Things To Do in Rochester, New York  Best Western Experience | Travel Zone by Best Western

Things To Do in Rochester, New York 

By Mer Norwood

Rochester, New York is located in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Ontario and offers activities for adults and kids alike. Famous for Susan B. Anthony’s role in the women’s rights movement, their infamous “Garbage Plates”, the Museum of Play, and the vibrant craft brewery scene makes Rochester, New York a true travel destination. Here’s our round up of things to do in Rochester, New York.  

Have a beer at Strangebird Brewery in Rochester, NY.
Eats at Strangebird Brewery in Rochester, NY.

Drink a Bird Lite at Strangebird Brewery 

Micah Krichinski and Eric Salazar know beer. And by ‘know’ beer, they truly have over 25 years of combined experience at two of the biggest national breweries, Dogfish Head and Belgium Brewing Company, to boast. Strangebird Brewery opened in 2021, named after the goofy family dog and the saying, “That’s a strange bird.” What makes Strangebird Brewery different is well, everything. “We’re a small, local brewery where you get to explore– at this small of scale – surrounded by the beer making process,” said Krichinski. “We offer a wide selection of beer, where you can taste all around the world without having to leave Rochester.” Salazar is a magician at making award-winning beer aged in oak barrels, and “making magic” as Krichinski described. The beer takes on different dimensions, tasting more like wine. The brewery also possesses a scratch kitchen where they serve smoked meats, have a 3-day pizza dough making process, and is a place where you can have a happy pairing of beer and food. In addition, “We are around the corner from the Museum of Play, families are welcome here – bring the whole gang, have fun,” said Salazar. Definitely put a visit to Strangebird Brewery on you must-do list.  

Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden at The Museum of Play in Rochester, NY. Photo by The Museum of Play.
Field of Play at The Museum of Play in Rochester, NY. Photo by The Museum of Play.

Give into playtime at the Museum of Play 

“It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives,” said Fred Rogers. Inside the massive 150,000 square foot Museum of Play, you an immerse yourself in the toys that make you smile, and make your kids smile, too. Permanent exhibits include American Comic Book Heroes and America at Play, with new, relevant exhibits like, Barbie™ You Can Be Anything™: The Experience, to engage adults and kids alike. Don’t forget to go into the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden, where hundreds of butterflies flutter about, or the Halls of Fame, which include the National Toy Hall of Fame complete with slinky-like architecture and bicycles hanging from the ceiling.  

Flight of beers at Genesee Brew House in Rochester, NY.
Delicious spread at Genesee Brew House in Rochester, NY.

Grab a Ruby Red Kolsch at Genesee Brew House 

Genesee Beer has been around since 1878 and has a 125-year history that is championed today. The brewery still uses the same 1878 recipe for its pints of Genesee, but just because this tried and true favorite is delicious, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a glass of the Genesee Cream Ale, a family favorite, too. As one of the first breweries in New York state, and currently the largest operating brewery in New York state, Genesee has a reputation to uphold. Indeed, beer enthusiasts from all over come to try their beers, including Ruby Red, the #1 flavored beer in New York state. You can even try new flavors in the pilot brewery on the first floor, where they have experimental, rotating flavors on tap. The best bar food includes Buffalo Chicken Pierogies, which is the perfect combination of a traditional dish with an upstate New York twist, soft, doughy Bavarian Pretzels, and a filling Beef on Weck sandwich that pairs great with an Genesee Union Made IPA.  


Eat a “Garbage Plate” From Nick Tahou Hots 

Rochester is home to the “Garbage Plate” and its been rumored the original “Garbage Plate” came from Nick Tahou Hots when college students came in and requested a plate with “all the garbage on it,” reports Visit Rochester. The “Garbage Plate” is exactly that, imagine a greasy protein like cheeseburger or hot dogs served on top of French fries, baked beans, macaroni salad, or all of the above. The dish has become so popular that many restaurants replicate their own version of it, from hole-in-the-wall places to fine dining establishments. But when in Rochester, you’ve got to try the original “Garbage Plate” at Nick Tahou Hots.  

Share Fried Mozz at Cotoletta in Rochester, NY.
Square Pies at Cotoletta in Rochester, NY.

Share Fried Mozz at Cotoletta 

Cotoletta is not your average Italian deli joint. Though the concept was inspired by Italian delis, the restaurants is unique in more ways than one. “Cotoletta” means ‘cutlet’ in Italian and the two friends who founded the restaurant believe you should “Eat to your heart’s content…then eat a little bit more.” This is especially easy if you order the Fried Mozz – these twelve inch mozzarella sticks are humongous, cheesy, and delicious. Or, try one of their Hot Sting square pies or a “Sangwich” like the Eh! Paisano! 

Best Western Plus Victor Inn & Suites.

Book your stay at Best Western Plus Victor Inn & Suites

Conveniently located off the 490 and I-90, the Best Western Plus Victor Inn & Suites is perfect for travelers. Experience all that Rochester, New York, upstate New York, and the nearby Finger Lakes region have to offer – located just minutes from shopping, dining and the area’s most popular attractions, this Victor hotel has it all.

Book your stay at Best Western Plus Victor Inn & Suites 

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