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15 Things to Do this Spring in Rochester, NY

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 10:00 AM by Visit Rochester Staff

Spring is an exciting time to visit Rochester, NY -  otherwise known as the Flower City. Read on for our list of things to do this spring when you visit Rochester. 

Take a Hike

The weather is warming up, and with more than 12,000 acres of parkland in Monroe County, there is no limit to parks and trails in the Rochester area to take a hike. From leisurely strolls to bring your hiking boots, there are trails to discover for all ages and levels in Rochester. Popular places to go for a spring hike in Rochester include Mendon Ponds Park, the largest in Monroe County featuring 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds and wetlands, Corbett’s Glen, which features an easy hike down to a small waterfall, and Durand Eastman Park, which features three lakeside trails of varying difficulty. For an easy hike with scenic views, check out the Erie Canal Towpath Trail, the Genesee Riverway Trail, and Turning Point Park.

Go Golfing

Get back into the swing of things with spring golf in Rochester, NY. Find a range of award-winning courses at a great value. Book a golf getaway through the Rochester Golf Trail create a golf trip package that is hassle-free with top courses, advance tee times, and nearby accommodations. Start planning your trip and check out our suggestions on 8 Golf Courses to Play this spring in Rochester. Looking to get some practice in on a rainy day? Check out the golf simulators at the new DICK's House of Sport

Get on the Water

There is no limit to ways you can get on the water in Rochester this spring. From cruising the Erie Canal on the Sam Patch Tour Boat or Colonial Belle, to kayaking in Irondequoit Bay or the Erie Canal, or sailing on the open waters of Lake Ontario. And with the Finger Lakes being so close by, the possibilities for getting on the water this spring are limitless.

Visit a Brewery

Rochester has been named one of the best cities for beer in the country. Sip your way throughout the Greater Rochester area this spring and visit a brewery or two, or three. Local favorites with patios perfect for soaking in the sunshine of spring include Young Lion Brewing, Rohrbach Brewing, Sager Beer Works, Irondequoit Beer Company and ROC Brewing.

Go Wine Tasting

Rochester is the gateway to the Finger Lakes wine region! Enjoy the picturesque views of the Finger Lakes from tasting rooms on Seneca, Keuka or Cayuga Lake. Check out wineries closer to Rochester at Living Roots Wine & Co., the first urban wineries in the Finger Lakes located in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts, and Casa Larga Vineyards, located in Fairport, NY and specializing in Italian varietals and Ice Wine. Deer Run Winery is located on Conesus lake and is just 30 minutes from Rochester. 

See the Flower City in Bloom

We don’t call Rochester the Flower City for nothing! Rochester has an international reputation for horticultural excellence. From the world-famous collection of lilacs in Highland Park, to historic gardens and floral displays in local parks, it is easy to stop and smell the flowers in Rochester this spring. Must visit historic gardens this season include the gardens at the George Eastman Museum, the Lamberton Conservatory, the Ellwanger Garden and the Sunken Gardens at the Warner Castle.

Outdoor Dining

Spring in Rochester equals the start of patio season! Enjoy outdoor dining options throughout the City of Rochester and neighboring towns. Enjoy memorable views and delicious food with outdoor dining at spots like the Genesee Brew House, Native Rochester, Brown Hound Downtown, Max at Eastman Place, Tapas 177 and Label 7.  See our full list of outdoor dining recommendations here.

Visit a Museum

Rochester is filled with museums for every age and interest. Museums like The Strong Museum of Play, Rochester Museum & Science Center, the George Eastman Museum and the Memorial Art Gallery are open and safely welcoming back visitors. Looking for a unique or quirky museum to check out? Consider ArtisanWorks, a 40,000 square foot art studio and gallery in Rochester, browse the extensive collection at the Antique Wireless Museum in Bloomfield, NY, or see the international small art phenomenon that is the 6x6 exhibition at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center. The Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, NY is the largest living history museum in New York State, and opens for the season in May.

Go on a Bike Ride

Bring your bike to Rochester, NY, which Bicycling Magazine has previously named "One of the top bike-friendly cities in the U.S." Why? Scenic trails, new bike lanes and well-maintained roadways attract cyclists here from all over. Like many other outdoor activities, cycling saw a surge in interest last year. Check out our list of best trails for biking in the Rochester area here

Taste a Sweet Treat

Warmer weather signals the start of ice cream season. Indulge in local favorites like Abbott’s Frozen Custard (a Rochester original!) and Hedonist Artisan Chocolate & Ice Cream. Other great spots for locally made sweets and candies include Laughing Gull Chocolates, which focuses on responsibly sourced chocolate from artisans around the world, and Stever’s, which has been producing homemade candy in Rochester since 1946.

Spend Time with Four-Legged Friends

After spending the last year at home with your four-legged friends, why not bring your dog with you to Rochester? There are several dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and experiences in Rochester. See additional ideas on things to do with your dog in Rochester here.

Ride a Rollercoaster

After having to miss a season in 2020 due to the pandemic, the folks at Seabreeze Amusement Park are ready to welcome visitors back to the park. No visit to Seabreeze is complete without a ride on the Jack Rabbit, the oldest continuously operating wooden roller coaster in the country. 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the Jack Rabbit, a milestone that will be properly celebrated in 2021.

Visit the Zoo

Spend a day outdoors with the animals at Seneca Park Zoo. Greet animals from around the world, including Masai giraffes, red pandas, African elephants, a southern white rhino, California sea lions, and much more.

Take in a Baseball Game

Cheer on the Rochester Red Wings this spring at Frontier Field. While information on spectators and tickets for the upcoming season is not yet available, the Red Wings will be working closely with state and local health officials to help fans safely return to the stands.

Visit a Farmer's Market

The Rochester Public Market is open year-round, but is extra special to visit in the spring. Check out the latest seasonal offerings from vendors and mark your calendars for Flower City Days at the Market, taking Sundays in May and early June. Area towns also feature farmer’s markets of varying sizes. Check out weekly markets in Rochester’s South Wedge neighborhood, the town of Brighton and town of Greece.

Author: Visit Rochester Staff

Visit Rochester staff share the inside scoop on Rochester and the Finger Lakes region.