15 Best Things To Do in Rochester, New York

Located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, Rochester is a beautiful blend of culture and innovation. Rochester is ranked among the best cities to raise a family as it offers an awesome weather, best universities and recreational activities of all kinds. The old and new juxtaposed into one is a site to behold. Whether it is family- friendly activities or professional sports, Rochester has something on the palate for people of all kinds. The boomtown is abundant in parks, museums and lush greenery and if you plan to visit this amazing place, you may look out for these top tourist attractions in Rochester.

Rochester, New YorkImage Source: wikipedia.org

Let's explore Rochester points of interest and 15 best things to do in Rochester:

1. The Strong- National Museum of Play

Spread over an area of 282,000 square feet, the Strong National Museum of Play is devoted to fun and education through highly interactive exhibits including books, video games and fun activities for people of all age groups. This huge museum is an informative venture for kids who will be engrossed in the activities throughout their visit. The place is a must-go-to spot on your bucket list of places to visit in Rochester NY. The museum also has food spots and places for rest and recreation.

2. Seneca Park Zoo

Seneca Park Zoo exhibits around 90 species of animals, reptiles, amphibians and arachnids. Although comparatively small in size (15.5 acres), the zoo exhibits a striking variety of animals which you would hardly see in another zoo of the area. The only African Elephants of the city are housed by the Seneca Zoo. The zoo even provides an underwater viewing area through which you can see sea lions swim. The zoo organizes various educational and conservation programmes as well as numerous events for environmental causes.

3. Seabreeze Amusement Park

Seabreeze Amusement Park is the New York family destination for fun and enjoyment. It is one of the oldest amusement park in New York and offers a number of fun rides like roller coasters, wooden carousel and thrill rides. It even comprises of a water park consisting of a wave pool, tube slides, body flumes and a lot more. You can always go and chill in the park when you want some rest or grab something to eat.

4. George Eastman Museum

The foremost museum devoted to photography and filming, George Eastman Museum holds an unparalleled collection of photography, sculptures and illustrated books. Docent tours of the places take place several times a day and the tour guides provide a tour in sign language once every two months. Frequent expert talks and music recitals are held periodically in the museum and the gardens provide a place for quite an enjoyment. There is always something new or different to engage and entertain you.

5. Hidden Valley Animal Adventure

Hidden valley animal adventure provides a unique opportunity to get away from the hustle- bustle of the city and go on an animal safari through this site. Hidden away in the Varysburg valley, the adventure awaits you a short distance from Rochester. It is a unique attraction that consists of an hour-long safari through the valley where you can experience all kinds of fauna in real time. It is a get-away destination into the wild and unknown.

6. Altitude Trampoline Park

It is the largest indoor park in New York and offers wall to wall attractions for healthy and active fun. It is an innovative new approach to entertainment through exercise and active participation. It offers a number of high energy activities like regular dodgeball, basketball dunk lanes, foam pits, battle lanes and a lot more. Its huge area can accommodate groups of families, friends and schools varying from 25 to 500. All equipments are created keeping safety as priority. Altitude is a new and unique dimension to entertainment and active fun for all age groups.

7. Rochester Museum and Science Centre

For those who are obsessed with science, Rochester museum and science centre is the place to immerse yourself in the scientific world and follow your curiosity. From the depths of the oceans to the edge of the universe, the science centre offers activities from all fields of science to create your own inventions. It offers a number of attractions like electricity theater, summer curiosity camps, regional green infrastructure showcase, inventor centre and many more. It is the best place to push your imagination to new limits and ignite your passion.

8. Highland Park

Highland Park - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

 Highland Park is an arboretum in Rochester devoted to a variety of plant species. Spread over 150 acres, it features over 1,200 lilac shrubs of around 500 varieties. Apart from this, it also features a huge variety of exotic plant species from around the world. It contains a rock garden, a natural amphitheater, sunken garden, a conservatory greenhouse and a number of statue and edifice. The park also hosts events throughout the year including the Lilac Festival which is the largest festival of its kind in North America.

9. Rochester City Ballet

Lead by David Palmer, the former Artistic director, the Rochester City Ballet has developed a reputation for its excellence, versatility and unique repertoire. The company presents a wide range of classical and contemporary performances at theaters and art centers. The company is even known for presenting live music and artistic collaborations. RCB invites various famous choreographers and aims at enriching the quality of life in the greater Rochester community.

10. The RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium

The Strasenbrugh Planetarium is plunged into the scientific world of endless possibilities. You get to explore new areas of interest and have real-time experiences that you will never forget. The planetarium features a number of attractions like 70s LASER, animals in the sky, dolphins, challenger centre and sky tonight. The center provides activities for children of all age groups and they get to explore the actual world around them.

11. Theater Young Kids Enjoy

As the name suggests, the theater young kids enjoy offers the most spectacular kid’s theater in town. It is a non- profit organization which captivates children and their families through plays which are brought to life on stage by professional artists. The organization strives to make the plays accessible to all kids irrespective of their ability to pay. It aims to foster awareness about literature and promotes social and communication skills among kids.

12. Experience art creation at Artisan Work

Artisan works is a non-profit, self-funded art-space which houses a collection of around 500,000 paintings, sculptures, memorabilia and antiques. Spread over an area of 40,000 feet in a renovated factory, the factory receives works from aspiring students and trained professionals alike. If you are lucky, you may even experience the making of artworks by resident artists who wish to provide the visitors with new perspectives of how art is created and the inspirations which lie within. It is the best to walk in, find a new perspective and be inspired.

13. Contemporary Art Centre

Contemporary Art Gallery is a non-profit venue for the exchange of ideas and showcases artworks by professional and emerging artists of New York State. It aims at building a community by bringing together artists, students, patrons and enthusiasts and often serves as a venue for artistic activity and unique encounters. It provides educational and networking opportunities for artists and holds a number of exhibitions for the curious minds. Soon, it is organizing events like jazz fest, art of the mix and 6x6 art sale.

14. Frontier Field

Frontier field is a baseball field in downtown Rochester. It replaced the Silver Stadium and is home to professional baseball. Since its opening, the Ballpark serves as the stadium for Governor’s Cup Championship. A true Rochester Gem, the venue meets and exceeds the expectations of a baseball game. The skyline view and the fireworks organized on Friday nights are a scene to behold. Although It is cheap and small sized, it is a must visit location for a fun time.

15. Crush Beer and Wine Tours

Crush beers and wine tours provide an exciting experience to the visitors through public and private tours through the Finger Lake Winelands. What better than an opportunity to taste grape wines of all varieties! You will be sipping, swirling and savoring hand-crafted wines and tingling your taste buds with the finest blends of beers in Rochester NY. You will create amazing memories and delve deeper into the newfound love for the nectar of the gods.

These are some of the places you wouldn’t wish to miss on your trip to Rochester, New York.

Author: Arundhati Bhand
An animal lover at heart, marketer by education and artist by passion, Arundhati aims to seek out to all that satisfies her diverse interests. She believes that it is only through experiences that one learns, and a traveller of sorts, she strives to ...

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Rochester

Check out the list of top tourist attractions in Rochester! These are some inspiring things to do in Rochester to create a wish list of your dream destinations.

  1. #1 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 80 itineraries
    George Eastman Museum

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 900 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

    Timings: 11:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Built in 1905 for George Eastman (who bequeathed it to the city of Rochester upon his death), chartered as a museum in 1947, this building is the world’s oldest photography museum (400,000 photo...Read more

  2. #2 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 29 itineraries
    Seabreeze Amusement Park

    Tags: Amusement Park, Water Park, Rides

    Address: 4600 Culver Rd, Rochester, NY 14622

    Timings: 11:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Opened in 1879, this is the 12th oldest operating amusement park in the entire world. Additionally, the park’s Jack Rabbit rollercoaster is the 4th oldest in the world. Today, it’s famous ...Read more

  3. #3 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 24 itineraries
    Seneca Park Zoo

    Tags: Park, Zoo

    Address: 2222 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY 14621

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Spread over 15 acres, this excellent zoo is home to about 90 species of animals. Opened in 1894, it’s quite old. Most of the animals here are from the planet’s temperature and polar region...Read more

  4. #4 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 54 itineraries
    Highland Park

    Tags: Garden, Park, Statue

    Address: 180 Reservoir Ave, Rochester, NY 14620

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Formed of a glacial moraine, this 150-acre park was one of USA’s first municipal arboretums. With 1200 lilac shrubs covering 500 different varieties of the flower, this park is the reason lilacs...Read more

  5. #5 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 46 itineraries
    Mount Hope Cemetery

    Tags: Cemetery

    Address: 1133 Mt Hope Ave, Rochester, NY 14620

    Timings: 07:30 am - 08:00 pm Details

    This beautiful cemetery is rather important for multiple reasons. For one, notable dignitaries such as Frederick Douglass, General E.G. Marshall, Margaret Woodbury Strong and Susan B Anthony have been...Read more

  6. #6 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 65 itineraries
    Geva Theatre Center

    Tags: Entertainment, Performance, Theatre

    Address: 75 Woodbury Blvd, Rochester, NY 14609

    This professional theatre company is located inside a historic 1868 building that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has two stages - the old 552-seat Mainstage, and the ne...Read more

  7. #7 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 51 itineraries
    Frontier Field

    Tags: Sport, Stadium, Concert

    Address: 333 Plymouth Ave N, Rochester, NY 14608

    The city of Rochester’s most popular baseball stadium also hosts soccer (Rochester Raging Rhinos of the USL First Division) and lacrosse (Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse) matches. Op...Read more

  8. #8 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 4 itineraries

    Tags: Arts And Crafts, Sculpture

    Address: 565 Blossom Rd # L, Rochester, NY 14610

    Timings: 11:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    This self-funded, not-for-profit is spread out over 40,000 square meters of recovered factory space. It’s easily one of the liveliest and most fun spaces in the city, with multiple warehouses co...Read more

  9. #9 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 12 itineraries
    Rochester Public Market

    Tags: Market

    Address: Rochester Public Market, Rochester, NY 14609

    Timings: 06:00 am - 01:00 pm Details

    Cities don’t feel complete without a really good farmer’s market. This one, in operation since 1905, 52 weeks a year on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, is one of the finest you’ll...Read more

  10. #10 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 19 itineraries
    Ontario Beach Park

    Tags: Park, Play Ground, Walking Area

    Address: 50 Beach Ave, Rochester, NY 14612

    Timings: 07:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    This 39-acre beach park has a lot to offer to everyone looking for a relaxing day out. Queen among its highlights is the lovely pier, which is perfect for romantic walks in the sunset. Nearby you&rsqu...Read more

  11. #11 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 21 itineraries
    Genesee River's High Falls

    Tags: View Point, Waterfall, Bridge

    Address: Browns Race, Rochester, NY 14614

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Genesee River, flowing through the city of Rochester, has three large waterfalls. This is the prettiest and most accessible of them. The water falls 96 feet into a large gorge, and in the gorge, y...Read more

  12. #12 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 32 itineraries
    Durand Eastman Park

    Tags: Park, Wildlife Park, Lake

    Address: 570 Lake Shore Blvd, Rochester, NY 14617

    Timings: 07:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    Popular with the sunbathers in the summer and cross country skiers in the winter, this is Rochester’s favourite waterfront. The north end of the parks runs along the waters of the Lake for 5000 ...Read more

  13. #13 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 18 itineraries
    Black Button Distilling

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Winery, Adults

    Address: 85 Railroad St, Rochester, NY 14609

    Timings: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    This is apparently the first distillery in the city since Prohibition. The name of the distillery comes from the young proprietor’s grandfather, who used to work at Shantz and Associates, a WWI ...Read more

  14. #14 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 10 itineraries
    Village Gate

    Tags: Mall

    Address: 274 Goodman St N, Rochester, NY 14607

    Timings: 07:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    This is a rather unusual mall. It was originally or shopping complex that was converted into a mall in 1981. But it doesn’t host any of the big chain staples. Rather, it’s home to a series...Read more

  15. #15 of 1351 Things To Do in Rochester
    - Used in 8 itineraries
    Rochester Riverside Convention Center

    Tags: Convention Center

    Address: 123 E Main St, Rochester, NY 14604

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The four storey high Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center is 100,000 square feet worth of conference and exhibit space in the middle of the city. It has meeting rooms, banquet faci...Read more

Activities And Tours

Explore these activities and tours for awesome experiences in Rochester:

  • The Strong Museum Admission
    The Strong Museum AdmissionNew on TripHobo

    Duration: Flexible

    Discover a world of fun at the Strong National Museum of Play, a hands-on history center for children and families in Rochest...

    Book Now
  • George Eastman Museum Admission
    George Eastman Museum AdmissionNew on TripHobo

    Duration: 5 Hrs

    Enter the world of photography and film!George Eastman Museum is one of the worlds foremost collections of photography and ci...

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  • Save 7% Genesee Country Village and Museum Admission
    Genesee Country Village and Museum AdmissionNew on TripHobo

    Duration: Flexible

    Immerse yourself in the 19th century at The Genesee Country Village and Museum, the largest living history museum in New York...

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  • Save 1% Farms, Flights & Delights: Finger Lakes Brewery Tour
    Farms, Flights & Delights: Finger Lakes Brewery TourNew on TripHobo

    Duration: Flexible

    Delight in relaxing views and rich aromas of local hop farms while enjoying farm fresh beer flights.

    Book Now