Travel Guide - Rochester, New York
Rochester has a history as a haven for the arts. Internationally recognized Eastman School of Music has made its home in Rochester since 1921. With the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Geva Theatre, Strong Museum, Eastman Theatre, Strasenburgh Planetarium, Memorial Art Gallery and the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester’s level of sophistication is evident.
Located just over six hours from New York City on the western edge of the Finger Lakes region, Rochester is the third largest city in New York State. More than 1,000 restaurants in the Rochester area prepare food to please any palate.
The beautiful Rochester Riverside Convention Center, is scenically positioned over the Genesee River. Many of the hotels throughout downtown are linked to area businesses, restaurants, Midtown Plaza and more than 100 specialty shops by the climate-controlled, enclosed Rochester Skyway system.
Downtown's High Falls district, a restored 1800s industrial neighborhood, features views of the falls from the Pont de Rennes Bridge. The Center at High Falls museum offers an overview of Rochester history, including the role the Erie Canal played in making Rochester one of America's first boom towns.
Rochester's 100 year old Public Market is located in the heart of the city. Bargains abound on Market Days, which are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Vendors offer fresh foods, locally grown produce, ethnic delicacies, and specialty items. Special events throughout the year such as Sundays "Greatest Garage Sales Ever", "Flower City Days" and "Homegrown at the Market" add to the excitement.
Some of the local parks preserve historical sites and others were created especially for recreation. Cobb's Hill Park between Highland Avenue and Culver Road contains Lake Riley, the old Erie Canal turning basin. The city can be viewed from its hilltop. Upper Falls Park, on the Genesee River off St. Paul Street, has a 100-foot waterfall. Originally used to power the city's flour mills, the falls continue to generate electricity. Monroe County Park at Clover Street and Pond Road is a 2,500-acre park with a natural preserve and self-guided trails.
Rochester's contribution to education and technology is evident at the University of Rochester's Laboratory of Laser Energetics, where nuclear fusion research takes place.
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra performs at the Eastman Theater. The historic Geva Theatre Centre and other local theater, musical companies, and touring Broadway troupes offer productions throughout the year. The Eastman School of Music is said to produce more professional musicians than any other conservatory in the country.
One of the most popular recreational pursuits in the Rochester area is fishing. Lake Ontario and its tributaries offer both ice fishing and warm-water angling in season. Species include coho and giant chinook salmon, smelt, bass, pike and steelhead, rainbow and brown trout. Other water sports include swimming, boating, and sailing in Lake Ontario in the summer, and in the winter, ice boating and skating. Hiking and biking are popular along the historic, beautifully maintained Erie Canal Trail.
Sports fans eagerly follow the progress of the Knighthawks in lacrosse, the Brigade arena football, Rochester Americans ice hockey, and Rochester Redwings baseball. The summer training camp of the Buffalo Bills is in Rochester.
The Spirit of Ontario, a high-speed ferry that holds up to 220 vehicles and 750 passengers, moves rapidly across Lake Ontario to Toronto, Ontario, Canada at 50 miles per hour, arriving in just over two hours! Nicknamed “The Breeze,” the boat departs from the Rochester Terminal on North River Street.
Rochester is centrally located as a hub for day trips throughout the area. Visit the Corning Glass Museum, the Finger Lakes Wine Region, and nearby Niagara Falls. Get ready for hours of fun and adventure in historic Rochester.