Retire in Ithaca

Best Retirement City - Ithaca

See why many believe that Ithaca is the best city to retire

Ithaca is another city which is surrounded by natural beauty. Huge waterfalls, scenic views, and lush gorges has helped popularize the term "Ithaca is Gorges." The hiking (and biking) is seemingly endless, with trails to Ithaca Falls and Cascadilla Gorge being a few favorites. The presence of Cornell University and Ithaca College contribute greatly to the city's culture, and provide Ithaca with a youthful feel. Although New York is not very tax friendly, and the cost of living is higher than the national average, many retirees feel that the area's benefits outweigh the costs. Ithaca has a few unique neighborhoods, starting with Cayuga Heights. This residential neighborhood is close to downtown, and has a bit of an older population than some of the more "college" neighborhoods. West Hill is another great choice, with quiet streets, and excellent views of Lake Cayuga. For those looking for a more youthful setting, South Hill has many Ithaca college students living off campus, and adds a unique culture to the area. Click on the above tabs to learn more about what it's like to retire in Ithaca.

City Highlights

  1. Beautiful scenery
  2. Excellent hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities
  3. Many cultural offerings in part due to local colleges
  4. Highly educated
  5. Very walkable

Potential Drawbacks

  1. High cost of living
  2. Not tax friendly
  3. Low % of retirees 65+

At a glance



Median age:


Median Household Income:

$ 28,760

Nearest City with Population of 200k+:

Rochester, NY

Population Growth Last 3 Years




Age Breakdown (%)

  • 55 and under
  • 55 to 64 years
  • 65 to 74 years
  • Over 75

Gender breakdown over 65 years (%)

  • Men
  • Women


Closest Airport:

Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport

Distance to Closest Airport:


Closest Major Airport:

Syracuse Hancock International Airport

Distance to Closest Major Airport:


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