From up on Ithaca’s South Hill, no sunset ever looks anything less than picture perfect. Each sunset view is practically begging for a #nofilter Instagram post. Every night, the city’s lights illuminate everything right up to the shores of Cayuga Lake. During the day, you can see the lake extend into the horizon, and marvel at the towering campus of Cornell University on East Hill. Each season leaves its stamp across the landscape, ensuring that this stunning upstate vista never gets old. Welcome to Ithaca’s South Hill neighborhood!

Aside from the breathtaking views, perhaps the most attractive feature of the South Hill neighborhood is its walkability from the Commons. After just a 10 minute downhill stroll (give or take a few), you can treat yourself to a delicious brunch, a shopping outing, or a movie date!

Looking for your first off-campus house or apartment? South Hill’s location between Ithaca College and downtown makes it an ideal location for IC students in particular. Get some steps in as you walk up to class or walk down to a fun night on the town.

If your household includes children, there are several area schools in close proximity to South Hill, including Ithaca High School, Boynton Middle School, and South Hill Elementary. In fact, the elementary school is located right in the heart of the South Hill neighborhood on Hudson Street, so you could potentially walk your child to and from school whenever the weather cooperates!

Nestled in the South Hill neighborhood is the South Hill Recreation Way, the ideal trail for a family walk, jog or hike. Follow the trail to the Vincenzo Iacovelli Park where you can find all the ingredients for a fun-filled outing including a playground, a gazebo, picnic tables, and basketball hoops  The trail will also lead you to the Second Dam, home to one of Ithaca’s most beautiful gorges along Six Mile Creek..

Fun fact: The South Hill Recreation Way trails are mostly made from  the abandoned Cayuga and Susquehanna Railroad, which was used to bring coal from Pennsylvania to Ithaca back in the late 1800s.

Parallel to the South Hill Recreation Way is Giles Street; head down Giles Street towards the Commons to find the Columbia Street Pedestrian Bridge, your picturesque connection to East Hill. connecting you to East Hill while providing you with a picturesque look into the ravine below. Also in walking distance to the South Hill neighborhood is another of Six Mile Creek’s most picturesque and popular spots – First Dam. Just follow the ravine below the pedestrian bridge about half a mile until you reach it.

Fun Fact: Swimming is illegal at First and Second Dams. You can still enjoy the views. Local law enforcement would prefer that you just safely enjoy them outside the water.

For the six months of the year when it’s too cold to stroll through the neighborhood, having a car definitely makes life easier Thankfully, many South Hill rental properties have driveways, garages, or parking lots. In addition, the neighborhood features ample street parking, making driving and parking your car a breeze. A 5-minute drive will bring you to the nearly 2-mile shopping strip on South Meadow Street. Here, you can meet all your shopping needs. Need groceries? Stock up at Tops, Wal-Mart or Wegmans. Too tired to cook? Eat out at any of the area restaurants which range from Taco Bell to Tokyo Hibachi.

Fun fact: Ithaca now has Uber and Lyft! If you don’t have a car, these car share services are a great option to getting around. Also, the 11 TCAT bus route travels throughout the neighborhood with stops on Hillview, Grandview, and the South Hill Business Campus.

If you prefer a one-stop shop for your daily needs, Rogan’s Corner is the place for you. Located up on Danby Road, this spot  Rogan’s Corner includes a gas station and liquor store, and serves pizza, subs, and other tasty offerings at their convenience store. On the other side of Rogan’s parking lot is Sunset Grill, aptly named for its breathtaking view of Cayuga Lake. Go for the all-American food, stay for the #nofilter photos. For more delicious food, look no further than Dolce Delight. This delightful home-style cafe situated on Danby Road just 1 mile past the Ithaca College campus serves up the most delicious coffee, pastries, and sandwiches. Looking for something savory? Then try out any of their scrumptious breakfast sandwiches. Or if you’re in the mood for something sweet, their homemade pies will definitely keep you coming back for more!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to Ithaca’s South Hill neighborhood. If you’re interested in becoming a South Hill resident, be sure to check out our area listings here.


By: Brenna O’Donnell
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