Road Trippin': Ithaca

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Ithaca, NY (WRGB) – CBS 6’s morning team is hitting the road again this summer for our annual Road Trippin’ series. Each year we fuel up the tanks and leave the Capital Region in search of the best places to check out with family and friends. This week CBS 6 anchor Melissa Lee heads west to Ithaca.

Sometimes Mother Nature forgets it’s your turn to take a road trip, but Mother Nature won’t steer you wrong when water is exactly what you need.

On a rainy day, Taughannock Falls State Park Manager John VanValen exclaimed, “The liquid sunshine above us!”

From the Capital Region, it’s about a 200 mile drive, followed by a three quarter mile hike to the base of Taughannock Falls.

“Taughannock Falls 215 feet tall, highest falls east of the Rockies…right here in Trumansburg, 8 miles north of Ithaca,” explained VanValen.

VanValen said it’s sunny just about every single day.

“I get to see a little rain for a change – this is beautiful.”

So beautiful that more than half a million people visited the iconic waterfall last year.

VanValen added, “We have a mile and a half of rim trails, vistas along the way, 450 feet above the stream bed and vistas that look over at the falls.”

After a morning in the cold rain, students at Cornell University suggested warming up with a cup of coffee at Collegetown Bagels on College Avenue.

Cornell student Sasha Wooten said, “It’s kind of like the place to come in Ithaca…it’s so unique, the menu is wall-to-wall!”

About 12,000 bagels are made daily, according to Owner of Collegetown Bagels and Ithaca Bakery, Gregar Brous. The shop is open 20 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“You’d be surprised how many people come back to the same sandwich each time they come,” said Brous.

Locals and visitors say they love to refuel, study or just hang out at CTB.

“We like to have performances, we like to have entertainment and events out there, when the sun is out we add about a 100 seats on the patio and it dramatically changes the feel of the whole place,” added Brous.

Four miles up the road, the scenery changes to a lively taproom inside Ithaca Beer Company.

Director of Sales and Marketing Gregg Stacy said, “We make a number of beers here throughout the year, our biggest beer, our work horse is Flower Power – that’s our number 1 beer. It sells really well in the Albany area, it’s a big IPA, it’s the first West Coast IPA brewed on the East Coast.”

The East Coast, home to New York’s Finger Lakes region is what drew Stacy back to the area.

Stacy said, “We have a great location here, on a not rainy day it’s a great place to be outside, throw a Frisbee around, have a couple of beers.”

The selection of brews alone doesn’t keep people coming back, it’s the brewery’s farm-to-table restaurant that makes the location family-friendly.

“We have our own greenhouse, we grow about 70% of our own produce right on site – herbs, spices, a lot of our greens, we raise our own chickens, we have a fulltime farmer which not many breweries can claim,” added Stacy.

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