Maplewood Park

60 Day Trips within 30 Minutes of Rochester

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!”

Table of Contents

  1. Braddock Bay
  2. Conesus Lake
  3. Oatka Creek Park
  4. Rochester’s Hidden Sidewalk
  5. Mount Hope Cemetery
  6. Helmer Nature Center
  7. Webster Arboretum
  8. Erie Canal Lock 62
  9. Cobb’s Hill
  10. MacKay Wildlife Preserve
  11. Channing H. Philbrick Park
  12. Turning Point Park
  13. Highland Park
  14. Durand Eastman Park
  15. High Falls
  16. Breese Park
  17. Corbett’s Glen
  18. Tinker Nature Park
  19. The Sunken Garden
  20. Mendon Ponds Park
  21. Frankel Nature Park
  22. Thomas Creek Wetlands Walk
  23. Maplewood Park
  24. Hamlin Beach State Park
  25. Ellison Park
  26. Brighton Town Park
  27. Ontario Beach Park
  28. Meridian Centre Park
  29. Powder Mills Park
  30. Seneca Park
  31. ARTISANworks
  32. Rochester Public Market
  33. Genesee Valley Park
  34. Vintage Drive-In
  35. Strong Museum
  36. Genesee Country Village
  37. Canadaigua Lake
  38. Ganondagan State Historic Park
  39. Seabreeze Amusement Park
  40. Central Library
  41. New York Museum of Transportation
  42. The Little Theatre
  43. Sam Patch Erie Canal Tour
  44. North Ponds Park
  45. Rochester Museum & Science Center
  46. Susan B. Anthony House & Museum
  47. Canawaugus Park
  48. Black Creek Park
  49. George Eastman Museum
  50. Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse
  51. Memorial Art Gallery
  52. Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum
  53. Geva Theatre
  54. Lamberton Conservatory
  55. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park
  56. Greece Canal Park
  57. Eastman Theatre
  58. Stokoe Farms
  59. Great Embankment Park
  60. Ellwanger Estate Garden
Braddock Bay Marina Trail
Marina Trail

1. Braddock Bay Fish & Wildlife Management Area

Greece

The Braddock Bay complex includes the bay and the surrounding wetlands. We break it down so you can start exploring!

Water Trails: Conesus Lake
Vitale Park

2. Conesus Lake

Lakeville

Conesus Lake is the westernmost Finger Lake and the closest to Rochester. You can drive around the entire lake in 30 minutes.

Oatka Creek Park birch trail
Oatka Creek Park

3. Oatka Creek Park

Scottsville

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.

30 day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester: Rochester Hidden Sidewalk
The Hidden Sidewalk

4. Rochester’s Hidden Sidewalk

City of Rochester

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.

30 day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester: Mount Hope Cemetery Rochester NY
Mount Hope

5. Mount Hope Cemetery

City of Rochester

Mount Hope Cemetery is a special place all year-round, but there’s something about Autumn that turns it into a virtual painting.

Helmer Nature Center bridge
Helmer Nature Center

6. Helmer Nature Center

Irondequoit

The paths at Helmer Nature Center in Irondequoit, made primarily of wood chip, boardwalk, and hard-pack gravel, are easy to navigate and clearly marked.

There are sloped portions that take you down to the valley floor where the terrain around you is hilly and tree covered making it peacefully quiet.

Webster Arboretum
Webster Arboretum

7. Webster Arboretum

Webster

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.

30 Day Trips within 30 Minutes of Rochester: Old Canal Lock 62
Old Canal Lock 62

8. Erie Canal Lock 62

Pittsford

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.

30 Day Trips within 30 Minutes of Rochester: Cobbs Hill Park
Cobb’s Hill Reservoir

9. Cobb’s Hill

City of Rochester

The view from Cobb’s Hill, the quiet, the breeze, the friendly nature of people walking and taking it all in—there’s nothing quite like it in Rochester.

Make sure you wander back through Washington Grove to the ever-changing art on the water towers.

MacKay Wildlife Preserve
MacKay Wildlife Preserve

10. MacKay Wildlife Preserve

Caledonia

There are interesting man-made and geologic wonders to discover at MacKay Wildlife Preserve in Caledonia, including a sea of round, moss-covered boulders.

Channing H Philbrick Park
AKA Linear Park

11. Channing H. Philbrick Park

Penfield

As Irondequoit Creek passes through Channing H. Philbrick Park (previously Linear Park) in Penfield, it drops 90 feet over one mile giving us the cascades that make this park so special.

Turning Point Park walking winter
Turning Point

12. Turning Point Park

City of Rochester

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.

Walk-through Tree
Highland Park

13. Highland Park

City of Rochester

Highland Park was designed to be enjoyed year-round. Every pathway, every tree, every vista and every relationship between the land and water is intentional.

Rochester-area parks: Durand Eastman Park boardwalk
Eastman Lake

14. Durand Eastman Park

City of Rochester

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.

High Falls Rochester NY Genesee River falling for you
High Falls

15. High Falls

City of Rochester

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.

Breese Park Henrietta
Breese Park

16. Breese Park

West Henrietta

Breese Park is located along the Genesee River in the small community of Riverton on the far west side of Henrietta.

Set your sights on late-April to early-May to see the native bluebelles, trilliums, and ferns in their full spring glory!

Corbetts Glen tunnel entrance
Corbett’s Glen

17. Corbett’s Glen

Penfield/Brighton

Corbett’s 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.

Tinker Nature Park
Tinker Nature Park

18. Tinker Nature Park

Henrietta

Tinker Nature Park comprises 68-acres in Henrietta with a 1.2 mile flat perimeter trail for jogging, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or walking.

Sunken Garden
Sunken Garden

19. Warner Castle Sunken Garden

City of Rochester

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 any time of year.

Continue walking behind the garden and you’ll find yourself at Highland Bowl.

Mendon Ponds devils bathtub stairs
Devil’s Bathtub

20. Mendon Ponds Park

Pittsford

Mendon Ponds Park is the largest Monroe County Park with 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds, wetlands and glacially created landforms.

Brickyard Trail
Brickyard Trail

21. Frankel Nature Park & Brickyard Trail

Brighton

Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park is a 72-acre linear park connecting the Brighton Town Hall and Library on Elmwood Ave with Buckland Park on Westfall Road. The 0.8-mile Brickyard Trail runs the length of the park.

Thomas Creek wetlands
Thomas Creek

22. Thomas Creek Wetlands Walk

Fairport

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.

Lower Falls Maplewood
Lower Falls

23. Maplewood Park

City of Rochester

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.

The Rose Garden is in bloom between mid-June and mid-November.

Hamlin Beach State Park
Hamlin Beach

24. Hamlin Beach State Park

Hamlin

Hamlin Beach State Park has 7 miles of beautiful biking and walking trails, including a mile-long self-guided tour of a CCC/POW camp.

cabin
Ellison Park

25. Ellison Park

Penfield

Irondequoit Creek meanders through Ellison Park on its way to Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario, offering visitors year-round fishing and non-motorized boating opportunities.

Brighton Town Park summer bench
Brighton Town Park

26. Brighton Town Park

Brighton

Brighton Town Park is surprisingly serene, despite it being bordered on one side by office buildings and across the pond by a major express way.

Ontario Beach Park Rochester NY
Ontario Beach Park

27. Ontario Beach Park

City of Rochester

Lake Ontario Beach Park is located at the northernmost tip of the city of Rochester, and is bordered on the East by the mouth of the Genesee River.

Erie Canal: Meridian Center Park
Meridian Centre

28. Meridian Centre Park

Brighton

Meridian Centre Park is located off Winton Road. There are several points of access from the large parking area to the Erie Canal path.

Powder Mills Park Daffodil Meadow Trail
Daffodil Meadow Trail

29. Powder Mills Park

Pittsford

Powder Mills Park favorites include the fish hatchery, and Daffodil Trail, and the Mushroom House, which is technically private property but still draws a crowd!

Winter break: Seneca Park Zoo
Seneca Park Zoo

30. Seneca Park Zoo

City of Rochester

The Seneca Park Zoo is a but a small part of the greater 297-acre Seneca Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893.

Winter break: ARTISANworks
ARTISANworks

31. ARTISANworks

City of Rochester

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.

Rochester Public Market
Rochester Public Market

32. Rochester Public Market

City of Rochester

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.

Genesee Valley Park crossing
Genesee River and Erie Canal crossing

33. Genesee Valley Park

City of Rochester

Genesee Valley Park is a Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park located at the intersection of the Erie Canal, Red Creek, and Genesee River.

Vintage Drive-In Avon american anthem
Drive-In

34. Vintage Drive-In

Avon

Yes, there are still drive-in theaters near Rochester! The Vintage Drive-In in Avon is the closest, but there are five others within a 90 minute drive.

Strong Museum tilted rooms
Strong Museum

35. Strong National Museum of Play

City of Rochester

The Strong National Museum of Play has a wealth of interaction for toddlers, school-aged children and adults.

The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play. And it all started with a little girl whose love of collecting mirrored her parents, who happily encouraged her—Margaret Woodbury Strong.

The Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden is the only year-round indoor butterfly garden in upstate New York.

Genesee Country Village
Genesee Country Village

36. Genesee Country Village & Museum

Mumford

Genesee Country Village & Museum is the largest and most comprehensive living history museum in New York State—and the third-largest in the United States.

The village square is located in the heart of the complex, surrounded by homes, businesses and churches, and plays host to the smaller activities like contests, games & performances.

Experienced museum interpreters in period-appropriate dress share the story of each home, business or activity while you explore the diversity and complexity of 18th century life in the Genesee Valley.

Canandaigua Lake Kershaw Park swimming beach
Kershaw Park

37. Canadaigua Lake

Canandaigua

Canandaigua Lake is home to the smallest island, one of only two islands in the Finger Lakes. You can drive around the entire lake in 60 minutes, with several scenic overlooks and public places to swim along the way.

Ganondagan autumn longhouse
Longhouse

38. Ganondagan State Historic Park

Victor

Everything you will see and do at Ganondagan is centered around these core values: peace, cooperation, and respect for each other and the natural world.

Ganondagan’s museum and walking trails are open all year, while the Longhouse is open only during the non-winter months.

Seabreeze Amusement Park water park
Seabreeze

39. Seabreeze Amusement Park

City of Rochester

Oh, how we miss our amusement parks in the winter! When May comes around, you find the parks with dry-rides opening on the weekends, with the water parks opening closer to Father’s Day in mid-June.

Central Library
Central Library

40. Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County

City of Rochester

Central Library occupies two buildings located across the street from each other on South Avenue in Center City Rochester.

New York Museum of Transportation trolley maintenance
Trolley

41. New York Museum of Transportation

Rush

The New York Museum of Transportation houses fourteen full size trolley cars, a caboose, steam locomotive, antique highway and horse-drawn vehicles, and the various associated smaller items that illuminate our transportation history. 

Your half-hour excursion on the only trolley ride in New York State is aboard one of the museum’s 87-year-old trolley cars.

more day trips within 30 minutes - The Little Theater Rochester NY
Little Theatre

42. The Little Theatre

City of Rochester

The Little Theatre is the premier cultural center for the presentation of American independent and foreign films, visual arts and music for the greater Rochester community.

Sam Patch exiting Lock 32
Lock 32

43. Sam Patch Erie Canal Tours

Pittsford

The Sam Patch is a replica 1800s packet boat that serves as a floating history museum for tourists, locals, and 4th graders all around the Rochester area.

Sam Patch Erie Canal Tours are a great way to immerse yourself in the canal’s history and operation during your narrated cruise.

North Ponds Park fitness equipment
North Ponds

44. North Ponds Park

Webster

The 1-mile paved loop trail in North Ponds Park circumnavigates both ponds. It is perfect for a leisurely stroll, jog, or bike ride.

Rochester Museum Science Center mastadon wooly mammoth
RMSC

45. Rochester Museum & Science Center

City of Rochester

Experience the vastness of the Universe & the complexity of human history all in a single day.

The new technology inside RMSC’s Planetarium allows you to explore the solar system and the entire visible universe from any perspective.

Susan B Anthony House typewriter
Susan B Anthony’s home

46. Susan B Anthony House & Museum

City of Rochester

Susan B Anthony’s passion for securing women’s right to vote started with her work as an agent of the anti-slavery movement.

Natural swimming areas
Oatka Creek

47. Canawaugus Park

Scottsville

Here’s a popular spot for kids during hot weather and high creek water in Oatka Creek at Canawaugus Park.

Oatka Creek is generally shallow enough to wade but directly under the bridge it’s much deeper. When creek water depth is 8 or 9 feet deep it is safe to jump from George Bridge into the waterhole.

Another attraction is a rope for swinging into the waterhole. Genesee Valley Greenway Trail is a green corridor lined trail extending 84 miles south from Rochester, through Scottsville, Avon, Geneseo, Mount Morris and Portageville.

Black Creek
Black Creek Park

48. Black Creek Park

Chili

At 1,505-acres, Black Creek Park is one of the largest of Monroe County’s 20 parks, second only to Mendon.

More day trips within 30 minutes: George Eastman Museum
Eastman Museum

49. George Eastman Museum

City of Rochester

The George Eastman Museum is a beautiful tribute to his life & legacy, and is the world’s oldest photography museum with one of the oldest film archives.

more day trips within 30 minutes - Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

50. Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

City of Rochester

You can climb the 40-foot tower in the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse and enjoy the view of Lake Ontario, the Genesee River, and Ontario Beach Park.

More day trips within 30 minutes: Memorial Art Gallery
Memorial Art Gallery

51. Memorial Art Gallery

City of Rochester

Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery has an extensive permanent collection and an incredible variety of traveling exhibits.

Make time to explore outside, too! Besides the engaging sculptures and extraordinary architecture, there is Morse Code set in the brick sidewalks outside the main entrance & poetry along University Ave.

Rochester Genesee Valley Railroad Museum
R&GV RR Museum

52. Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum

Rush

R&GV Railroad Museum is the only operating railroad museum and home to the largest collection of historic trains in New York State, with fun train rides every third weekend from April through December.

more day trips within 30 minutes - Geva Theater intimate stage
Geva

53. Geva Theatre

City of Rochester

See the fabulous sets and costumes, the imaginative interpretations of great plays, the development of new work – all up close and personal. The best seat in the house is the one you choose to sit in.

Lamberton Conservatory holiday show orchids
Lamberton Conservatory

54. Lamberton Conservatory

City of Rochester

Lamberton Conservatory is the perfect place to spend inside on a gray day. Many folks visit to seek a calm, colorful space warmed to tropical temperatures.

It’s also a great place to photograph tropical flowers and foliage.

Martin Luther King Jr Park mural
Martin Luther King Jr Park

55. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park

City of Rochester

Five-acre Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park at Manhattan Square is in the heart of Center City, right next to the Strong National Museum of Play.

more day trips within 30 minutes - Greece Canal Park stairs
Greece Canal Park

56. Greece Canal Park

Greece

Greece Canal Park encompasses 577 acres, with 4 easy walking trails varying in length under 1.5 miles over level or gently rolling terrain.

It is one of two Monroe County Parks connected with the Erie Canal, and one of two with dog parks. 

Eastman Theatre Kodak Hall stage view
Kodak Hall

57. Eastman Theatre

City of Rochester

The magnificent theatre, which originally contained 3,352 seats, was built by George Eastman as a center for music, dance, and silent film with orchestral and organ accompaniment.

An architectural gem, its opulent décor reflects the taste and elegance of the 1920s.

Stokoe Farms bee line
Stokoe Farms

58. Stokoe Farms

Wheatland

Stokoe Farms offers a full day of family activities. On a beautiful Autumn day, you can expect it to be a very popular place! Stop back in December to cut your own Christmas tree.

More day trips within 30 minutes: Great Embankment Park
Erie Canal

59. Great Embankment Park

Pittsford

Great Embankment Park has a small sitting area, a few benches, a small boat launch and a dock great for fishing; perfect to start your trip along the canal.

More day trips within 30 minutes: Ellwanger Garden
Ellwanger Garden

60. Ellwanger Estate Garden

City of Rochester

While the Ellwanger Estate is private, the garden is maintained by the Landmark Society and is periodically open to the public for special events.

Fall Foliage: 7 Breathtaking Views Near Rochester

These destinations offer colorful fall foliage and varied landscapes so you can appreciate them each in their own unique way.

Read more

132 Things to Do Around Rochester, NY

We’ve pulled together a list of fun and unique things to do around Rochester, NY within two hours of home—perfect for quick getaways.

Read more

17 Hidden Places Around Rochester

Explore some of our hidden gems this week! There’s no time like the present to start checking some off these extraordinary places your list.

Read more

10 Spots to Seek Solitude Around Rochester

It’s critical to spend time outside. Here are a few spots that I can recommend where there’s ample space for finding solitude and solace.

Read more

49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a two hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

Read more

3-Day Getaways from Rochester

Spend less time traveling and more time exploring with these fantastic getaways from Rochester. They’re all within a two hour drive from home.

Read more

Where are your favorite day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!

495 Shares

2 thoughts on “60 Day Trips within 30 Minutes of Rochester”

  1. paul j jankowiak

    1. Clover street canal locks.
    2. Seneca Park Zoo
    3. Letchworth State Park (eagles)
    4. The public beach at Charlotte
    5. The views at Irondequoit Bay (jetties)
    6. Webster Park Picnics
    7. Farmington (Finger Lakes) horse racing
    8. Strolling along Park Ave.
    9. Cornhill festival

    1. That’s a great set list! Irondequoit Bay is fascinating between the cliffs and history of the area. I am unfamiliar with the jetties. I’ll have to explore further! Thank you for the recommendations, Paul!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.