What to do and see in Rochester, United States: The Best Places and Tips

September 20, 2017 Weston Hennigan

From family-friendly activities to professional sports teams, museums and galleries, Rochester has something for everyone. Enjoy the scenic Erie Canal, Genesee River and Lake Ontario. Don't miss the Strong National Museum of Play (America's second-largest children's museum) or the International Museum of Photography. Be sure to sample one of Rochester's famous "white hots," Rochester's version of the hotdog! And don't miss the nearby Finger Lakes region with its wine trails and gorges.
Restaurants in Rochester

1. Finger Lakes Wine Country

Rochester, NY +1 800-813-2958
Excellent
83%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 447 reviews

Finger Lakes Wine Country

Reviewed By 110deirdrer - Rochester, New York

I have been to the Finger Lakes wine region many times. Mostly in the Summer months but going in the Fall was also great with the beautiful upstate NY foliage.
In the past I wasn’t a big fan of NYS wines. They have come a long way, and some are outstanding. Ice wine from this region is some of the best I’ve ever had. If you’re not familiar with Ice Wine, the grapes are picked very late after having been frozen from the weather. Not artificially. That is how it gets it’s sweetness. It’s like dessert in a glsss! It’s very concentrated with a high alcohol volume. Don’t drink too muc of this! At least that is my understanding from some of the many winery tours I’ve been on.
If you like to partake in the tastings, I would definitely either have a DD or limo (always a blast)! There are so many wineries in the Finger Lakes that you need several visits to try them all. I live less than an hour away from many of the wineries, yet have still never been to all.
It’s a very fun weekend getaway. I highly recommend visiting if you enjoy wine and beautiful scenery.

2. Crush Beer & Wine Tours

10 East Main St. Rochester, New York, Farmington, NY 14614-1801
Excellent
94%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 265 reviews

Crush Beer & Wine Tours

Crush Beer & Wine Tours offers guided tours of Breweries and Wineries in the picturesque setting of the Finger Lakes and Rochester, NY.

Reviewed By tmulholland7 - Levittown, Pennsylvania

Great time. Tony our driver was amazing. Best way to do a tour.no worry about driving. Great sceenery also. Had a pick up at our bed and breakfast. Nicr!*

3. The Strong National Museum of Play

1 Manhattan Square Dr, Rochester, NY 14607-3941 +1 585-263-2700
Excellent
83%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong is a highly interactive, collections-based museum devoted to the history and exploration of play. It is one of the largest history museums in the United States and one of the leading museums serving families. The Strong houses the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play. Together, these enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive and educational activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe.

Reviewed By Elizabeth M - Chittenango, New York

My 6-year old loves the Museum of Play so we try to visit it once or twice a year. I always aim to visit during a week day when the museum is not so busy, but that is not always the case. This time we...MoreThank you for taking the time to provide such a thoughtful review. We are delighted to hear that you were able to enjoy all of our exhibits. We hope you will be back soon!

4. Mount Hope Cemetery

1133 Mount Hope Ave, Rochester, NY 14620-2950 +1 585-428-7999
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 410 reviews

Mount Hope Cemetery

Mount Hope, dedicated in 1838, is America's first municipal Victorian Cemetery. Set in a picturesque landscape shaped by retreating glaciers, the cemetery contains priceless pieces of art and rare horticultural specimens. It is the final resting place of many dignified and internationally known individuals, including Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, and is on the National Park Services National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Mount Hope is listed in the New York State Register of Historic Places and National Register of Historic Places as part of the Mt. Hope/Highland Preservation District, featuring 83 mausoleums, soaring Egyptian obelisks, a Florentine cast-iron fountain, two stone chapels in the Gothic Revival style, a Moorish gazebo, a Victorian Gothic gatehouse, and infinitely varied tombstones marking 350,000 graves across 196 acres.

Reviewed By Ontheroadsince64 - Talkeetna, Alaska

What a beautiful old cemetery, the first of this type, with winding roads and walking paths. The gravesites, statues and landscaping are all interesting, but the best part is the way people today are using it for walks, exercise (we saw a yoga class outside one building), and general enjoyment. Gravesites of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass are here, among others. The map could be better marked -- we accidentally drove down a lane that was non-motorized only. Without signs posted, or any indication on map, it was impossible to realize til we got to bottom of hill where posts preventing a vehicle from entering were located.

5. Highland Park

171 Reservoir Ave, Rochester, NY 14620-2728 +1 585-753-7275
Excellent
73%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 438 reviews

Highland Park

The annual Lilac Festival is the most popular event on the calendar here, one of the country's oldest city arboretums.

Reviewed By T6409MPjenniferg - Middleburg Heights

I enjoy going here more in the winter for sledding! However the park is beautiful and very relaxing to walk around in the spinr/fall and summer months. The lilac festival is also nice that they have here in the spring

6. Geva Theatre Center

75 Woodbury Blvd, Rochester, NY 14607-1717 585-232-Geva
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 287 reviews

Geva Theatre Center

Reviewed By Izzy325 - Rochester, New York

Beautiful theatre with a nice variety of performances. Renovated this year (2017) and the changes are amazing. Highly recommend.

7. National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House

17 Madison St, Rochester, NY 14608-1928 +1 585-235-6124
Excellent
73%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 201 reviews

National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House

The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House shares the story of Susan B. Anthony's lifelong struggle to gain voting rights for women and equal rights for all. We keep her vision alive and relevant by preserving and sharing Anthony's National Historic Landmark home; collecting artifacts and research materials directly related to her life and work; and making these resources available to the public through tours, publications, the internet, and interpretive programs. Come visit us today!

Reviewed By Holly W - Minneapolis, Minnesota

These two modest red brick houses contain historic furnishings, educational displays, personal artifacts of Susan B. Anthony, and, for those who know the history of the campaign for women to get the vote, a compelling fascination. Our excellent tour guide provided historical, political, and personal background information, while clearly conveying her own admiration for this woman who gave her long life to the worthy causes of abolition and women's suffrage.

8. George Eastman Museum

900 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607-2298 +1 585-327-4800
Excellent
69%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 850 reviews

George Eastman Museum

The George Eastman Museum is located in Rochester, New York, on the estate of George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography and motion picture film. Founded in 1947 as an independent nonprofit institution, it is the world's oldest photography museum and one of the oldest film archives. The museum holds unparalleled collections-encompassing several million objects-in the fields of photography, cinema, and photographic and cinematographic technology, and photographically illustrated books. The institution is also a longtime leader in film preservation and photographic conservation.

Reviewed By Ontheroadsince64 - Talkeetna, Alaska

I was curious how this museum could get poor ratings, but after reading them I understand that some people come here thinking they will see all things photography-related. And they're right, that with over 400,000 photographs you don't see many. The museum addition to the original house has several floors underground where photographs and movies are stored. They have workshops based on using old photographic techniques (daguerrotype, tintype, etc). But for the average visitor all that is not available. Which was fine with us, since we enjoyed learning about Eastman's life, the tour of his home, and the exhibits in the museum. My favorite was a wall of chemicals used by the film industry to create technicolor film. Unexpected, and interesting. Yes the parking is a little odd, and the place is not well-signed, but it's worth finding and visiting!

9. Artisanworks

565 Blossom Rd, Rochester, NY 14610-1859 +1 585-288-7170
Excellent
71%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 129 reviews

Artisanworks

Reviewed By Diane K - Chicago, Illinois

There was "art" everywhere you looked - which was overwhelming. Not a square inch was left uncovered. You walk thru rooms and hallways that all have different themes. It goes on and on. The only art we liked was in the prairie room and the wooden art (motorcycle, etc). Thought it was overpriced for the quality of the art.

500 University Ave, Rochester, NY 14607-1414 +1 585-276-8900
Excellent
64%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 199 reviews

Memorial Art Gallery

A visit to the Memorial Art Gallery is a journey through more than 5,000 years of art history. From the relics of antiquity to works in the vanguard of contemporary movements, the Gallery offers a panorama of the world's art. With the completion of Centennial Sculpture Park, the Gallery's 14-acre campus has been transformed into a spectacular urban space that is a destination for Rochesterians and visitors alike.

Reviewed By Jean L - Newton, New Jersey

Big museums can be exhausting, so we especially love these smaller museums associated with colleges/universities. One gets a good overview of the history of art, and discovers some real gems that may be overlooked in a huge museum. The Memorial has an interesting and diverse collection. It was also nice to see groups of children and teens on tours and participating in activities, making this museum an integral part of the surrounding community.

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