Downtown Orientation Walk, Rochester (Self Guided)

Overlooking Lake Ontario from the American side, Rochester, NY is one of the "most livable" cities in the U.S. Apart from the Genesee River’s High Falls, downtown Rochester abounds in many other, man-made attractions: cultural spots, historic and architectural landmarks. Among them the Kodak Tower, the National Museum of Play, the Memorial Art Gallery and more.
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Downtown Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: Downtown Orientation Walk
Guide Location: USA » Rochester (See other walking tours in Rochester)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Author: Linda
1
High Falls

1) High Falls (must see)

The Browns Race district is also named High Falls, because of the famous waterfall with the same name on the river Genesee, which provided power for water mills and contributed to the development of the industrial area. With a height of about 96 feet, the waterfall fits amazingly naturally in an urban atmosphere, thus creating a marvellous view that is a "must see" in Rochester. Below the waterfall one can see the interesting gorge, created by the mills.
2
Pont de Rennes Pedestrian Bridge

2) Pont de Rennes Pedestrian Bridge (must see)

The Pont de Rennes Pedestrian Bridge was established in 1982 to replace The Platt Street Bridge. The bridge takes its name from Rochester's sister city in France, Rennes. Being a walking bridge, with benches on which to sit, it offers an astonishing view of the sedimentary formations of rocks, that are over 400 million years old, and of High Falls of the Genesee River, which is one of the most attractive sights in the city.
3
Terrace Park

3) Terrace Park

Terrace Park offers a breathtaking view of the High Falls and the river gorge. It was established on a portion of the former Gorsline Building and is the only place from which you can see three important city landmarks, namely the lip of High Falls, seen from the eastern part, the authentic wheel pit of Rochester's early saw mill, and The Leap, a small balcony from which Sam Patch, a famous American daredevil, made his last jump in 1829.
4
Triphammer Forge Site

4) Triphammer Forge Site

Triphammer Forge Site presents a little part of the region's history, being a unique architectural park and a worthwhile attraction of the city. Previously, The Triphammer Building was situated on this site , established in 1816 as a forge and housing the William Cobb Scythe and Tool factory. Unfortunately, in 1977, the building burned and all that remained was the basement room with a huge water wheel, forming an interesting composition that can be seen today.
5
Kodak Tower

5) Kodak Tower

Kodak Office Tower is the seat of one of the most successful American brands, Kodak, the leader in the film and camera industry; it was established in 1892 by an amateur photographer, George Eastman, and became the city's main industrial employer. The tower itself was built in 1914 and is a sixteen-storey building, with three additional floors, roof and cupola having been added in 1930; it has interesting architectural elements and big historic value.
6
Downtown United Presbyterian Church

6) Downtown United Presbyterian Church

The Downtown United Presbyterian Church was established in 1974, as a result of the collision of three historic religious sites - First, Brick and Central Presbyterian Churches. The present building, which houses the church, was built in 1860 and restored in 1904, featuring classic Romanesque style. Thus the church has deep roots in the community's spiritual life, gathering a lot of people together and serving the religious interests of the three congregations.
7
City Hall Historic District

7) City Hall Historic District

City Hall Historic District is a national historic district located at Rochester in Monroe County, New York. The district consists of four buildings arranged in a 19th-century civic complex. The buildings are the Rochester City Hall (1874–1875), Monroe County Courthouse (1894–1896), Rochester Free Academy (1872–1873), and St. Luke's Episcopal Church (1824). The City Hall and Free Academy buildings were designed by Andrew Jackson Warner. The Monroe County Courthouse was designed by his son, J. Foster Warner. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Blue Cross Arena

8) Blue Cross Arena (must see)

If you are looking for some entertainment, check out the The Blue Cross Arena's program. The spot is a multifunctional venue that hosts a lot of different events such as live concerts, a circus, ice shows and sporting events. It was opened on October 18, 1955, as the Rochester Community War Memorial. After being closed for some renovation works, the arena received its present name and reopened on September 18, 1998, with a capacity of about 120,00 seats.
9
Geva Theatre Center

9) Geva Theatre Center (must see)

Geva Theatre Center has something to offer to everybody, catering to different tastes and preferences, from classic plays, adopted to contemporary world and musicals, to comedies and profound dramas. Since its establishment in 1972, the theatre managed to become one of the most appreciated ones in the state and attract a lot of visitors, thanks to its aspiration to perfection and development.
10
National Museum of Play

10) National Museum of Play (must see)

The National Museum of Play, formerly Strong National Museum of Play, is part of The Strong in Rochester. Established in 1969 and based initially on the personal collection of Rochester native Margaret Woodbury Strong, the museum opened to the public in 1982. Since then it has refined and increased its collections, and expanded twice, in 1997 and 2006. The museum is now one of five Play Partners of The Strong, which is also home to the National Toy Hall of Fame, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, and the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, and produces the American Journal of Play.

The National Museum of Play is the only collections-based museum anywhere devoted solely to thestudy of play, and although it is a history museum, it has the interactive characteristics of a children’s museum making it the second largest museum of that type in the United States. The museum includes exhibits that interpret the key elements of play, as well as allow guests to explore the worlds of Sesame Street, the Berenstain Bears, Reading Adventureland, and the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden.

Opening hours: Monday – Thursday: 10 am – 5 pm; Friday – Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm; Sunday: 12 – 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Little Theatre Film Society

11) Little Theatre Film Society (must see)

Little Theatre Film Society began its activity in 1928 with the goal of offering an intimate alternative to all the cinemas and movie theatres, which provided comercial films. It aimed to promote the art-intelligent and experimental films, based on classics. In such a way it gained an audience eager to discover unusual and eclectic works. The Little also presents its art gallery and a cozy cafe, film festivals and live music programs.
12
Memorial Art Gallery

12) Memorial Art Gallery (must see)

Memorial Art Gallery provides an amazing retrospective of about 5000 years of history and culture, presenting vestige of the past, as well as contemporary pieces of art. Its huge collection is considered to be one of the best in the state. During the year a lot of temporary exhibitions, presentations and family activities are hosted by MAG. The art gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday between 11 am and 5 pm and Thursdays from 11 am to 9 pm.
13
Village Gate

13) Village Gate

An indispensable place of the Neighbourhood of the Arts is Village Gate, an amazing place that perfectly combines interesting shops, art studios and entertainment. In the shops, one can purchase exquisite things such as vintage clothes, antiques and collectibles or jewellery, each of them resembling a piece of artwork. Village Gate is a great place to explore, so don't hesitate to do it when you are in the neighbourhood.

Walking Tours in Rochester, New York

Create Your Own Walk in Rochester

Create Your Own Walk in Rochester

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rochester is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Religious Tour of Rochester

Religious Tour of Rochester

The city of Rochester's community is diverse and thus many religions are observed within its borders. The spiritual attitude is reflected by the historic churches, their congregations and architectural elements. Take this tour and discover the most interesting and beautiful religious venues.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Brown's Race Historic District Tour

Brown's Race Historic District Tour

Brown's Race area is one of the most valuable districts in the city, illustrating the inceptions of many important brands and inventions. The area comprises historic buildings, which houses valuable factories, and gives you the opportunity to get familiar with Rochester's industrial history. Take this tour and discover the wonders of Brown's Race district.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
Neighbourhood of The Arts Tour in Rochester

Neighbourhood of The Arts Tour in Rochester

One of the most interesting and worthwhile visiting areas of Rochester is The Neighbourhood of the Arts, a place vibrating with creativity and talent. It includes valuable museums, galleries, artist studios and other cultural institutions that can be discovered by taking this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Eastern Walk of Rochester

Eastern Walk of Rochester

The city of Rochester can boast many interesting and worthwhile places that reflect beauty, history, culture and nature, each of them able to impress and teach something new. Take this guide in order to discover entertaining offers within the city.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.6 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Rochester for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Rochester has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Rochester, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.