This lively downtown is full of opportunities for recreation and relaxation and is the best place to connect with the unique history of the city.
Downtown Rochester, cut through by the Genesee River, is the heart of this upstate New York city. Filled with museums, parks and historic sites, it’s the perfect place to understand this fascinating region. Walk through exhibits, splash in park fountains or sit on a rooftop and watch the Genesee River’s High Falls crash into the river below.
Follow the Heritage Trail, a 1.25-mile (2-kilometer) path, marked with granite or blue paint and winding through the city’s downtown. It stops at a number of historically significant spots from Rochester’s industrial past as well as sites commemorating the activism of local heroes Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.
Cross the Pont de Rennes Bridge. This pedestrian suspension bridge traverses the cliffs over which the waterfall splashes, bathing everything in a cool mist, the perfect refresher on a hot summer day.
Wander through old industrial neighborhoods on the way to Susan B. Anthony House, once the famous suffragette’s home and the place from which she launched her first attempt to vote.
Go back over the bridge and visit The Strong National Museum of Play, an enormous multi-level museum and amusement park featuring a miniature Wegmans supermarket, pinball arcade and immense toy collections.
Emerge into nearby Manhattan Square Park and Ice Rink. Glide across the ice or relax in the shady garden in summer.
Play with fossils or watch a star show at nearby Rochester Museum and Science Center, learning all about the Great Lakes region.
Downtown Rochester straddles the banks of the Genesee River, upstream from Lake Ontario. Drive here in 90 minutes from Niagara Falls or 3.5 hours from Albany, New York. Train service is available to New York City and other regional destinations including Canada. Downtown Rochester has an extensive bus service and is quite walkable.
There’s no better way to spend your last night in Downtown Rochester than at a free or close-to-free concert at Eastman School of Music, one of the country’s top music schools.