ARTISANworks

132 Things to Do Around Rochester, NY

We’ve pulled together a list of fun things to do around Rochester for adults and families within two hours of home—perfect for quick getaways.

There is so much cool stuff to do and so many day trips from Rochester you’ll easily find somewhere new to explore every weekend of the year.

Things to Do in Rochester This Weekend

Discover the best concerts, festivals, community events, special events, and other things to do in Rochester this weekend or anytime!

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Channing Philbrick creek
Irondequoit Creek through Channing H Philbrick

1. Channing H. Philbrick Park

As Irondequoit Creek passes through Channing H Philbrick Park in Penfield, it drops 90 feet over one mile giving us the cascades that make this park so special.

Tinker Park bridge

2. Tinker Nature Park

Tinker Nature Park comprises 68-acres in Henrietta with a 1.2 mile flat perimeter trail for jogging, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or walking.

30 day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester: Rochester Hidden Sidewalk

3. Rochester’s Hidden Sidewalk

To find Rochester’s hidden sidewalk, start at Ontario Beach Park & head west on Beach Ave. Across from Clematis St. & Cloverdale St. are the two main entrances.

14 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.

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ARTISANworks retro room

4. ARTISANworks

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.

Penn Dixie Fossil Park Nature Reserve
Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve

5. Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve

At Penn Dixie, you keep every fossil you find, though it takes a keen eye and persistence to find the fossils, many of which are smaller than pebbles.

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!

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Arcade and Attica Railroad

6. Arcade & Attica Railroad

A 90-minute steam train ride from the historic station & museum to Curriers Depot through the countryside and farmlands that have remained virtually unchanged since the line was originally laid in the 1880’s.

Rochester Railfans: Trains, Depots, Rail-Trails, Models, & Clubs

Rochester railfans are incredibly lucky that passionate preservationists before us saw the value in retaining structures we can still appreciate today.

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Turning Point Park walking winter
Turning Point Park

7. Turning Point Park

Turning Point Park’s most striking feature is a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin, part of the greater Genesee Riverway Trail.

Natural Swimming Area Taughannock Falls Creek
Taughannock Falls Creek

8. 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.

Museums around Rochester - Sonnenberg Gardens exterior

9. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park

Sonnenberg Gardens is an exceptional example of the lavish wealth and philanthropy of the Gilded Age.

public wall art greetings from Rochester

10. Free Day Trips

Don’t let tight budgets stop you from exploring! These 10 ideas for free Rochester day trips will give you over 350 destinations to explore!

Spencerport Lift Bridge Erie Canal
Union Street Lift Bridge

11. 15 Miles on the Erie Canal

Of the Best 100 Miles on the canal, 85 of them are between Lockport and Palmyra. Here are a few ideas to start exploring your own 15 miles on the Erie Canal!

Things to do around Rochester NY: Chimney Bluffs State Park

12. Chimney Bluffs State Park

The bluffs, rising 175 feet above Lake Ontario, are fragile drumlins, like all of the truncated drumlins along this section of shoreline.

Darkest Sky near Rochester-Dark Sky measurement
this scale is called the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale and it was first published in Sky & Telescope magazine.

13. Find 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.

Grimes Glen second waterfall
Grimes Glen, Second Waterfall

14. Grimes Glen

There are few experiences like Grimes Glen around Rochester. The glen is public, free, and you are encouraged to walk in the water. Most people look forward to wading the creek to the first and second falls–both 60′ cascades.

Endicar Irondequoit neighborhood holiday lights giraffe
Endicar Drive in Irondequoit

15. 10 Rochester-Area Neighbors with Extraordinary Holiday Lights

These homeowners and communities go all out with their holiday lights to celebrate the season, so let’s get out there and celebrate with them!

Water: Cascadilla Gorge Ithaca
Cascadilla Gorge Ithaca

16. 8 Gorge Trails Near Rochester

Gorge trails call out to us from their deep, dark, and cool caverns. They lead us along their timeline, exposing history as their waterfalls walk backwards.

Montezuma NWR
Montezuma NWR

17. Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is a 7,000-acre (28 km2) preserve located on the north end of Cayuga Lake, under one of the most active flight lanes in the Atlantic Flyway.

Corbetts Glen tunnel entrance
Corbett’s Geln

18. Corbett’s Glen Nature Park

Corbett’s Glen is a hidden green space in a suburban jungle, nestled in between an expressway and 2 highly trafficked roads near the Penfield/Brighton Town border.

High Falls walking tour
High Falls

19. 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 and food options on both sides of the river.

Vitale Park on Conesus Lake
Vitale Park on Conesus Lake

20. Conesus Lake

Conesus Lake is the westernmost Finger Lake and the closest to Rochester. You can drive around the entire lake in 30 minutes.

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Our mission is to inspire exploration, appreciation, preservation, and conservation of our natural and human communities. To that end, we seek out destinations within a 2-hour radius of Rochester, NY that foster a passion for both.
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