A wide waterfall flanked by historic structures, a river with an important role in American history, the stunning hue of lilacs, and a gorgeous city skyline that inspires artists and poets alike. This is Rochester, New York, and it lives up to the slogan, “Made for Living.”
Immigrants settled the area shortly after the American Revolution, but it wasn’t until Colonel Nathaniel Rochester purchased land in 1803 that the city began to take shape. Lured to the area by the Genesee River’s mighty force, Rochester believed the river would deliver terrific water power.
Since then, Rochester has been the location of significant historical events. Frederick Douglass started the abolitionist newspaper, the North Star, here in 1847. Susan B. Anthony called Rochester home, as did Emma Goldman, an anarchist who championed the cause of labor. George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak, began here, as did John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb, who launched Bausch & Lomb in 1861.
Education is huge in Rochester – this city is home to the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology, two highly-respected universities with top-rated research programs. Rochester is a city of invention, and that reputation continues today.
Ready to discover your new apartment in Rochester? Here’s what you need to know about this amazing city!
Things to Do in Rochester:
Located on Lake Ontario and directly east of Niagara Falls, Rochester offers amazing outdoor adventures. The city claims to be a “Hike-Bike-Paddle Paradise,” and it is! There are 30 multi-use trails in the area, perfect for hiking and bicycling. Rochester was even named one of the most bike-friendly cities in the US because of its bike lanes, roads, and trails. Be sure to visit the Riverview Trail and the Genesee Valley Greenway after you move to Rochester. If you’re up to a 40-mile biking trip, you can even visit the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park (just pedal south).
Amazing hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing destinations include Highland Park, one of the nation’s oldest arboretums, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted; Seneca Park, home to amazing views of the Genesee River and the Seneca Park Zoo; the Genesee River Trail, a beautiful area with fantastic viewing decks, a canoe launch, and a pedestrian bridge; and Genesee Valley Park, a terrific park with fishing docks, beautiful views, picnic areas, and a nature trail.
Whether it is summer or winter, you’ll find plenty to do at Durand Eastman Park. This park opened in 1909 and covers 977 acres. It is located on Lake Ontario with 5,000 feet of shoreline, ideal for summer activities such as swimming and sunbathing. The park also offers hiking, kayaking, canoeing, golfing, and snowshoeing.
In addition to fantastic outdoor locations, there are some amazing historic ones, as well. The Susan B. Anthony House was built in 1866. It is a National Historic Landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Anthony was arrested in the front parlor of the house after she tried to vote in the 1872 Presidential Election. She lived in the house until she died in 1906.
The George Eastman House is the world’s oldest photography museum. It also contains one of the world’s oldest film archives. The house was built by Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman in 1905. The house is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is an amazing location, featuring more than 400,000 photographs and negatives dating back to the invention of photography and 23,000 films. The collection also includes publications and pieces of technology.
The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse dates back to 1822 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The lighthouse is located on Lake Ontario and is a unique, stone lighthouse with an octagonal shape. The lighthouse is open to the public and operates as a museum. It is part of the Seaway Trail, a stunning 518-mile National Scenic Byway that includes important locations along Lake Erie, the Niagara River, the Saint Lawrence River, and Lake Ontario.
And, of course, Rochester is a major city with a large student population – that means you’ll also discover hip nightclubs, funky bistros, laid-back cafes, neighborhood pubs, and trendy boutiques and shops. Be sure to stop by the Public Market, a city-run market that dates back to 1905 and features fresh produce, specialty items, ethnic foods, and more. The surrounding Market District offers coffee shops, specialty stores, breweries, and a variety of other businesses.
Rochester is also home to a wide variety of festivals (so many, in fact, that it is often referred to as “Festival City”). Be sure to attend the breathtaking Lilac Festival in May – this event features thousands of beautiful, fragrant lilacs as well as entertainment, live music, a parade, rides for kids, and wine and chocolate tasting.
The Boardwalk Arcade is a unique festival that takes you back in time, when seaside amusement parks were all the rage. Play pinball, skee ball, and more during this summer event. The largest festival on the Erie Canal, Fairport Canal Days, includes music, food, arts and crafts, and wine and beer from local vineyards and breweries.
Other festivals and events in Rochester include the downtown Park Avenue Summer Arts Festival, the Rochester International Airshow, the Juneteenth Festival, the Corn Hill Arts Festival, and the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.
What to Consider When Moving to Rochester:
Rochester has been the birthplace of a wide variety of inventions. Eastman Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb, Gannett, and Western Union all started in the city. While many have since moved their headquarters to other locations, Rochester continues to provide a great place for technological advances, especially with such powerhouse institutions as the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology. The city is famous for its imaging and optical science, and Rochester is recognized as the world capital of imaging.
Rochester offers some terrific neighborhoods – be sure to explore as many as you can while looking for your new Rochester apartment to rent. If you want to live right on Lake Ontario, consider apartments in the Charlotte neighborhood. This neighborhood contains Charlotte Beach, a popular destination during the summer. The Port of Rochester, which contains restaurants and coffee shops, is located here.
Corn Hill, located close to downtown, is one of the best-preserved Victorian neighborhoods in the country. It is home to the Corn Hill Art Festival as well as the popular shopping destination, Corn Hill Landing.
If you want to be surrounded by stunning parks, rent in Upper Monroe. This neighborhood is about a mile from downtown. It is bordered by Cobbs Hill Park and is close to Highland Park, home to the annual Lilac Festival. The neighborhood also contains several local restaurants, shops, and businesses.
For terrific nightlife (and plenty of it), East End is a great neighborhood. While residential, this neighborhood is also the main nightlife district. It features many clubs, bars, restaurants, Little Theatre, the Eastman Theatre, and the Eastman School of Music.
Cafes, trendy bars, book stores – if you are a student (or just enjoy a youthful energy), the South Wedge District is located just south of Downtown Rochester. It is just blocks from the University of Rochester and if filled with chic shops and vibrant nightclubs.
Why Rochester Apartments Are Hot:
From an amazing history that includes the Erie Canal to legendary figures that changed the course of history, Rochester still attracts the innovators and the dreamers. Rochester’s gorgeous landscape, combined with the fact that is both bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, provides endless outdoor fun no matter what the season. Add in top-rated universities, terrific festivals and events, culture and fine arts, and awe-inspiring museums and historic sites, and apartments in Rochester promise endless adventures in a terrific location.
Part of the Finger Lakes region, Rochester residents enjoy waterfalls, sparkling lakes, and amazing parkland.
The George Eastman House is a unique museum celebrating photography and film.
The Genesee Center for the Arts and Education offers art and pottery classes in a historic firehouse.
Seneca Park Zoo is an amazing zoo designed by Frederick Law Olmsted during the 1890s.
Family-friendly Rochester is a top-rated location that enjoys a strong, stable economy with several major corporations.
The University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology, also top employers, are top-rated institutions.