages.
Finger Lakes Cider House: Located on The Good Life Farm, a biodynamic farm and orchard operated with draft horses. The cider house has a stunning view of Cayuga Lake, and offers a taste of the regions best ciders with small bites to satisfy your hunger.
Cayuga Lake Wine Trail: Your one-stop shop for mapping your route to Cayuga Lake based wineries.
Ports of New York: Don't miss a visit to this historic building in downtown Ithaca to try French winemaker, Frédéric Bouche's award-winning ports.
Finger Lakes Distilling: Stop in to this beautiful distillery for a flight of locally-made whiskeys.
Meyers Farm Distillers: Alongside whiskey, this distillery offers unique spirits like Cayuga Gold, whiskey-barrel aged gin.
Silver Thread Winery: A picturesque vineyard on Seneca Lake with some of the "Banana Belt's" best wines. The owners, a young couple, are both educators and love to share their insights with curious wine tourists.
Standing Stone Vineyards: Visitors will find some of the best red wines in the region at Standing Stone, and have the unique opportunity to try a barrel tasting.
Hector Wine Company: Not only are the wines incredibly good, the vibe is always grooving. The tasting room at this family-owned winery is often managed by the knowledgeable millennial generation, with good tunes to accompany a flight of wine. Look out for their Forge wines, a collaboration with a renowned French winemaker.
Damiani Wine Cellars: Offering one of the best views of Seneca Lake, the wines are luxurious and the craft chocolate pairings an extra treat.
the great outdoors
Wild Foraging Hike: Book a 90-minute guided hike in Buttermilk Falls State Park, the backyard playground of Firelight Camps! Local foraging fanatic, Sarah Kelsen, will take you on a hands-on adventure where you'll learn to identify a variety of wild Northeastern plants while maintaining the diverse ecosystem.
Go Finger Lakes is your complete, user-friendly guide to the best spots for hiking, biking, paddling, and outdoor recreation across our 6,000-square-mile area, including trail maps, pictures, descriptions and more.
Buttermilk Falls State Park: Miles and miles of beautiful trails wind through the woods at these two interconnected parks. Upper Buttermilk is accessible from Firelight, but make sure you get all the way down to the swimming hole and waterfall at Lower Buttermilk.
Cayuga Waterfront Trail: A paved 2 mile walk, run, skate, or stroll - perfect for people of all ages. While you're there, visit the children's garden or the dog park, play tennis, swim, roller skate, or just sit and watch the lake. It's a perfect place to relax!
Taughannock Falls has everything you are looking for in a Finger Lakes adventure! From long steep hikes to short flat hikes, this state park has a little of everything. After you enjoy the woods and waterfalls, head across the street and play on the beautiful lakefront beach.
Sapsucker Woods and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology are among the biggest attractions in the area. Take a birdwatching hike in the woods or learn more about the research going on at this world-renowned facility.
Treman State Park offers beautiful waterfalls, steep hikes, moderate hikes, and a natural swimming hole with a diving board.
Puddledockers: The best way to enjoy the lake is from the lake! Rent a kayak, canoe, or SUP and make your own adventure. [insider tip - go early on Saturday or Sunday morning and you can kayak to the Farmers Market!]
HEALTH & WELLNESS
August Moon Spa: Guests at Firelight are just a few steps away from a serene and relaxing getaway at the area's top spa. Choose from a variety of luxurious therapies and aesthetic treatments.
Vahana Yoga & Eco-Tours: Choose from a range of offerings, including Adult Day Camps and Retreats, yoga classes and yoga hikes, some of which take place right at Firelight Camps.
AND SO MUCH MORE...!
Ithaca Commons: The center of Ithaca where you can shop, dine, visit art galleries, catch a movie, and relax. (insider tip: no matter where you eat, have dessert at Madeleine's.)
Johnson Museum: Have you been wondering about that sewing machine shaped building that is visible from all over town? It's a world class art museum!
The Kitchen Theater: Small, intimate performances make this theatre one of Ithaca's hot tickets.
Shakespeare In The Park: Ithaca Shakespeare Company performs at the arboretum at Cornell Plantations near the ponds and the sculpture garden. The productions are outstanding and the gardens are a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.
Science Center: Interactive, hands-on exhibits and programs for kids, including an outdoor playground and mini golf.
Hammerstone School: Carpentry classes and courses for women.
Ithaca Children's Garden: An interactive outdoor playspace and children's garden unlike any playground you're children have experienced before.
still Looking for more ideas? Try these websites:
Fingerlakes.org: A directory of attractions in the Finger Lakes region including hiking trails, restaurants, museums, parks, wineries and breweries.
VisitIthaca.com: A list of similar attractions, but more focused on the Ithaca area
IthacaFork.com: A directory of restaurants, farms and markets, focused on giving you a taste of the local produce and cuisine.
Ithaca Times: Ithaca has an incredible arts and music scene, plus lots of unique events happening every week. Use this site to see what's going on during your visit