11 Best Things to do in Cortland, NY

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Cortland, New York, offers a rich array of activities that cater to different interests, from outdoor adventures to cultural experiences. As you plan your visit or explore what this vibrant area has to offer, you’ll find that Cortland is more than just a stopover; it’s a destination full of opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. One of the key things to do in Cortland, NY, is to visit the SUNY Cortland campus, which is not only educational but also offers recreational facilities and public events, including sports games, that are open to the community. This makes it a hub for activity where visitors can engage with the local student body and enjoy collegiate athletics at its best.

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Cortland, NY

Another highlight when considering things to do in Cortland, NY, is a visit to the Greek Peak Mountain Resort. This destination is renowned for its winter sports facilities, including skiing and snowboarding. However, Greek Peak is not just a winter destination; during the warmer months, it transforms into a haven for mountain biking, zip-lining, and outdoor adventure courses, making it a year-round attraction for thrill-seekers.

Cultural pursuits also abound in Cortland. The 1890 House Museum, an architectural gem that provides a glimpse into the life of the wealthy Wickwire family who once lived there, showcases the rich history and craftsmanship of the era. Touring this museum is often listed among the top things to do in Cortland, NY, for those who appreciate history and architecture.

For theater enthusiasts, the Cortland Repertory Theatre offers a variety of performances throughout the year, from contemporary plays and musicals to classic dramas and comedies. Attending a show here is a delightful way to engage with local artists and enjoy high-quality entertainment, an essential activity for those compiling a list of things to do in Cortland, NY.

Dining in Cortland is another activity not to be missed. The local culinary scene is vibrant, featuring everything from cozy cafes to upscale dining options. Local establishments often source their ingredients from nearby farms, ensuring that meals are fresh and support local agriculture. This commitment to local sourcing is part of what makes dining out one of the favorite things to do in Cortland, NY.

Shopping enthusiasts will find Cortland’s downtown area to be a treasure trove of unique boutiques, antique shops, and local craft stores. Spending a day browsing these local shops is a great way to find one-of-a-kind items and support the local economy. This is considered one of the more relaxed things to do in Cortland, NY, but it’s equally rewarding.

Cortland’s commitment to the arts can be seen in its vibrant murals and public art projects that adorn the city. Taking a walking tour to view these artworks offers insights into the community’s creative spirit and is a visually engaging thing to do in Cortland, NY.

Finally, for those visiting with family, the Cortland County Junior Fair is a must-see event that showcases local agriculture, crafts, and competitions. This annual event provides fun for all ages and is a highlight for many residents and visitors alike, making it a top recommendation for things to do in Cortland, NY.

1. Explore the SUNY Cortland Campus

Exploring the State University of New York at Cortland campus offers a vibrant and enriching experience for visitors and prospective students alike. As you plan your visit to Cortland, NY, adding a campus tour to your list of things to do will provide a firsthand view of the university’s dynamic environment, historical architecture, and lively public spaces.

A walk through the SUNY Cortland campus is a journey through a blend of traditional and modern architectural styles that reflect its long-standing history and commitment to forward-thinking educational practices. One of the highlights for many visitors is the Old Main building. As the oldest structure on campus, Old Main is not just an academic building; it’s a symbol of the university’s rich heritage. The carefully preserved façade and the historical significance make it a must-see for anyone interested in the architectural evolution of higher education institutions.

For sports enthusiasts, the campus does not disappoint. The SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex is renowned for its top-notch facilities, including a turf field, track, and seating areas that host various intercollegiate athletic events throughout the year. Attending a game is one of the exciting things to do in Cortland, NY, whether you’re a fan of soccer, lacrosse, football, or track and field. The energy and spirit of the Red Dragons’ fans are infectious and add to the collegiate atmosphere.

Art lovers will find the Dowd Fine Arts Center to be a treasure trove. The center hosts a gallery that features rotating exhibitions of both contemporary art and historical pieces. These exhibitions are curated by faculty members, visiting artists, and sometimes by students, providing diverse artistic expressions that reflect a wide range of perspectives and mediums.

The campus dining options deserve a mention, offering a variety of choices from cafeterias to coffee shops, where you can enjoy a meal or a quick snack. Each dining area on campus provides a glimpse into the daily life of students, making it a good opportunity to soak in the local atmosphere and perhaps even interact with students and faculty.

In addition to these physical attributes, the SUNY Cortland campus is a hub of academic and extracurricular activity. Attending public lectures, theater productions, and other cultural events are things to do in Cortland, NY, that can enrich your visit. These events often feature topics of current interest and are led by faculty experts or guest speakers, providing insights into the academic vigor nurtured at the university.

Exploring the SUNY Cortland campus also offers a chance to visit the Campus Store, where visitors can purchase memorabilia and apparel. Wearing a Cortland sweatshirt or hat is more than just a souvenir; it’s a way of cherishing the memories of your visit.

Every season offers a unique charm to the campus. In fall, the changing colors of the leaves against the backdrop of historic and modern buildings create picturesque views, perfect for photography enthusiasts. Winter brings a quiet beauty with snow-covered paths and buildings, while spring and summer burst with greenery and flowers, making outdoor activities some of the preferred things to do in Cortland, NY.

2. Hiking at Lime Hollow Nature Center

Visiting the Lime Hollow Nature Center offers a splendid opportunity for those seeking things to do in Cortland, NY. This expansive area provides an ideal setting for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers to explore the beauty of the outdoors. With several miles of trails winding through diverse landscapes, it’s a place that captivates with its natural charm and tranquility.

One of the significant draws to Lime Hollow Nature Center is its extensive network of well-maintained trails. These paths vary in difficulty, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced hikers looking for things to do in Cortland, NY. Each trail offers a unique view of the region’s flora and fauna, encouraging visitors to return multiple times to experience all that the nature center has to offer.

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Lime Hollow Nature Center

Additionally, the nature center is a fantastic place for educational outings. It serves as a resource for environmental education, offering programs that enhance visitors’ understanding of local ecosystems. For families and school groups looking for things to do in Cortland, NY, Lime Hollow provides not only recreation but also learning experiences that are both fun and informative.

Photographers and nature artists will find Lime Hollow Nature Center particularly appealing. The picturesque landscapes, from dense forests to wetlands and meadows, offer countless opportunities for capturing stunning images or finding inspiration for artwork. This aspect alone is a strong addition to any list of things to do in Cortland, NY, appealing to those who seek to merge creativity with nature exploration.

The center’s commitment to conservation and education is evident in how it maintains its facilities and lands. Visitors can enjoy clean, accessible areas that respect the natural environment while providing a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. This care ensures that Lime Hollow remains a sustainable and inviting destination for everyone looking for things to do in Cortland, NY.

Seasonal changes bring new dimensions to the Lime Hollow Nature Center. Autumn transforms the landscape into a vibrant display of oranges, reds, and yellows, making it a prime time for visits. Winter covers the trails in snow, opening up possibilities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, diversifying the things to do in Cortland, NY. Spring and summer burst with greenery and wildlife, ensuring that no two visits are ever the same.

Lime Hollow Nature Center also hosts various events throughout the year, such as guided walks, nature talks, and seasonal festivals. These events are excellent for those looking to deepen their engagement with nature while searching for things to do in Cortland, NY. Participating in these activities can enhance one’s understanding of the environment and foster a greater appreciation for the natural world.

3. Visit the 1890 House Museum

Visiting the 1890 House Museum is an enriching way to spend a day while exploring the various things to do in Cortland, NY. This meticulously preserved mansion offers a genuine glimpse into the life and times of the late 19th century, providing an educational and engaging experience for history buffs and casual visitors alike. A trip here promises a deep dive into the past, making it a standout among the cultural attractions in the area.

The 1890 House Museum, situated in the heart of Cortland, NY, is more than just an old building. It’s a portal to the past, where every room tells a story and every artifact holds a whisper of days long gone. As you walk through the grand entrance, you’re immediately transported to a time when the industrial boom was reshaping America. The mansion was originally the home of the wealthy Wickwire family, who played a pivotal role in Cortland’s development through their wire manufacturing business.


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1890 House Museum

One of the most captivating things to do in Cortland, NY is to explore the architectural splendor of the 1890 House Museum. The mansion is a fine example of the opulent Queen Anne style, characterized by intricate woodwork, stunning stained glass, and ornate decorative elements. Each room within the museum is carefully curated to reflect the lifestyle of the Wickwire family, with original furnishings and period-appropriate decor that offer a vivid picture of affluent life in the 1890s.

The museum also serves as an educational hub, offering insights into the technological advancements of the era. Among the fascinating displays are examples of early home technology, such as antique heating systems and vintage lighting fixtures, which illustrate the dawn of modern conveniences in American homes. These features make the museum not only one of the most interesting things to do in Cortland, NY but also a valuable educational resource.

Guided tours of the 1890 House Museum are available, and these are often led by knowledgeable guides who provide rich narratives and anecdotes about the house and its inhabitants. These tours are instrumental in bringing the history of the mansion to life, making it a much more immersive experience than a simple walkthrough. Another reason the 1890 House Museum is a key attraction among the things to do in Cortland, NY is its commitment to community engagement. The museum frequently hosts events and workshops that appeal to a wide audience, including Victorian tea parties, historical lectures, and seasonal festivities, which help to draw connections between past and present.

For families visiting Cortland, the museum offers a unique educational experience that is both fun and informative. Children are particularly fascinated by the antique toys and games on display, which offer a stark contrast to today’s digital entertainment options, thus providing a tangible lesson in how children of the past entertained themselves.

Moreover, art enthusiasts will find the museum’s collection of period artwork and decorative arts to be among the more refined things to do in Cortland, NY. These pieces not only beautify the space but also serve as a testament to the artistic trends and cultural values of the era.

4. Play Disc Golf at Suggett Park

Playing disc golf at Suggett Park is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Cortland, NY. This park presents a superb disc golf course that appeals to both beginners and experienced players alike, offering a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors while engaging in a fun and challenging sport. The course is well-designed, taking full advantage of the natural landscape, which includes rolling hills and mature trees that add obstacles and complexity to the game.

Disc golf, much like traditional golf, involves players throwing a disc toward a target, in this case, metal baskets, and the aim is to complete the course in the fewest possible throws. Suggett Park’s course layout demands strategy and precision, making it an excellent place for those who want to test their skills or just have a relaxed game with friends.

The appeal of playing disc golf here is enhanced by the park’s accessibility and the beauty of its setting. The park itself is a part of the things to do in Cortland, NY, because it not only offers disc golf but also serves as a venue for various recreational activities. It’s a gathering spot for the community and visitors who are looking to unwind in a serene environment. The expansive green spaces are perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, or just sitting and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.

Additionally, participating in disc golf at Suggett Park is one of the things to do in Cortland, NY, that encourages community interaction and outdoor activity. Players often find themselves making new friends and joining larger groups of fellow disc golf enthusiasts. This social aspect, combined with the physical activity, contributes positively to both mental and physical health.

For visitors to Cortland, NY looking for things to do, Suggett Park’s disc golf course is a highlight not to be missed. It’s a way to experience the local culture and enjoy the natural beauty of the region in an active setting. The park is easy to reach and offers ample parking, making it convenient for both locals and tourists.

The experience of playing disc golf at Suggett Park also offers a unique way to explore the larger area of Cortland, NY. After a game, players can venture into the city to enjoy other local attractions, dine at local restaurants, or explore the shops. This integrates the sporting experience with a broader exploration of what Cortland has to offer.

For families, playing disc golf at Suggett Park is a great way to spend quality time together. It’s one of the family-friendly things to do in Cortland, NY, that offers a chance for all family members to participate in a shared activity, learn new skills, and enjoy the outdoors. The park is safe and well-maintained, providing a secure environment for children and a stress-free atmosphere for adults.

5. Theater Performance at Cortland Repertory Theatre

If you’re planning a visit to Cortland, NY, one of the top things to do is to catch a live performance at the Cortland Repertory Theatre. This venue is celebrated for its commitment to delivering high-quality plays and musicals, making it a cornerstone of cultural life in the region. A night at this theatre offers not just entertainment but an immersive experience into the world of drama and music.

Cortland Repertory Theatre boasts a rich history of engaging audiences with a wide range of theatrical productions. From classic Shakespearean plays to modern musicals, every season is carefully curated to offer something for everyone. The theatre’s ability to bring stories to life with captivating performances is a testament to the talent and professionalism of its cast and crew. Each show is a result of meticulous planning, exceptional acting, and a dedicated behind-the-scenes team ensuring that every aspect of the production meets the highest standards of theatrical excellence.

Attending a live show here allows you to experience firsthand the magic of live theatre. The atmosphere is electric, with audience members sharing the collective anticipation of the unfolding drama or the uplifting moments of a musical number. It’s an environment that fosters a unique connection between the performers and their audience, making each performance a unique event that resonates with viewers on a personal level.

One of the exciting aspects of visiting the Cortland Repertory Theatre is the variety of shows available. 

The theatre itself is a charming venue, offering a cozy yet sophisticated environment for watching a show. The intimate setting ensures that every seat in the house is a good one, providing unobstructed views of the stage and allowing audiences to fully immerse themselves in the performance. This intimacy also enhances the acoustic quality of the space, ensuring that whether it’s the softest whisper or the most powerful musical note, every sound is clear and impactful.

Beyond just watching a play or musical, attending an event at the Cortland Repertory Theatre is an opportunity to support the arts in a very direct way. The theatre prides itself on its role as a cultural hub, contributing to the cultural fabric of Cortland by offering high-quality, accessible performances that enrich the community. It also provides educational programs and workshops that foster an appreciation for the arts and help nurture the next generation of performers and theatre professionals.

Visiting the Cortland Repertory Theatre is more than just one of the things to do in Cortland, NY; it’s a chance to partake in a storied tradition of theatrical excellence. Each performance is a celebration of creativity and craftsmanship, reflecting the spirit and passion of a vibrant artistic community. 

So, if you find yourself in Cortland, NY, make sure to check the schedule at the Cortland Repertory Theatre and experience one of the best things to do in town.

6. Explore Local History at the Cortland County Historical Society

Cortland County, located in the heart of New York State, is steeped in rich history and cultural heritage. One of the premier destinations for exploring this deep-rooted past is the Cortland County Historical Society. This institution is a treasure trove for history buffs, genealogists, and anyone interested in learning about the local heritage and the significant events that shaped this region. Visiting the Historical Society is undeniably one of the top things to do in Cortland, NY.

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Cortland County Historical Society

When you visit the Cortland County Historical Society, you embark on a journey through time. The society houses a variety of exhibits that display artifacts from different eras of Cortland’s history, providing a tangible connection to the past. These exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from the indigenous peoples of the region to its development through the industrial age, and into the modern era. Each exhibit is meticulously curated to engage visitors, making it one of the most educational things to do in Cortland, NY.

Aside from the permanent collections, the Cortland County Historical Society frequently hosts special exhibitions and events that delve deeper into specific aspects of local history or commemorate significant local anniversaries. These events are perfect for those looking to gain a deeper understanding of the area and are highlights for residents and visitors alike, reinforcing the society’s role as a central hub for cultural engagement in Cortland.

The location of the Historical Society also adds to its appeal. Situated in the downtown area, it is easily accessible and surrounded by other local attractions, shops, and eateries. This makes it convenient to include a visit to the society in a day of exploring all the great things to do in Cortland, NY. After spending time at the Historical Society, you can enjoy local cuisine or continue exploring other nearby historical sites.

Moreover, the building itself is of historical significance, adding another layer to the visitor’s experience. The architecture reflects the period in which it was built and has been preserved to maintain its historical integrity. Walking through the doors is like stepping back in time, making it a unique and immersive experience among the many things to do in Cortland, NY.

Visiting the Cortland County Historical Society is not only about looking back into the past. It is also about understanding the impact of history on the present and appreciating the journey that the community has undertaken to reach today. This perspective is invaluable, providing depth and context to the experience of exploring Cortland.

7. Enjoy Water Activities at Yaman Park

When you’re looking for things to do in Cortland, NY, one activity that should be high on your list is visiting Yaman Park for some enjoyable water activities. This park offers a variety of options for anyone wanting to engage with nature and have fun on the water, making it a perfect spot for both locals and visitors to spend a day outdoors.

Yaman Park is a popular destination for those interested in swimming, fishing, and simply lounging by the water’s edge. The park provides a safe and scenic environment for swimmers of all ages, making it a go-to location for families seeking a day of fun in the sun. The designated swimming areas are well-maintained, ensuring a clean and enjoyable experience for everyone.

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Yaman Park

Fishing enthusiasts will find Yaman Park especially appealing. The park’s lake is stocked with a variety of fish species, offering anglers a chance to cast their lines in hopes of catching bass, trout, or panfish. The park is also a great place for physical activities. Walking trails around the lake offer visitors the opportunity to stretch their legs and enjoy a leisurely stroll or an energetic jog. These trails provide picturesque views of the lake and surrounding foliage, allowing you to engage in physical exercise while also taking in the natural beauty that Cortland has to offer.

Visitors to Yaman Park often comment on the cleanliness of the facilities and the friendliness of the staff, which makes the experience even more enjoyable. The park’s management ensures that all amenities are well maintained, from the restrooms to the picnic areas, enhancing the overall experience for everyone who comes through the gates.

Yaman Park also hosts several community events throughout the year, ranging from outdoor concerts to fishing derbies and family fun days. These events are fantastic ways for visitors to engage with the local community and experience the vibrant culture of Cortland, NY. Participating in or even just observing these events can add an extra layer of enjoyment to your visit.

Overall, when looking for things to do in Cortland, NY, a day at Yaman Park offers a multitude of activities suited for all ages and interests. 

8. Bowling at 281 Bowl

If you’re looking for things to do in Cortland, NY, a visit to 281 Bowl offers a delightful experience for bowlers of all skill levels. This local bowling alley is a prime spot for those interested in engaging in a classic American pastime. A standout feature of 281 Bowl is its ability to blend a nostalgic feel with modern amenities. The lanes are kept in excellent condition, making them ideal for both serious bowlers aiming for a perfect score and beginners just looking to have fun. The automatic scoring systems ensure that everyone can keep track of their game effortlessly, which adds to the enjoyment and ease of your bowling experience.

For families searching for things to do in Cortland, NY, 281 Bowl is particularly accommodating. The alley offers lightweight bowling balls and lane bumpers that make the game accessible and enjoyable for children. This makes it easier for younger players to participate and enjoy the thrill of knocking down pins without frustration. Furthermore, the staff at 281 Bowl are known for being friendly and helpful, ready to assist with setting up lanes, offering tips to improve your game, or simply making sure you have everything you need for a pleasant visit.

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281 Bowl

Social gatherings and casual outings are enhanced by the additional amenities offered at 281 Bowl. Beyond the lanes, the venue features a selection of arcade games and a snack bar stocked with a variety of treats and beverages. This combination ensures that there’s something for everyone, even those who might prefer to spend some time away from the lanes. It’s an excellent way to keep everyone entertained throughout their visit.

Another aspect of 281 Bowl that attracts visitors is its league play. If you’re a resident looking for things to do in Cortland, NY, on a regular basis, joining a bowling league can be a great way to meet new people and engage in a little friendly competition. The leagues cater to various age groups and skill levels, and they are a testament to the community atmosphere that 281 Bowl strives to foster.

Conveniently located and easy to access, 281 Bowl also offers ample parking, which is a big plus for visitors. This ease of access makes it a stress-free option for those looking to spend a few hours enjoying themselves without the hassle of finding and paying for parking.

9. Shopping at the Cortland Antique Mall

Shopping at the Cortland Antique Mall is one of the essential things to do in Cortland, NY, for anyone with a penchant for history, a love for unique finds, or simply a curiosity about objects from different times. This iconic destination draws both locals and tourists who are eager to explore its vast array of antiques and collectibles, representing various eras and styles.

Located conveniently in Cortland, NY, the Cortland Antique Mall is a vibrant hub for antique enthusiasts and casual shoppers alike. With its welcoming atmosphere, it offers a treasure trove of items, from vintage furniture and classic home decor to rare books and retro fashion. The mall’s diverse inventory ensures that it caters to a broad spectrum of tastes and interests, making it a prime spot for finding those one-of-a-kind items that are as unique as they are historical.

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Cortland Antique Mall

One of the most appealing aspects of shopping at the Cortland Antique Mall is the sense of adventure it offers. Each visit presents an opportunity to uncover something unexpected. The Cortland Antique Mall is not just about shopping; it’s about experiencing a piece of history. Each stall and booth is meticulously curated by individual vendors who specialize in specific types of collectibles or eras. This not only makes the mall an excellent place for finding authentic and well-preserved items but also turns shopping into an educational experience. Patrons leave with not just physical items but stories and facts about the periods from which their new acquisitions originate.

Additionally, the layout of the Cortland Antique Mall facilitates easy navigation through different historical periods and styles. This organization helps shoppers focus on their specific interests while also enticing them to explore new categories. The diversity in the offerings ensures that there are always new things to see, making each visit as exciting as the last. This dynamic variety makes it one of the recommended things to do in Cortland, NY, especially for those looking to decorate their homes or add to their collections.

For collectors, the mall is a vital resource. It provides access to rare and sought-after pieces that can be pivotal in completing a collection or starting a new one. The availability of knowledgeable vendors also adds to the appeal, as they offer insights and tips on preservation, pricing, and the historical significance of their wares. Their expertise is an invaluable part of the shopping experience at the Cortland Antique Mall.

Community events and seasonal fairs often take place at the mall, adding to its charm and making it a lively spot in Cortland, NY. These events bring together collectors, decorators, historians, and art enthusiasts, creating a vibrant community of people who share a passion for antiques and collectibles. Attending these events is among the exciting things to do in Cortland, NY, providing an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and learn from their experiences.

Moreover, the Cortland Antique Mall plays a crucial role in the local economy. It attracts visitors from outside the region, boosting tourism and benefiting local businesses. The influx of visitors contributes to the overall vibrancy of Cortland, NY, making it a bustling hub for both commerce and culture.

10. Golfing at Willowbrook Golf Club

Golfing at Willowbrook Golf Club is a premier activity among the various things to do in Cortland, NY. This golf club offers an experience that caters to both seasoned players and novices, ensuring that everyone who visits leaves with a deeper appreciation for the game. The well-maintained course challenges players at every skill level, making it a perfect spot for those looking to improve their game or simply enjoy a leisurely round of golf.

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Willowbrook Golf Club

One of the main attractions of Willowbrook Golf Club is its beautifully designed course. The fairways are kept in pristine condition, with greens that roll true, providing a reliable playing surface that can make or break a putt. Golfers in Cortland, NY, often remark on the layout of the course, which includes a variety of holes that require different strategies. This diversity ensures that each round remains interesting and engaging, as players must adjust their approach with each hole.

Beyond the course itself, Willowbrook Golf Club offers amenities that enhance the golfing experience. These include a pro shop stocked with the latest gear and accessories, making it easy for players to find everything they need for a day on the course. There is also a driving range where golfers can warm up before their round, practicing swings and fine-tuning their techniques, which is a valued feature for anyone serious about improving their game.

Willowbrook Golf Club is also known for its welcoming atmosphere. The staff is friendly and attentive, ensuring that all visitors feel at ease from the moment they arrive. This level of service makes it one of the top things to do in Cortland, NY, for those looking for a relaxing day out. 

For visitors who might want a break from golfing, the club’s clubhouse offers a comfortable place to relax. Here, golfers can enjoy refreshments or a meal, with a menu that includes a variety of options to satisfy different tastes. The clubhouse is also a fantastic spot for socializing, allowing players to discuss their game and share tips with other golf enthusiasts in Cortland, NY.

The location of Willowbrook Golf Club is another factor that makes it an attractive option for a day out. Situated conveniently in Cortland, NY, it is easily accessible for locals and visitors alike. The scenic surroundings of the club provide a tranquil backdrop, adding to the overall enjoyment of the golfing experience. It’s not just about the game; it’s also about enjoying the beauty of Cortland’s natural landscapes.

Organizing a day at Willowbrook Golf Club is straightforward, thanks to its user-friendly booking system. Interested parties can easily reserve a tee time online or by phone, making it one of the more accessible things to do in Cortland, NY. The club also hosts various events and tournaments throughout the year, providing opportunities for competitive play and community engagement.

Overall, a visit to Willowbrook Golf Club is highly recommended for anyone looking for enjoyable things to do in Cortland, NY. 

11. Visit the CNY Living History Center

The CNY Living History Center, located in Cortland, NY, offers a unique glimpse into various facets of cultural and historical significance through its trio of museums. For anyone searching for things to do in Cortland, NY, this center presents a compelling opportunity to delve into the rich tapestry of local and national history, showcased through specialized museums dedicated to tractors, firefighting, and local lore.

When planning a visit to Cortland, NY, including the CNY Living History Center on your itinerary allows you to experience a multifaceted educational journey. The center’s first museum, dedicated to tractors, is not merely a display of agricultural machinery; it is an homage to the technological advancements that have shaped farming over the decades. Here, visitors can trace the evolution of tractors and learn about the engineering and innovation that powered agricultural progress. This museum is a treasure trove for enthusiasts and scholars alike, offering insights into the mechanics and designs that have become a fundamental part of farming history.

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CNY Living History Center

Another key feature of the things to do in Cortland, NY, is exploring the firefighting museum within the CNY Living History Center. This museum offers an in-depth look at the history of firefighting equipment and techniques. From vintage fire trucks to rare firefighting gear, the exhibits cover a wide array of artifacts that highlight the bravery and technological progression in firefighting. This museum not only educates visitors on the development of firefighting but also pays tribute to the courage and dedication of firefighters throughout history.

The third museum focuses on local lore and serves as a cultural beacon for those interested in the historical and social narratives of Cortland and the surrounding area. This part of the CNY Living History Center is essential for understanding the local heritage and how it has influenced and shaped the community. Exhibits often feature stories, photographs, and artifacts that offer a personal look into the lives of the area’s past residents, providing a profound sense of connection to the region’s history.

For travelers and locals looking for things to do in Cortland, NY, the CNY Living History Center is an enriching destination that promises a comprehensive understanding of diverse historical themes. It’s an ideal spot for families, history buffs, or anyone with a keen interest in learning about the past through interactive and engaging exhibits. The center not only educates but also inspires appreciation for the innovations and stories that have defined these areas of interest.

Visiting the CNY Living History Center is a highlight among the many things to do in Cortland, NY. It offers a day well-spent in the pursuit of knowledge and enjoyment, surrounded by the narratives of yesteryears. Each museum within the center is meticulously curated to provide an educational journey that is both profound and captivating. 

For anyone compiling a list of things to do in Cortland, NY, make sure to allocate sufficient time at the CNY Living History Center. The diversity of the exhibits ensures that there is something of interest for every visitor, making it a versatile attraction suited to a wide range of interests and age groups. The center is not only a place to view historical artifacts but also a venue for interactive learning experiences that bring history to life.


Cortland, New York, offers a variety of activities that cater to both residents and visitors alike. 

Firstly, one of the top things to do in Cortland, NY, is visiting the SUNY Cortland campus. Even if you’re not a prospective student, the campus is worth exploring for its beautiful grounds and vibrant student life. The college often hosts events that are open to the public, providing a glimpse into college activities and culture.

For history enthusiasts, the 1890 House Museum stands out as a must-visit. This limestone mansion, built by the wealthy Wickwire family, showcases a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles of Cortland’s historical industrialists. The museum’s rich history is a testament to the city’s past, and its architecture is equally fascinating.

Those looking for outdoor activities will find Lime Hollow Nature Center as an ideal spot. With over 12 miles of trails, visitors can engage in hiking, bird watching, and enjoying the serene environment. The nature center makes it easy to see why exploring the outdoors is one of the best things to do in Cortland, NY.

Another great outdoor venue is the Greek Peak Mountain Resort. This destination offers year-round activities, but it is best known for its winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Greek Peak is perfect for both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts, and its proximity to Cortland makes it a convenient location for a day trip.

Seeing a play here is highly recommended and supports the local arts scene, further highlighting the diverse things to do in Cortland, NY.

Shopping enthusiasts will appreciate the Marketplace Mall. This shopping center features a variety of stores and eateries, offering a pleasant shopping experience regardless of the weather. Here, one can find both local goods and popular retail brands, making it a comprehensive stop for all shopping needs.

For a taste of local flavor, the Cortland Beer Company is a must-visit. This brewery not only crafts its own beers but also serves as a social hub. Sampling their selection is a delightful way to spend an afternoon or evening, and they often feature live music, enhancing the ambiance.

The CNY Living History Center is another gem for those intrigued by history and local culture. This center houses three different museums, each focusing on different aspects of the region’s past, from its agricultural roots to its contributions to the transportation industry.

Family-friendly fun can be found at the Cortland County Junior Fair, a lively event that offers games, rides, and educational exhibits. This annual fair is a highlight for the community and provides wholesome entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Finally, no visit to Cortland would be complete without exploring the local dining scene. From cozy cafes to elegant restaurants, the options are plentiful. Dining in Cortland allows visitors to enjoy a range of culinary delights, from traditional American dishes to more exotic fare.

In conclusion, there are numerous things to do in Cortland, NY, that can cater to a variety of interests. From historical sites and nature escapes to cultural performances and culinary adventures, Cortland offers a rich tapestry of experiences. 

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