In the words of Pawnee Parks & Recreation administrator Tom Haverford, sometimes you gotta treat yo’ self. And no—we don’t mean another rager at a Cornell fraternity or pranking freshmen at The Towers. Often the best way to reset and get away from the grind is to, well, get away.
At Wanderu, we’ve done the grunt work for you – in the table below, we’ve listed every single city you can get to from Ithaca, New York, for less than $70 by bus:
Destinations From Ithaca for Less Than $70
Now that we’ve covered everywhere you can go for under $70, we want to spotlight 10 of the best destinations to add to your bucket list.
We recognize that you’ve got to make the most of your student-loan dollars, so we’ve divided up these trips into two categories:
If you’re pinching pennies, our Steals & Deals destinations average less than $50 per ticket. But if you’ve landed a paid internship (or a check in the mail from your doting grandmother who’s concerned they’re “not feeding you enough” in college), walk that wad of cash over to our Worth the Splurge roundup, for can’t-miss weekend getaways that will run you just a lil’ more dough (though still less than $70).
Steals & Deals
You can get from Ithaca to each of the following five destinations for under $50:
1. Albany, NY
New York’s state capital and oldest city melds historical appeal with a vibrant arts and entertainment scene.
The Empire State Plaza in the heart of downtown is the perfect place for a stroll, where you can climb the steps of the Million Dollar Staircase (it won’t make you rich, but you can scale ‘em for free) at the Romanesque-style New York State Capitol building.
Next, catch a performance at popular performing arts center The Egg, or browse the restaurants and shops circling the Plaza. To stretch your travel dollars even further, dozens of bike-share stations are dotted throughout the city, making getting around a breeze.
2. Buffalo, NY
The sweet smell of Cheerios—thanks to a prominent General Mills plant—may permeate this city on the banks of Lake Erie, but culinarily it’s better known as the birthplace of buffalo wings. The latter, coupled with Buffalo’s long-standing devotion to funky fare like loganberry soda, beef on weck sandwiches and sponge candy, is why in 2015 National Geographic named the lakeside locale among their top three food cities in the world.
Buffalo’s culinary peacocking truly takes flight during A Taste of Buffalo, the largest two-day food festival in the country; and the National Buffalo Wing Festival, where Joey Chestnut consistently reigns supreme in the competitive wings-eating contest. (Buffalo is also one of the cheapest cities in the country to see a concert.)
3. Harrisburg, PA
If you’re looking for a weekend to unplug and relive that American History 101 class you took freshman year, Harrisburg is the perfect destination.
The capital of Pennsylvania was a key player in the westward expansion, the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution, and today the big-city-with-a-small-town-feel abounds in historic homages.
Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute, the National Civil War Museum is a must-visit, as well as the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex, a National Historic Landmark with a dome modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.
For a sweet finish, travel less than 30 minutes east to chocolate-heaven Hershey Park, “the Sweetest Place on Earth.”
4. Niagara Falls, NY
Tourists have traveled from far and wide for more than 200 years to gawk at the trio of waterfalls that together compose the Niagara Falls, situated within the oldest state park in the U.S.
Today, a robust menu of viewing options means you can take in the falls from above, behind and within, via helicopter tours, the Cave of the Winds wood-paved trails (which must be torn down and rebuilt every year or they’d be crushed by ice) or the Maid of the Mist boat tours. (Fans of “The Office” may recognize the Maid of the Mist from the episode where Jim and Pam got married.)
And don’t forget your passport! That way, you can hop across the border to Ontario (where the legal drinking age is 19!) to Inniskillin Winery for a sample of their famous “ice wine,” made exclusively from grapes left to freeze before harvesting.
5. Rochester, NY
Dubbed “Flower City” thanks to its early history as a seed-business hub, Rochester is known today for its beautiful 150-acre Highland Park—designed by the same architect as Central Park—which boasts more than 500 varieties of flowering shrubs, a castle and an amphitheater.
It borders Mt. Hope Cemetery, where you can stop by the graves of Rochester natives Susan B. Anthony (whose home is now a National Historic Landmark and museum in the city) and Frederick Douglass. In May, the 10-day Rochester Lilac Festival draws more than 500,000 people every year to see the park in full bloom.
To refuel, head to Nick Tahou Hots for a legendary local favorite, the “Garbage Plate”: a heap of fries, macaroni salad and baked beans topped with odd bits of meat and condiments.
Worth the Splurge
The following destinations are slightly more pricey, but still an awesome deal when compared to flights:
6. Toronto, OR
The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower, lives here in Toronto, but we recommend you start your trip at ground level.
Fill your belly at St. Lawrence Market, a 213-year-old bazaar named the world’s best food market by National Geographic that hosts more than 200 vendors. From there, it’s just a short walk to the historic Distillery District, a cobblestone-paved mecca of restaurants, art galleries, boutique shops and a microbrewery, all set within the largest, best-preserved collection of Victorian Industrial architecture in North America.
You can also channel your inner man-bun with our guide for how to be hipster in Toronto.
7. Lake George, NY
This lakeside haven in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains has year-round appeal, whether your idea of a vacation is to booze and snooze on the beach, or replenish your wardrobe with Lululemon while chugging soy lattes.
The center of the action is Lake George Village, a walkable hamlet along the southernmost Lake George coastline, with dozens of shops, restaurants and bars; mini-golf and seasonal concerts; and the fan-favorite Million Dollar Beach, with clear waters and mountain views.
8. Philadelphia, PA
Priorities: As soon as you arrive, nab a Philly cheesesteak from Reading Terminal Market, the nation’s oldest farmers market, to keep up your strength while you wander the City of Brotherly Love.
Must-sees include beloved historic icons like the 45-acre Independence National Historical Park (containing the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Carpenter’s Hall and more), the United States Mint and the Ben Franklin Bridge. (Learn about even more essential sites in our Philadelphia guide.)
Philly’s also informally known as the “Mural Capital of the World,” with more than 3,600 outdoor murals scattered throughout the city.
And of course, your trip wouldn’t be complete without a quick sprint up the Rocky Steps while your AirPods blast “Eye of the Tiger.”
9. New York, NY
You’re probably traveling to get away from the library, but the Stephen A. Schwarzman branch of the New York Public Library—a three-story marble National Historic Landmark frequented by celebrities and literary greats alike—will make you feel less like a student and more like royalty.
If the library’s ancient tomes awaken your need for new-book smell, the iconic Strand Book Store on Broadway hawks “18 miles of books.”
For everything else you wanna do, few destinations outdo NYC’s collective of museums, parks, restaurants, entertainment, food and history, but you already knew that. But do you know which institutions are available for free? We didn’t think so—but lucky for you, we have a guide for that.
10. Wilmington, DE
The largest city in Delaware boasts both “Downton Abbey”-esque historic mansions and modern-day delights.
Glimpse into the past at the Winterthur Museum or the Nemours Estate and gardens, inspired by the Palace of Versailles in France; or meander through downtown via the Riverfront walkway opposite the Christina River, lined with shops, restaurants, a park with a rotating lineup of entertainment offerings and more.
Whether you’re in the market for a weekend escape for you and your crew, or a mellow getaway with your S.O., Wanderu can take you from Ithaca to wherever you’d like to go. Use your Explore search tool to discover even more affordable destinations: Simply plug in a location of origin, a date and a price and we’ll spin up results that fit your timeline and budget.