10 Must-See Rochester NY Tourist Attractions for Your Ultimate Vacation

Planning your next getaway can be tough when you’re looking for a mix of adventure, history, and family fun. It is the birthplace of Kodak film and many these Rochester NY Attractions honor its rich past while celebrating today’s joys.

From hands-on museums to serene parks, our guide reveals the best spots for creating memorable experiences in this vibrant city. In this article we help you in discovering Rochester NY tourist attractions.

Top Rochester NY tourist attractions

Rochester NY Landmarks and Monuments include The Strong National Museum of Play, explore the stunning George Eastman Museum, and the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. These are just a few of the top Best places to visit in Rochester New York.

Rochester NY tourist attractions

1) The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play Exhibits turns fun into learning for kids and adults alike. It’s a top spot in Rochester with interactive exhibits that spark imagination. From classic toys to the latest video games, there’s something here for everyone.

The museum shows how play shapes our lives through hands-on activities.

Families love exploring the World Video Game Hall of Fame inside the museum. Kids beam with joy as they step into life-size versions of their favorite storybook worlds in the Reading Adventureland exhibit.

After a playful day at The Strong, visitors often head over to another historical treasure in town, the George Eastman Museum.

2) George Eastman Museum

After exploring the interactive exhibits at The Strong National Museum of Play, a must-visit in Rochester is the George Eastman Museum. This museum holds one of the world’s foremost collections of photography and cinema archives, showcasing historical artifacts, films, photographs, and cameras.

Here you can delve into the legacy of Kodak’s founder and witness captivating exhibitions on photography history and techniques. With its extensive film archives and dedicated photography showcases, this museum offers an enriching experience for enthusiasts and novices alike.

The George Eastman Museum is important Rochester NY Landmark and provides insight into Rochester’s pivotal role in shaping photographic technology and artistry while honoring George Eastman’s groundbreaking contributions to the industry.

George Eastman Museum

3) National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House

The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, a significant landmark in Rochester, is where the renowned women’s rights activist lived for 40 years. Susan B. Anthony House Tours offers insight into her life and work, displaying artifacts and documents related to the suffrage movement.

Visitors can explore the museum’s well-preserved interior and gain a deeper understanding of Anthony’s pivotal role in advocating for women’s rights and suffrage. The museum also provides educational programs and exhibits that continue her legacy, inspiring visitors with her pioneering spirit.

Moving on to “Highland Park”..

4) Highland Park

Highland Park, known for its stunning lilac collection and the lilac festival Rochester NY is a must-visit. The annual Highland Park Lilac Festival celebrates this enchanting feature and offers visitors the chance to explore over 500 varieties of lilacs.

This picturesque park also boasts vibrant gardens, walking paths, and the iconic Lamberton Conservatory showcasing tropical plants. Highland Park’s beauty and tranquility make it an ideal spot for leisurely strolls or picnics amidst nature’s splendor.

Rochester Museum & Science Center invites both adults and children to discover fascinating exhibits on science, technology, and local heritage in Rochester. With interactive displays ranging from human biology to outer space exploration, the center provides an engaging learning experience for all ages.

 Highland Park Lilac Festival

5) Rochester Museum & Science Center

The Rochester Museum & Science Center offers exciting exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages. With its interactive displays, visitors can explore various scientific concepts while having fun.

The museum features a Strasenburgh Planetarium, where visitors can journey through space and learn about celestial wonders. It’s an educational and fascinating experience that shouldn’t be missed during your visit to Rochester.

6) Seneca Park Zoo

Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY is a must-visit spot for animal enthusiasts and families. The zoo boasts over 90 species from around the world, including elephants, lions, penguins, and more.

It offers an educational and fun experience with its conservation-focused exhibits that aim to raise awareness about wildlife preservation. Visitors can explore the Rocky Coasts habitat featuring sea lions and polar bears while learning about environmental conservation efforts.

Additionally, the zoo provides interactive programs for guests to engage with animals up close, making it an ideal destination for a day of family-friendly activities.

Outdoor adventures in Rochester NY

Explore the beauty of nature at Highland Botanical Park and Lamberton Conservatory, take a scenic Erie Canal tour, marvel at High Falls, and visit the historic Mount Hope Cemetery.

Rochester NY tourist attractions include outdoor adventures for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

7) Highland Botanical Park and Lamberton Conservatory

Highland Botanical Park and Lamberton Conservatory offer a tranquil retreat with diverse plant collections. The conservatory, established in 1911, showcases tropical plants, while the park features themed gardens like the Japanese Maple Collection and the Fragrance Garden.

Visitors can explore peaceful walking paths amidst colorful blooms and enjoy events such as the famous Lilac Festival.

With its extensive collection of lilacs and other flora, Highland Botanical Park is a must-see during springtime when it transforms into a picturesque wonderland. The conservatory’s lush greenery provides year-round delight for nature enthusiasts and families seeking an educational outing amidst beautiful surroundings.

8) Erie Canal Tour

Erie Canal Tour Rochester ny

Explore Rochester’s vibrant history with an Erie Canal tour, delving into the city’s past and its crucial connection to this waterway. Discover intriguing insights about how the Erie Canal shaped Rochester’s development and played a pivotal role in trade and transportation during the 19th century.

Traverse the scenic canal and learn about its impact on local industries, architecture, and communities while soaking up fascinating historical tidbits along the way. Experience firsthand the engineering marvel that once transformed Rochester into a bustling hub of commerce.

Continuing with our exploration of outdoor adventures in Rochester, let’s delve into High Falls, another captivating attraction waiting to be discovered.

9) High Falls,Genesee River

High Falls, located in downtown Rochester, is a breathtaking natural wonder and an iconic landmark. The 96-foot waterfall on the Genesee River offers stunning views and a glimpse into the city’s industrial past.

Visitors can explore the area via walking paths and observation decks while learning about its historical significance tied to early industrialization. High Falls provides a perfect backdrop for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, offering a unique blend of scenic beauty and historical charm within the heart of Rochester.

10) Mount Hope Cemetery

Mount Hope Cemetery, a notable landmark in Rochester, NY, is not your typical cemetery. It is a designated National Historic Landmark offering scenic beauty and historical significance.

The cemetery serves as the final resting place for prominent figures like Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, making it an essential stop for history enthusiasts and those interested in women’s rights movements.

With its picturesque landscapes and captivating architecture, Mount Hope Cemetery provides a serene setting for contemplation and exploration of Rochester’s rich cultural heritage.

The site offers guided walking tours during specific times of the year, allowing visitors to learn about the significant individuals buried there and the cemetery’s role in shaping Rochester’s past.

Shopping and Entertainment Options

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Rochester Public Market, enjoy a thrilling day at Seabreeze Amusement Park, and catch a show at Geva Theatre Center. These are just a few of the exciting shopping and entertainment options waiting for you in Rochester!

Rochester Public Market

Rochester Public Market bustles with energy, offering a diverse array of fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and delicious food. Visitors can explore the vibrant stalls filled with local goods while immersing themselves in the lively atmosphere of community events.

The market is a hidden gem for experiencing Rochester’s cultural diversity and culinary delights, making it an essential stop for anyone interested in discovering authentic local flavors and connecting with the city’s creative spirit.

The historic Rochester Public Market stands as a testament to the city’s rich heritage and commitment to supporting local vendors. This bustling marketplace provides an immersive experience that reflects Rochester’s vibrant community life through its wide variety of products and engaging events.

Seabreeze Amusement Park

When you’re ready for some thrilling fun, head over to Seabreeze Amusement Park. Packed with exciting rides, water attractions, and live entertainment, this park offers a fantastic day out for families and thrill-seekers alike.

The park’s rich history dates back to the late 19th century, making it one of America’s oldest amusement parks. Featuring classic rides like carousels and roller coasters alongside modern attractions such as water slides and wave pools, Seabreeze promises an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

With its energetic atmosphere and diverse range of activities, including concerts and special events, Seabreeze Amusement Park is undeniably a must-visit in Rochester.

Geva Theatre Center

Geva Theatre Center, located in downtown Rochester, is a vibrant cultural hub showcasing a diverse array of theatrical productions, from classic plays to contemporary performances.

The center provides an immersive and captivating experience for visitors and locals alike, with state-of-the-art facilities and talented performers bringing stories to life on stage.

With its rich history and commitment to artistic excellence, Geva Theatre Center stands as a must-visit destination for those seeking engaging entertainment and enriching cultural experiences in Rochester.

Food and Drink Options in Rochester

Indulge in the local culinary scene at Rochester’s diverse range of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. Whether you’re craving international cuisine or a taste of classic American dishes, the city has plenty to offer for food enthusiasts.

Don’t forget to try some must-try treats unique to Rochester!

Local restaurants

Discover a variety of local restaurants in Rochester, NY offering diverse cuisines from around the world. From mouthwatering Garbage Plates at iconic diners to upscale dining options in historic settings, the city’s food scene has something for every palate.

Indulge in delectable dishes while soaking up the vibrant atmosphere and friendly hospitality unique to Rochester.

Coffee shops

Rochester offers a vibrant coffee culture, with cozy cafes and artisanal roasters dotted throughout the city. You can savor a freshly brewed cup of java at Joe Bean Coffee Roasters, known for its specialty blends and relaxed ambiance.

Alternatively, indulge in delectable pastries alongside your coffee at Glen Edith Coffee Roasters’ inviting space. With its warm atmosphere and locally sourced ingredients, Java’s Cafe is another popular choice for enjoying a cup of joe while mingling with locals.

Embrace Rochester’s thriving coffee scene as you explore the city’s historical landmarks and cultural attractions.

Explore hidden gems like Fuego Coffee Roasters nestled within Rochester’s diverse neighborhoods – it prides itself on ethically sourced beans and an enticing range of brews. As you venture around the city, treat yourself to unique flavors at Ugly Duck Coffee or Starry Nites Café where their carefully crafted beverages complement charming surroundings.


After enjoying a relaxing time at the local coffee shops, unwind and socialize at the vibrant bars scattered across Rochester. From cozy neighborhood pubs to trendy cocktail lounges, there’s something for everyone.

You can immerse yourself in Rochester’s rich jazz culture by visiting popular bars hosting live performances or savor craft beers at laid-back breweries. Dive into the city’s nightlife scene and mingle with locals while sipping on signature cocktails inspired by Rochester’s history and culture.

Let the evening unfold as you explore the diverse bar scene, offering a perfect ending to your day of exploration in this lively city.

Must-try treats

When in Rochester, NY, don’t miss out on the iconic “Garbage Plate”, a local delicacy known for its unique combination of flavors and textures. Savor a plate filled with options like macaroni salad, home fries, and your choice of burgers or hot dogs at one of the city’s famed diners or eateries.

For those with a sweet tooth, indulge in the diverse selection of homemade ice cream flavors offered at various local shops and stands throughout the city. From classic vanilla to innovative creations, Rochester’s ice cream scene is not to be missed.

As you explore Rochester’s culinary delights, make sure to treat yourself to some authentic Garbage Plate and savor the delicious homemade ice cream offerings that are integral parts of Rochester NY for foodies.

Where to Stay and Travel Tips

Recommended hotels in Rochester include the Strathallan Hotel, The East Avenue Inn & Suites, and The Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel & Spa. For day trips from Rochester, consider visiting the Finger Lakes wine region or taking a trip to Niagara Falls.

When visiting Rochester, be sure to check out travel tips such as parking options and public transportation availability.

Recommended hotels

Discovering the enchanting city of Rochester calls for a comfortable stay, and you can find just that at the luxurious Strathallan Hotel. Nestled in the heart of the city, this hotel offers easy access to popular attractions such as The Strong National Museum of Play and Highland Park.

With its elegant rooms and top-notch amenities, including a rooftop bar overlooking the city, the Strathallan Hotel provides an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking relaxation and convenience.

Travelers looking for a more budget-friendly option can opt for the Holiday Inn Rochester Downtown. Situated near George Eastman Museum and High Falls, this hotel provides cozy accommodations with modern comforts.

Its central location makes it an ideal starting point for exploring all that Rochester has to offer, combining affordability with accessibility to key landmarks.


Day trips from Rochester

Explore nearby attractions like the scenic Finger Lakes region, known for its wineries and outdoor activities. Enjoy a day trip to Niagara Falls, one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders.

Discover the historic city of Buffalo or venture to the charming village of Skaneateles with its quaint shops and lakeside setting. Delight in a trip to Corning Museum of Glass, showcasing exquisite glass artistry and craftsmanship.

Consider a visit to Letchworth State Park, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” featuring breathtaking waterfalls and picturesque trails.

Tips for visiting Rochester

Plan a visit to Rochester during the Lilac Festival for stunning displays and fragrant blooms. Don’t forget to explore the Rochester Public Market, where you can savor local flavors and find unique souvenirs.

Embrace the city’s jazz history by catching live performances at renowned venues like Geva Theatre Center, adding a memorable touch to your trip.

Now let’s dive into our recommendations for exploring the historical architecture of Rochester.

Final thoughts on Rochester, NY

Rochester, NY is a vibrant and diverse city offering an array of attractions for visitors of all ages. From the fascinating history showcased at the George Eastman Museum to the family-friendly fun at Seabreeze Amusement Park, there’s something for everyone.

The city’s connection to the Erie Canal provides unique insights into its past, while the annual Lilac Festival celebrates Rochester’s natural beauty. With its bustling Public Market and renowned jazz scene, there are endless opportunities to explore and enjoy in this dynamic destination.

When visiting Rochester, be sure to delve into its rich cultural heritage, savor local delicacies like the “Garbage Plate”, and take in the stunning views at High Falls and Mount Hope Cemetery.


In conclusion, Rochester, NY offers a diverse range of attractions for all ages. From the interactive exhibits at The Strong National Museum of Play to the historical insights at George Eastman Museum and National Susan B.

Anthony Museum & House, there’s something for everyone. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore Highland Park and take an Erie Canal tour, while food lovers can savor local treats and fresh produce at the Rochester Public Market.

Add in entertainment options, scenic landmarks like High Falls and Mount Hope Cemetery, and you have a city brimming with must-see destinations.


1. What are some popular Rochester NY tourist attractions?

The city offers a variety of tourist spots like Strong National Museum of Play, George Eastman Museum,Seabreeze Amusement Park, Highland Park etc. including family-friendly activities, historical landmarks, and beautiful sightseeing opportunities.

2. Can I find places to visit in Rochester that are good for kids?

Yes, there are many places of interest in Rochester that  children can enjoy  for a fun-filled day like Seabreeze Amusement Park, Strong National Museum of Play and Seneca Park Zoo.

3. Are there any famous landmarks to see in Rochester NY?

Rochester is full of history with several must-see landmarks like National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House and Mount Hope Cemetery.

4. What kind of activities can travelers do in Rochester?

Travelers can explore various vacation spots within the city, engage in sightseeing tours, or participate in local activities that showcase what makes Rochester unique.

5. Is Rochester NY a good place for a family vacation?

Absolutely! With its mix of things to do and see from museums to parks, it’s an excellent travel destination for families looking to experience new adventures together.

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