CHS - Wit & Whimsey of Ithaca, NY

Jul 30, 2019 - Aug 1, 2019

Join the Connecticut Horticultural Society on one of their grand adventure!

3 Day(s) | 5 Meals


  • Deluxe motorcoach
  • 2 nights hotel accommodations at the Staler Hotel with tax & baggage
  • Cornell Botanical Gardens
  • Visit to MacKenzie Childs
  • Herbert F Johnson Art Museum
  • Private Garden of Wayne Myers
  • Stonegate Farms with Matthew Benson
  • 5 Meals: 2 buffet breakfasts, 1 boxed lunch, 2 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary
  • Driver gratuity
  • $50 donation to CHS
  • Escorted by Brett Isaacson


Day 1

Join CHS for our adventure to the Ithaca, NY area! We will head out for our first stop, MacKenzie-Childs, home of the famous pottery. As you enter the winding brick driveway, you’ll know you are arriving at a very special place. The dairy barn houses the production studio— where today, handmade, hand decorated majolica pottery, furniture, and home furnishings are crafted by talented artisans. We will tour the the sprawling gardens and the Unique Farmhouse furnished with MacKenzie-Child - each room is a design inspiration! This afternoon, we’ll check into the Statler Hotel right on the Cornell University Campus. Blending contemporary style with a grand tradition of hospitality, we’ll delight in upscale accommodations and first-class service from seasoned hospitality professionals and energetic students from Cornell’s world-renowned School of Hotel Administration. If you get a chance, the Farrand, Uris, and Azalea gardens are within walking distance. We will enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.

Day 2

Begin the day with an included buffet breakfast followed by a special visit to the Cornell Botanical Gardens. We will have a guided tour of these spectacular gardens plus a talk on the Tropical collection. We’ll also be treated to a walk/talk in the Pounder Vegetable Garden with a horticulturalist to talk about the sustainable gardening practices. This area also houses the Climate Change demonstration garden. Of course, we’ll save some time to explore on our own, and visit the Welcome Center and gift shop. We will take some time at Ithaca Commons for lunch on own. This four-block, pedestrian-only section of Downtown is home to many restaurants and unique stores. We will return to the Campus for a guided tour of The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. Designed by IM Pei, (known for the Louvre in France and our own Bushnell Tower in Hartford), it can be characterized by its fifth floor, which cantilevers over an open aired sculpture garden. The museum is home to over 35,000 works, wonderful rotating collections as well as a particularly extensive Asian Art collection. (Pssst, be sure to check out the spectacular views of Ithaca and Cayuga Lake from the 5th floor!) Tonight, we’ll dine at Agava, a fabulous farm-to-table restaurant. Agava resides in what was known as the East Ithaca Railroad Depot, built as part of the Ezra Cornell investments in 1876. Agava prides itself in working with many of the local suppliers to create excellent seasonal menus.

Day 3

On our last day of touring, we’ll start with a hearty buffet breakfast in the hotel before setting off to the Private garden of Wayne Myers. Wayne’s gardens are a wonderland of gorgeous plantings, unique hardscaping, and interesting historical features. Six acres of rolling lawn and perennial beds contain more than 550 different varieties nestled between fieldstone walls and outbuildings. Features include a covered bridge, a working water wheel on a post-and-beam-constructed feed mill, a blacksmith shop, and a glass sponge fossil rock enclosed in a unique display case. Other unusual features include a thirty-foot-diameter stone sundial and a potting-shed garden. Wayne also constructs sculptures, found throughout the gardens, from discarded farm machinery parts. We will enjoy our boxed lunches en route to our last extra-special stop on this tour. Matthew Benson is an award-winning photographer whose work has been featured in Country Living, The New York Times, and Condé Nast Traveler and books including Workman’s The Garden Primer and The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook. He is the proprietor of historic Stonegate Farm and has offered to be our guide of this known treasure. What a treat! In addition to the tour, our visit to Stonegate includes a discussion on organic, small-scale food growing, orchard management, medicinal herb and flower farming, and the practice of integrating small farms and food gardens into residential neighborhoods. Farm-sourced refreshments will be served, and there will be a book signing of Growing Beautiful Food! Stonegate Farm is an 1850’s Carpenter Gothic farm in New York's Hudson River Valley. Originally part of a large estate, the National Historic Register farm outbuildings and Italianate Villa have each been carefully restored, while the surrounding land has been recultivated as a local, organic market farm and CSA with an active membership.   We continue our journey home with great ideas for our own gardens! Dinner stop en route.

Departure Locations

West Hartford - Emanuel Synagogue

Depart: 7:00 AM

Return: 8:30 PM

Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford











Payment Policy

DEPOSIT: $100 pp due with reservations; FINAL PAYMENT: May 1, 2019

Cancellation Policy

If a passenger cancels from deposit to May 1, 2019 fee of $75.00 pp; May 2, 2019 to July 1, 2019 fee of $500.00 pp; no refunds if canceled after July 2, 2019 unless a substitute is provided.

Trip Protection Policy

Trip Protection Coverage is strongly recommended. Aon Affinity administers the NTA Travel Protection plan designed specifically for members of the National Tour Association. The

Pre-existing medical condition exclusion can be waived by purchasing the Enhanced Plan within 14 days of your deposit or initial payment. Purchase of the plan within this time period also provides eligibility for the Financial Insolvency benefit. Traveling companions / roommates are required to take the same plan (Basic or Enhanced) in order to be properly covered. Premium is non-refundable once paid. Three ways to enroll:

1. Website: Tour Operator Location #076068. You can also view plan details on this site.

2. Call Aon 1-800-388-1470. Tour Operator Location #076068. Customer service agents can also answer questions about each plan.

3. Call Friendship Tours / The Ship Shop 860-243-1630 or 800-243-1630

Discover the World of
Friendship Tours/The Ship Shop

Sign up to hear about our newest journeys, exclusive offers, and more.
Join the Friendship Tours Family and Let Your Journey Begin...