Looking for things to do around Rochester that are close to home? Guests visiting from out-of-town? Need a break from writing your thesis? Here are 30 more day trips within 30 minutes, part 2 in our 30-Minute Day Trips series.
1. Frankel Nature Park
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.
2. Breese Park
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!
3. Ellison Park
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.
4. Helmer Nature Center
The paths at Helmer Nature Center, 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.
5. Ellwanger Estate Garden
While the Ellwanger Estate is private, the garden is maintained by the Landmark Society and is periodically open to the public for special events.
6. Canadaigua Lake
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.
7. George Eastman Museum
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.
8. Memorial Art Gallery
Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery has an extensive permanent collection, an incredible variety of traveling exhibitions, & a well-rounded calendar of events.
9. Brighton Town Park
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.
10. Great Embankment Park
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.
11. Rochester Museum & Science Center
Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Strasenburgh Planetarium hosts free telescope viewings on clear Saturday nights from the Observation Tower.
12. Black Creek Park
At 1,505-acres, Black Creek Park is one of the largest of Monroe County’s 20 parks, second only to Mendon.
13. Powder Mills Park
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!
14. Susan B Anthony House & Museum
Susan B Anthony’s passion for securing women’s right to vote started with her work as an agent of the anti-slavery movement.
15. Vintage Drive-In
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.
16. Stokoe Farms
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.
17. Strong Museum
The Strong National Museum of Play has a wealth of interaction for toddlers, school-aged children and adults, including play-shopping at Wegmans!
18. Ontario Beach Park
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.
19. Genesee Country Village & Museum
All summer long the Genesee Country Village and Museum hosts themed events on the weekends like Highland Days, Civil War Days, and a Fiddlers Fair. In the winter, the village is open for Sundays strolls.
20. Ganondagan State Historic Park
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.
21. Hamlin Beach State Park
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.
22. Seabreeze Amusement Park
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.
23. Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County
Central Library occupies two buildings located across the street from each other on South Avenue in Center City Rochester.
24. Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum
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.
Rochester railfans are incredibly lucky that passionate preservationists before us saw the value in retaining structures we can still appreciate today.
25. New York Museum of Transportation
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.
26. Canawaugus Park
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.
27. Eastman Theatre
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.
28. The Little Theatre
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.
29. Geva Theatre
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.
30. The Hungerford
Located at 1115 E Main St, near the corner of E Main and N Goodman, The Hungerford building is home to an eclectic group of talented artists. Great place to visit during First Fridays and Second Saturdays.
Looking for more day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester, NY?
Check out Part 1 in our 30-Minute Day Trips series next!