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Rochester

Guide to Rochester

Settled on the banks of Lake Ontario, Rochester is an evolving industrial town. With an abundance of museums, historic sights, and the highly regarded Eastman School of Music, Rochester is a fantastic weekend getaway!

Top Attractions in the City:

 

The Strong Museum

What’s more fun than a museum devoted to play? The Strong Museum is not only one of the largest museums in the US, but it is also a highly immersive experience that will entertain both young and old. Here you will find an extensive collection of historical materials related to playing, including the National Toy Hall of Fame.

George Eastman Museum

Home to over 400,000 photographs, the George Eastman Museum, situated in the mansion of George Eastman, has a comprehensive collection of photography. It was founded in 1947 by George Eastman, who had a passion for the preservation of photography. In fact, the museum boasts one of the oldest film archives in the world! Visit during the summer to sit in the impressive mansion gardens.

Seabreeze Amusement Park

Seabreeze Amusement Park is the fourth oldest amusement park in the US. It also boasts the oldest roller coaster- the Jack Rabbit wooden coaster opened in 1920- in continual use. Located right next to Lake Ontario, the amusement park offers fantastic views and an entertaining list of rides. The park is open from mid June to Labor Day, so be sure to plan ahead!

 

Other Sites to See:

  • Seneca Park Zoo

  • Highland Park

  • Susan B. Anthony Museum & Home

  • Genesee Valley Park

  • Finger Lakes Wine Country

  • Eastman School of Music tour

 

Places to Stay:

 

  • Park Ave: This is considered one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Rochester. Here you’ll find boutique hotels, vintage shops, and cosy cafes. Take a stroll along one of its many tree lined streets, and have an intimate dinner in a local restaurant.

  • Neighborhood of the Arts: As the name suggests, this neighborhood is home to all things arts. Situated right in the center of this area is the Memorial Art Gallery, which certainly warrants an afternoon visit. Stay in a cosy boutique hotel or a quirky Airbnb.

  • Grove Place: Located in the heart of downtown, this area offers an array of hotels. Grove Place is one of the only historic neighborhoods untouched by urbanization in the downtown area of Rochester. Walk amongst preserved homes that would have been around at the settlement of the city as far back as 1788.

 

Transportation:

 

Multiple neighborhoods in Rochester have been named as a “walker’s paradise,” making Rochester a pretty walkable city. If walking doesn’t suit you, then bicycle is next most affordable transit option. Indeed, Rochester was named a “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists. The Erie Canalway Trail and the Genesee Riverway Trail from the historic bike trails of Rochester and offer unparalleled tours of the small city.

The Regional Transit Service, or RTS, offers affordable bus options to get through most of the city. An all day unlimited pass is $3 and a five day pass is $14.

 

Nightlife:

 

The arts are thriving in Rochester, and therefore it is easy to have an entertaining night out! Catch both professional and academic performances throughout most of the year.

  • Rochester City Ballet: Catch a performance at the Rochester City Ballet to see some of the most up and coming contemporary dancers. Formed in 1987, the Ballet puts on performances to bring together the Rochester community. In the past, the company has put on “The Sensor-Friendly” performance, which allowed children on the Autistic spectrum to fully enjoy an artistic performance.

  • Eastman Theater: Home to the Kodak Theater, which first opened in 1922, the Eastman Theater is known for putting on impressive music and dance performances, as well as internationally acclaimed films. In addition to local and international performances, the theater puts on four operas during the Spring. Check out their website for what performances are currently on.

  • Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: A list on Rochester’s dining scene would not be complete without the addition of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Founded in the city, this barbeque joint has since expanded into other New York areas. Alongside its expansion, the restaurant has garnered cult-like status. Enjoy some delicious food and enjoy their expansive draft beer selection while you’re at it!

 

Shopping:

 

  • The Mall at Greece Ridge offers high end retail shopping.

  • Village Gate Square offers high end retail stores as well as small boutique stores. Find some amazing handcrafted jewelry.

 

Taking a Bus trip to Rochester

 

Taking a bus trip to Rochester has been found to be more beneficial, flexible, cheap, comfortable and safe than any other option. Ourbus is one of the Rochester’s favorite bus services. There are so many benefits that come along with it too:

  • Bus tracking service

  • Free bottled water

  • Free rescheduling

  • Personal power outlets

  • Free internet (Wi-Fi)

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