If you’re anything like us, your feet start getting itchy for a fall getaway as soon as there’s a cool chill in the air. Just a three-hour drive from Toronto and home to thriving restaurants, breweries, museums and other engaging cultural attractions, Rochester is an accessible, affordable and exciting destination for a scenic weekend trip.
Rochester highlights the best of the fall season, with colourful foliage dotted throughout the city and framing peaceful hiking trails. Hop on the Fall Foliage by Trolley train to admire the changing leaves on a two-mile rail journey; or enjoy classic autumn activities like pumpkin or apple picking at farms around the city.
Once you’ve had your fill of seasonal activities, stick around to find out why Rochester is considered to be the cultural capital of Upstate New York. An industrial powerhouse beginning in the 19th century, Rochester’s development was influenced by some of the most important entrepreneurs of the day, including Kodak founder George Eastman, with each making lasting cultural contributions to the city. The George Eastman Museum, located in Eastman’s restored early-20th-century home, is the oldest photography museum in the world.
Rochester recently ranked among the National Center for Arts Research’s most arts-vibrant cities in the US and it’s easy to see why: In addition to the George Eastman Museum, the city is home to the Memorial Art Gallery, nicknamed the “mini-Met” for its impressive collection; and the Strong Museum of Play, the only museum in the world dedicated to the exploration and discovery of play.
As the home of Kodak, Rochester has long had a rich connection to photography and film, and this legacy continues today with several excellent film festivals taking place annually in the fall, including ImageOut LGBT Film Festival and the High Falls Women’s Film Festival. Fall is also prime time to enjoy concerts at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra or dramatic performances at the Geva Theatre Center.
Rochester’s revitalization is also fuelling an exciting food and drink scene. New restaurants are revamping former industrial spaces and warehouses, such as Radio Social, a bowling alley, restaurant, bar, music venue and social club set in the city’s historic Stromberg-Carlson warehouse. Living Roots just gave Rochester its first urban winery, while spots like Bar Bantam, Restaurant Good Luck and Rohrbach Brewing Co. are generating buzz for their innovative menus.
Whether you’re seeking beautiful scenery, arts and culture or great food and drink this fall, you’ll find it a short drive away in Rochester.
To start planning your trip today, go to visitrochester.com.