Memorial Art Gallery medieval cover

Museums Around Rochester

Rochester is home to world-renowned museums and thought-provoking galleries. Some institutions offer guided tours by knowledgeable docents, while dedicated volunteers run others. If you want to view some of the city’s historic homes and archives, making an appointment in advance may be necessary.

The city’s Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA) is a vibrant district that spans several walkable blocks around University Avenue, Goodman Street, and East Avenue. This area is home to many museums, galleries, and artist studios participating in popular First Friday events when the community celebrates all things creative and enjoys a lively night out.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

City of Rochester

Art Museum of Rochester
Art Museum of Rochester

Art Museum of Rochester

AMoR, in contrast to other galleries in Rochester, is open at night and offers a variety of food and drinks, including wine, beer, and coffee. The gallery also features pool tables surrounded by urban art exhibits, making it the ideal spot to relax and unwind after exploring the city’s celebrated street art scene. 610 Monroe Avenue

ARTISANworks long view
ARTISANworks

ARTISANworks

This unique and immersive experience challenges the senses and defies conventional boundaries. Discover a world of vibrant color and intricate design. From the original works of Picasso and Warhol to the artist studios that showcase the creative process in action, this is a space where art lives. Explore the 360-degree canvas and discover hidden gems that can surprise, inspire, and sometimes shock you. Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast or simply looking for something new and exciting, ARTISANworks promises an unforgettable experience. Admission fee. 565 Blossom Road, (585) 288-7170

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ARTISANworks

I’ve heard ARTISANworks described as a walk-through kaleidoscope, a bombardment on the senses, and a 360° canvas that defies all boundaries.

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Charlotte Genesee Lighthouse
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

Constructed in 1822, this is America’s oldest active surviving lighthouse on Lake Ontario. To reach the twelve-foot-high lantern room, you must climb a tight forty-foot-high spiral staircase, followed by an eleven-rung ladder, and crawl through an opening in the ceiling. The view from the top is worth the effort. Admission fee. 70 Lighthouse St., (585) 621-6179

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Charlotte Genesee Lighthouse

You can climb the 40-foot tower in the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse and enjoy the view of Lake Ontario, the Genesee River, and Ontario Beach Park.

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Edgerton Model Railroad display
Looking into the diorama-like display

Edgerton Model Railroad

You’ll love visiting the detailed model railroad room if you’re a fan of transportation heritage and Rochester history. Each of the four season-themed layouts showcases a different story from the 1950s, featuring operating model trains touring throughout the scene. You can explore the intricate details of each display during open house tours held on the last Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and during special hours throughout December. 41 Backus Street

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Edgerton Model Railroad

Each of the Edgerton Model Railroad’s four season-themed layouts tells a different story of life on the move in the 1950s.

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Frank’s Chop Shop

Shave and a haircut…and local art! Look for new art to drop on First Fridays and enjoy it for the month. Follow the Rochester East Avenue location on Instagram for the latest exhibits.

George Eastman Museum November garden
GEM

George Eastman Museum

GEM is a tribute to the life and contributions of George Eastman, the father of modern photography. As the world’s oldest photography museum, it houses an impressive collection of over 400,000 photographic objects and 28,000 moving image titles. Visitors can tour Eastman’s unique home and explore the museum’s permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. The 500-seat Dryden Theatre offers film screenings in their original format on most evenings. Admission fee. 900 East Avenue

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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.

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Image City Photography Gallery
Image City

Image City Photography Gallery

The gallery, founded by a group of local photographers who wished to display their work alongside that of students and other professionals, presents new shows every four weeks. 722 University Avenue

Memorial Art Gallery Yayoi Kusama INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM LETS SURVIVE FOREVER 2017 reflections
Memorial Art Gallery – Yayoi Kusama INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM LETS SURVIVE FOREVER 2017 reflections

Memorial Art Gallery

MAG boasts a rich permanent collection, an impressive range of traveling exhibitions, and a diverse schedule of classes and events, like third-Thursday DeTOURs. On the museum’s grounds, wander through Centennial Sculpture Park, which features world-renowned artists alongside whimsical photo-ops, including some best viewed at night. Try to decipher the Morse code set into the red brick sidewalk. Admission fee. 500 University Avenue

Yayoi Kusama’s INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER, 2017 is on display at the Memorial Art Gallery through May 5, 2024. 

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Memorial Art Gallery

The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester boasts a rich permanent collection and an impressive range of traveling exhibitions.

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Rochester Contemporary Art Center RoCo
RoCo

Rochester Contemporary Art Center

RoCo offers a place for esteemed and emerging artists to exhibit their work. With rotating exhibits, performances, and the eagerly anticipated annual 6×6 fundraiser, there is always something thought-provoking to see. Admission fee. 137 East Avenue

rochester museum science center planetarium seating

Rochester Museum & Science Center

RMSC’s city campus features the three-story science museum and the Strasenburgh Planetarium. In the museum, don’t miss the two singing Tesla coils in the Electricity Theater, where audience members can volunteer to stand inside a Faraday cage while the coils sing a duet with lightning. The planetarium offers a state-of-the-art view of our solar system and the visible universe using near-real-time data. The lounge chairs in the planetarium are not fixed to the floor, making the space accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. On Saturday nights, when the summer sky over Rochester is clear, guests can climb the observation tower’s 60 steps to view planets, nebulae, and other celestial objects through telescopes. The entrance to the tower is outside the main planetarium building, near the back parking lot. RMSC also manages the Cumming Nature Center, a 900-acre preserve in Naples, about an hour south of Rochester. Admission fee. Saturday night telescope viewings are free. 657 East Avenue

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Rochester Museum & Science Center

Between the star shows, laser shows, interactive exhibits, and Singing Tesla Coils, the Rochester Museum and Science Center will entertain you for hours!

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Strong National Museum of Play World Video Game Hall of Fame
Skyline Climb

Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of play-related materials. Besides its fascinating interactive exhibits, the museum has a kid-sized Wegmans grocery store, historic pinball and arcade games, and a ropes course above Skyline Diner. The Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden offers a beautiful rainforest environment for those looking to escape cold weather. The museum also houses the National Toy Hall of Fame, World Video Game Hall of Fame, and various collections from Margaret Woodbury Strong, ensuring plenty to see and do for an entire day. Admission fee. 1 Manhattan Square Drive

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Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play boasts the world’s most extensive collection of play-related historical materials.

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Susan B Anthony House exterior
Susan B Anthony House

Susan B. Anthony Museum & House

The docent-led tour brings to life Anthony’s mission to secure inalienable rights for all Americans and, most notably, women’s right to vote. Her Rochester home served as headquarters for the National American Woman Suffrage Association. In Anthony Square, just down the street, you will find a life-sized sculpture of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass having tea, discussing the day’s news, or perhaps sharing a birthday celebration—Anthony was born on February 15, and Douglass chose February 14, not knowing his birthdate. While they did not always agree, they shared a lifelong friendship and rest near each other in Mount Hope Cemetery. Admission fee. 17 Madison Street

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Susan B Anthony

Susan B Anthony’s passion for securing women’s right to vote started with her work as an agent of the anti-slavery movement.

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Monroe County

Genesee Country Village autumn plow
Pioneer Homestead

Genesee Country Village & Museum

GCV&M is a living history museum with 68 structures on 700 acres, making it the largest and most comprehensive museum of its kind in the state and the third largest in the country. The 19th-century village features a range of buildings that were moved to the museum’s grounds starting in 1966, such as frontier homesteads, Victorian mansions, churches, schools, shops, and taverns. Visitors can learn about the history of each building and take part in events such as Highland Days, Civil War Days, Novel Weekend, and Independence Day. The museum also hosts the Agricultural Fair and Spirits of the Past in October and Yuletide in the Country storytelling tours in December. Admission fee. 1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford

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Genesee Country Village & Museum

The Genesee Country Village is a living history museum with 68 structures on 700 acres, making it the largest museum of its kind in New York.

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New York Museum of Transportation trolley maintenance
New York Museum of Transportation

New York Museum of Transportation

Explore NYMT’s vast collection of train and trolley cars, buses, signs, photos, model railroad displays, and two Midtown Plaza monorail cars. During special events, enjoy a scenic two-mile round-trip ride on a 90-year-old electric trolley car—the only trolley ride in New York State. Admission fee. 6393 E. River Road, Rush

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New York Museum of Transportation

Enjoy a scenic two-mile round-trip ride on an 90-year-old electric trolley car at the New York Museum of Transportation.

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Rochester and Genesee Valley Train Ride
Photo courtesy of Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad

Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum

Dedicated RGV volunteers are expanding, restoring, and preserving New York’s most extensive collection of historic railway equipment. Visit the restored 1930s Industry Depot to purchase a ticket and hop aboard a train departing every 30 minutes. You can sit back and relax or grab a spot at the back of the caboose for an open-air view. Enjoy a 1.5-mile round-trip ride to the restoration shop as often as you desire. Admission fee. 282 Rush Scottsville Road, Rush

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Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum

Spend a day riding the train during special events from May to October at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum.

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More in Monroe County 

Emily L. Knapp Museum
49 State St., Brockport, (585) 637-5300, knappmuseum.org.

Fairport Historical Museum
Perinton Historical Society, 18 Perrin St., Fairport, (585) 223-3989, perintonhistoricalsociety.org.

Greece Historical Society and Museum
595 Long Pond Road, Greece, (585) 225-7221, greecehistoricalsociety.org.

Hinchey Historical House
Gates Historical Society, 634 Hinchey Road, Gates, (585) 464-9740, gateshistory.org.

Historic Pittsford
18 Monroe Ave., (585) 381-2941, Pittsford, historicpittsford.com.

Honeoye Falls and Town of Mendon Historical Society
1 Allen Park Drive, Honeoye Falls, (585) 624-5660, hfmhistorical.org.

Morgan-Manning House
Western Monroe Historical Society, 151 Main St. S., Brockport, (585) 637-3645, morganmanninghouse.org.

Parma Hilton Historical Society
1300 Hilton Parma Corners Road, Hilton, (585) 392-9496, parmahiltonhistoricalsociety.com.

Pioneer House and Cobblestone Blacksmith Shop
Irondequoit Historical Society, 1280 Titus Ave., Irondequoit, (585) 342-6185, irondequoithistoricalsociety.org.

Sage-Marlowe House
Wheatland Historical Association, 69 Main St., Scottsville, townofwheatland.org.

Spencerport Depot & Canal Museum
16 East Ave., Spencerport, (585) 352-0942, spencerportmuseum.org.

Stone-Tolan House
2370 East Ave., Brighton, (585) 546-7029, landmarksociety.org

Streeter’s Inn
Chili Historical Society, 4145 Union St., North Chili, chilihistoricalsociety.org.

Tinker Homestead & Farm Museum
1585 Calkins Road, Henrietta, (585) 359-7044, henrietta.org.

Webster Museum
Webster Historical Society, 18 Lapham Park, Webster, (585) 265-3308, webstermuseum.org.

Greater Rochester

Arcade and Attica Railroad
Arcade and Attica Railroad

Arcade & Attica Railroad

The steam train excursion lasts two and a half hours, including a 45-minute ride to Curriers Station, a 30-minute break to explore the yard and have lunch, and a 45-minute return to the depot. Enjoy the scenic countryside from your assigned seat or the open-air car. From June to December, the train offers themed events such as Murder Mystery, Great Train Robbery, Father’s Day, Civil War, World War II, Superhero, Haunted Halloween, and Santa’s Wonderland Express. Admission fee. 278 Main Street, Arcade, Wyoming County

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Arcade & 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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Cobblestone Museum church
Cobblestone Museum schoolhouse
Cobblestone Museum school interior
Cobblestone Museum school library
Cobblestone Museum Farmers Hall
Cobblestone Museum Vaag House
Cobblestone Museum Harness and Print Shops

Cobblestone Museum

The Cobblestone Museum is an open-air museum that promotes the study and exploration of cobblestone construction methods from 1825 to 1860. The museum is located at the intersection of NY-104 (Ridge Road West) and NY-98 in the hamlet of Childs. A cobblestone church/visitor center and the Ward House occupy the northeast corner, a cobblestone school house is 0.2 miles east on NY-104, and several other non-cobblestone period buildings occupy the southwest corner, including the Vaag House, a blacksmith shop, print shop, harness shop, and farmer’s hall. A future welcome center will occupy the southeast corner inside a historic red brick home. 14389 Ridge Road W., Albion, Orleans County, (585) 589-9013, cobblestonemuseum.org

The Cobblestone Museum documents historic cobblestone structures throughout the region. Use their interactive Google site map to enjoy a self-guided driving tour of these exceptional structures; each as unique as the stones themselves.

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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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Ganondagan
Ganondagan

Ganondagan State Historic Site

Atop Boughton Hill sits the original site of a significant 17th-century Seneca town, which at its peak had 150 longhouses where a replica stands today. Visitors can appreciate the Seneca Art & Culture Center’s museum and enjoy miles of woodland and meadow trails throughout the year. The longhouse is open for tours from May to October. Admission fee, though trails are free. 7000 County Road 41, Victor, Ontario County

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Ganondagan State Historic Site

Ganondagan is the original site of a 17th-century Seneca town, which at its peak had 150 longhouses where one replica stands today.

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Medina Railroad Museum Union Station
Medina Railroad

Medina Railroad Museum

Housed in one of America’s largest surviving wooden freight depots, the museum contains one of New York State’s most extensive HO-scale model train layouts and a vast collection of freight-related artifacts. Visitors can also enjoy a train ride during special events such as Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine, Autumn Adventure, and Polar Express. Admission fee. 530 West Avenue, Medina, Orleans County

Geneseo Air Show paratroopers safety check
National Warplane Museum

National Warplane Museum

This museum is dedicated to preserving the stories, aircraft, and equipment from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. They offer warplane rides throughout the warmer months and during the airshow in July, including the C-47 Whiskey 7, which transported paratroopers to the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Admission fee. 3489 Big Tree Lane, Geneseo, Livingston County

National Womens Hall of Fame
National Women’s Hall of Fame

National Women’s Hall of Fame

The National Women’s Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to recognize and celebrate American women’s accomplishments. Discover the powerful and inspiring stories of women who have challenged inequality and injustice throughout history. 1 Canal Street, Seneca Falls, Seneca County

Please note that The National Women’s Hall of Fame is remodeling the second floor and adding an elevator. While renovations are in progress, hours may be affected. Contact the museum before you go.

Sonnenberg Gardens tram mansion
Sonnenberg Gardens

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park

Sonnenberg offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Gilded Age, with its expansive grounds and impressive architecture. The paved main roads through the 50-acre property are easily walkable, with tram stops at the entrance, mansion, and formal gardens. A winding, uneven footpath navigates the Tea Garden and Rock Garden. A porch on the mansion’s second floor offers an optimal view of the gardens below. Explore the Lord and Burnham–designed glass conservatory and enjoy a tasting at the Finger Lakes Wine Center. Admission fee. 250 Gibson Street, Canandaigua, Ontario County

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Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion

Located in the City of Canandaigua, Sonnenberg Gardens is an exceptional example of the lavish wealth and philanthropy of the Gilded Age.

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Best New York Attractions - Womens Rights National Historic Park
Woman’s Rights rally

Women’s Rights National Historic Park

The Seneca Falls Convention, held in 1848, aimed to secure equal rights for all. The park pays tribute to the efforts of the leaders, abolitionists, and reformers of that time. 136 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, Seneca County

More in Greater Rochester

American Red Cross, Clara Barton House Chapter #1
57 Elizabeth St., Dansville, Livingston County, (585) 335-3500, redcross.org

Antique Wireless Museum
6925 New York State Route 5, Bloomfield, Ontario County, (585) 257-5119, antiquewireless.org

Avon Preservation & Historical Society
23 Genesee St., Avon, Livingston County, (585) 226-2425, avonpreservation.org

Big Springs Museum
3095 Main St., Caledonia, Livingston County, (585) 538-9880, bigspringsmuseumcaledonia.org

Country Lawyer Gallery of the Arts
7 Church St., Phelps, Wayne County, (315) 548-4940, phelpsnyhistory.com

East Bloomfield Historical Society
8 South Ave., East Bloomfield, Ontario County, (585) 657-7244, ebhs1838.org

Foster Cottage Museum
9 E. Main St., Clifton Springs, Ontario County, (315) 462-7394, fostercottage.org

Gates House Museum
Warsaw Historical Society, 15 Perry Ave., Warsaw, Wyoming County, (585) 786-5240, warsawnyhistory.org

Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum
295 N. Main St., Canandaigua, Ontario County, (585) 394-1472, grangerhomestead.org

Heritage Square Museum
7147 Ontario Center Road, Ontario, Wayne County, (315) 524-5356, sites.google.com/view/heritagesquaremuseum

Historic Palmyra
Includes the Alling Coverlet Museum, Erie Canal Depot, Historic Museum, Phelps General Store, and Print Shop, 132 Market St., Palmyra, Wayne County, (315) 597-6981, historicpalmyrany.com

Hoffman Clock Museum
Newark Public Library, 121 High St., Newark, Wayne County, (315) 331-4370, hoffmanclockmuseum.org

Holland Land Office Museum
131 W. Main St., Batavia, Genesee County, (585) 343-4727, hollandlandoffice.com

It’s a Wonderful Life Museum
76 Fall St., Seneca Falls, Seneca County, (315) 568-5838, wonderfullifemuseum.com

JELL-O Gallery and Historic LeRoy House
23 E. Main St., LeRoy, Genesee County, (585) 768-7433, jellogallery.org

Livingston County Historical Society Museum
30 Center St., Geneseo, Livingston County, (585) 243-9147, livingstoncountyhistoricalsociety.com

Museum of Wayne County History
21 Butternut St., Lyons, Wayne County, (315) 946-4943, waynehistory.org

New Deal Gallery
Genesee Valley Council on the Arts, 4 Murray Hill Drive, Mount Morris, Livingston County, (585) 243-6785, gvartscouncil.org

Oliver House Museum
Yates County History Center, 200 Main St., Penn Yan, Yates County, (315) 536-7318, yatespast.org

Ontario County Historical Society Museum
55 N. Main St., Canandaigua, Ontario County, (585) 394-4975, ochs.org

Peppermint Museum
95 Water St., Lyons, Wayne County, (315) 946-4596, lyonsheritagesociety.org

Rose Hill Mansion
3373 New York State Route 96A, Geneva, Seneca County, (315) 789-3848, historicgeneva.org

Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum
7606 N. Ontario St., Sodus Point, Wayne County, (315) 483-4936, sodusbaylighthouse.org

Valentown Museum
267 High St., Victor, Ontario, (585) 924-4170, historicvalentownmuseum.org

Wadsworth Homestead
4 South St., Geneseo, Livingston County, (585) 764-9005, wadsworthhomestead.com

William Pryor Letchworth Museum
7 E. Park Road, Castile, Wyoming County, (585) 493-2760, letchworthparkhistory.com

Williamson-Pultneyville Historical Society
4130 Mill St., Williamson, Wayne County, (315) 589-9892, w-phs.org

Fun fact, Cool Whip, which is still made by Kraft Heinz in Avon, was first created by General Foods in 1966. This has earned Avon the nickname “Cool Whip Capitol of the World.” The dessert topping is often enjoyed with JELL-O, which was invented only fifteen miles away in LeRoy in 1897.

Surrounding Counties

Buffalo AKG mirrored ceiling
Buffalo AKG

Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Buffalo AKG offers a world-class modern and contemporary art experience on the edge of Delaware Park. Admission fee. 1285 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, Erie County

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Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Buffalo AKG Art Museum offers a world-class modern and contemporary art experience on the edge of Delaware Park.

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Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park
Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park

Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park

Visit the country’s largest inland Naval Park in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor to see exhibits, aircraft, artifacts, and videos inside the museum building. Afterward, independently or on a guided tour, explore the four decommissioned naval vessels—USS Little Rock, USS The Sullivans, USS Croaker, and USS PTF-17. Admission fee. 1 Naval, Marina Park S., Buffalo, Erie County

Buffalo History Museum
Buffalo History Museum

The Buffalo History Museum

At the edge of Delaware Park on Mirror Lake, the museum preserves nearly half a million objects and stories from early Western New York, with exhibits encouraging conversation and reflection. Be sure to check out the beautiful Japanese Garden behind the museum, which hosts the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in late April. 1 Museum Court, Buffalo, Erie County

Buffalo Museum of Science

Explore four floors of fun, including YUM!, Bug Works, Biodiversity, and Rethink Extinct. On Saturdays, you can visit the rooftop observation deck for a sweeping view of the Buffalo Niagara region. BMS also manages the Tifft Nature Preserve at Outer Harbor. Admission fee. 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo, Erie County

Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village

On weekdays, visitors can enjoy free guided tours of 10 village structures built in the 19th century. Admission fee on Saturdays. 3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst, Erie County

corning museum of glass
CMoG

Corning Museum of Glass

Examine vast collections of glass history spanning 35 centuries, from early Venetian artisans to Tiffany, Chihuly, and Pyrex. CMoG offers hot-glass demonstrations in multiple theaters and the opportunity for visitors to create glass art. Admission fee. 1 Museum Way, Corning, Steuben County

Erie Canal Museum
Erie Canal Museum

Erie Canal Museum

The Weighlock Building, built in 1850 and open to the public since 1962, is the only surviving weighlock of the seven that once operated on the canal. The original Erie Canal ran through the city center, but it was rerouted north of the city through Oneida Lake in the early 1900s when the state enlarged the canal system. Visitors can explore replicas of a canal boat, tavern, general store, and weighmaster’s office. 318 Erie Boulevard E., Syracuse, Onondaga County

Everson Museum Syracuse interior
Everson

Everson Museum of Art

As architect I. M. Pei’s premier museum design, Everson’s magnificent building is itself a work of art. Follow the spiral staircase to explore two floors containing nearly 10,000 pieces of American art, including 6,000 objects in their internationally renowned ceramics collection. A concrete plaza along State Street features a sunken reflecting pool on the museum grounds, and a Tree of 40 Fruit collection faces Harrison Street. The museum’s featureless façade makes an ideal screen for moving picture installations. Admission fee. 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, Onondaga County

Fun fact: Created by artist Sam Van Aken, the Tree of 40 Fruit has been genetically changed to bear 40 different varieties of stone fruit, including apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, and almonds.

Explore & More

Explore & More, the Ralph C. Wilson Children’s Museum, features seven play areas designed for kids under 11 years old. Each space focuses on different regional themes, such as culture, geology, innovation, farming, and sports. Visitors can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the Buffalo skyline from the rooftop terrace on the fourth floor. Admission fee. 130 Main Street, Buffalo, Erie County

Fort Ontario tunnel
Fort Ontario

Fort Ontario State Historic Site

Independently explore five historic buildings within the star-shaped earthworks overlooking Lake Ontario and the Oswego Lighthouse. These buildings were part of an active fort during the French and Indian War and the War of 1812, but in 1944, it became the only refugee camp in the United States for mostly Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Admission fee. 1 E. 4th St., Oswego, Oswego County

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff

Experience a range of themed estate tours, including a one-hour exploration of the grounds and first-floor interior. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the lawn overlooking Lake Erie. Admission fee. 6472 Old Lake Shore Road, Derby, Erie County

Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin House Buffalo
Martin House

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House

The Martin House Tour, led by experienced docents, takes guests on a 75-minute journey through the main house, pergola, conservatory, and carriage house of this historic 1905 landmark. For those looking for a more in-depth experience, the two-hour Martin House Plus Tour includes stops at the Barton House and Gardener’s Cottage. Admission fee. 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, Erie County

Glenn H. Curtiss Museum

Explore the museum’s impressive collection of aircraft, automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles, and learn about the innovations and accomplishments of pioneer pilot Glenn Hammond Curtiss. Admission fee. 8419 New York State Route 54, Hammondsport, Steuben County

H Lee White Maritime Museum
H Lee White Maritime Museum

H. Lee White Maritime Museum

The museum exhibits regional artifacts and historic vessels and offers boat tours to Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse. At the mouth of the Oswego Canal, it is the only maritime-themed museum on the American shores of Lake Ontario. Admission fee. 1 W. 1st St., Oswego, Oswego County

Harriet Tubman National Historical Park tour
Harriet Tubman Home for Aged and Indigent Negroes
Harriet Tubman Home visitor center
visitor center
Harriet Tubman Home
Tubman’s home

Harriet Tubman Home

There are three notable buildings on this site: the Visitor Center, where your tour starts; the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged and Indigent Negroes, which you can enter during the tour; and Tubman’s Home, which is viewable from the outside only. According to the National Park Service website, Harriet Tubman lived in the brick residence on this site from about 1882 until a few years before her death.

The Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. is an independent non-profit organization that manages and operates Tubman’s homestead. It was established by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church with the aim of sharing Harriet Tubman’s core values with visitors through two 90-minute guided tours of the property offered Tuesday through Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., by appointment only. The historic building is only accessible through the guided tour. The grounds, on the other hand, are open until 4:00 p.m. 180 South St., Auburn, Cayuga County, (315) 882-8060.

Harriet Tubman National Historical Park Thompson Memorial AME Zion Church Auburn NY
Thompson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church

Harriet Tubman National Historic Park

The Thompson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church and parsonage are currently undergoing restoration and rehabilitation. The buildings are closed to the public but are expected to open in 2024. 47 Parker Street, Auburn, Cayuga County, (315) 568-0024.

Fort Hill Cemetery Harriet Tubman Davis gravesite Auburn
Fort Hill Cemetery

Harriet Tubman’s grave is located across the street from the church in Fort Hill Cemetery.

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Explore Auburn

Auburn offers a full day of immersive experiences. Follow this guide to make the most of your time exploring the city’s rich culture.

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Lucy-Desi Museum
Lucy-Desi

Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum

If you love Lucy, you’ll love this museum! Learn about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and their role as the First Couple of Comedy through the props and sets that made their time together incredibly memorable. Plus, make your very own Vitameatavegamin commercial. It is astounding to learn how many shows Desilu Studios produced, like Star Trek, and which shows used their studios, including The Andy Griffith and Dick Van Dyke shows. Admission fee. 2 W. 3rd Street, Jamestown, Chautauqua County

Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology

In the heart of downtown Syracuse in Armory Square, MOST is a fun and engaging science museum that offers a wide range of hands-on STEM activities for visitors of all ages. You can explore the Lockheed Martin Flight & Space exhibit, a walk-through human heart, and a permanent life-sized dinosaur exhibit. You can also enjoy the climbing maze in the science playhouse. The National Grid ExploraDome features a planetarium and cine-dome theater, providing visitors with a truly immersive experience. Admission fee. 500 S. Franklin Street, Syracuse, Onondaga County

Museum of the Earth
Museum of the Earth

Museum of the Earth

The Journey Through Time exhibit focuses on significant events in Earth’s history and particularly emphasizes New York State’s geologic history. Interactive displays help visitors understand and relate to the information presented. Spend a few minutes examining the Rock of Ages, Sands of Time tiles along the lower-level ramp, depicting one million years of fossils displayed at their point of existence along the timeline. Admission fee. 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, Tompkins County

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Museum of the Earth

The Museum of the Earth focuses on life beginning in the Cambrian Period, but it covers Earth’s history spanning 4.5 billion years.

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National Comedy Center illustrations
National Comedy Center

National Comedy Center

The exhibits are immersive and entertaining, encouraging visitors to laugh and play all day. In the historic 37,000-square-foot Erie Lackawanna Train Station, every inch of space celebrates the work of comic legends and memorable comedic moments. You can even try your luck with stand-up comedy in the lounge. Level up the laughter at the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Admission fee. 203 W. 2nd Street, Jamestown, Chautauqua County

National Soaring Museum

The museum houses a collection of gliders, sailplanes, and historical objects relating to motorless flight. Visitors can also experience a 15-minute glide in a sailplane with the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation. Call ahead to ensure the weather is suitable for soaring if that’s on your must-do list. Admission fee. 51 Soaring Hill Drive, Elmira, Chemung County

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Area

The One More River to Cross exhibit, housed in the historic 1863 US Custom House at the Niagara Falls Amtrak Station, showcases the stories of individuals seeking freedom from enslavement and abolitionists who aided their journey to Canada. Admission fee. 825 Depot Ave. W., Niagara Falls, Niagara County

canon
Old Fort Niagara

Old Fort Niagara Historic Site

Enter through the visitor center, then head out to explore the grounds, buildings, and artifacts, with military demonstrations throughout the day. On select summer weekends, visitors can also attend major battle reenactments. Built by the French in 1726, the Castle at Old Fort Niagara is the oldest building on the Great Lakes. It has been occupied by French, British, and American forces, giving it a fascinating history. The military complex is part of Fort Niagara State Park, with an excellent view of Toronto’s skyline. Admission fee. Fort Niagara State Park, Scott Ave., Youngstown, Niagara County

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Old Fort Niagara

Old Fort Niagara served as a strategic stronghold for 300 years during the French & Indian Wars, War of 1812, Revolutionary War, and Civil War.

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East Aurora store front Roycroft
Roycroft Campus

Roycroft Campus

Visit nine historic buildings, such as the Roycroft Inn, chapel, print shop, furniture shop, and copper shop. Take a guided tour through the museum to learn about the significance of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. See rotating and permanent exhibits featuring rare artifacts. 31 S. Grove Street, East Aurora, Erie County

Sciencenter
Sciencenter

Sciencenter

The programming and exhibits are tailored for younger children, offering hands-on activities to educate them about weather, space, engineering, and animals. Some highlights include a saltwater Tidepool Touch Tank, an expansive Curiosity Playground, and an outdoor 18-hole miniature golf course. There are 20 vibrant murals to see along Franklin Street. Admission fee. 601 1st Street, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Skä·noñh Great Law of Peace Center

This heritage center is where the oral history and culture of the Haudenosaunee people are preserved and shared. Stories are from the perspective of the Onondaga Nation, known as the “People of the Hills” and the keepers of the Central Fire. Admission fee. 6680 Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool, Onondaga County

More in Surrounding Counties

The 1890 House Museum
37 Tompkins St., Cortland, Cortland County, (607) 756-7551, the1890house.org

All Things Oz Museum
219 Genesee St., Chittenango, Madison County, (315) 687-7772, allthingsoz.org

Arnot Art Museum
235 Lake St., Elmira, Chemung County, (607) 734-3697, arnotartmuseum.org

Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum
263 Michigan Ave., Buffalo, Erie County, (716) 853-0084, pierce-arrow.com

Burchfield Penney Art Center
1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, Erie County, (716) 878-6011, burchfieldpenney.org

Camillus Erie Canal Park
5750 Devoe Road, Camillus, Onondaga County, (680) 800-5298, eriecanalcamillus.org

Cayuga Museum of History and Art
The campus includes the Willard-Case mansion, the Carriage House Theater, and the Case Research Lab. 203 Genesee St., Auburn, Cayuga County, (315) 253-8051, cayugamuseum.org

The Colored Musicians Club & Jazz Museum
145 Broadway, Buffalo, Erie County, (716) 855-9383, thecoloredmusiciansclub.com

Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum
363 Oakwood Ave., East Aurora, Erie County, (716) 652-4735, aurorahistoricalsociety.com

Erie Canal Discovery Center
24 Church St., Lockport, Niagara County, (716) 439-0431, niagarahistory.org

Finger Lakes Boating Museum
8231 Pleasant Valley Road, Hammondsport, Steuben County, (607) 569-2222, flbm.org

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
114 Central Ave., Ithaca, Tompkins County, (607) 255-6464, museum.cornell.edu

Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes
73 W. Pulteney St., Corning, Steuben County, (607) 937-5281, heritagevillagesfl.org

Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum
180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda, Niagara County, (716) 693-1885, carrouselmuseum.org

Hornell Erie Depot Museum
111 Loder St., Hornell, Steuben County, (607) 324-7421, eriedepot.org

Mark Twain Study
800 Park Place, Elmira, Chemung County, (607) 735-1941, marktwainstudies.com

Millard Fillmore House
24 Shearer Ave., East Aurora, Erie County, (716) 652-4735, aurorahistoricalsociety.com

Niagara Aerospace Museum
9990 Porter Road, Niagara Falls, Niagara County, (716) 297-1323, niagaraaerospacemuseum.org

Oneida Community Mansion House
170 Kenwood Ave., Oneida, Madison County, (315) 363-0745, oneidacommunity.org

Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center, Seneca Iroquois National Museum
82 W. Hetzel St., Salamanca, Cattaraugus County, (716) 945-1760, senecamuseum.org

Onondaga Historical Museum
321 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, Onondaga County, (315) 428-1864, cnyhistory.org

Original American Kazoo Company Museum
8703 S. Main St., Buffalo, Erie County, (716) 992-3960, edenkazoo.com

The Rockwell Museum
111 Cedar St., Corning, Steuben County, (607) 937-5386, rockwellmuseum.org

Salamanca Rail Museum
170 N. Main St., Salamanca, Cattaraugus County, (716) 945-3133, facebook

Salt Museum
106 Lake Drive, Liverpool, Onondaga County, (315) 453-6712, onondagacountyparks.com

Seward House Museum
33 South St., Auburn, Cayuga County, (315) 252-1283, sewardhouse.org

Steel Plant Museum
100 Lee St., Buffalo, Erie County, (716) 821-9361, steelplantmuseumwny.org

Stickley Museum
300 Orchard St., Fayetteville, Onondaga County, (315) 682-5500, stickleymuseum.com

Schweinfurth Art Center
205 Genesee St., Auburn, Cayuga County, (315) 255-1553, schweinfurthartcenter.org

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, Erie County, (716) 884-0095, trsite.org

The Toy Soldier Museum
111 Loder St., Hornell, Steuben County, (607) 324-1107, cityofhornell.com

Munson
310 Genesee St., Utica, Oneida County, (315) 797-0000, munson.art

University at Buffalo Anderson Gallery
1 Martha Jackson Place, Buffalo, Erie County, (716) 829-3754, buffalo.edu

Ward W. O’Hara Agricultural & Country Living Museum
6880 New York State Route 38A, Auburn, Cayuga County, (315) 252-7644, wardwoharaagriculturalmuseum.org

Wings of Eagles Discovery Center
339 Daniel Zenker Drive, Horseheads, Chemung County, (607) 358-4247, wingsofeagles.com

Google Map of Locations

View the map separately here.

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Street Art: Exploring Rochester’s Murals & Graffiti

Rochester has a vibrant street art culture, with dozens of murals, graffiti, and other forms of public art on display throughout the region.

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9 Lake Ontario Lighthouses in New York

These lighthouses along Lake Ontario in New York are within a two-hour drive of Rochester. And where there’s a light there’s a sweeping view!

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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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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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Roadside Attractions

Have fun finding these fun roadside attractions—shoe trees, a skeleton army, a metal dragon, a shark girl—within two hours of Rochester.

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Rochester Railfans

Rochester’s railfans can appreciate the remarkable structures preserved by dedicated preservationists who recognize their value.

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Which are your favorite museums around Rochester?

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.

2 thoughts on “Museums Around Rochester”

  1. Thank you for researching and finding all of this for families to do! Mine will be partaking of as much as possible over the next summer, as well as, a Youthgroup I’m in charge of! Best regards, Michelle Anderson

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