Top Recommended Layover Activities:
1. The Rochester Public Market
280 Union St N, 2 blocks North of East Main, Rochester, NY 14609-6013 · 585-428-6907
This public market offers produce, fresh meats, and fish as well as crafts, other food items, and special Sunday events. Enjoy walking around and exploring all the stalls and "shops."
2. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial
Highland Park South, at 1440 South Ave, Rochester, NY 14692 · 585-227-7321
This inspirational, two-acre memorial serves to commemorate, educate, and encourage. Consisting of a Memorial Overlook, Veterans' Garden, Learning Center, Garden of Reflection, and Walk of Honor, the memorial is augmented by massive granite sections depicting maps of Vietnam, statistics from other wars, and a comprehensive timeline of this dark chapter in American history. There's also a listing of the area's veterans, casualties and MIA's from the Korean War.
3. Seneca Park Zoo
2222 Saint Paul St, Rochester, NY 14621-1097 · 585-467-9453
Located just north of Route 104, this marvelous zoo features more than 300 animals, including elephants, tigers, wolves, orangutans, and kangaroos, as well as an exhibit that allows for underwater observation of sea lions, penguins and polar bears. Numerous special events and educational options.
4. The Genesee River and High Falls
St. Paul St, Rochester, NY
The High Falls is a city waterfall location that can be seen from a walking bridge near Main Street or from the St. Paul Street overlook area. The river itself is a local favorite for whitewater rafting and fishing.
5. Highland Park
Off I-490, exit 12, Rochester, NY
The city's first public park (founded in 1888) is host of the annual Lilac Festival in May, which attracts thousands from around the world and also includes a conservatory, Vietnam Memorial, several pavilions, historic Warner Castle, a winter ice-skating rink, hiking paths, and an outdoor amphitheater. Thousands of botanical specimens flourish in this well-landscaped park. ADMISSION: Free
Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:
1. Six Flags Darien Lake
9993 Allegheny Rd, Darien Center, NY 14040 · 585-599-4641
This enormous 1,600-acre amusement park makes for an unforgettable family excursion. Facilities include a water park, hotel, campground and numerous dining restaurants. Be sure to check out the new Superman "Ride of Steel" roller coaster!
2. Casa Larga
2287 Turk Hill Rd, Fairport, NY 14450-9579 · 585-223-4210
A real winery with all the features of an authentic-feeling Italian vineyard, including a central "piazza" and a bell tower. You can taste the local wine as well as purchase wines and other gifts at the shop. Rochester's only winery where you can see wine being made (in progress vintages).
3. Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse
70 Lighthouse St, Rochester, NY 14612 · 585-621-6179
This forty-foot high stone lighthouse was built in 1822 to guide the growing number of commerce ships into the port of Rochester. Following a long and storied history, the lighthouse was rumored to be demolished in 1965, so concerned students intervened on its behalf. Later renovations led to the tower being relit in 1984. Fascinating museum and well-stocked gift shop on-hand.
4. Ganondagan State Historic Site
West on CR 41 (Boughton Hill Rd) to, 1488 Victor Holcomb Rd, Victor, NY 14564 · 585-924-5848
This 552-acre National Historic Landmark is New York's only historic site dedicated to the rich heritage of the Seneca Indians, who flourished here for hundreds of years until driven out by a French army in 1687, never to return. Learning is facilitated by an informative documentary, numerous artifacts, four interpretive hiking trails, a reproduction of a traditional longhouse, formal tours and lectures. Open Mid May through October. ADMISSION: Free
5. Susan B Anthony House
17 Madison St, Rochester, NY 14608 · 585-235-6124
National Historic Landmark. This is the house where Susan B. Anthony lived from 1866 until she died in 1906.
6. The Seaway Trail
All Along the Lake Ontario Shoreline, follows the Niagara River, Sackets Harbor, NY 13685 · 315-646-1000
In the Rochester vicinity, look for the Green trail markers "Seaway Trail": it is the longest scenic byway in the US! There are all sorts of places to visit along the trail, including museums, parks, villages, and forts. It's a local favorite for weekend hiking and exploring. Call for specific details and/or contact the Greater Rochester Visitors Association while in town.
7. Durand-Eatsman Park
7 minutes north of I-590, Rochester, NY
Comprised of 965 acres on Lake Ontario, this fabulously scenic extravaganza features lakes, picnic areas, a golf course, and trails for hiking and horseback riding.
8. Letchworth State Park
1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427-9714 · 585-493-3600
One hour from Rochester, this park has the "Grand Canyon of the East," which allows for a majestic view of the Genesee River Gorge. Enjoy shopping in the quaint little village and take a relaxing ride aboard the steam railroad train. During the winter, stop by the nature center for snow-mobiling and cross-country skiing.