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 to take a hike in the Rochester area. From leisurely strolls to bring-your-hiking-boots excursions, there are trails to discover for people of 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.
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 and create a golf trip package that is hassle-free with top courses, advance tee times, and nearby accommodations. Review our Guide to Golf in Rochester to start planning your trip and see course suggestions to get out on the greens. Looking to get some practice in on a rainy day? Check out the golf simulators at DICK's House of Sport Rochester.
Get on the Water
There is no limit to ways you can get on the water in Rochester this spring. Enjoy cruising the Erie Canal on the Sam Patch Tour Boat or Colonial Belle, 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 Rohrbach Brewing, Sager Beer Works, ROC Brewing, Young Lion Brewing, Fairport Brewing and Three Heads Brewing. The patio from the Genesee Brew House provides sweeping views of High Falls, a 96-foot waterfall in downtown Rochester.
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 winery 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. For those looking for a winery with brewery vibes, head to 20 Deep Winery, located in Mendon and just 20 minutes from most parts of 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.
Spring in Rochester equals the start of patio season! Explore 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 of Eastman Place, Tapas 177, Trata and Label 7. On a warm spring day, head to Marge's Lakeside Inn for a tropical waterfront experience while staying in Rochester. 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, RMSC Museum & Science Center, the George Eastman Museum and the Memorial Art Gallery are some popular options. 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 has seen a surge of interest in recent years. 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.
Ride a Rollercoaster
Did you know that Rochester's Seabreeze Amusement Park is home to the oldest continuously operating wooden roller coaster in the United States? Visit Seabreeze when the park opens for the season in May, and be sure to ride the Jack Rabbit roller coaster while you're there!
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, sea lions, and much more.
Take in a Baseball Game
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 place 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.
Spend Time with Four-Legged Friends
Are you planning on bringing your four-legged friend with you to Rochester? There are several dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and experiences to enjoy with your pet. See additional ideas on things to do with your dog in Rochester here.