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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 are incredibly lucky that passionate preservationists before us saw the value in retaining structures we can still appreciate today.
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.
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.
9. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park
Sonnenberg Gardens is an exceptional example of the lavish wealth and philanthropy of the Gilded Age.
10. Free Day Trips: Our Top 12 Favorite Ideas
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!
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!
12. Chimney Bluffs State Park
Land and water clash at Chimney Bluffs, sculpting the most dramatic landscape on the Lake Ontario shore. You can experience massive earthen spires from above or along the lake shore on nature trails.
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.
14. Grimes Glen
Visitors discover the sights, sounds, and smells of pristine Grimes Creek – its bubbling cascades, crystal clear pools, and two sixty-foot waterfalls, all framed by majestic hemlock trees, bountiful wildflowers in Spring, and shale bluffs towering up to 200 feet overhead.
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!
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.
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.
18. Corbett’s Glen Nature Park
Corbett’s Glen Nature Park 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.
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.
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.
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.