The National Trust for Historic Preservation defines cultural heritage tourism as “travelling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes historic, cultural, and natural resources.”



Ithaca Heritage is the gateway to discovering the incredible local history and culture embedded in the landscapes of Tompkins County. This unique mosaic of a small cosmopolitan city, historic villages, and rural vistas houses a wealth of experiences and narratives waiting to be discovered.

We will help you uncover these stories of our past and present as we guide you on your heritage journey, integrating academic knowledge with local wisdom to peel back the hidden layers of experiences packed within this small geographic area. Join us and be captivated by the cultural, historic, and natural resources within Ithaca and the surrounding communities. We are here to show you how we make history every day.

Ithaca Heritage includes two main audiences: tourists and community members. We seek to be a place that highlights and tells the stories of all the county's citizens. By sharing stories and knowing each other, a strong community is developed that fosters attachment and a sense of place.

All things are engaged in writing their history. . . . Not a foot steps into the snow, or along the ground, but prints in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march. The ground is all memoranda and signatures; and every object covered over with hints. In nature, this self-registration is incessant, and the narrative is the print of seal.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson