Most Rochester International Jazz Festival performances begin in the early-evening, so you’ll have plenty of time during the day to explore the Rochester area. This map below highlights both the venues used during Jazz Fest and places worth exploring within a 2-mile radius of Eastman Theater. We’ll list out some destinations as well, but the map includes more, like places with noteworthy architecture and places to eat & drink.
15 Must-See Places within a 2-Mile Radius of the Rochester International Jazz Festival
The Strong National Museum of Play has a wealth of interaction for toddlers, school-aged children and adults, including play-shopping at Wegmans! The Strong houses the world’s largest collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, and the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
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.
RMSC’s Rochester campus includes the Science Museum and the Strasenburgh Planetarium, each with unique schedules and admission. The Planetarium offers a robust Saturday schedule of star shows, laser shows, movies, and free telescope viewings on clear Saturday nights from the Observation Tower. In the Science Museum you’ll interact with large Ice Age exhibit, simulator rides, Singing Tesla Coils, an extensive Native Peoples wing, and a recently-restored diorama of Rochester.
Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery has an extensive permanent collection, an incredible variety of traveling exhibitions, & a well-rounded calendar of events.
I’ve heard ARTISANworks described as a walk-through kaleidoscope, a bombardment on the senses, a 360° canvas, a space that defies all boundaries, a place that can’t be described but must be seen, surprising, inspiring, and in some instances shocking.
It is difficult to summarize the life of Susan B Anthony, her passion for the rights of all Americans, and specifically how tirelessly she worked as a suffragist for women’s right to vote. Therefore, we encourage you to visit her home in Rochester, historic landmarks in Seneca Falls, and her final resting place in Mount Hope Cemetery to dive deeper into her remarkable life.
Walking in, you feel the change in temperature as you move between the warmer, wetter biome, draped with spanish moss and the drier dessert filled with cacti. Peek around the trees at the details tucked away under lush greens. You’ll find turtles lounging by koi ponds, tiny quail wandering about, and a resident duck with her own unique story.
Highland Park was designed to be enjoyed year-round. Every pathway, every tree, every vista & every relationship between the land & water is intentional. And there is so much more to Highland than the lilacs, though they are extraordinary!
Mount Hope is America’s first municipal Victorian Cemetery. There are more people dead in Mount Hope Cemetery than living in the City of Rochester! Formed by glaciers, the landscape features high hills and deep valleys, winding eskers and deep kettles, with roadways meandering throughout.
10. Cobbs Hill
The view from Cobbs Hill, the quiet, the breeze, the friendly nature of people walking and taking it all in—there’s nothing quite like it in Rochester.
Maplewood Park is a linear park that follows the river from Driving Park and the Lower Falls to just north of Route 104, ending at the pedestrian bridge over the Genesee.
12. High Falls
High Falls is both the name of the waterfall and the district in the city where it can be found. There’s plenty of parking on both sides of the river.
On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday the Public Market is the place to grab the freshest local and wholesale fruit, veggies, seafood, beef, cheese, bread, flowers and spices. There are also notable restaurants in the area offering everything from coffee and donuts to vegan burgers, empenadas, and farm-to-table meals.
Central Library occupies two buildings located across the street from each other on South Avenue in Center City Rochester. The two buildings are joined together by a tunnel under South Avenue. Parking in the attached Court Street Garage is free to library patrons; just present your book receipt when you exit. The Rundel building sits on the old subway and canal bed, and current Johnson-Seymour Millrace. Inside the library, make your way to the back for a great view of the river. Outside, cross the river for a great view of the library!
If you are a fan of history and architecture, you will enjoy these self-guided Landmark Society walking tours of center city Rochester. The Liberty Pole East City Loop Tour and the East End & Cultural District Tour are closest to the Jazz Fest performance venues.
Super helpful guides with even more ideas!
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Places to explore within 2-hours of Rochester
More Helpful Visitor Information
Rochester International Jazz Festival: Your Guide to the 2018 Fest