Living well in Tompkins County

The median home price is $201,500, and the homeownership rate is 55.3 percent. Higher education, with nearly 35,000 students, is a dominant force in the economy. The professors, researchers, and visiting lecturers enrich and stimulate living here. Cayuga Lake moderates temperatures and is lined with waterfront houses and wineries.

Far above Cayuga's waters

The Ivy League’s Cornell University has more than 23,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Research at Cornell enriches the region and spins out numerous entrepreneurs. The 2,300-acre campus sits high above Cayuga Lake. The university and Ithaca are laced with gorges as streams plunge to Cayuga Lake. The city once embraced the motto “Ithaca is Gorges.” Outside of Ithaca, the county is scenic and rural, with thundering waterfalls in state parks, wineries and orchards overlooking Cayuga Lake, dairy farms with bucolic pastures, and well-protected state forests.

  • Population: 104,802
  • Largest city: Ithaca
  • Medium home price: $201,500

A quick glimpse of the county