Summertime in Rochester: Roadside Attractions metal dragon cover

37 Quirky Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions

If you’re familiar with Roadside America and Atlas Obscura you’ll know both sites are dedicated to plotting out oddities all over these United States (think America’s largest ball of twine). Here are some more unusual Finger Lakes, Western New York and Rochester-area roadside attractions that will make for an interesting day trip.


Parkside Whispering Pines Mini Golf
Parkside Whispering Pines Mini Golf

1. Whispering Pines: Oldest Miniature Golf Course in the USA

Whispering Pines is America’s oldest miniature golf course. Play a round on your way home from Seabreeze.
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Powder Mills Park Rochester NY
Mushroom House

2. The Mushroom House

Private property but still great roadside-eye-candy! Located on the way to, but just outside, Powder Mills Park.
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County Parks: Our Favorite 5 to Explore

The Monroe County Parks systems includes 20 parks that are all worth exploring, but these are the five you absolutely must see if you haven’t already!

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Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham
Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham

3. Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham

Have you ever found yourself driving along an average country road, turned a corner or crested a hill or cleared a hedgerow to see something completely unexpected? That’s how most folks stumble upon Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham on Martin Rd in West Henrietta, NY. Here’s the story of one person’s journey to discover more about it.
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Susan B Anthony Frederick Douglass Lets Have Tea
Susan B Anthony and Frederick Douglass “Let’s Have Tea” Statue in Anthony Square, Rochester, NY

4. Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Enjoying Tea in the Square

While you are visiting the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, walk down Madison Street to Susan B. Anthony Square.
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Rochester Yellow Brick Road

5. Yellow Brick Road between Park Ave and East Ave

The Yellow Brick road connects Goodwin Park at the end of Sibley Place to Park Ave just south of Alexander.


Rochester Day Trip Ideas for 2019

Time to start daydreaming about Rochester day trip ideas for the new year! Some are places I’ve never been. Others are places I want to revisit. All are part of a to-go list that’s a mile long.

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Roadside Attractions: Vest Pocket Park Totem Pole Honeoye Falls
Vest Pocket Park totem pole

6. Vest Pocket Park Totem Pole

Vest Pocket Park, home of the famous Honeoye Falls Totem Pole, is a small park located on W. Main St. There are several picnic tables and benches and has a lovely view of Honeoye Creek and the falls.
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5 Exceptional Waterfalls Near Rochester

Think of this as a starter-set of five exceptional waterfalls near Rochester that you should absolutely visit if you haven’t already!

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Statue of Liberty LeRoy NY
Statue of Liberty in LeRoy NY

7. The Statue of Liberty on Wolcott Street

This Lady Liberty stands 8 1/2-feet tall—the same size as the original’s index finger. In 1950, the Boy Scouts of America, in celebration of their 40th anniversary, purchased 200+ copper statue replicas for municipalities throughout the country; only 100 remain today. She was recently restored to her original glory and place overlooking Oatka Creek.
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Book of Mormon

8. Very Large Book of Mormon

Located near the visitor center at the foot of Hill Cumorah.

Water Trails: 58 Places to Explore Rochester’s Waterways

Depending on your definition, water trails are either formally marked routes along a navigable waterway, or simply any waterway suitable for canoes, kayaks, and small motorized watercraft.

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Roadside attractions: Canandaigua Lake Boat Houses pier 2
Boat Houses on Canandaigua City Pier

9. 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.

East Bethany

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

10-11. Big Metal Dragon & Tiny Bus

You can’t miss these when you drive up. The bus and the dragon are right across the street from each other; you will probably notice the bus first as it is closest to the road and bright yellow!
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Arcade and Attica Railroad

Arcade and Attica Railroad offers a 2-1/2 hour train experience, including a 30-minute layover at Curriers Station where you can explore the train yard and grab a bite to eat.

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany, NY

12. Rolling Hills Asylum Tours

The location is so rural Google has yet to street-view map it! Rather surprising with its well-documented haunted history.
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Roadside Attractions - Shoe Trees Lyndonvile
The Shoe Trees

13. 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.
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East Aurora

Viddlers East Aurora

14. Vidler on the Roof Statue

The most treasured 5 & 10 with candies you’ve not seen since childhood. Vidler’s is the perfect place for fun stocking stuffers.
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5 Old Country Stores Around Rochester

When you walk into one of these old country stores, you feel like you are stepping back in time with aisles of old fashioned toys, knickknacks and candies.

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Large Rooftop Toothbrush in East Aurora NY

15. Large Rooftop Toothbrush

Looks like great advertising to me!
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10 Best New York Attractions

Seven of the Top 10 Best New York Attractions are excellent day trips from Rochester! If you’re ambitious, though, NYC can be a day trip, too.

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Patriots and Heroes Park in Williamsville NY

16. Patriots and Heroes Park

An interesting place to sit and reflect. The monuments are fascinating!
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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Lockport Caves Underground Boat Ride in Lockport NY

17. America’s Longest Underground Boat Ride: Lockport Caves Tour

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Upside Down Railroad Bridge in Lockport NY

18. Upside-Down Railroad Bridge

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Culvert Road in Medina Under the Erie Canal
Culvert Road in Medina Under the Erie Canal

19. The Only Tunnel Under the Erie Canal

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Big Apple in Medina NY

20. Big Apple

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15 Miles on the Erie Canal near Rochester

The Erie Canal spans 100-miles between Lockport and Lyons, with Rochester located right in the middle. Choose just 15 miles to explore for a great day trip!

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Niagara Falls

21. Second Coming House of Prophet Isaiah

You can even stop for a visit with the Prophet, who lives in the home and is welcoming.
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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Haunted House of Wax in Niagara Falls

22. Haunted House of Wax

For as poor as the reviews are, and as small the attraction, I’m surprised at it’s prime real-estate!
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Roadside Attractions Turtle Building

23. The Turtle-Shaped Building

The building has been vacant for 22 years, but is still a major roadside attraction. Check out this 2017 news article.
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15 Discover Niagara Shuttle Stops

The Discover Niagara Shuttle is a 2-hour round-trip journey from any starting point if you’d like to simply enjoy the ride. Otherwise, you can hop on and off at any stop–no ticket required!

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Shark Girl at Canalside Buffalo NY

24. Canalside’s Shark Girl

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Roadside attractions Outer Harbor Buffalo Wilkeson Pointe
Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Wilkeson Pointe Park whirligigs in Buffalo NY

25. Wilkeson Pointe Park Whirligigs

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - World's Largest Six Pack Grain Elevator Silo City Buffalo NY

26. The World’s Largest Six Pack is in Silo City

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Lake Effect Man in Buffalo NY

27. Lake Effect Man Sitting on a Giant Beer Tap

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Brain Museum University at Buffalo South Campus

28. Brain Museum, University at Buffalo, South Campus

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Ridgelawn Gardens Cemetery Stonehenge

29. Ridgelawn Gardens Cemetery Stonehenge

You can’t see it from this road, but drive in and veer left & you can’t miss it.
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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Giant Martin Luther King Jr Head in Buffalo NY

30. Giant Martin Luther King Jr. Head

Nestled in amongst the hedges is a rough likeness of MLK Jr., to be kind.
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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Gigantic Buffalo Nickel in Buffalo NY

31. Gigantic Buffalo Nickel

In a small corner park across from Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo NY Deathbed Scene in Marble Blocher Tomb

32. Forest Lawn Cemetery Deathbed Scene in Marble (Blocher tomb)

Albeit the most unusual, there are plenty of other places to visit in Forest Lawn. A beautiful park-like cemetery, second only to our own Mount Hope.
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49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester, NY

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a 2-hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Victorian House Atop a Factory in Syracuse NY

33. Victorian House Atop a Factory

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Green on Top Traffic Light in Syracuse NY

34. Green-on-Top Traffic Light

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Squirrels on Parade in Olean NY

35. Squirrels on Parade

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Seasonal Roadside Attractions

Not all things worth seeing are permanent! Holidays and seasons bring out the creative side in all of us. Check out these displays when & while you can.

Holiday Lights Colony Lane Henrietta
Colony Lane in Henrietta

36. Holiday Lights

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 10 Rochester-area neighbors with extraordinary holiday lights between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

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

37. The Skeleton Army

Get directions to 4017 CR-4 in Hopewell near 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).

Some of the images appearing on this page have been sourced using Google Maps via Google Street View or Google Satellite.

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