Skip to content

Things to do in Rochester

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Cemetery
“Thousands of years ago, glaciers arved the lofty ridges and buccolic valleys that cut through the 196-acres Victorian-era cemetery. Mt. Hope was founded in 1838 and remains the oldest, municipally-operated cemetery that is home to over 350, 000 citizens. The architectural style of the cemetery's gravestones and grave markers, cryots, chapels, gatehouses and masoleums (many with Tiffany glass detail) span three centuries. Many graves honor the legacy of Rochester business leaders John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb (Bausch and Lomb), Frank Gannett (Gannett Newspaper Chain including USA Today), Milton Glazer (past owner of Manchester United), George Ellwanger (Ellwanger Barry) Hiram Sibley (Sibleys Department stores) Seth Green (father of fish famig in North America) George B. Seldon (held a patent lightweight automobile engine); local politicians and activists Nanthanial Rochester (founder of Rochesterville), Jonathn Child (first mayor), Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglasss and hundreds of thousands more.”
  • 21 locals recommend
Store
“Have fun. Feel good. Buy stuff. Voted Rochester's Best Gift store by the Democrat and Chronicle and by The City Paper. Parkleigh began as a pharmacy in 1960. In 1986 we said goodbye to the pharmacy and became the gift store you love today.”
  • 20 locals recommend
Breakfast Spot
$$
“I love the atmosphere, service and most of all food choices. Banana Bread Pancakes are to die for! They have great dinner choices but I can't seem to get past the pancakes.”
  • 17 locals recommend
Grocery or Supermarket
“Great little grocery store! Lots of local food items plus all the staples needed for a great meal. Has local, organic produce. ”
  • 15 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Features nightly specials, soups, salads and small plates--all locally sourced. My favorite is the Buffalo Cauliflower. They also offer a large selection of craft brews, artisan wines, locally roasted coffee and desserts from nearby bakeries. Most menu items can be prepared gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian upon request.”
  • 18 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“ARTISANworks is one of the best kept secrets of Rochester. Thousands of original art pieces in an awesome inspiring venue. Themed rooms include bits of history as well as beautiful displays.”
  • 13 locals recommend
Cafe
$
“Coffee and bar! All in one character filled package! Open late and right at the heart of everything. I enjoy the funky decoration”
  • 16 locals recommend
Farmers Market
$
“Established in 1905, this top tier public market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays throughout the year. They also host the Rochester Food Truck Rodeo, Flower City Days, Bands on the Brick concert series, and other great events. ”
  • 16 locals recommend
Cafe
$
“Free WiFi. Delicious coffee and food. Great atmosphere. Open late every night. ”
  • 12 locals recommend
Arcade
“Swillburger and The Playhouse is a awesome Barcade that features craft cocktails and beer. A great place to grab a burger, fries/tots and milkshakes. Perfect for a rainy afternoon or late night out. ”
  • 17 locals recommend
Bar
“This is voted the best craft cocktail in Rochester. It also has a great bartending staff. I recommend Trans 84 if you like a spicy drink!”
  • 12 locals recommend
Pub
$
“Incredible views of the gorge waterfalls. Exceptional museum of the beer brewed here. ”
  • 12 locals recommend
Restaurant
$
“Diners are an east coast staple and The Highland Park Diner a staple for Rochester. Their website states. “Highland Park Diner is a famous diner on the corner of Clinton and Goodman. The American Diner Cookbook and other books feature the Highland Park Diner. It is a 1940’s stainless steal long narrow train car like diner. It was manufactured by the Orleans Diner company of Albion, NY in the late 1940's. It would have been pre-built in their factory and moved to the site via rail car and truck, which is why diners of this type are always long and narrow. This diner may be the only surviving diner from this manufacturer (they only made 2 or 3 units total).”
  • 13 locals recommend
Zoo
“Seneca Park Zoo is a 20-acre zoo located in Rochester, New York. The zoo is home to over 90 species including mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish, and arachnids. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The zoo is operated by Monroe County, with support from the Seneca Park Zoo Society.”
  • 6 locals recommend
University
“One of the top music schools in the world. Make sure to check out the beautiful Kodak Hall. Connected to the Sibley Music Library across the street, which is the largest music library in the nation. ”
  • 10 locals recommend
Mediterranean Restaurant
$$
“My favorites are fatayer appetizer, gyro plate, and kafta kabob! Great outside seating in the summer (watch out for beas( and super cozy in side during the cold months.”
  • 9 locals recommend