14 Best Things to do in Rochester, NY

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Discover the 14 best things to do in Rochester, NY, and explore a city filled with exciting attractions, scenic landscapes, and rich cultural experiences. From museums to outdoor adventures, this guide has it all.


Welcome to the vibrant city of Rochester, NY, where history, culture, and natural beauty blend seamlessly. Whether you’re a local looking for new experiences or a visitor planning a trip, this comprehensive guide will take you on a journey through the 14 best things to do in Rochester, NY. From world-class museums to picturesque parks and bustling markets, Rochester offers something for everyone. Let’s dive into the must-see attractions and unforgettable experiences that will make your time in Rochester truly memorable.

14 Best Things to Do in Rochester, NY

1. Discover History at the Strong National Museum of Play

Immerse yourself in the world of play and nostalgia at the Strong National Museum of Play. With interactive exhibits, rare toy collections, and the National Toy Hall of Fame, this museum is a delight for visitors of all ages. Explore the evolution of toys and games and relive your childhood memories in this one-of-a-kind museum.

Step into a world of artistic masterpieces and serene gardens at the Memorial Art Gallery. Home to an impressive collection of art from various periods and cultures, the gallery offers a visual treat for art enthusiasts. After admiring the artwork, take a stroll through the lush gardens that surround the gallery.

3. Wander Through the Beautiful Highland Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find tranquility in Highland Park. Famous for its stunning lilac collection and vibrant floral displays, this park is a picturesque haven for nature lovers. Pack a picnic, breathe in the fresh air, and take in the beauty of the outdoors.

4. Explore the Genesee Riverway Trail

Lace up your hiking boots or rent a bike to traverse the Genesee Riverway Trail. This scenic trail follows the Genesee River, offering breathtaking views of waterfalls, bridges, and wildlife. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or an adventurous bike ride, the Riverway Trail won’t disappoint.

5. Uncover History at the George Eastman Museum

Photography enthusiasts will be in awe at the George Eastman Museum, dedicated to the history and art of photography and film. Explore the mansion of George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, and witness the evolution of photography through the museum’s extensive collection.

6. Experience Thrills at Seabreeze Amusement Park

For a day filled with adrenaline-pumping rides and refreshing water attractions, head to Seabreeze Amusement Park. From roller coasters to water slides, this family-friendly amusement park promises an unforgettable time for visitors of all ages.

7. Enjoy a Day at the Seneca Park Zoo

Get up close and personal with wildlife from around the world at the Seneca Park Zoo. With habitats carefully designed to mimic their natural environments, the zoo offers a chance to observe animals like lions, giraffes, and penguins in a safe and educational setting.

8. Shop and Dine at the Rochester Public Market

Indulge in a unique shopping experience at the Rochester Public Market. This bustling market is a hub of local vendors selling fresh produce, artisanal goods, and international cuisine. Join the locals in exploring the vibrant atmosphere and grabbing some delectable treats.

9. Learn at the Rochester Museum & Science Center

Feed your curiosity at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Featuring hands-on exhibits and planetarium shows, the museum offers an engaging learning experience for visitors of all ages. Discover the wonders of science, technology, and natural history in this educational hotspot.

10. Relax at Ontario Beach Park

Spend a day basking in the sun and enjoying the cool waters of Lake Ontario at Ontario Beach Park. This popular lakeside destination is perfect for picnics, swimming, or simply unwinding by the shore.

11. Attend a Performance at the Eastman Theatre

Experience the magic of live performances at the Eastman Theatre. Home to the renowned Eastman School of Music, this venue hosts concerts, operas, and dance shows that promise to leave you captivated.

12. Explore the Seager Marine and the Finger Lakes

Embark on a boat tour with Seager Marine and explore the picturesque Finger Lakes. Discover the breathtaking beauty of the region and enjoy the tranquility of the water.

13. Discover Local History at the Mount Hope Cemetery

Take a stroll through history at the Mount Hope Cemetery, a serene resting place for many historical figures. From beautiful sculptures to serene landscapes, the cemetery offers a unique glimpse into the past.

14. Experience the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House

Delve into the life and legacy of the renowned women’s rights activist, Susan B. Anthony, at her former home. Learn about her advocacy for women’s suffrage and civil rights in an inspiring journey through history.

FAQs about Rochester, NY

What is the best time to visit Rochester, NY?

Rochester, NY, experiences four distinct seasons. The best time to visit is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities and events.

Are there any free attractions in Rochester, NY?

Yes, there are several free attractions in Rochester, NY. Some of them include Highland Park, the Memorial Art Gallery’s grounds, and the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House on certain days.

How can I get around the city?

Rochester offers various transportation options, including buses, ride-sharing services, and rental cars. Biking is also popular, especially on the Genesee Riverway Trail.

What are the must-try local dishes in Rochester, NY?

While in Rochester, don’t miss trying the famous “Garbage Plate,” a local delicacy consisting of a mix of meat, fries, macaroni salad, and a special sauce. Another local favorite is the “White Hots,” a unique type of hot dog.

Is Rochester a family-friendly destination?

Absolutely! Rochester has a plethora of family-friendly attractions, including the Strong National Museum of Play, Seneca Park Zoo, and Seabreeze Amusement Park, making it an ideal destination for families.

Rochester hosts several exciting events throughout the year. Some popular ones include the Lilac Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, and the Park Avenue Summer Art Fest.


Rochester, NY, is a city that beckons travelers with its diverse offerings and welcoming spirit. From world-class museums and cultural landmarks to serene parks and thrilling amusement parks, the city caters to every interest and age group. Embrace the history, immerse yourself in the arts, and relish the natural beauty that Rochester has to offer. Whether you’re a solo adventurer, a family on vacation, or a couple seeking a romantic getaway, Rochester will leave you with cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.