Summer-fresh produce, fresh water, outdoor concerts, and 13,500 square miles to explore within 2 hours of home! Take advantage of everything summertime in Rochester has to offer.
Make Memorable Moments Exploring
Whether you’re driving, biking, walking, or paddling you’re bound to discover something so bewildering or fascinating or inspiring that it will change the way you see the world.
The tree-lined reflection on Canadice Lake from the south-east shore. Driving along through Otisco Valley toward the causeway. Making it to the second waterfall at Grimes Glen. The details in the drumlins of Chimney Bluffs. The Crow’s Nest at Niagara Falls. The smell of lilacs at Highland Park.
These are just a few of the moments that have made my own day trips around Rochester memorable!
Transcending Places: 37 Alternate Reality Destinations Around Rochester
Rather than an escape, I prefer to think of these as transcending places that encourage us to transcend space, time, and state of mind.
Top 38 Ice Cream Shops Around Rochester
Ice cream, gelato, Italian ice, frozen yogurt, and custard—we love these shops for their outstanding atmosphere, taste, variety, and innovation.
7 Wineries with Scenic Keuka Lake Views
There are sophisticated publications out there dedicated to the intricacies of wineries, vineyards, cellars, and tasting rooms in the Finger Lakes Region. Our priority is simply to show you which ones have the most spectacular scenic Keuka Lake views!
5 Hidden Places Around Rochester
We drive past some of Rochester’s most unique features every day, completely unaware that these hidden places are just minutes away from where we live.
33 House and Garden Tours Around Rochester
Every year there are dozens of opportunities around Rochester to walk through grand and historic homes, and meticulously manicured garden spaces.
5 Roadside Attractions Worth Going Out of Your Way For
There are so many interesting roadside attractions near Rochester. As you’re driving around the area, you should at least see these five!
Street Art: Exploring Rochester’s Murals & Graffiti
The term street art means different things to different people. Here, we interpret street art to mean any outdoor, free, public wall art.
77 Hiking Trails Around Rochester
Here are a few less populated, rustic, or unusual trails around Rochester that will inspire you to take a hike. A diverse collection of rail-trails, waterside trails, and inland trails.
“Hit the Trail Passport” for Rochester and Surrounding Areas
Pick up your “Hit the Trail Passport” booklet at Wegmans, or print your own! You’ll have everything you need to start your hiking adventure.
Rochester Area Parks
There are over 200 Rochester area parks (New York State Parks, Monroe County Parks, Town Parks, and City Parks) within a 2-hour drive.
Geologic History of the Rochester Area
These day trips into Rochester’s geologic history, filled with drumlins, fossils, house-sized boulders and a meromictic lake, will leave you awe-struck!
The Darkest Sky Near Rochester
Locations northeast of Rochester close to Lake Ontario, or south of US-20 in the Finger Lakes will offer the darkest sky near Rochester.
Gorge Trails Near Rochester
Gorge trails call out to us from their deep, dark, and cool caverns. If you haven’t already, check these five spectacular trails off your list!
48 Nature Centers, Preserves, Refuges, and Observatories Around Rochester
Our nature centers, wildlife preserves, management areas, etc., all serve to protect and sustain life, while making nature accessible to people to enjoy and learn from.
6 Amusement Parks Near Rochester
When May comes around, you find the amusement parks with dry-rides opening on the weekends, with the water parks opening closer to Father’s Day in mid-June.
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.
6 Drive-In Theaters
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.
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!
5 Beautiful Gardens Near Rochester
If you haven’t already, start with a visit to these five beautiful gardens near Rochester, many are free or require only a small donation or admission fee.
Sunflowers are Summer’s Last Stand
Each and every August, neighbors of the Hopkins Farm on Clover Street in Pittsford are treated to a field of golden sunflowers on their daily commutes.
Cool, Fresh Water
How incredibly lucky we are to live in an area completely surrounded by fresh water! It’s refreshing, awe-inspiring, and sustains the diversity of life around us.
39 Natural Swimming Areas
On a hot day, you can sit under a waterfall, swim in a lake, or jump in a creek at one of these refreshing natural swimming areas.
Water Trails: 58 Places to Explore Rochester’s Waterways
Water trails are either formally marked routes along a navigable waterway, or simply any waterway suitable for kayaks and small motorized watercraft.
5 Places in the City to Enjoy the Genesee River
At Genesee Valley Park, the Genesee River begins her journey through the city, racing over a dam and three waterfalls before emptying into Lake Ontario.
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!
33 Roadside Waterfalls Near Rochester
Our roadside waterfalls near Rochester are spectacular, and for some, you do not need to get out of your car. Impressive waterfalls are not all buried in dark ravines accessible only by difficult trails.
Spend a Day in the Finger Lakes Region
The Finger Lakes Region is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and right in our backyard! It is easy to get out there and explore.
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!
The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail
The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail is the portion that runs along the southern Lake Ontario shoreline, from Fort Niagara in Youngstown to Fort Ontario in Oswego.
U-Pick Fresh Fruit
Picking your own product is as much a family adventure as it is entertainment. Tie in a trip to a local U-Pick Farm as you’re exploring this summertime in Rochester. But if you can’t, head for the City of Rochester Public Market town markets.
Cherries: 12 Places to Pick Your Own Around Rochester
Here are a few places you can pick your own cherries near Rochester. The season runs mostly in July, but start checking in late June and call before going.
Raspberries: 9 Places to Pick Your Own Around Rochester
Here are a few places around Rochester you can pick your own raspberries, starting in July with the early varieties. Fall varieties ripen in late August.
Stone Fruit: 5 Places to Pick Your Own
Peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots (stone fruit) hit their prime mid-August-mid-September. Here are a few places you can pick your own.
Blueberries: 8 Places to Pick Your Own Around Rochester
August is blueberry month! Here are a few places around Rochester you can pick your own blueberries.
Rochester Public Market
The Rochester Public Market is the place to grab the freshest local and wholesale fruit, veggies, seafood, beef, cheese, bread, flowers and spices.
Summertime in Rochester: Events
Jazz Fest: 14 Things to Do Nearby
Most Rochester International Jazz Fest performances begin early-evening, so you’ll have plenty of time during the day to explore the Rochester area.
New York State & County Fairs
Our state and county fairs offer their own unique blend of agriculture, amusement and entertainment: parades, demolition derbies, contests, food, tractor shows and pulls, midway rides, vendors, livestock exhibits, and live music.
44 Cheap & Free Outdoor Concerts Around Rochester
Free outdoor concerts around Rochester start ramping up in June, when the city and surrounding towns kick off their summer music series and festivals.
the summer months
Check out all of Rochester’s annual events in
June, July, August, and September. A few highlights include:
What is your favorite way to spend summertime in Rochester?
Share with us in the comments! We’d love to add to our list and your insight is invaluable.
Date Night in Rochester: The Ultimate Guide for Spending Quality Time Together
Whether it’s your first date night in Rochester or 50th, spending time exploring with your partner is a great way to connect and learn about each other.