You finally have a day to yourself and want to get off campus, but you're left wondering: What is there to do in Rochester? Fear not, as we have assembled a variety of themed day-trips that allow you to discover and experience different aspects of the city — as well as some hidden treasures.
What do you like to do on your free days? Let us know in the comment section at Rochestercitynewspaper.com.
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- Abundance Cooperative Market is Rochester’s only cooperatively owned natural product grocer.
If you are having trouble finding motivation to run on the treadmill, try the Rochester Parkour Gym (1344 University Avenue) as an alternative. The gym has a host of obstacles that will allow you to jump from pillar to pillar or scale a wall. Once you've worked up an appetite, stop by of the Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall Street) to grab a healthy bite to eat. Abundance is Rochester's only cooperatively-owned natural product grocer, with more than 1,600 shareholders. Complete the day with a leisurely stroll down part of the 9-mile Genesee Riverway Trail, from Scottsville Road to Ontario Beach Park. With plenty of access points and waterfalls in-between, you can craft your trip to fit your mood.
Rochester Parkour Gym — 204-7537, rochesterparkour.com
Abundance Cooperative Market — 454-2667, abundance.coop
Genesee Riverway Trail — cityofrochester.gov/grt
Travel in packs
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- Start your day out with friend by having tea at La Tea Da and gourmet cupcakes at Sugar Mountain.
Get together a group and start the day with high tea and gourmet cupcakes at La Tea Da and Sugar Mountain (258 Alexander Street), complete with traditional hats and raised pinky fingers. Follow up the refined by getting rough with a few rounds of paintball at NVP Paintball (1046 University Avenue) or Performance Paintball Park (1250 Scottsville Road) and see who's really on your team. Once you have licked your wounds and washed off the paint, head to the Vintage Drive-In (1250 W. Henrietta Road) for a relaxing evening of movies and a picnic dinner.
La Tea Da! — 262-4450, la-tea-da.net
NVP Paintball — 473-7529, nvppaintball.com
Performance Paintball Park — 235-5290, www.reaperph.com
Vintage Drive-In — 226-9290, vintagedrivein.com
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- The Strong Museum of Play routinely hosts exhibits featuring a large selection of gaming devices, both old and new.
Rochester has several options for gamers. Relive your childhood at the Strong Museum of Play's Arcade exhibit (1 Manhattan Square) with 80 years of pinballs machines for you to beat. Note that the pinball exhibit runs through the end of September. If you prefer your games on screens, stop by A Gamer's Nostalgia (1350 B Culver Road) to play the new PlayStation 4 or revisit Saga — the business has every game system available for use and plenty of games. Lastly, let the Geeks Who Drink test your trivia skills and win big. Several bars around Rochester host weekly trivia nights organized by the company — check geekswhodrink.com for the one closest to you. While Geeks Who Drink won't require you to be 21 years old to play, some host venues may have age restrictions.
Strong Museum of Play — 263-2700, museumofplay.org
A Gamer's Nostalgia — 288-6118, facebook.com/AGamersNostalgia
Geeks Who Drink — geekswhodrink.com
Take a historical tour
- The Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House.
Rochester has a long, rich history right at your fingertips. The George Eastman House (900 East Avenue) is the oldest museum dedicated to photography and holds one of the oldest film archives. Take a tour of the house and gardens built by George Eastman, then catch a film at the Dryden Theater. Have lunch at 1872 Café (431 W. Main Street), the site of the polling center where Susan B. Anthony illegally voted in 1872, before heading over to the Susan B. Anthony House (17 Madison Street) for a first-hand lesson in the struggle for voting rights for women and equal rights for all.
George Eastman House — 271-3361, eastmanhouse.org
1872 Café — 730-7687, 1872cafe.com
Susan B. Anthony House — 235-6124, susanbanthonyhouse.org
Uncover the Arts
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- The Memorial Art Gallery is a great place to learn about Rochester’s arts culture.
Art is a huge part of Rochester's culture and here are three of the many venues where you can immerse yourself in the wide breadth of skill and creativity. Start at the Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Avenue) the oldest art museum in Rochester that boasts a wide range of over 12,000 works from around the world. Then stop by Java's Café (16 Gibbs Street) for coffee and enjoy the plethora of art — including a shark hanging from the ceiling. You can also take advantage of First Friday's — Rochester's monthly citywide gallery night — and explore the many artist studios open to the public in the Hungerford building (1115 E. Main Street)
Memorial Art Gallery —276-8900, mag.rochester.edu
Java's Café — 232-4820, javascafe.com
The Hungerford — thehungerford.com
Around the world
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- While learning about the many cultures that have influenced Rochester, visit Sinbad’s for a mediterranean lunch.
Rochester is rich in cultural diversity and allows you to explore far away worlds just around the corner. The Rochester Zen Center (7 Arnold Park) has meditation workshops, Sesshins (periods of intensive meditation), and lectures to help you strengthen your Zen. Indulge in falafel or kabob at Sinbad's (719 Park Avenue) for a Mediterranean lunch before heading over to the Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Avenue) for art, discussion, and film screening on Africa and the Diaspora.
Rochester Zen Center — 473-9180, rzc.org
Sinbad's — 473-5655, mysinbads.com
Baobab Cultural Center — 563-2145, thebaobab.org
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- You can find several architectural curiosities in Rochester, including the Mushroom House.
There are many architectural gems hidden on the streets of Rochester, like the Edward E. Boynton House (16 East Boulevard) designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1908, or the James Johnson designed Mushroom House (142 Park Road) nestled into the forest. You can travel back to the 1950's for lunch and the authentic diner experience at the Highland Park Diner (960 S. Clinton Avenue). Afterward, take a gothic cathedral tour at St. Michael's Church (124 Evergreen Street) and hear the fascinating stories behind the stained glass windows.
Mushroom House — mushroomhouse.com
Highland Park Diner — 461-5040, highland-park-diner.com
St. Michael's Church of Rochester — 325-4040, saintmichaelsofrochester.org