22 Best Places and Things To Do in Rochester, New York

Rochester, New York, known as the “Flower City” and “The World’s Image Center,” is a vibrant and culturally rich city situated in Western New York. From its stunning natural beauty to its thriving arts scene and rich history, Rochester offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors.

1. George Eastman Museum

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A must-visit for photography enthusiasts and history buffs, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum. It showcases a vast collection of photographs, cameras, and films. Explore the beautiful mansion and gardens once owned by George Eastman, the founder of Kodak.

2. High Falls

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Located in the heart of downtown Rochester, High Falls is a breathtaking 96-foot waterfall on the Genesee River. Enjoy stunning views from the pedestrian Pont de Rennes bridge and visit the adjacent High Falls Museum to learn about the history and significance of the falls.

3. Strong National Museum of Play

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Perfect for families, the Strong National Museum of Play is an interactive museum dedicated to the world of play. It features exhibits on topics like the history of video games, the Toy Hall of Fame, and the Wegmans Super Kids Market, where children can role-play as shoppers.

4. Rochester Museum and Science Center


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Explore the wonders of science, technology, and natural history at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. The museum offers interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and the Strasenburgh Planetarium, where you can enjoy fascinating shows about space and astronomy.

5. Susan B. Anthony Museum & House

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Pay tribute to the iconic women’s rights activist, Susan B. Anthony, by visiting her former home and headquarters. Take a guided tour to learn about her life and the important role she played in the suffrage movement.

6. Genesee Riverway Trail

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Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the Genesee Riverway Trail, a scenic pathway that follows the Genesee River. Whether you choose to walk, jog, bike, or rollerblade, the trail offers beautiful views of the river, waterfalls, and green spaces.

7. Seneca Park Zoo

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Take a trip to the Seneca Park Zoo, home to over 90 species of animals from around the world. The zoo focuses on conservation and education, providing visitors with an opportunity to learn about wildlife and their habitats.

8. Seabreeze Amusement Park

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For thrill-seekers and families looking for fun, Seabreeze Amusement Park is a fantastic choice. Experience a mix of exhilarating rides, including roller coasters, water slides, and a vintage carousel. The park also features a sandy beach and a water park area, perfect for cooling off during hot summer days.

9. Ontario Beach Park

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Relax and enjoy the beauty of Lake Ontario at Ontario Beach Park. This scenic waterfront destination offers a sandy beach, picnic areas, walking trails, and a historic carousel. Take a stroll along the pier, go for a swim, or simply soak up the sun while taking in the stunning lake views.

10. Cobbs Hill Park

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Escape into nature at Cobbs Hill Park, an urban green space with trails, a reservoir, and picturesque views of the city skyline. It’s a popular spot for jogging, walking, picnicking, and enjoying outdoor activities.

11. Maplewood Rose Garden

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Located within Maplewood Park, the Maplewood Rose Garden is a delightful oasis boasting over 3,000 rose bushes of various colors and varieties. Take a leisurely walk through the garden, admire the stunning blooms, and revel in the intoxicating fragrance of roses.

12. Genesee Valley Park

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Enjoy outdoor activities and natural beauty at Genesee Valley Park. This expansive park offers opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, and boating on the Genesee River. It’s also home to the Genesee Waterways Center, where you can rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards.

13. Memorial Art Gallery

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The Memorial Art Gallery is affiliated with the University of Rochester and houses a diverse collection of artworks spanning over 5,000 years. The museum’s permanent collection features more than 12,000 pieces, including European, American, African, Asian, and contemporary art. Visitors can explore a wide range of mediums, including paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, ceramics, and textiles.

14. Rochester Museum & Science Center

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The Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) is a dynamic institution located in Rochester, New York, dedicated to promoting science, technology, history, and culture. The Museum: The RMSC offers a range of interactive exhibits that cover various scientific disciplines, history, and the natural world. Visitors can explore hands-on exhibits that engage and educate, encouraging a deeper understanding of scientific principles and phenomena.

15. Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

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The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse holds the distinction of being the oldest active lighthouse on Lake Ontario. It was originally constructed in 1822 to guide ships entering the Genesee River and ensure safe navigation. The lighthouse played a crucial role in the development of the Great Lakes region and the growth of Rochester as a major port city.

16. Turning Point Park

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The park features several walking trails that wind through its natural areas, offering visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the serene surroundings. The trails are well-maintained and suitable for walkers, joggers, and nature enthusiasts of all skill levels. Take a leisurely stroll or go for a more energetic hike while enjoying the sights and sounds of the park.

17. Ellison Park

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Ellison Park spans over 447 acres, providing ample space for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural surroundings. The park features rolling hills, wooded areas, meadows, and a beautiful pond, all of which contribute to its scenic charm. Take a leisurely stroll or find a quiet spot to relax and appreciate the tranquility of the park’s landscapes.

18. Frederick Douglass Statue

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The bronze statue depicts Frederick Douglass in a powerful and dignified pose. Created by sculptor Pepsy Kettavong, the statue stands approximately 9 feet tall, capturing Douglass’ commanding presence. He is portrayed with his right arm raised, pointing forward, symbolizing his unwavering dedication to justice, equality, and freedom.

19. Military History Society of Rochester

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The Military History Society of Rochester aims to collect, preserve, and share the military history and heritage of the local community. It seeks to foster an understanding and appreciation of military service and its impact on the region’s history. The society is committed to educating the public and honoring the sacrifices made by veterans.

20. Saint Josaphat’s Church

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Saint Josaphat’s Church was established in 1906 to serve the growing Polish community in Rochester. The church is named after Saint Josaphat, a Ukrainian saint and martyr who worked to reunite the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. The construction of the church was completed in 1910, and it has been a significant spiritual and cultural center for the Polish community ever since.

21. Warner Castle

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Castle was built in the late 19th century and was originally the residence of Horatio Gates Warner, a local businessman and philanthropist. The castle was designed in a combination of medieval and Renaissance architectural styles. The castle features a distinctive turret, stone walls, and a picturesque setting. It is surrounded by well-maintained gardens and serves as the headquarters for the Landmark Society of Western New York, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the region’s architectural heritage.

22. Oak Hill Country Club

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Oak Hill Country Club is known for its championship-level golf courses. The club has two 18-hole courses: the East Course and the West Course. The East Course, in particular, has hosted numerous major golf championships.

These are just a few highlights of what Rochester has to offer. The city is also known for its vibrant music and festival scene, with events like the Lilac Festival and the Rochester International Jazz Festival drawing crowds from near and far. No matter your interests, Rochester provides a diverse range of attractions and activities that are sure to leave you with lasting memories.