Sometimes you just need a fun, spontaneous adventure or quick getaway to refresh your day. Try one of these day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester next time someone says, “I’m bored!”
As Irondequoit Creek passes through Channing H Philbrick Park in Penfield, it drops 90 feet over one mile giving us the cascades that make this park so special.
I’ve heard ARTISANworks described as a walk-through kaleidoscope, a bombardment on the senses, a 360° canvas, a space that defies all boundaries, a place that can’t be described but must be seen, surprising, inspiring, and in some instances shocking.
Sam Patch Erie Canal Tours are a great way to experience the canal, the locks, & learn about its history along your narrated cruise. Seasonal.
Most folks when visiting Fairport walk along the canal path not knowing that the Thomas Creek Wetlands Walk is running parallel to them. There is also a viewing platform where you can relax and take in the sights and sounds.
Durand Eastman Park’s landscape design was inspired by the work that Olmsted had done 20 years earlier in Highland, Seneca, and Genesee Valley Parks.
Follow the pathways that meander around Webster Arboretum’s 40 acres of open spaces, flower & herb gardens, water elements, and a wide variety of trees.
Greece Canal Park encompasses 577 acres, with 4 easy walking trails varying in length under 1.5 miles over level or gently rolling terrain.
Old Erie Canal Lock 62 is tucked just far enough off the beaten path that many do not realize it’s there, just over the hill behind Pittsford Plaza.
9. Cobbs Hill
The view from Cobbs Hill, the quiet, the breeze, the friendly nature of people walking and taking it all in—there’s nothing quite like it in Rochester.
There are interesting man-made and geologic wonders to discover at MacKay Wildlife Preserve in Caledonia, including a sea of round, moss-covered boulders.
You can climb the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse’s 40 foot high tower and enjoy the view of Lake Ontario, the Genesee River, and Ontario Beach Park. Seasonal.
12. Conesus Lake
Conesus Lake is the westernmost Finger Lake and the closest to Rochester. You can drive around the entire lake in 30 minutes.
Concerts, events, and festivals at Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park at Manhattan Square are organized more frequently now, and the cascades behind the stage will make for a beautiful backdrop.
14. Oatka Creek Park
Oatka Creek Park in Wheatland is one of the more strollable in the Monroe County Park system, with little change in elevation along the 3.3 mile loop trail.
At Tinker Nature Park you can look for Tinker Bell in one of the 20+ miniature homes along the Fairy Trail, or take a meditation walk in the labyrinth.
To find Rochester’s hidden sidewalk, start at Ontario Beach Park & head west on Beach Ave. Across from Clematis St. & Cloverdale St. are the two main entrances.
Meridian Centre Park is located off Winton Road. There are several points of access from the large parking area to the Erie Canal path.
The Braddock Bay complex includes the bay and the surrounding wetlands. We break it down so you can start exploring!
19. Maplewood Park
Maplewood Park is a linear park that follows the river from Driving Park and the Lower Falls to just north of Route 104, ending at the pedestrian bridge over the Genesee.
Turning Point Park’s most striking feature is a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin, part of the greater Genesee Riverway Trail.
The Rochester Public Market is the place to grab the freshest local and wholesale fruit, veggies, seafood, beef, cheese, bread, flowers and spices. The market is surrounded by excellent restaurants, cafes, a donuts shop, and a distillery.
22. High Falls
High Falls is both the name of the waterfall and the district in the city where it can be found. There’s plenty of parking and food options on both sides of the river.
When you stroll around the back of Warner Castle and down the lawn, you’ll discover the Sunken Garden. It’s a peaceful retreat, and beautiful anytime of the year. Continue walking behind the garden and you’ll find yourself at Highland Bowl.
Tropical plants need tropical temperatures, so visiting Lamberton Conservatory in winter is a welcome escape from the cold! Don’t miss the Spring Show that runs late-March through May and the Holiday Show in December.
Mount Hope Cemetery is a special place all year-round, but there’s something about Autumn that turns it into a virtual painting.
26. Highland Park
Highland Park was designed to be enjoyed year-round. Every pathway, every tree, every vista & every relationship between the land & water is intentional.
Mendon Ponds Park is the largest Monroe County Park with 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds, wetlands and glacially created landforms.
28. Seneca Park
The Seneca Park Zoo is a but a small part of the greater 297-acre Seneca Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893.
Corbetts Glen Nature Park is a hidden green space in a suburban jungle, nestled in between an express way and 2 highly trafficked roads near the Penfield/Brighton Town border.
Genesee Valley Park is a Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park located at the intersection of the Erie Canal, Red Creek, and Genesee River.
Looking for more day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester?
Check out Part 2 in our 30-Minute Day Trips series next!