Life At Johnson

Johnson is, by design, an intense, collaborative community—one in which relationships are formed quickly and last a lifetime. We choose to remain a small school so that all of our students and faculty can work closely together.

Our student clubs provide abundant opportunities to practice skills. Our culture is infused with a genuine appreciation of one another and fosters a style of teamwork that puts our graduates at the top of recruiters' lists.


  • Huge roster of cutting edge arts, music, and cultural events
  • More restaurants per capita than New York City
  • Incredible natural beauty
  • Cost of living that's not insane
  • Fun, interesting, diverse people
  • Schools, parks, safety...amazing for families
  • All of the above. Find out more.

This is a college town like no other, a place with a distinctive heartbeat of its own, wrapped around the academic universe of Cornell.

Don't take our word for it - here's how Ithaca has landed in media rankings, ranging from sports, to outdoor fun, to healthful living, to parenting:

  • Ithaca ranked #1 best college town in America among the "Top 10 Best College Towns in America" by Business Insider, January 2013"
  • #1 college town in the country" The American Institute for Economic Research, 2012.
  • #5 in "The 10-Best Cities for Millennials," by and 24/, July 2012
  • #7 in "America's Brainiest Metros", The Daily Beast, online, August, ‘10
  • #6 in "America's Foodiest Towns," (pop under 250,000) by Bon Appétit magazine, Sept. '10
  • Ithaca ranked one of 19 “Perfect Towns” by Outside magazine, Oct. 2011
  • Ithaca's Gimme! Coffee ranked best coffee bar by Food & Wine magazine, Sept. 2008
  • "#1 Emerging City" in the 2004 book, Cities Ranked and Rated: More than 400 Metropolitan Areas Evaluated in the U.S. and Canada.
  • One of the top six small "micropolitans" (population 15,000 - 50,000) in The New Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities.
  • Ranked #14 among college towns for outdoor activities and sports, Outside magazine ranked Ithaca #14 among college towns.
  • "America's 5 Best Mountain Biking Towns" Bike Magazine, June 2002.
  • "60 Best American Public Places," Utne Reader, January 2002.
  • "Best Lesbian Places to Live-The Ten Lesbian Friendliest Cities in the USA," Girlfriends Magazine, November 2002.
  • "Best Places to Vacation," Money Magazine, April 2002.
  • "2002 Travel and Leisure 100 Great Escapes: Top 10 Trips," Travel & Leisure Magazine, March/April 2002.
  • "Best Fly Fishing Through North America," Fish and Fly Magazine, winter 2001.
  • "25 Terrific Places to Bring up a Family," Mothering Magazine, July/August 2001.
  • Voted best healthy city in the Northeast by Organic Style Magazine, September/October 2003.
Life@Johnson Virtual Tour

Visit Ithacagorge waterfall