Welcome to Rochester

6 Self-Guided Tours of Rochester

If you are a fan of history and architecture, you will thoroughly enjoy these self-guided Landmark Society tours of the city of Rochester.

St. Lukes Episcopal Church
St Luke & St Simon Cyrene
French Quarter
French Quarter
Irving Place
Irving Place
Rochester City Hall
Rochester City Hall

Hundred Acre Tract Tour

On this walking tour, you’ll discover the 100-Acre Tract, Rochester’s oldest “neighborhood,” and see the Court House Square, now the home of the Monroe County Office Building.

Spot Coffee
Spot Coffee
Eastman Theatre piano crosswalk
Eastman Theatre
The Little Theater
The Little
Jazz Fest free outdoor concerts
Gibbs Street – Jazz Fest

East End & Cultural District Tour

This tour begins at Rochester’s famed Eastman Theatre and Eastman School of Music that anchor the city’s cultural district.

It continues through historic residential neighborhoods and urban-style restaurants, bakeries, nightclubs, and coffee shops – all contributors to the ambiance of the city’s vibrant East End.

At the end of the tour, you will have the option to continue on East Avenue and view the beautiful mansions that line the street, including the former home of George Eastman.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park
Central Library Rundel Building
Central Library Rundel Building, 1936
Rochester nighttime skyline
Rochester skyline from Dinosaur BBQ
Dinosaur BBQ
Behind Dinosaur BBQ

Southern Gateways Tour

This tour route traverses downtown’s interesting crossroads full of history, commerce and outstanding architecture – if you know where to look.

The tour features both modern and historic architecture, as well as beautiful parks and bridges.

Nine historic buildings constructed between 1858 and 1933 are featured, all of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Liberty Pole
Liberty Pole
St. Josephs Park
St. Josephs Park
Rochester Savings Bank
Rochester Savings Bank
Harrow East Ballroom
Harrow East Ballroom

Liberty Pole East City Loop Tour

Many iconic Rochester buildings, churches, and parks are part of this tour in the heart of downtown. During most of the 20th century, the center of Rochester’s downtown was its department stores, and while the stores are gone, some of the buildings survive.

You will also visit one of Rochester’s most fabulous banks, a Romanesque Revival church, and a former church that is now a tranquil and unusual downtown park.

Landmark Society - High Falls Browns Race
High Falls Historic District
High Falls Rochester NY Genesee River Kodak
Kodak
High Falls Genesee River Rochester bridge
High Falls
High Falls Rochester Genesee autumn cover
High Falls

Brown’s Race High Falls Tour

Welcome to Kodak’s neighborhood! Rochester’s tradition of repurposing older buildings for new uses is most evident in this area, both a National Register Historic District and a city Preservation District.

The tour of High Falls and Brown’s Race features a panoramic view of the Genesee River’s 96-foot falls and spectacular gorge plus a visit to an urban cultural park that celebrates Rochester’s earliest industrial area.

Aqueduct Park Genesee River Rochester
Aqueduct Park
HH Warner Building
H.H. Warner Building
Genesee Crossroads Park
Genesee Crossroads Park
State Street
State Street

Center City Tour

This route mixes historic buildings with contemporary office and hotel buildings. There are 24 sites along the tour; including 2 districts, 3 bridges and 13 buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Rochester city streets on a whole are pedestrian, wheelchair and stroller friendly. In particular, for those taking this tour it is possible to stay exclusively on city sidewalks, with only a few driveways and alleys to cross.

landmark society walking tours

11 Self-Guided Tours

These self-guided tours around Rochester are like a regional scavenger hunt! Learn the stories behind some of the things you see along our roadways.

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Guided Walks and Tours Around Rochester, NY

Local experts who highlight the rich history, geology, ecology, and community of the greater Rochester region lead these guided walks.

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Rochester’s Fun Facts: Oldest, Original, Only, & More!

Rochester’s fun facts will inspire you to explore more. And these are just some of the historical tidbits that make Rochester special.

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132 Things to Do Around Rochester

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.

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Which are your favorite Landmark Society self-guided tours?

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.

4 thoughts on “6 Self-Guided Tours of Rochester”

  1. We are to pick up a grand niece from Nazareth College this Tuesday May 10th; we will bring her parents up from Peru. We are interested in knowing more about this self-guide tour of center city, possibly also a drive through and walk. There does not seem to be any details on this web site to assist us. Can you send some mapas and guidance. Thank you, Jack Glasser Easton Ct

  2. Born in SMH, 1960. Moved away 1967, moved back 2020. Remember many things from early childhood (Sibley’s!) and these walking tours will probably revive a few memories as well as reveal new things. Thanks.

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