17 Most Popular Things to Do in Rochester, NY

Things to do in Rochester, NY

There are a lot of things to do in Rochester, NY. This busy city hosts more than 150 musical festivals, at least 50 golf courses, and more than 10,000 acres of land dedicated to the horticulture society. There are zoos, parks, beaches, theaters, museums, and more.

Table of Contents

The long list of things to do in Rochester, NY, cannot be narrowed. Yet, we have selected the following things to do when you visit Rochester.

1. The Genesee Riverway Trail

The first of the many popular things to do in Rochester, NY, is a visit to the Genesee Riverway Trail. If you have ever wished to trek beside a river stream while breathing in the fresh air, it’s about to come true. The Riverway Trail is a popular tourist location for outgoing social people. The trail is 2.4 miles long and covers many activities connected to the local area.

You can bike, jog, run, or trek. You can admire the landscape and the river views if nothing comes to your mind. It is an excellent place to escape from the busy world; sit down at the pier, and meditate. The Genesee River also makes a great background in the pictures if you are after.

2. The Charlotte, the Genesee Lighthouse

While walking or jogging at the Genesee River, you may come across a lighthouse. It is called the Charlotte, the Genesee Lighthouse. The Charlotte was erected in 1833 and was restored later by archeological experts in 2014. Moreover, the tower stands at a dominant height of 40 feet and provides mesmerizing views of the vicinity.

The lighthouse is open to public access. The active ones can climb 42 steps to the top of the lighthouse. There are further 11 steps if you feel extra adventurous to rise to the summit. The lighthouse also offers educational tours about the local history. You can also visit the museum at the base, which used to be the lighthouse keeper’s house in older times.

3. The George Eastman Museum

If you are a fan of architectural buildings and mansions, head to the George Eastman Museum. It was built in 1905 and was later transformed into a museum. An interesting fact about the estate is that it is the oldest museum globally. So if you don’t visit it, you are doing an injustice to yourself. The museum inside is a photography museum. It exhibits antique cameras, filming equipment, and the evolution of photography skills.

The architecture of the mansion/museum is inspired by Colonial Revival. During its construction, the famous photographer George Eastman owned the mansion. The museum plans to expand its exhibits to attract more visitors and recognition.

4. The Cobbs Hill Park

Trips to parks are great for a relaxing day while you figure out some other fun things to do in Rochester, NY. The Cobbs Hill Park covers more than 109 acres of land with picturesque scenery and vegetation. It is located in southeast Rochester, filled with walking trails and scented air from the nearby flora and fauna.

The Cobbs Hill Park is a beautiful location to take pictures. It is a dream destination for hikers and joggers alike. In photos, you can pose with the lilacs or hug the large oak trees. The park offers playgrounds, basketball courts, and skiing for the athletic side in you. The local softball organization hosts yearly tournaments in the summer. You can also rent cabins to make your stay at the park semi-permanent.

5. Seabreeze Amusement Park

The following item on our list of fun things to do in Rochester, NY, involves going to Seabreeze Amusement Park. The park has a rich history of being the oldest park ever opened in the NY area in 1879. The visitors can take advantage of 70 rides and attractions to make the day most memorable. The newest rides include Screamin’ Eagle and log flumes that slide on clear waters.

There is also a wave pool for the children to enjoy or spend time at the Playzone. Seabreeze Amusement Park also provides scenic views of Land Ontario if you stand at the correct altitude. The park is the perfect opportunity to bond with your family or take a day trip with friends you have not seen in a while since college.

6. Ontario Beach Park

Nothing beats the beautiful sceneries of a park meeting a beach for nature lovers. In other words, the spot is called the Ontario Beach Park. The popular tourist location covers at most 40 acres of sand. The place invites visitors all year round in every season for spectating. The tourists can also go fishing and boating to escape the hectic working life.

Ontario Beach Park also hosts volleyball and basketball courts. The courts are constructed in the sand with a vast body of water on the other side. Playing on a beach and catching the ball before it drifts into the ocean, what a view it would be!

7. Mount Hope Cemetery

The following location on the list of things to do in Rochester, NY, may not be fun. You may not look forward to visiting it, but it is definitely a thrilling stand-out. The place is called Mount Hope Cemetery. Yet, it is not your usual cemetery. It offers walking tours of private gardens for those interested in learning about the graveyard’s history.

The cemetery is also open for school tours that are designed for teaching children. The most compelling reason for its popularity is its final resting place for women’s rights advocates.

8. The Frontier Field

The city is a humble host to the Rochester Raging Rhinos, the Rochester Rattlers, and the Rochester Red Wings. Thus, sports lovers can head straight to the Frontier Field in the Downton Area. The stadium hosts a sea of audience on peak playing seasons with its seating capacity of over ten thousand.

The Frontier Field Stadium hosts many sports events, including football, lacrosse, and baseball. It was also a popular venue for musical concerts in pre-COVID times. The stadium is the perfect place to come together to celebrate the love for sports before visiting your favorite drinking place.

9. The Rochester City Ballet

This item may not be on everybody’s list of fun things to do in Rochester, NY, because of dying interest in ballet. But, those who celebrate their love for this art form should visit The Rochester City Ballet. The ballet center’s construction began in 1987 and became famous for its award-winning ballet shows and musicals. It has contributed to raising awareness and promoting the art of ballet by offering classes and training at the Center.

The Rochester City Ballet also began teaching ballet to the kids that suffer from autism. The classes are sensory-based, so the kids can navigate and learn the ballet steps. The Center also donates to youth and engages in welfare programs to contribute to community growth.

10. The RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium

If you’re interested in astronomy, you can visit the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium. You will experience the best galaxy-related shows. The planetarium teaches attendees about the solar system, planets, and galaxies. The projector installed at the planetarium lets the visitors witness almost 8000 stars. These shining gems appear in front of the spectators clear as can be.

The planetarium hosts laser shows every Saturday, which is very appealing to the young audience. Furthermore, the planetarium also has a solar system stimulator on giant screens. This allows you to explore the vast galaxy. It also hosts school trips and exhibitions for the public at different ticket prices.

11. The Seneca Park Zoo

Next on our list of things to do in Rochester, NY, is the Seneca Park Zoo. Animal lovers can visit the park to spend time with their best friends. The zoo is home to rare white rhinos, orangutans, and elephants. You can also watch sea lions and polar bears take a dip in the water. The visitors can roam around to view at least ninety species of animals.

The zoo stretches over 15.5 acres of land in the main town, Rochester, NY. It was established for the locals in 1893, and it continues to expand and add on animal exhibits for the endless amount of visitors it welcomes. The zoo also has a birds display. You can also see deer hopping about. Another exhibit that opened to the public is Rocky Coasts, which opened in 1997.

12. The Artisan Works

Artisan Works is a beautiful place to spend a vacation for art lovers. The organization works with bonafide intention to showcase creations of local artists on a non-profit basis. The galleries work differently than most galleries as the artists are present on the gallery premises. You can watch them paint live. The pieces of art come to life in front of your own eyes.

The Artisan Works in a friendly environment with an inspiring mission statement. You can visit the galley alone or in groups. Self-tours are also present if you wish to explore art all independently. The administration also offers workshops to create you can paint out your soul and heart. Who knows, you might become part of the exhibition!

13. The Theatre Young Kids Enjoy

If you take a family vacation, visit the Theatre Young Kids and enjoy it with your kids. This wonderful establishment is situated at the JCC in Brighton. It is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on inspiring creativity within the kids by putting on live stage shows. These exhibitions are based on popular children’s tales to attract their attention.

Theatre Young Kids Enjoy celebrates art while teaching the children important life lessons. The parts played on the stage are done by professional actors. An entire casting pipeline selects the best to provide quality entertainment to the children. Moreover, the theater is very comfortable, and the seating area is well accommodating. The lighting and theatre equipment is upgraded. There is no compromise because the entertainment is for “the kids.”

14. The National Museum of Playing

Have you ever heard of a museum for playing? There is one in Rochester, and it must be one of the top items of family-related things to do in Rochester, NY. The National Museum of Playing covers 150,000 square feet filled to the brim with group activities and toys for the kids. There are toys inspired by Sesame Street and the Wizard of Oz.

15. The Eastman Theatre

The adults with a particular eye for elegance and art can visit the Eastman Theatre, the original Kodak Hall host. The theater has celebrated music, dance, and silent films to this day since its opening in 1922. The decor and internal architecture of the place are inspired by the flapper era of the 1920s.

The Eastman Theatre also hosts jazz concerts, orchestra music, and melody for music lovers. There is also a rehearsal room, studios for teaching and learning, and even a recording studio used by background narrators during live performances.

Head toward the Memorial Art after giving a standing ovation to the live stage shows at the Eastman Theatre. It was constructed in 1913. It houses a tremendous amount of 12,000 items for art and history fanatics. The museum offers contemporary and modern pieces that have been gathered globally.

The gallery is situated at an impressive land area of 14 acres. It is an excellent opportunity for local art lovers and tourists to come together in an even field and divulge in the creative spirit. The gallery is diverse and sometimes hosts music concerts for visitors.

17. Crush Beer and Wine Tour

Before packing your bags and heading home, we have one more entry on our list of things to do in Rochester, NY. You should visit the Crush Beer and Wine Tour. The business offers exclusive tours to wine connoisseurs and tourists. It is a welcome place to learn about wineries and breweries in the local area.

Crush Beer and Wine Tour provide tours to corporate staff and social groups. You can stay at the wine establishment to continue with the winery and brewery tours. If you don’t have any means of transportation, Crush Beer and Wine Tour also offers pick-up and drop-off services.

The Final Thoughts on our list of things to do in Rochester, NY

Rochester, NY, offers a diverse vacationing experience while staying within budget. The parks and beaches are free to visit. You can take the children for fun picnics and playtime activities. Or hire a babysitter and paint the town red with brewery tours and theater shows.

For more information about Rochester, NY, check out their official website.

Do you think you need a vacation? Check out our list of signs that you definitely need a break.

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