This is a list of useful information to help you prepare your travel arrangements to visit the Particle Theory Group at Cornell University. If you have questions or you need more information, please don't hesitate to contact Javier Serra (firstname.lastname@example.org), Paul McGuirk (email@example.com), or our assistant Elizabeth Gustafson (firstname.lastname@example.org). We look forward to meeting you in Ithaca!
If you plan to fly here, there is a small airport in Ithaca, Tompkins County Airport. In some cases it might be substantially cheaper and more convenient to fly to the Syracuse airport. There is a local shuttle services to Ithaca that takes approximately 75 minutes and costs $110 (round-trip). Please note that Cornell University can only reimburse tickets issued by an American carrier.
If you fly into Syracuse, send Elizabeth detailed information about your flight (including airline used, flight number, point of departure, and arrival time), and she'll arrange for the transportation with a local shuttle service from the Syracuse airport to the hotel in Ithaca, and back. By using this shuttle service and having us make the shuttle reservation for you, the expense of the service can be direct-billed to our department, hence saving you an out-of-pocket expense. The detailed information about your incoming and outgoing flights are required by the shuttle service, as is required of them by the airport, because of newer security measures with regard to the shuttle's access to the airport. Once Elizabeth has made the reservations for you on this shuttle, she will e-mail to you the information you'll need to make the connection with them at the airport.
There is also bus connection between Manhattan and Ithaca Downtown/Cornell campus, by Cornell bus, Greyhound Lines or Coach USA Shortline. It takes approximately 5 hours to get to Ithaca by bus. Your arrival in Ithaca by bus will bring you to the Ithaca bus terminal. From here, you'll need to get to the hotel; there are city buses, cabs, and the free shuttle service of the hotel in which you'll stay if they have one (see "Overnight Accommodations" below).
Finally, for those who prefer to drive, Ithaca is within driving distance from a number of metropolitan areas: New York City (about 5 hours); Boston (6 hours); Baltimore (6 hours); Montreal (7 hours); Philadelphia (5 hours). You can find driving directions here.
If you need an on-campus parking permit, you can either stop at any of the Visitor Information booths located at each entrance to the Cornell campus and purchase a visitor's parking permit (about $8/day), or you can "take your chances" and come directly to the Physical Science Building and get one from Elizabeth --- please note that this option means that you'll have to temporarily park your car illegally while you come in to get the permit, and Cornell's ticket writers are seemingly everywhere... on-campus parking tickets range in fees from $20 to $50+, and this is an expense which will NOT be reimbursed. Additionally, if you contact Elizabeth at least two weeks in advance of your visit and request such, she will mail a parking permit to you for your first day on campus.
Once you're in Ithaca, you can locate the new Physical Science Building (PSB) on this map (the building in the red circle). The Theory Group is on the 4th floor.
For room reservations, all you need to do is to send your travel information to Elizabeth and she'll reserve a room for you. Our Lab has agreements with a few of the local hotels, so you will not need to pay for the room if we can get you into one of them. These agreements not only allow the room to be direct-billed to our department, but also give us a small break in the price of the room. However, being a "college town" with two large colleges/universities, and another nearby community college, there are many times when rooms are difficult to book; home sports events, council/trustee meetings, parents' weekends, and other typical college events (times 3!) often fill up the available rooms. Thus, it is important to make travel arrangements as early as possible if you hope to use this "directly-billed hotel room" option. (See below for further information about hotels and reimbursement.)
Some of the hotels in the area have free shuttle services which will pick you up from the Tompkins County airport and take you to the hotel. Some also offer this service from the hotel to other places in the area, including the Cornell campus and our Lab. When your room reservations have been made, Elizabeth will e-mail the details to you, as well as let you know if such a free shuttle service is available.
Please note: With regard to the few hotels who will direct-bill room charges to our department, our agreement covers ONLY the actual room charge. If you opt to use other facilities within the hotels, e.g., saunas, room service, dining rooms, and the like, you will be responsible for those charges. Of course, some of those expenses may be reimbursable, but the initial expense for them will lie with you. (Or, if you opt to throw a party in your room, you will have to pay for the caterers and dancing bears.)
We have an LCD/laptop projector and a transparency/overhead projector in our seminar room.
If you bring your own laptop with you and you need internet connections, you must fill out a form to use the Lab's internet access. We recommend that you do it before your visit. Our computer czars are a very busy group but should respond within a short time; if not, let us know!
Our Group's travel budget is relatively limited. Thus, we encourage visitors to make their travel arrangements early to be able to take advantage of super saver flights, etc. Please note that Cornell reimburses for actual expenses only; there is not a per diem reimbursement rate. This means that you need to obtain original receipts for any expenses incurred --- cab fares to the airport and back, toll booths, etc. The only expenses which do not require an original receipt are expenses for meals. Meal expenses can be reimbursed without receipts at a rate of up to $25 per full day of travel/visit. (In other words, if you stop at Micky D's for a Big Mac, you don't need to ask for the receipt.)
Please note: Reimbursement for e-tickets
requires an original receipt, and anyone using an e-ticket
must stop at the airline counter at the airport and ask the airline personnel
to print such a receipt for you. Printed e-mails or receipts printed from
your own computer are not acceptable and will not be reimbursed. (Sorry!
We don't make the rules; we simply want to make certain our visitors get
reimbursed.) Obtaining such a printed receipt only takes a few moments at
the airport; however, if you do not wish to do so, you may also be reimbursed
by submitting a copy of your credit card bill which shows the charge for
Moreover, the ticket can be reimbursed only if issued by an American carrier.
Buttermilk Falls State Park - Near the Ithaca College campus, the park lives up to its unique name.
Cayuga Lake - The longest of the Finger Lakes, it is beautiful year round.
Cornell's Johnson Museum of Art - Designed by architect I.M. Pei, this museum has an impressive art collection and an equally impressive view of Ithaca.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - One of the nation's premier research institutes for birds, it is now housed in a new, state of the art building overlooking the 224-acre Sapsucker Woods.
Cornell Plantations - The Plantations is a museum of living plants with a network of trails through campus providing natural areas for hiking and nature appreciation.
Ithaca Events - A calendar of local events.
Ithaca Farmers Market - A unique Spring-through-Fall market, it is a favorite of many locals.
Ithaca/Tompkins County Visitor Bureau - Newcomers to the area can request a copy of their comprehensive and well designed guide. 1 (800) 28-ITHACA
Ithaca Discovery Trail - A quick primer on some attractions popular to the area.
Museum of the Earth at PRI - A new public natural history exhibit facility for one of the nation's largest fossil collections.
The Sciencenter - An educational experience geared towards the younger view, it is equally fascinating for the young at heart.
Taughannock Falls State Park - The 783-acre park contains the highest straight drop waterfall east of the Mississippi River.
This is only a short list of the things to see and do in the Ithaca area. We are fortunate to be located in area rich in things to do and great places to eat --- a person can only be bored here if they want to be bored!
Again, we look forward to your visit with us!