8 Roadside Attractions Worth Going Out of Your Way For

There are so many interesting things to see as you’re driving around the Genesee Valley, Finger Lakes, and Western NY. In fact, we have a list of 42 roadside attractions near Rochester.

But, if you must see any of them, it should at least be these eight!

Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Big Metal Dragon in East Bethany NY
Big Metal Dragon

1. The Big Metal Dragon

East Bethany

Near the intersection of two country roads just off US-20, you find this metal dragon rising from the Earth.

Find more details at Roadside America

Roadside attractions near Rochester: Second Coming House of Prophet Isaiah
Second Coming House

2. Second Coming House of Prophet Isaiah

Niagara Falls

The house of Prophet Isaiah is now a spectacular piece of spiritual eye candy, with thousands of bright-hued, hand-carved surfaces continually painted and repainted by its owner.

Sadly, Prophet Isaiah Henry Robertson died on January 25, 2020.

According to TripAdvisor, “Prophet Isaiah’s Second Coming House” ranks No. 36 among the 112 things to do in Niagara Falls.

Learn more at Roadside America

Roadside attractions near Rochester: Powder Mills Park Rochester NY
Mushroom House

3. The Mushroom House


Private property but still great roadside-eye-candy! Located on the way to, but just outside, Powder Mills Park.

Find more information on Roadside America

Roadside attractions near Rochester: Three shoe trees in Lyndonville
Shoe Trees

4. The Shoe Trees


Footwear has found its way into these branches for several decades. Successfully catching your shoes in the branches will grant a wish, or good luck.

Learn more at Atlas Obscura

Canandaigua Lake City Pier boat houses
Boat Houses on Canandaigua City Pier

5. Canandaigua City Pier Boat Houses


Take a walk or drive down the Canandaigua City Pier and check out Boathouse Row. 

Interesting fact: Homeowners are prohibited from actually living in these boathouses—they are for daytime use only.

Learn more from My Finger Lakes

Seneca Lake Geneva I Love NY
Finger Lakes Visitor Center in Geneva on Seneca Lake

6. I Love NY Sign


With Seneca Lake as a back drop, the I Love NY sign outside the Finger Lakes Welcome Center is a must-stop photo op!

Learn more about the Welcome Center

Roadside Attractions Skeleton Army Canandaigua Canandaigua Country Road 4
The Skeleton Army

7. The Skeleton Army

Hopewell, Seasonal

Head out just east of Canandaigua for this amazing Halloween display. Over 200 skeletons (humans, horses, dinosaurs and dogs) are marching on the home, which is heavily defended by trees (think of the Ents from Lord of the Rings.)

Holiday Lights Rahway Gates
Rahway in Gates

8. Christmas Lights

Rochester Area, Seasonal

Because December is the darkest month, we welcome these grand displays of holiday lights to brighten the night. These homeowners and communities go all out to celebrate the season, so let’s get out there and celebrate with them!

Find these 6 Rochester-area neighbors with extraordinary Christmas lights between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

42 Quirky Roadside Attractions

Spend a day checking out these unique and unusual roadside attractions, like shoe trees, a skeleton army, and a metal dragon, within 2 hours of Rochester.

Read more

32 Roadside Waterfalls Near Rochester

Impressive waterfalls are not all buried in dark ravines accessible only by difficult trails. And for some, you do not need to get out of your car.

Read more

Where are your favorite roadside attractions near Rochester?

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


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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.