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.
The park is at the north end of the 16-mile Genesee Riverway Trail which runs through Rochester from Genesee Valley Park to Lake Ontario. The trail links the four Frederick Law Olmstead-designed parks together, and uses the various bridges that span the Genesee, plus the boardwalk at Turning Point Park.
In the City’s Charlotte neighborhood you’ll find a long walking pier extending out into the lake, the original Abbott’s Frozen Custard, the original 1905 Dentzel Carousel, restaurants with waterfront seating, a couple of wonderful “greasy spoons”, bars, the Port of Rochester and marina, a boardwalk, and plenty of lot and street parking. There is a free public swimming beach, though it does close periodically.
Ontario Beach Park Bathhouse, Beach and Boardwalk
The Pier and Port of Rochester
The Dentzel Carousel
History of the Genesee River & Turning Point
The 1822 Genesee-Charlotte Lighthouse is the oldest active surviving lighthouse on Lake Ontario, and is located just a few blocks south on Lake Ave.
Visitors wonder why the lighthouse is so far inland; where it stands now used to be shoreline. When open, you can go to the very top to look out over the lake, and what used to be marshlands.
Food & Drink
The great thing about Ontario Beach Park, opposed to other lakeside parks in the area, is the abundance of refreshment options. Some have been in the area for decades, others are brand new. Here are a few tried-and-true you can check out while visiting Charlotte: Hose 22, California Rollin, Jetty at the Port, Pelican’s Nest, Abbot’s Frozen Custard, LDR Char Pit, Mr. Dominic’s at the Lake, and Whiskey River Pub and Grill.
More information about Ontario Beach Park
As for events, you’ll find concerts by the shore in the gazebo, visiting ships, “Autumn on the Lake” during River Romance weekend, and fireworks on holidays.
- Cost: Free
- Located in the City of Rochester (get directions)
- More information: cityofrochester.gov/portofrochester/
Rochester railfans are incredibly lucky that passionate preservationists before us saw the value in retaining structures we can still appreciate today.
Whether it’s your first date night in Rochester or 50th, spending time exploring with your partner is a great way to connect and learn about each other.
Where is your favorite spot in Ontario Beach Park?
Share with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!