Ithaca is a city and college town in the Finger Lakes region of New York, United States. It is the seat of Tompkins County, as well as the largest community in the Ithaca–Tompkins County metropolitan area. This area contains the municipalities of the Town of Ithaca, the village of Cayuga Heights, and other towns and villages in Tompkins County. The city of Ithaca is located on the southern shore of Cayuga Lake, in Central New York, about 45 miles south-west of Syracuse. It is named after the Greek island of Ithaca. Additionally, Ithaca is located 124 miles southeast of Buffalo, 247 miles southeast of Toronto, 223 miles northwest of New York City, 230 miles from Philadelphia, 350 miles from Cleveland, 360 miles from Boston, and 325 miles from Washington, D.C.
Ithaca is home to Cornell University, an Ivy League school of over 20,000 students, most of whom study at its local campus. In addition, Ithaca College is a private, nonsectarian, liberal arts college of over 7,000 students, located just south of the city in the Town of Ithaca, adding to the area's "college town" atmosphere. Nearby is Tompkins Cortland Community College.