Popular Attractions at Cornell University

Cornell University has numerous attractions that are open to the public. Almost all of them are free, and most of them are open daily. We've listed a few of the most popular attractions in this article. For more information, visit the Cornell University website. Or, give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cornell Botanic Gardens

  • Hours: Daily, dawn until dusk
  • Cost: Free

Cornell Botanic Gardens is made up of three main parts: the actual 35-acre botanic gardens, the 150-acre F. R. Newman Arboretum, and the 3,500 acres of natural areas in and around Cornell.
The botanic gardens consists of 12 different gardens. The gardens highlight native New York state plants, and each garden focuses on a specific botanical feature. The arboretum has a variety of tree collections, such as the Conifer Collection and the Walnut Collection. You can wander through these collections along winding paths. The natural areas include gorges, woodlands, meadows, and much, much more. These areas have around nine miles of trails and dozens of unique locations. 

A. D. White Library

  • Hours: Vary. Typically, 8:00 a.m until 9:00 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Designed by William Henry Miller, the A. D. White Library is a book lover's paradise. The library is three stories high, with walkways created from ornate metal structures. Plenty of nooks and corners are available for you to relax and enjoy a good book. And, there are plenty of books. The library originally held over 30,000 books donated by Andrew Dickson White, Cornell's first president. Currently it is used primarily to hold books about book publishing and book collecting.

If you're interested in the history of the A. D. White Library, Cornell offers an excellent online tour. But, this is one library you'll definitely want to visit and experience first hand.

Cornell Chimes

  • Hours: Vary. Check the schedule at their website.
  • Cost: Free

Cornell Chimes a 21-bell chime played regularly by student "chimemasters." The bells are located on the Cornell campus in McGraw Tower and are used to mark hours and for concerts. Chimemasters play daily concerts that the public is welcome to attend. Reservations are not required. The selections vary widely. For a given concert, you could hear anything from the Beatles to Beethoven to Coldplay. Note that attending a concert will require you to climb over 160 steps. No elevator is available.

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Johnson Museum of Art

  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am until 5:00 p.m. (Hours vary in the summer.)
  • Cost: Free

The Johnson Museum of Art, designed by I. M. Pei, houses a permanent collection of over 40,000 works of art. Collections include works from different world cultures, and feature such well-known artists as Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keeffe, Francisco Goya, and Henri Matisse. Over 23,000 drawings, prints, and photographs are also part of the permanent collection.

In addition to the permanent collection, the museum has various exhibitions that change regularly. If you're interested in a particular item, you can search the museum's online database to see if it's available.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

  • Hours: Daily, 10:00 a.m until 5:00 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, also known as Sapsucker Woods, is a 230-acre bird sanctuary, with over four miles of trails for you to explore. (The lab is actually located in Sapsucker Woods.) You can wander through heavily wooded areas and beside quiet ponds, while watching numerous species of birds in their natural habitats. Cornell Lab of Ornithology also has art and science exhibits, as well as guided tours and bird walks. Note that, for obvious reasons, pets are not allowed.