In full bloom: experience the natural beauty of Rochester, NY


Unless you’re local it may be news to you that, thanks to its terrific diversity, Rochester, NY’s a city of surprises. Don’t doubt it; it’s a place – together with its surrounding area – abounding with family-focused and colourfully fun things to do when it comes to open-air attractions and outdoor pursuits. In fact, it’s made up of some 12,000 acres of parkland. So, in more detail then, here’s what you can enjoy in and around the city should you book a short-break at the Rochester Riverside

It’s great outdoors

Often referred by those in the know as the ‘Flower City’, Rochester seems pretty much always to be in bloom which, when you consider how many glorious gardens it features, makes perfect sense, frankly. It truly does offer up a sensory cornucopia of flora and fauna – and more. Brimming with picturesque public parks and fragrant floral shows, it’s a city that’s home to several must-visit flower-tastic attractions.

First up, there’s Ellwanger Garden (located on 625 Mount Hope Avenue), a fine ‘living museum’ with a charming secret garden comprising more than 80 different plant and flower species. Then there’s the 150-acre Highland Park, which plays host to the much-loved Lilac Festival every May and whose Lily Pond is transformed into a hugely popular outdoor ice rink come the winter months. Plus, how about a trip to Genesee Garden and Museum? It offers visitors a 19th Century-like country village; its historic buildings are fascinating, its high tea delicious and its grounds simply stunning.


Fantastic food and drink

Talking of Genesee Park, whether you visit this excellent attraction or not, wherever you go in the area (while, no doubt, staying at one of the luxury hotels Rochester NY) you simply must sample the local Genesee beer – and, in fact, the beer’s brewery offers comprehensive and complimentary brew house tours. And the area’s reputation as an upstate haven’s only augmented by the scenic valleys of the Fingerlakes, distinguished as New York’s biggest and best wine-producing region – so much so it’s packed full of more than 100 separate wineries; much of their produce considered so good they can rival the best of the wines that come out of California. So, don’t doubt it; your wine and/ or beer tour options in the Rochester district are many and various; go by land or water, check out the hills and valleys of the region and spend an entire day tasting and discovering – really, what could be better? You may conclude that such a tour is the simply perfect complement to a Rochester Riverside Hotel wedding package.

More than par for the course

Finally, it might be argued that no time spent in the great outdoors around Rochester is complete without taking in the area’s formidable golf culture. Home to many a great course, pitch-and-putt enthusiasts must make time for the long and elegant greens of Durand-Eastman Park (especially as it’s open to all-comers because entry’s free), while Ravenwood Golf Club’s just south of the city and much admired; understandable when you consider that, in its time, it’s hosted both a US Open qualifier and the NYS Amateur Championship. Yet, when it comes to golf courses, few come much more prestigious than Oak Hill, something of a pilgrimage site for fans, thanks to its past hosting of both the US Open and the Ryder Cup.