Living in Rochester, New York all my life, I’ve found exploring all different parts of this city and its surrounding area has some of the most lovely must-see stops. No matter where you come from, I think it’s important to have those special places that forever root your heart to your first home.
The George Eastman Muesum
Easily my favorite spot in the whole city, located right on East Ave, the mansion itself is incredible from first glance. The Muesum has such extraordinary preserved historical pieces from George Eastman, honoring his life and the impact he made on our city through Kodak and film. But truthfully, my favorite part of this place are the gardens surrounding the Muesum. Spring, Summer, Fall.. I will bring a book and some coffee to sit and watch all the different varieties of flowers bloom before me, warming me with their company.
If beautiful places make you emotional (in a good way) be sure you stroll through Highland Park in late April / early May as the buds begin to show color because you will feel overwhelmed with the amount of beauty and peace. Walking through this very large and lush plot of greenery offers views of our cityscape as you climb the higher hills, so make a point to get lost on the trail (maybe pack a picnic too).
Lower Falls Park
Can you believe we have a waterfall in the center of our city? The hike down to the base of Lower Falls isn’t too long, about an hour or so round trip (but slippery, especially after a rainstorm – please be careful, accidents and death have happened in the past). The falls are really quite extraordinary, especially when the mist is heavy and the sun is flickering through.
So sometimes this lake gets a bad rap, the water might not be crystal blue and you don’t really want to swim in it … but nevertheless I feel fortunate enough to see the sunset over it, the waves crash on a windy morning, laying on the sand on a Summer night. The colors in the sky that I’ve seen reflected on this lake have been some of the most incredible hues.
Pour Coffee Parlor, Glen Edith / Upper Crust Bakery, Fuego Coffee, Joe Bean Coffee Bar
I don’t think it’s any secret …. I completely adore coffee. I’m always drinking coffee. Coffee and I are best friends. I’m so thankful for the craft coffee spots in my community, the special things each offer but the goodness and purity in this craft they all share. No matter which spot you visit, they each continue to bring warmth and an incredible cup of coffee, time and time again.
Letchworth State Park
This wonderful state park is only about an hour drive away from our city, can you believe that? The drive itself is breathtaking, lined with trees and more trees and windy roads. Trails, waterfalls, dozens of picturesque views with hours and hours worth of exploring. What more could you ask for?
Last but certainly not least, this stunning yet small greenhouse is not to be overlooked. Entering each room is placing yourself in a different world time and time again – between the plants your surrounding yourself and the aroma in the air. I think I’ll be visiting this place until I’m old and grey, visiting with the quail and turtles that embody this lovely little gem.
** Be sure to check out the #explorerochester hastag on Instagram to see others explored spots! **