Rochester is located along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, at the intersection of the Genesee River and the historic Erie Canal. This city hits the spot for a range of interests—from beverage trails and hiking trails to a stellar festival lineup and farm-to-table cuisine that’s out of this world.
Rochester is the cultural capital of upstate New York, as well as the front door to the Finger Lakes and Genesee Valley. Discover the perfect balance of refined and relaxed, amazing and affordable, and historical and happening—and immerse yourself in experiences you can only find here. Here are just a few of the engaging attractions, historical sites, and travel experiences your group will find in Rochester.
The Strong National Museum of Play
This highly interactive, collections-based museum is devoted to the history and exploration of play. With nearly 150,000 square feet of dynamic, interactive exhibit space, The Strong provides entertaining, educational, and unforgettable intergenerational fun and is the ultimate play destination for all ages. It is also home to the world’s largest collection of toys, dolls, and games.
George Eastman Museum
Located on the estate of Kodak founder George Eastman, visit the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the oldest film archives: the George Eastman Museum. This unparalleled institution holds several million objects related to the fields of photography, cinema, photographic and cinematographic technology, and photographically illustrated books. The estate is a National Historic Landmark where groups can see how a visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist lived during the early 20th century.
Genesee Country Village and Museum
This 19th-century living history museum covers more than 600 acres and is the largest living history museum in New York state. Chartered as an educational institution by the NYS Board of Regents, the museum offers opportunities to see, smell, taste, touch, explore, and experience its 68 historic buildings; more than 20,000 artifacts; wildlife paintings, drawings, and sculptures spanning centuries; gardens, a working farm, and its Nature Center; and the gorgeous landscape that first brought settlers to this region. Immerse visitors in the Historic Village as visitors interact with historic interpreters at a variety of 19th-century locations, including craftsmen shops, gardens and kitchens, and more. Special themed tours are available.
Mount Hope Cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery is one of the most remarkable Victorian cemeteries in America, as well as a peaceful park, wildlife sanctuary, and outdoor museum. Located on a magnificent 196 acres of lofty hills and picturesque valleys created by glaciers, this historic cemetery is a beautiful and tranquil place of rest and remembrance. It is also the final resting place for two trailblazing Americans, women’s rights pioneer Susan B. Anthony and abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass.
Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery offers guided walking tours of the cemetery every Sunday from May through October. Other special themed tours are offered during the summer and winter seasons and topics include the Underground Railroad, the Gilded Age, baseball pioneers, geology, bird watching, fall foliage, and more. Private guided walking tours are also available with reservations and may be designed for a variety of interests such as school classes, garden clubs, historical societies, and social groups.
Casa Larga Winery
Nearly 50 years ago, two acres of vines were planted atop a picturesque hill just outside of Rochester and named “Casa Larga Winery” after the owner’s grandparents’ vineyards in Italy. Passion, patience, and tenderness were his gifts to the vines and the wines they produced. Casa Larga became the 21st licensed winery in New York state and has now entered the golden era of New York state winemaking, becoming an icon, as well as a sparkling jewel of the Finger Lakes and Rochester regions. Groups can enjoy guided tours and tastings.
Rochester serves as a perfect base for your group tour visit to New York state. After enjoying the many arts, cultural, and historic attractions the city has to offer, groups can add on nearby destinations located within a 90-minute drive: Niagara Falls, Corning Museum of Glass, Finger Lakes wine country, Letchworth State Park, Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, and more.
Overview shot of Rochester city skyline
Photo credit: Jim Montanus