Rochester is one of upstate New York’s most pleasant cities, with a variety of intriguing attractions. High Falls, plunging 95 feet over a cliff ledge in the heart of downtown, is one of the most stunning features. The city also has a considerable number of well-preserved ancient buildings, excellent museums, and delicious restaurants.
The downtown area is easy to navigate, and many of the major tourist attractions are close together. A weekend escape can be made by combining a stay here with a day trip to nearby Pittsford and the Erie Canal. If you visit in the winter, you can even get in some skiing at Bristol Mountain, which is just a short drive away.
The city expanded as a result of the industry, but it is today better renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, which hosts a plethora of exhibitions, performances, and festivals throughout the year.
There are almost 12,000 acres of parkland here, as well as exciting attractions like amusement and water parks, if you want to get outside.
Rochester is close to a number of stunning natural phenomena, including Lake Ontario and the Genesee River, which runs through the city, and there are even cross-country skiing routes in the winter.
Things To Do In Rochester NY
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Rochester was home to George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company and the man who made photography accessible to the general public. His magnificent Colonial Revival estate is now a museum and gallery where visitors may learn about the history of photography, visit galleries, eat, and explore the stunning home and gardens.
Shutterbugs will enjoy a range of galleries dedicated to the history of photography. Even non-photographers will enjoy hearing staff members describe fascinating stories about Eastman and his film and camera development and marketing. Various types of photographs and cameras from different eras are on display. Ansel Adams gave cameras and other objects, including his first camera, which he received as a child.
Walking inside the estate, you can get a sense of how Eastman lived, with certain rooms still adorned in the style of the time. Other rooms have been transformed into special displays, such as one where you can enter into a camera obscura box and observe the inner workings of a camera.
Eastman’s pipe organ and a little ancient elevator hidden behind a door that you can still operate are two other unique items. There are movie theatres with special showings on the main level, as well as a café with handcrafted sandwiches, coffee, and other refreshments.
• Highland Park
Highland Park is well-known in Rochester for its arboretum and beautiful landscaping, which spans 150 acres of undulating hills and stunning gullies.
The park’s flora is remarkable, with characteristic lilacs, Japanese Maples, and a wide range of other native and foreign plants.
The Vietnam Memorial, the John Dunbar Memorial Pavilion, and Warner Castle, to name a few, are all held annually, and in addition to all the lovely foliage, you’ll find a plethora of culturally and historically significant monuments here.
• Strong National Museum of Play
The Strong, which focuses on the history of play, is a hybrid of a typical history museum and an interactive children’s museum that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. Sesame Street, the Berenstain Bears, and the eGameRevolution are among the exhibits. The National Toy Hall of Fame and the World Video Game Hall of Fame are both located within the museum.
The Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden is the state’s largest of its kind. As you go down the walkway of this year-round indoor display, you’ll encounter butterflies, turtles, a panther chameleon, and birds.
The museum also has a coral reef aquarium, as well as the Elaine Wilson Carousel and Strong Express Train. A nominal price is charged for rides. Allow plenty of time for your visit because this museum is vast, with approximately 285,000 square feet of exhibit area.
• Memorial Art Gallery
The Memorial Art Gallery was opened in 1913, and it now houses an astonishing 12,000 artefacts, ranging from modern art objects to international pieces from all over the world.
The art gallery, which is situated on 14 acres of property, was established to provide the local people with the opportunity to view art from the region as well as from other parts of the world.
The gallery is still dedicated to displaying some of the best art in the country, and it hosts a variety of activities such as musical concerts, as well as changing exhibitions and galleries.
The exhibit includes everything from 17th-century paintings to ancient Borneo drums to ancient Egyptian mummies. The collection is divided into two levels.
The huge pipe organ in the main room on the second storey is not to be missed. Traveling exhibits arrive and go on a regular basis, so check the museum’s calendar before planning your visit.
• High Falls
Because of Rochester’s unusual location on the Genesee River, one of the area’s most attractive natural attractions is right in the heart of the city. At High Falls, the rushing river crashes 95 feet off the precipice, creating a whirlwind of foam and mist.
From High Falls Terrace Park, where you can look across to the falls from a high vantage point, you can get the best view of the falls. Restaurants on this side of the gorge are only a short walk from the park and make for a pleasant lunch stop.
Cross the river to the High Falls Lookout near the Gorsline Building for a close-up view of the water flowing over the edge of the falls. This perspective is bordered by historic buildings from the nineteenth century.
• RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium
The RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium is the place to go if you want to learn more about the night sky, especially because of their spectacular shows that take you on a journey of the solar system.
The star shows here are famous in the area, and they employ a projector to show you the exact location of the stars and planets. There are also lively exhibitions like as laser performances, where you can see lasers dance to music, and interactive exhibits that allow you to explore space on your own.
The planetarium’s telescopes are available for public use, and instructional films are shown on a regular basis.
• Rochester Public Market
On market days, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the Rochester Public Market is a swarm of activity. Since 1905, this year-round market has been a Rochester staple. In stalls set in outdoor sheds and one large inside hall, over 300 vendors serve a variety of fresh foods.
The Rochester Public Market is a great location to go for the freshest local and international products, as well as speciality meats, fish, and cheeses. There are cafes, food kiosks, and even a florist on-site, in addition to fresh food.
The market hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including musical concerts, food truck competitions, flower markets, and massive flea markets. The majority of these activities take place throughout the summer.
• Erie Canal in Pittsford
Pittsford is a little historic village located just outside of Rochester that is ideal for a day excursion. Along with a historic downtown, you’ll find small shops and restaurants lining the lovely Erie Canal.
The community, which was founded in 1776, has done an excellent job of preserving its historic attractions. In the summer, this is a nice place to park the car and walk around, stopping in at small shops or having lunch while watching the boats go by.
If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, try a kayak ride at the Lock 32 Whitewater Waterpark. The water park, which is housed in a disused canal spillway, offers fast water up to class V every weekend during the summer.
• Seneca Park Zoo
Seneca Park Zoo is the place to go if you want to see some exotic animals while in Rochester. African elephants and rhinos, snowy polar bears, and gorgeous Borneo orangutans, as well as over 90 other species from throughout the world, can all be found here.
The zoo, which first opened its doors in 1893, spans over 15 acres of land and is considered a historical asset in the area. The zoo is now regarded as a trendsetter in its profession, since it works relentlessly to give the animals with larger and more natural enclosures that closely resemble their natural habitat.
• Susan B. Anthony Square Park
Susan B. Anthony and one of her sisters shared this renovated heritage home. This is the site of Ms. Anthony’s historic arrest in 1872, when she attempted to vote. Daily tours are provided. The house has three stories, so you’ll have to ascend the stairs. The tours last about an hour and are led by docents. Another of her sisters owned the house next door.
Down the block is Susan B. Anthony Square Park, which features towering trees and a bronze sculpture of Ms. Anthony and Frederick Douglass titled “Let’s Have Tea” by local artist Pepsy Kettavong.
• Artisan Works
If you’re in Rochester, don’t miss out on Artisan Works, a non-profit art gallery committed to displaying the creativity of local artists.
What sets Artisan Works apart from other art galleries is the manner that artists in residence work there on a daily basis, so you can watch art being created right in front of your eyes and get up close to the creative process when you visit.
You can even take a guided tour of Artisan Works, where a pleasant docent will tell you about the project’s aim and history, and there are also classes open to the public if you want to try your hand at creating your own masterpiece.
If you prefer to go it alone, there are self-guided tours available.
• Dine around Rochester
In Rochester, whether you’re looking for casual or upscale eating, you won’t have to look far to find some fantastic and unique options. The Cub Room, whose exposed brick, wooden ceilings, and black-and-white images transport you to the 1930s and 1940s, is a great place to go for excellent dining and history.
The Revelry, which has both indoor and outdoor seating in the summer, has a diverse cuisine to satisfy all preferences. It also offers a delectable brunch. The Highland Park Diner, meanwhile, serves a wide range of excellent, informal fare from breakfast to dinner. This classic-looking diner has become something of a local institution.
• Cobbs Hill Park
This 109-acre park in Rochester is recognised for its gorgeous landscape and peaceful hiking routes, so if you enjoy walking, this is a terrific place to see some of New York’s natural beauty.
You will be able to enjoy the lilacs that bloom here as well as the oak trees that are over 100 years old while you explore the pathways.
In addition to walking routes, there is a reservoir here that is ideal for fishing, and if you visit during the winter months, you can even go cross-country skiing.
• Charlotte – Genesee Lighthouse
The Charlotte – Genesee Lighthouse is famous for still being operational, and it located on Lake Ontario, where it continues to keep ships safe.
The lighthouse, which stands 40 feet tall and was erected in 1822, was meticulously restored to its former grandeur in 2014.
This lighthouse is available to the public, and if you’re feeling energetic, you may join a tour and climb the 42 steps to the top, where there’s a run ladder.
You’ll need to ascend another 11 stairs to reach the lighthouse’s pinnacle, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Lake Ontario.
During the tour, you’ll learn about the lighthouse’s history, and there’s a museum in the lighthouse keeper’s house, which is located at the base of the real tower.
• Rochester Museum & Science Center
The Rochester Museum & Science Center is dedicated to instilling a love of science in visitors through interactive displays that allow them to get up close and personal with the action.
This museum’s main elements include a climbing wall and a space simulator, as well as opportunities to build your own robot, learn to use a catapult, and play with lasers.
There are over 200 hands-on games to enjoy, as well as the opportunity to walk through rotating galleries dedicated to various scientific themes.
There are also interactive shows here, as well as 3D films like Science on a Sphere, which takes you on a journey through the galaxy.
• Frontier Field
Frontier Field in Rochester’s downtown area is the place to go if you want to see a game while you’re in town.
The stadium, which has a capacity of over 10,000 spectators, was built in 1996 to host professional baseball games.
The Rochester Raging Rhinos, Rochester Rattlers, and Rochester Red Wings all use the field as a practise facility.
In addition to being a terrific site to see a sporting event like baseball, soccer, or even lacrosse, it also hosts musical performances throughout the year.
• Ontario Beach Park
If you’re looking for the perfect combination of park and beach, head to Ontario Beach Park, which features 39 acres of pristine sands ideal for exploring in the summer or winter.
When the weather is nice, you can go swimming or sunbathing, or you can try your hand at fishing or boating.
There are also a variety of sporting facilities here, including volleyball courts, basketball courts, and even softball grounds, as well as picnic spaces and quiet rambling pathways strewn throughout Ontario Bach Park.
• Seabreeze Amusement Park
Things To Do In Rochester NY
Seabreeze Amusement Park, which first opened in 1879, is one of the oldest amusement parks in the New York area. There are nearly 70 different attractions to select from, ranging from more calm period rides to recent installations like the Screamin’ Eagle or water-based log flumes, providing entertainment for the entire family.
Within Seabreeze Amusement Park is a water park with a wave pool and a children’s play zone, as well as views of Lake Ontario.
So this was our list of the Best Things To Do In Rochester NY, hope you guys enjoyed it.