We are Dave and Joce – we run an Instagram account that focuses on travel and adventure. In this blog, we will be sharing our experiences at the Taughannock Falls in Upstate New York State. But before we do, let us tell you a little bit about ourselves and how we fell in love with traveling.
Dave is originally from Upstate New York and Joce is from the Boston area. We met in college at Syracuse University (go Orange!) in our freshman year. It wasn’t until we studied abroad in Australia together in our junior year that we caught the “travel bug” and became obsessed with travel.
We took lots of photos on this trip but it was mostly selfies with a few of those awkward pictures that you ask a stranger to take mixed in (we all know the ones). A few years later, after we graduated college, we took a year to teach English in Thailand. That was a crazy, fun experience and we started focusing on photography while we were in The Land of Smiles.
We’ve always loved capturing memories with a camera, but it wasn’t until this trip that we invested in new equipment and prioritized taking the best photos we possibly could. Since then, we’ve found a passion for creating content and sharing about the destinations we are so lucky to visit.
Amazing Week Together in Upstate New York
Dave is originally from Upstate NY and we both went to Syracuse University so we are familiar with the area. Dave is also currently pursuing a doctorate degree at Northeast College of Health Sciences, which is in Upstate New York as well. Upstate NY is a home for us, so we travel there frequently.
For this trip, Joce was visiting Dave during a vacation week that she had at work. Joce was there for 7 days, and we stayed mainly in the Finger Lakes Region, as that is where Dave’s graduate school is. During our week together we visited Canandaigua, Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, Chimney Bluffs State Park, Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen State Park.
Our Experience at Taughannock Falls Together
Taughannock Falls was one of Dave’s favorite destinations growing up. His family went numerous times during his childhood. Dave took us both there in the summer of 2016 and we had a great time! It’s a spectacular waterfall during all four seasons, so we are frequent visitors year round.
There are a few different trails but we usually do the Gorge Trail, which is about ¾ of a mile long, on a flat, wide trail. This trail takes you to the base of the falls. We love shooting photos here – it’s one of those places that makes you feel small. We’ve also driven to the top to the overlook, which gives you an impressive view of the falls and the surrounding cliffs.
The first time we went to the falls together it was dry. It was still amazing to see of course, but during our latest trip (which was in July), we went right after a rainstorm and it was incredible! We were blown away by the power coming out of the falls and the mist that surrounded the base. It made for moody shots – some of our all time favorite photos were taken that day.
Favorite Memory from Taughannock Falls
We like to visit places super early in the morning for lighting purposes, but also for crowd management. Usually around sunrise, we are the only people at our destination and we prefer this for a couple of reasons.
Arriving early is ideal for photos, as it gives us a chance to scope out the area and find the best shooting locations, without having to dodge others. We also love being early to our destination because it gives us the ability to take in and appreciate the natural beauty that is right before our eyes.
During our most recent trip to Taughannock Falls we arrived at 8am on a Wednesday and had the waterfalls all to ourselves for a while. It was incredible to see such a roaring waterfall in such a peaceful environment. Dave said “Now this is what it’s all about” and he was absolutely right!
Need to Know Before you Go
Since Dave has always lived in the area we’ve always stayed with his family. But we love Ithaca – shoutout to Ithaca Bakery for killer soups, salads and sandwiches. We would definitely recommend staying in downtown Ithaca, as it’s a unique place and you can get a little bit of everything there. It’s also only about 10 mins from Taughannock Falls, so the location is ideal.
One of the things we love most about Taughannock Falls is how accessible it is. There are viewpoints and hiking trails for all ages and skill levels. The falls are breathtaking any time of year, but a visit after a rainstorm or during the winter when they are frozen over is seriously so magical. Leave no trace when visiting, carry in what you carry out and most of all – have fun!