20 Historic Inns & Hotels Around Rochester

Rochester’s historic inns and hotels offer one-of-a-kind dining experiences. Unlike bed and breakfasts, their dining areas are open to the public. Unlike restaurants, they also offer lodging. These establishments will take you back in time to when Rochester was a frontier town, only accessible by train, boat, or stagecoach, and will transport you into our rich history.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Best of Rochester Award-Winning Book for Best Published Literary Work of 2023.

Historic Inns More Than a Century Old

Historic Inns Around Rochester American Hotel Lima

1. American Hotel of Lima

1790 – Lima

History: This site has had an American Hotel since about 1790. The first two were made of wood. The present-day building was built in 1840. After two fires in the 1850s, it was rebuilt in 1861 by Mr. Mosley. The hotel has been owned and operated by the Reynolds family since 1920. It is still operated as a hotel; the second-floor rooms are available for rent. The Reynolds family has always resided on the third floor of the hotel.

View Menu: “The historic American Hotel, located in a 150-year-old building and a member of the National Register of Historic Places, is noted for its homemade soups, featuring unique favorites like cheeseburger chowder, Thai peanut, vegetable beef, cauliflower cheddar, and New England clam chowder.”

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Sherwood Inn
Sherwood Inn

2. Sherwood Inn

1807 – Skaneateles

History: 1807 stagecoach stop

View Menu: “Enjoy casual-elegant dining.”

It’s the perfect spot to warm up if you’re enjoying Skaneateles’ Dickens Christmas or just heading to Skaneateles Lake for the day.

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Historic Inns - Creekside Inn Tavern LeRoy
Farmer’s Creekside Inn and Tavern in LeRoy

3. Farmer’s Creekside Inn

1820s – LeRoy

History: Originally constructed in the 1820s, the earliest settlers of Le Roy built the Creekside from black Marcellus shale dug from the Oatka Creek bed.

View Menu: “Our Tavern fare is a delicious hybrid of old English, early American, and gastropub. Whether your vibe is cozy, casual comfort food or easy-breezy oysters on the patio, this menu is sure to satisfy your cravings.” Outdoor seating next to Oatka Creek makes this one of our favorite historic inns.

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Historic Inns Around Rochester: Tillmans Village Inn

4. Tillman’s Village Inn (closed)

1824 – Albion

History: This historic establishment dates back to 1824, and guests can view the marvelous artifacts of centuries past throughout the restaurant. The Fairhaven Inn, built in 1837, is now owned and operated by Tillman’s Historic Village Inn, the only stagecoach house still in operation on the historic Ridge Road. Adjacent to the Cobblestone Museum.

Sadly, the restaurant closed in December 2021 after 70 years of operation across four generations of Tillmans. You can still check out the lovely building on your drive along Ridge Road.

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Glen Iris Inn
Glen Iris Inn

5. Glen Iris Inn

1828 – Letchworth State Park

History: While walking along the left bank of the river, Letchworth found a large two-story frame house located near the remains of a burned-out lumber mill. Owned by Michael Smith, the house had been built by Alva Palmer in 1828. The view was spectacular, and as he gazed toward the South overlooking the falls, he knew he had found his country retreat. Letchworth acquired the house in February 1859 and immediately began renovations. Seasonal.

View Menu: Traditional comfort foods.

The Inn is perfectly situated overlooking the Middle Falls in Letchworth State Park.

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Historic Inns Around Rochester: Aurora inn

6. Aurora Inn

1833 – Aurora

History: Originally named Aurora House, the Aurora Inn was built in 1833 by Colonel E. B. Morgan, a native of Aurora and original investor in The New York Times.

View Menu: “Surrounded by rolling farmland where heritage farms cultivate wine grapes, grow organic vegetables, produce artisan cheeses and raise grass-fed beef, the Inns of Aurora live at the center of a thriving farm-to-table culture. Executive Chef Patrick Higgins’s award-winning American cuisine takes its cue from the local bounty’s refined seasonal shifts.”

You’ll find the Inn just south of MacKenzie Childs on the east side of Cayuga Lake.

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Historic Inns Around Rochester: Big Tree Inn

7. Big Tree Inn

1833 – Geneseo

History: In 1833, the residence of Mr. Allen Ayrault and his wife, Mrs. Bethia Ayrault, was built on this land. In 1886, the building was renovated by Mr. Wadsworth and Mr. William C. Nash to become a hotel. A large sign bearing the words “Big Tree Inn” in red letters was erected in front of the imposing mansion, thus giving it the name it carries today.

Sadly, the restaurant has been temporarily closed since 2020. But you can still enjoy the drive down Main Street in Geneseo for other wonderful food options.

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Historic Inns Around Rochester Avon Inn

8. Avon Inn

1840 – Avon

History: Built circa 1840, this beautiful Greek revival structure was initially the residence of Jonathan H. Gerry, a successful grower of broom corn. After 1866, it was operated as a well-known health center from Maine to Florida. Water from the sulfur springs was used to treat rheumatism, neuralgia, malaria, and other conditions. Among many “firsts,” the Avon Inn had the first central heating system in the Genesee Valley, the first elevator in upstate New York, and was the site of the first bank and post office of Livingston County.

View Menu: The Tavern has both a traditional and modern selection.

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Asa Ransom house Clarence
Asa Ransom House

9. Asa Ransom House

1853 – Clarence

History: The original structure, which dates back to 1853, houses the library, gift shop, and snug. Our dining rooms were added in 1975 with careful concern to keep the charm of the 19th century. The South wing, completed in 1993, overlooks the rear gardens and pond. The ruins of the grist mill are at the rear of the property. In 1799, the Holland Land Company offered lots 10 miles apart in what is now Clarence to “any proper man who would build and operate a tavern upon it.” A young silversmith named Asa Ransom had been plying his trade in the little fur trading post on the shores of Lake Erie. He was among the first to accept this opportunity and, in the hollow of the ledge near a pine grove, built a log home & tavern. 1803, he built a grist mill, the first in Erie County.

View Menu: “Our fine dining restaurant serves our B&B guests a full breakfast each morning. We serve an afternoon tea by reservation to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. On Wednesdays, lunch is served April thru December. Our seasonal dinner menu with extensive wine list is available Sunday and Tuesday – Friday. Saturday nights we do a five course gourmet dinner. Reservations recommended.”

10. Richardson Hotel

1872 – Buffalo

History: Widely considered to be one of Buffalo’s most important and beautiful buildings, construction on the 145-year-old Richardson Olmsted Campus began in 1872 and opened in 1880 as the state-of-the-art Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane. Henry Hobson Richardson, who is one of “The Recognized Trinity of American Architecture,” constructed this Richardson Romanesque-style campus of buildings more than 145 years ago alongside Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, developer of the Kirkbride Plan to improve medical care for mental health patients. America’s landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York City and Buffalo’s beautiful park system, designed the grounds and gardens throughout the campus alongside Calvert Vaux.

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Geneva Belhurst Castle Winery
Belhurst Castle and Winery in Geneva

11. Belhurst Castle

1880 – Geneva

History: An 1880s stone castle overlooking Seneca Lake in the heart of the Finger Lakes with 11 period guest rooms, two cottages, and one ranch home, all architecturally unique and perfectly appointed.

View Menu: “Edgar’s Steakhouse offers dining selections ranging from scrumptious breakfast to romantic candlelit dinners. Edgar’s incomparable atmosphere is set to perfection in the 1880’s Belhurst Castle. Choose from chops, game, seafood, pasta and vegetarian dishes as well as decadent desserts. In Stonecutter’s restaurant, you will find cool spirits and warm fires anytime of the year! Offering superb drinks, scrumptious tavern fare and an unmatched atmosphere.”

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Naples Hotel
Naples Hotel

12. Naples Hotel

1895 – Naples

History: In 1895, Jeff R. Brown built the finest brick hotel in Ontario County. The Naples Hotel and Restaurant soon became an impressive landmark, the center for dinners, weddings, and banquets. Many speeches by prominent politicians, including Robert Kennedy, were delivered from the spacious front porch. The famous radio host Paul Harvey has even made his present at the hotel. The foundation of the building is three feet thick, and the walls are five bricks thick! Today, The Naples Hotel and Restaurant strives to maintain a lively and entertaining combination of the present with days gone by. The federal period architecture of the building is virtual as it was built.

View Menu: Italian cuisine, serving lunch, dinner, coffee, and drinks.

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Historic Inns Around Rochester: Hotel at the Lafayette

13. Hotel at the Lafayette

1904 – Buffalo

History: Built in 1904, the landmark French Renaissance-style hotel was designed by Louise Blanchard Bethune, the first American female architect.

View Menu: “Indulge in tasty bar and grill fare at the Lafayette Brewing Company, and unique house brews at this casual hangout. At Lafayette Brewing Company, we are dedicated to great beer, great food and lots of fun! With our recently re-vamped pub menu, we know everyone will find something to love. A must see is our newly installed “bar-cade” complete with pinball machines, billiards, darts, Foosball and shuffleboard. We brew our beers on site in a 15 barrel brew house located directly below the main bar in the basement. Starting from the grain silo in our back parking lot, our brewers are creating beer right here from water, barley, hops and yeast, sometimes spices and always passion.”

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Roycroft Inn
Roycroft Inn

14. Roycroft Inn

1905 – East Aurora

History: The Roycroft Campus, the Roycroft way of life and its story began in 1897 with Elbert Hubbard a legendary man of vision who founded the American Arts and Crafts Movement in East Aurora NY. For over 20 years, the Roycroft Campus was a center of entrepreneurship, creativity, and learning. It was a hub of activity with over five hundred working artisans and craftsmen and drew visitors from faraway places. 1905, the Roycroft Inn was opened to accommodate visitors and artisans looking to experience this emerging community and style.

View Menu: “The Inn’s restaurant allows guests to dine among arts and crafts history. The Executive Chef’s artisan inspired menu features many locally produced and seasonal ingredients. The Sunday brunch was voted “Top 100 Brunches” by Open Table and Zagat Survey has named the Roycroft Inn “best bang for your buck.” Four dining areas offer guests relaxing ambiance and atmosphere.”

It’s right down the street from Vidler’s 5 & 10 and the Aurora Theater.

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Geneva on the Lake
Geneva on the Lake

15. Geneva on the Lake

1910 – Geneva

History: Nester Villa, built in 1910. In 1979 and 1981, two brothers, developer and builder Norbert Schickel and artist-designer William Schickel, founded Geneva On The Lake and completely renovated the property. Geneva on the Lake opened to guests on Thanksgiving Day 1981 as an elegant small resort, a place of hospitality.

View Menu: “The farm fresh gardens, orchards and vineyards in Geneva and the Finger Lakes are the envy of any chef. For many years our Geneva On The Lake chef team has been sourcing the best local fruits, vegetables, cheeses and, of course, wines. Our menu features everything from fresh local juices for breakfast and vegetables for dinner to artisan cheeses, preserves and micro-greens garnishing colorful tasty party hors d’oeuvres. Many fresh herbs and edible flowers grow in the resort’s summer garden.”

Spend the day around beautiful Seneca Lake!

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Pleasant Beach Hotel side
Pleasant Beach Hotel

16. Pleasant Beach Hotel

1910 – Fair Haven/Sodus

History: Since 1910, the historic Pleasant Beach Hotel—a Victorian landmark—has offered waterside dining with spectacular views. Seasonal.

View Menu: “Since 1910 the historic Pleasant Beach Hotel – a Victorian landmark – has offered waterside dining with spectacular views. Dine on our spacious deck or eat inside and join us for cocktails while overlooking beautiful Little Sodus Bay.”

A perfect stop along the Lake Ontario Seaway Trail.

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Historic Inns Around Rochester: Curtiss Hotel

17. Curtiss Hotel

1913 – Buffalo

History: The Curtiss Hotel was built inside the renovated historic landmark Harlow C. Curtiss building in 1913. As of June 2017, the building has undergone an $18+ million renovation by developer Mark Croce into the “Curtiss Hotel.”

View Menu: “The Chez Ami at Curtiss Hotel is a 200+ seat casual upscale restaurant with year-round patio seating along West Huron Street featuring world-class dining and Western New York’s only revolving bar.”

Gould Hotel
Gould Hotel

18. The Gould Hotel

1919 – Seneca Falls

History: 2009, converted back to a hotel after haveing been apartments for years.

View Menu: Traditional tavern menu selection.

Always a welcoming spot when visiting Seneca Falls, especially during the annual Women’s March. Explore Cayuga Lake or Montezuma Wildlife Refuge while you’re in the area.

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Historic Inns Less Than a Century Old

Historic Inns Around Rochester: Red Coach Inn

19. Red Coach Inn

1923 – Niagara Falls

History: Modeled after the Bell Inn in Finedon, England, The Red Coach Inn has welcomed guests to Niagara Falls since 1923. This Niagara Falls, NY hotel is the city’s most distinctive historic structure, with its English Tudor exterior and warm English country ambiance.

View Menu: “The restaurant offers an extensive menu for fine dining at affordable prices. The chefs at our restaurant in Niagara Falls create a new feature menu for lunch and dinner each day. Our popular AAA Three Diamond restaurant was rated “Four Stars-Excellent” by the Niagara Gazette, and it was the winner of the Western New York Chef Challenge and the Taste of Buffalo “People’s Choice,” “New York” and “Best Seafood” awards. A roaring wood fire in our natural stone fireplace warms the Grill Room in winter. In summer the patio, surrounded by our beautiful garden and koi pond is a favorite dining spot. The Rapids Room, an enclosed porch with leaded-glass windows, offers a panoramic view of the majestic Niagara Rapids. Our Cruvinet wine bar has rich mahogany paneling with granite and brass accents. It features an array of vintage wines by the glass, flavored coffees, cappuccino, and beers from around the world. It is the perfect gathering place for cocktails, an after-dinner drink, or for simply relaxing with a book by the fire.”

A perfect stop when visiting Niagara Falls, USA.

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Historic Inns Around Rochester: Inn on Broadway

20. Inn on Broadway

1929 – Rochester’s East End

History: Designed by architect Leon Stern and completed in 1929, The University Club’s main clubhouse was a showpiece and an anchor for the quickly developing East Avenue area.

View Menu: “Tournedos Steakhouse is a New York City-style steakhouse serving the best steak and seafood in Rochester. It is the only restaurant in upstate New York to feature in-house dry aged beef – hand selected and aged to perfection by our Executive Chef. Tournedos’ seafood is flown in daily, fresh from Hawaii. The steakhouse has been honored by both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines for our award winning wine list of over 550 wines from around the globe.”

You’ll find this on the Landmark Society’s self-guided Historic East End walking tour. It’s also the prime location for Rochester’s International Jazz Festival in late June.

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Most menu and history descriptions for each historic inn are from their website.

Have you dined at any of these historic inns?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of daytrippingroc.com and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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