Exploring New York: Rochester

The city of Rochester is located along Lake Ontario in upstate New York. While it is worth exploring on its own, Rochester is the perfect additional destination for any traveler visiting the Finger Lakes or Niagara Falls, each less than a 90-minute drive away. Home to a rich history and lively art culture, there is always something to enjoy in Rochester.

George Eastman Museum

One of the most famous residents of Rochester in history has to be George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, most well known for bringing photography to the mainstream through roll film. The museum is focused on the history of film and photography with an emphasis on preservation and conservation. His house is connected to this modern museum building and is focused on the man behind the camera.

Eastman had a love for music and hosting events which comes alive through the design of his custom built house, with its own pipe organ. You can spend several hours learning about George Eastman and the impact he had not only in Rochester but the entire world.

Strong Museum of Play

While the Strong Museum of Play is a great destination for those traveling to Rochester with young children, it also has plenty to offer to visitors of all ages. Learn the history of games and gaming in the United States and around the world through endless interactive displays and memorabilia, including the first handmade Monopoly set. It is also home to the National Toy Hall of Fame, with such icons as Barbie, Slinky, and Magic 8 Ball.

Public Market District

Rochester Public Market is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday year-round with over 200 vendors on Saturdays. Open for over 100 years, this is the best place to find fresh meats and vegetables along with countless food stands, cafes, flowers, and local artists. Outside of the Public Market, there are many additional local restaurants and breweries easily accessible by foot.

Turning Point Park

Go for a walk, run or bike along the Genesee River from Turning Point Park, part of the Genesee Riverway Trail. The entire trail follows the river for a total of 9 miles, connecting downtown Rochester with Lake Ontario. You will pass many historic landmarks including the Erie Canal Aqueduct and Lake Ontario Lighthouse. Make sure to head left from the Turning Point Park parking lot for a walk on the boardwalk snaking its way across the Genesee River.

Letchworth State Park

For anyone visiting the city of Rochester, make sure to plan an extra day for a trip to Letchworth State Park, often called the “Grand Canyon of the East.” This state park is just a 45-minute drive south from Rochester, offering 66 miles of hiking through the lush green forest, with 3 major waterfalls: the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls with tumbling water as far as 600 feet!