Photo Credit: Jim Montanus

Women’s Rights

Trip Ideas & Itinerary 

Visit Rochester and arrive where women’s rights took off! Rochester and the Finger Lakes are the home to the women’s suffrage movement. Rochester has a special role in the women’s suffrage movement, as it is the home of the suffragist Susan B. Anthony—one of the most important figures in U.S. history. Today guests can visit Susan B. Anthony’s National Historic Landmark Home at the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. Discover the lasting legacy of the women’s rights movement in Rochester and the Finger Lakes.

Day 1

  • Walk through history at the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, Rochester's first National Historic Landmark, was home to the legendary suffragist, abolitionist and civil rights leader during her 40 most politically active years. She served as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from her home on Madison Street. It was a hub for planning strategies, organizing campaigns, writing speeches, and preparing petitions. 

  • Pay your respects to both Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass at Mount Hope Cemetery. Jean Brooks Greenleaf, a former president of the NYS Woman Suffrage Association, is also buried in Mount Hope.

  • Stop and see the Let’s Have Tea statue in Susan B. Anthony Square. The statue depicts famous friends Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass engaged in conversation while sharing tea.

  • Stop for a refreshment at the 1872 Café, a modern café in the same location where Susan B. Anthony cast her ballot when she voted (illegally!) in a federal election in 1872. Outside of the restaurant is a bronzed ballot box representing this important act in American history.

  • Check out the artifacts and exhibits at the Rochester Museum & Science Center that address women’s suffrage and civil rights. RMSC holds a large number of items that belonged to Susan B. Anthony in its collection, and this collection can be toured by request.

  • Martha Matilda Harper, another prominent figure in Rochester's history, launched modern retail franchising to enable poor women to gain financial independence, and invented many modern beauty salon methods still used today. She is honored by the RMSC in its extensive historical collections, which can be viewed upon request. 

Day 2

  • Follow along the Women’s history Trail and head to Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor. Ganondagan is perched on a high hill overlooking miles of countryside just a 20-minute drive from downtown Rochester, and is the only New York State historic site dedicated to Native American history. Visitors can explore the Seneca culture with a visit to an authentic longhouse, tour marked nature trails featuring herbal and medicinal plants, and learn about Seneca agriculture, society, and arts and crafts. Seneca culture was built on a matriarchal system, and there is a strong connection between the American suffrage movement and the Seneca people.

  • Continue heading south to the Ontario County Courthouse in Canandaigua, the site of Susan B. Anthony’s trial in 1873 for voting illegally in a federal election in November, 1872.  

  • Next stop is the National Women’s Hall of Fame, an inspiring and impressive tribute to our nation’s most accomplished women, from its founding to its present.

  • The second stop in Seneca Falls is the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls. The park, operated by the National Parks System, tells the story of the first Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls on July 19-20,1848.  It is a story of struggles for civil rights, human rights, and equality, global struggles that continue today.

  • During your visit to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, be sure to visit the Wesleyan Chapel, which was the location of the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848. The convention in Seneca Falls was soon followed by another convention in Rochester – and with that the movement was born.

Day 3

  • Start your day with breakfast or brunch at a woman-owned eatery. Offerings include Morgan's Cereal Bar, Brown Hound Downtown, and The Cub Room. Follow up with an afternoon of shopping at a woman-owned boutique. Visit our Woman-Owned Business blog for a full listing of woman-owned businesses in Rochester. 

  • Head to Cayuga County for a day trip—the place where Harriet Tubman settled for 54 years of her free life. Visitors can experience a myriad of experiences, including visits to Underground Railroad stops.  March 2022 marks Harriet Tubman's 200th birthday bicentennial. Visit here for events listings in the area. 

  • End your day at with a little bit of Rochester nightlife. Grab drinks at woman-owned Young Lion, Living Roots, Casa Larga Vineyards or Apogee Wine Bar, or relax and kick back at need Salon, Tru Yoga, Just Browsing, and more. With a plethora of female entrepreneurs in ROC, you'll find yourself celebrating and supporting woman-owned business all year round!