From a once-in-a-lifetime solar event, to a growing food and drink scene, cultural exhibits and more - discover why Rochester, NY should be on your travel list in the year ahead.
On the Path of Totality Awesome
Rochester, NY will be going all-out for the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024 – the city will enjoy a full three minutes and 38 seconds of totality, and is the largest city on the eastern part of the path of totality. This means Rochester is the nearest city by car to major population centers like NYC, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC.
Events will be taking place throughout the Rochester community in the days leading up to, and on the day of the eclipse. A three day festival at the RMSC Museum & Planetarium is planned, along with many other events at Rochester area attractions, including Genesee Country Village & Museum, Strong National Museum of Play, George Eastman Museum, RPO Eclipse Spectacular, Total Eclipse of the Port at SUNY Brockport, Soltality Music Festival, eclipse-themed beer, coffee and wine and much more.
Food & Drink
Rohrbach Brewing, Rochester’s first craft brewery established in 1991, is expanding within its current location on Railroad Street, in Rochester’s Public Market District. The expansion will entail new production space and a new event/catering space for the brewery.
The former Daisy Flour Mill is the new home of Rising Storm at the Mill, a Rochester location for the Livonia-based brewery. The new Rising Storm at the Mill is an expansive space where the brewery has located all production, alongside a tasting room with two floors of seating, kitchen, live music and outdoor space.
Rochester’s K2 Brothers Brewing will expand into a former elementary school in the town of Walworth (a suburb to the east of Rochester). Dubbed K2 at Freewill, the tasting room is in the school’s former cafeteria and brewing production has expanded to the former gymnasium. K2 continues to pour beer and serve food at its original location in Rochester, across from Irondequoit Bay.
Newly opened Preservation Brewing in the village of Fairport, NY. Fairport is a quintessential Erie Canal community and is home to a quickly growing food and beverage scene. Of note, The Cannery is a former can factory that has transformed into a dining and entertainment district that is now home to a distillery, three breweries, a coffee shop and restaurants.
From the mastermind behind successful Rochester restaurants including Good Luck, Lucky’s and the Jack Rabbit Club comes Martine, a new cocktail bar in Rochester’s South Wedge neighborhood. In opening Martine, Chuck Cerankosky continues to bring the golden touch to the Rochester food and drink scene.
Another South Wedge neighborhood favorite, Cheshire, is relocating to a new space to sling its fan-favorite cocktails. As the owners note, “we have a new address, but you will see the same bartenders who have always taken care of you, the same cocktails you’ve helped us perfect, served with the same care, hospitality, and class, and, as always, made with love.” As a bonus, every cocktail on the menu is just $12.
Greg and Jody Johnson, owners of the Cub Room in Rochester, will be opening a new restaurant in a former bank in the village of Fairport. The new restaurant will be called Bonnie & Clyde and will have an art deco theme.
Rochester Real Beer Expo is back at Innovative Field on June 8, 2024.
Neutral Ground, a woman-owned coffee shop, has opened a second location in the Corn Hill neighborhood, the oldest residential neighborhood in the City of Rochester. Visit Neutral Ground for coffee, all-day dining and smoothies. As an added bonus, the Genesee River waterfront in Corn Hill is just across the street from the new location!
UnWine’d is an all new wine bar and tasting experience in downtown Rochester. Inspired by a visit to a wine bar in the Cayman Islands, owners Jim Muir and Paula Miceli have brought the first and only interactive wine experience to Rochester.
Board games? Check. Food? Check. Drinks? Check. Founded in November 2023, Dice Versa is a new destination in downtown Rochester for gaming and entertainment. Dice Versa boasts a board game library with nearly 300 titles in the collection. Play a flat fee per board game player (just $8), and enjoy unlimited game play.
From the owners of Flour City Bread Co. comes Public Provisions, a new restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on the grounds of the Rochester Public Market. Coffee shop vibes by day. Casual, full service restaurant by night. You haven’t lived until you have tried one of Flour City Bread’s almond croissants.
Char Steak & Lounge at the Strathallan Hotel will debut a renovated interior in January 2024. Char is one of the Rochester area’s premiere steakhouses and gathering places.
Hotel News & Updates
The opening of a 90,000 sq. foot transformative expansion at The Strong National Museum of Play in 2023 marked the completion of the new Neighborhood of Play in the City of Rochester. Opening alongside the museum expansion was the Hampton Inn & Suites Rochester Downtown, a family-friendly property located steps away from the museum. The Hampton Inn & Suites Rochester Downtown offers guests a wide range of amenities, beautiful finishes, Lila’s restaurant and bar - and connects guests to the revitalized neighborhood surrounding the hotel. The hotel features several rooms with bunk-bed style accommodations to appeal to the many families looking to visit the Strong Museum and stay at the hotel.
Check in and zen out at the new spa at the Woodcliff Hotel & Spa. Enjoy sweeping views of the Genesee Valley from the Woodcliff Spa’s relaxation room - the Woodcliff is located at highest point in Monroe County.
The area’s first Spark by Hilton property is now open in Henrietta, near the campuses of Monroe Community College and Rochester Institute of Technology.
Exhibits & Attractions
Expansion at The Strong National Museum of Play. The Strong is home to the largest collection of toys, dolls and games in the world! As of June 2023, The Strong opened a 90,000 sq. foot expansion to the museum. The expansion is the new home of the World Video Game Hall of Fame, among other interactive exhibits focused on electronic games, and the Hasbro Game Park, an outdoor play area featuring iconic board games come to life. The Strong expansion is the cornerstone of the all-new Neighborhood of Play development in the City of Rochester.
The George Eastman Museum, the world's oldest photography museum, will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2024. Founded in 1949 in the historic estate of Kodak Founder George Eastman, the museum today houses one of the largest film and camera collections in the world, is one of just four theaters in the U.S. that can screen nitrate film, hosts rotating photography galleries and is the premiere museum for photography fans from around the world.
Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – Let’s Survive Forever, 2017, Memorial Art Gallery, September 14, 2023–May 5, 2024
Yayoi Kusama is globally acknowledged to be one of the most important artists of our time. The Memorial Art Gallery presents INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER, 2017, on loan from the Art Gallery of Ontario. LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER is an environment unto itself—visitors do not “view” it but rather “experience” it. Building on her frequent themes of repetition and obliteration, the work invites visitors into a seemingly infinite field of silver orbs and captivates them with mirrored spheres suspended from the ceiling and arranged on the floor.
Entering the installation requires a timed entry ticket. When you arrive for your visit, check in at the Admissions Desk to reserve your timed ticket for entering the installation.
Crashing Into The 60s: Film Posters From The Collection, George Eastman Museum, February 2, 2024 – September 8, 2024
Films from the 1960s depicted the turbulence of the time. Poster artists from across the globe assigned to capture the essence of these films brought their own wildly differing creative interpretations of the subject matter to the masses. An era of political, cultural, and sexual revolutions, the 1960s was a decade of great changes and great tragedies determined by such world-impacting events as The Space Race, the Cold War, Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, the JFK assassination, but also by the cultural influences of The Beatles, James Bond, and even fashions, including the popularity of jeans and bikinis. This was also one of the greatest decades in film history.
Survival Of The Slowest: Counterintuitive Adaptations, RMSC Museum & Science Center, through May 19, 2024
Discover species that use their weaknesses to survive in a world where large, strong, and fast animals are at the top of the food chain. This live animal exhibit features species known for moving slowly, including a two-toed sloth, russian tortoise, blue tongue skink, and a hedgehog.
"Becoming Gendered: Garment as Gender Artifact”, Genesee Country Village & Museum, through October 2024
Becoming Gendered offers guests a wide variety of historic gendered garments for men, women, and children spanning over a century. Hegemonic gendered clothing for adult men and women is compared to the development of recreational and leisurewear. Understructures for men, women and even children are exhibited as evolving tools worn to achieve gendered ideals. Challenging these 19th-century gendered norms in fashion and garment are the Dandy, the Bloomer, Dress Reformers and Women’s Rights advocates, the lady cyclist, female impersonators, and religious leaders such as the Public Universal Friend. Hodinöhsö:ni’ garment is exhibited as an entry-point into the discussion of how the Western gender binary system directly affects the gendering of 19th-century Hodinöhsö:ni’ clothing.
Barbie™ You Can Be Anything™: The Experience, The Strong National Museum of Play, January 10 - May 12, 2024
From career dolls to real-world role models, Barbie has been inspiring girls since 1959-and she isn't done yet! The exhibit showcases the iconic Barbie doll and encourages the kind of imaginative play that teaches us that no matter our gender, ethnicity, or background, we can all make the world a better place by doing work that excites us, challenges us, and brings us fulfillment. (Produced by Children’s Museum of Indianapolis)
Kettle Ridge, a family-run farm based in Victor, NY, is expanding to the neighboring town of Perinton when the Backwoods at Kettle Ridge Farm opens in 2024. The Backwoods will offer a shipping container bar, recreational activities and more.
There are now even more places to play America’s new favorite sport – pickleball. New pickleball courts have opened up in communities around the Rochester area, including Fairport, Henrietta and in East Rochester at Dinkers Pickleball.
Cleo + Kin, a Pittsford-based boutique recently cut the ribbon on an expanded location catering to menswear and accessories. Owner Brenna Van Norman is a Rochester native and recently returned to the area following 12 years in San Diego.
Development News & Updates
Constellation Brands is moving its worldwide headquarters to downtown Rochester, in a building that is a pinnacle of the downtown Rochester riverfront revitalization project known as ROC the Riverway. With this move, Constellation is transforming the Aqueduct Building (adjacent to the Genesee River) and bringing thousands of employees to downtown Rochester.
The former Grand Ballroom at the historic Lincoln Alliance Bank in downtown Rochester has been completely transformed as the new Arbor Midtown event space. The building was originally constructed in 1926, boasting natural stone travertine flooring, marble-clad columns, hand sculpted wall friezes and floor to ceiling windows. The meticulous restoration process restored all of the historic elements while modernizing and brightening the aesthetic.