Neighborhood Descriptions

BELLE SHERMAN— Residential area south of campus (1 - 2 miles)
Located just east of Collegetown, this residential area with a few apartment complexes tends to be quieter, and the services of East Hill Plaza, Judd Falls Plaza, and Collegetown are all within walking distance. (A 15-minute level walk to campus.)

CAYUGA HEIGHTS  Residential area north of campus (1 - 4 miles)
Both neighborhoods border the Cornell campus to the north. Cornell Heights contains some apartment buildings and apartments within houses. It is also home to many fraternities and sororities, so residents are at times subjected to music and parties.

Cayuga Heights is a peaceful residential area where many faculty live. Cayuga Heights has a few apartment complexes and rooms/apartments within houses. Walkable shopping areas and other conveniences are somewhat limited. (Up to a 30-minute level walk to campus.)

COLLEGETOWN — Concentration of student housing within a residential community (0.1 - .5 miles)
Abutting the southwest end of the Cornell campus, Collegetown is akin to a miniature city featuring shopping, restaurants, and other services. This convenient location is very popular with students (mostly undergraduate), which increases rent, noise, and congestion. Living in the lower Collegetown area provides good exercise because you'll have to walk uphill to campus; you'll also be close to downtown's shops and restaurants. Luxury/average apartment complexes, multiple unit houses, and room rentals prevail in this area. (Up to a 15-minute walk to campus.)

DOWNTOWN — Mostly residential, some businesses (0.5 - 1.5 miles)
These residential neighborhoods are located at the base of East Hill, literally down in elevation from campus. They are within walking distance to shopping, parks, and other city services. Many graduate students prefer this area for its lower rents and city neighborhood feel. Most of the units are subdivided houses, single-unit houses, and apartments over shops. Bus service is frequent in this area. (A 20 to 30-minute uphill walk to campus.)

EAST HILL — Residential community south of campus (0.75 - 2 miles)
Located just east of Collegetown, this residential area with a few apartment complexes tends to be quieter, and the services of East Hill Plaza, Judd Falls Plaza, and Collegetown are all within walking distance. (A 15-minute level walk to campus.)

FALL CREEK — Residential area west of campus (0.5 - 1 miles)
These residential neighborhoods are located at the base of East Hill, literally down in elevation from campus. They are within walking distance to shopping, parks, and other city services. Many graduate students prefer this area for its lower rents and city neighborhood feel. Most of the units are subdivided houses, single-unit houses, and apartments over shops. Bus service is frequent in this area. (A 20 to 30-minute uphill walk to campus.)

LANSING — Growing community north of Ithaca (5 - 10 miles)
North of Cayuga Heights, this suburban area includes varied large and small apartment complexes, residential neighborhoods, and retail areas (Pyramid Mall, Triphammer Mall, and Cayuga Mall). Somewhat remote from campus, this area also tends to be less expensive. Bus lines run regularly. (Lengthy, level walk to campus; bus or car recommended.)

NORTHEAST — Mostly residential area (4 miles)
North of Cayuga Heights, this suburban area includes varied large and small apartment complexes, residential neighborhoods, and retail areas (Pyramid Mall, Triphammer Mall, and Cayuga Mall). Somewhat remote from campus, this area also tends to be less expensive. Bus lines run regularly. (Lengthy, level walk to campus; bus or car recommended.)

SOUTH HILL — Mostly residential with a concentration of student housing (1.5 - 3 miles)
South Hill is home to Ithaca College (IC), and IC students inhabit many of its apartment complexes. Although less convenient for Cornell students without cars because of its distance to campus, some graduate students choose to live here and walk to downtown Ithaca, then take public transportation to campus. (A 15-minute downhill walk to downtown.)

THE COMMONS — Commercial district with apartments (1 mile)
These residential neighborhoods are located at the base of East Hill, literally down in elevation from campus. They are within walking distance to shopping, parks, and other city services. Many graduate students prefer this area for its lower rents and city neighborhood feel. Most of the units are subdivided houses, single-unit houses, and apartments over shops. Bus service is frequent in this area. (A 20 to 30-minute uphill walk to campus.)

WEST SIDE OF LAKE — Rural area on northwest side of Ithaca along lake (4 miles)
Although living on the lake has obvious aesthetic and warm-weather benefits, these are inconvenient residential areas for Cornell students. Rent does tend to be less costly here, however. Be aware that units advertised as "cottages" are probably not insulated; "houses" probably are. Winter heating bills can be astronomical, so check with New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG, (800) 572-1111) for average yearly heating bills.