Rochester really has something for everyone – with a historical background to museums of play for the kids. A reporter from USA today named this upstate New York city a “serendipitous and surprising getaway!”
Rochester is set on the Erie Canal affording beautiful walks, bikes or roller blading opportunities for those who want to get out and enjoy the quaint villages along way. I’m heading to town for the Color Run and will be looking to see why there are so many reasons to visit Rochester, no matter the season.
Rochester Bucket List
Take a cruise along the Erie Canal – Considered to be the 8th wonder of the world, the 1825 completion of New York State’s legendary Erie Canal connected the Hudson River at Albany with Lake Erie at Buffalo, opening the interior of the continent to settlement and commerce. Take a day to cruise along the Erie Canal aboard the Sam Patch, a pocket boat replica and experience the history and ingenuity of America as your pocket boat travels through one of the Erie Canal locks.
Visit the George Eastman House – Experience the life of George Eastman, founder of the Kodak camera and once considered the 6th richest man in America. This historic home is now the world’s oldest photography museum, founded in 1947. Take a tour of the house to learn more about the man, and visit his spectacular property – also popular for destination weddings due to the beautiful landscaping.
Step back in time at the National Susan B Anthony Museum & House – how life was different in her day – Susan Anthony was a national hero for women, playing a key role in the women’s rights movement. She was arrested in the front parlour after attempting to vote in the 1872 Presidential Elections.
National Museum of Play – This museum is dedicated to play, housing the largest collection of electronic games. The children’s museum is highly interactive and provides a multitude of offerings for all.
Rochester Public Market – Voted America’s best Farmers Market by Farmland Trust, set aside a few hours Saturday morning to peruse the stalls, barter with the vendors over the freshest vegetables, decadent offerings from the Olive Oil Company and fresh honey. In May, the market gets exceptionally busy with locals preparing for the gardening season. The Rochester Public Market is open year round and has a number of delectable eateries and a coffee shop that roasts on site.
Genesee Brew House – Enjoy a pint or two? The Genesee Brew House overlooks the historic High Falls and combines a pub-style restaurant with local brewing. They also feature interactive exhibits, multimedia content, a gift shop and a pilot brewery.
Eat a Garbage Plate – Touted as the original garbage plate, the Nick Tahou Hots at 320 W Main St has to be seen to be believed. It is a famous landmark that has been replicated in a number of regional variations. Not for everyone, the Garbage Plate is considered to be the fattiest food in the state of New York. While it looks to me like a heart attack on a plate, for many, it is a challenge! Eat it yourself or share – this has to be seen to be believed!
Get out and explore – Rochester has so many districts within the region – there is plenty to choose from. Little theatre and music, much of it originally supported by George Eastman, offer entertainment year round. Take a walk down Park Avenue for a selection of cafes, delis and bakeries or hit the East & Alexander area for a little nightlife! Lacrosse is big in town – check local listings to take in a game at the indoor arena.
Festivals – Rochester is home to many popular festivals including:
- The Lilac Festival: May
- International Jazz Festival: June
- Corn Hill Arts Festival: July
- Park Avenue Festival: August
Many thanks to Visit Rochester who helped put this bucket list together.