Less than two hours from New York City, Rochester is a popular New York destination for lovers of nature, a bustling arts scene, and breezy weather. Located alongside Lake Ontario, the city boasts all of the elements that you would expect from New York, like towering skyscrapers, booming nightlife, and pleasant, peaceful parks that overlook the lake. There is an excellent mixture of city lifestyles and mother nature in Rochester, so your travels are well-balanced.
Many parts of the city are family friendly, like the Seneca Park Zoo. Considered small with 15 acres of habitats and nature paths, the zoo houses well over 90 species of wildlife, from birds and fish, to mammals, insects, arachnids, and reptiles.
For kids and adults alike, the zoo hosts several festivals and annual events, like the Zoo Brew and Book & Beast. While tickets are cheaper than the average New York zoological prices, concessions are a bit pricey, so consider munching on lunch before you enter the park.
Spring in Rochester is definitely a beautiful sight to see, especially in Highland Park—a 150-acre park with a sunken garden that blooms bright, lovely, and colorful. The Lilac trees blossom beautifully, and visitors can observe the wonders of nature from footpaths and hiking trails.
Also home to a centuries-old castle, the historic park doubles as a plot for history buffs, with plenty of opportunities for wow-worthy photography.
Kids have access to a few playgrounds with the usual swings, slides, and climbing walls. The amphitheater is always booked for some kind of show, so check with guest services for more information about live concerts and park performances.
One of the largest and most wondrous in the country, the Rochester Museum and Science Center is a must-see for kids and adults alike. There are three floors of hands-on learning fun, such as the planetarium with star shows, interactive exhibits for kids, and gadgets that explore advanced modern technologies. The average visitor to the center spends 3 hours perusing the exhibits, and you can either opt for a self-guided walk-through or ask for a staff-guided tour. Be sure to check out the small gift shop near the lobby before you leave.
When you finish up with a day of adventure and exploration, snag some delicious, cheap eats from DiBella’s Old Fashioned Submarines on Jefferson Road. This Rochester restaurant has been around a while, serving up homemade, fresh submarine sandwiches, fresh-baked breads, yummy soups, and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Throw in a fountain drink soda and you have one delicious, well-rounded, tummy-stuffing meal.
The cost of living in New York State is a little steeper than anywhere else in the nation. However, you can still find great deals and prices on hotels in Rochester.
Stay at one of the best hotels in Rochester NY!
East Avenue Inn & Suites
The East Avenue Inn & Suites, ranked number 5 of 29 reviewed hotels on TripAdvisor, is a classy, 3-star hotel with 4-star accommodations and 5-star service. Past customers have raved about the continental breakfast, which includes all of your grab-and-go breakfast favorites, like waffles, cereals, yogurt, juices, and coffee.
Room-wise, the hotel offers spacious, comfortable, clean accommodations with vibrant views of a revitalized Rochester neighborhood. The beds are plush, the free wireless internet is quick, and there are hundreds of basic cable channels on a flat-screen, wall-mounted television.
Other amenities at East Avenue Inn include free parking spaces, an on-site restaurant and lounge with a mini bar, a fitness center with modern equipment, and airport transportation with free shuttle service around the city.
If you have some downtime, walk to the Memorial Art Gallery on University Avenue. The museum boasts a beautiful collection of paintings, sculptures, and sketches from some of the most well-known and famed artists throughout history.
Hyatt Regency Rochester
Among the best Rochester hotels and seated in a ginormous skyscraper, the Hyatt Regency Rochester is a clean and comfortable place to book your weekend stay. Right in the midst of the city, this hotel mostly caters to business professionals, with an accessible parking garage, a spacious business center, several meeting rooms, and laundry and dry-cleaning services. Other amenities include a banquet room for corporate celebrations, an on-site restaurant with classic American fare, free high-speed internet, and an indoor hot tub.
If you love a good show, head to the Geva Theatre Center on Woodbury Boulevard. Call ahead or go online to get the schedule, then go relax and watch an amazing performance from the comforts of padded, indoor stadium seats.
Homewood Suites, located on Center Place Drive, is a Rochester favorite with big positive online reviews. The customer service is a notable positive experience, as past guests enjoyed the courteous professionalism of the front desk crew. The rooms meet an upscale standard of cleanliness, with a plush, comfortable bed, an in-room kitchenette, and a clean, toiletry-stocked en-suite bathroom.
Other hotel accommodations include a swimming pool, fitness center, free parking for guests, free high-speed wireless internet, complimentary breakfast, and self-serve laundry services.
Feel like munching on something healthy and delicious for lunch? The CoreLife Eatery on West Ridge Road serves up foodie favorites, like shiitake mushroom soup bowls, homemade, fresh-squeeze lemonade, and giant spinach salads with raspberry reduction drizzles.
Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown
Situated on East Main Street, the Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown is a beautiful old hotel with modern interior renovations and updated accommodations. The hotel is neat, clean, and comfortable, within minutes of the Rochester Riverside Convention Center and Dinosaur Bar-B-Q.
The sidewalks lead towards shops and small restaurants from the hotel’s front door, so you can walk to almost anywhere when exploring the city.
Some amenities of the Hilton Garden Inn include shuttle bus services and airport transportation, a swimming pool, an on-site restaurant with a bar and lounge area, dry-cleaning services, room services, and a fitness room. The rooms are studio styles with a mini kitchenette, comfortable bed/s, well-supplied bathroom, and free high-speed internet.
Craving a sweet treat? Take a stroll to Abbott’s Frozen Custard for a cone or cup of your favorite creamy flavors, like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.
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