Illuminating attraction: why you must visit the George Eastman Museum


We may be biased, but we believe our city is packed full of some of the greatest tourist attractions located anywhere in New York State. Take for example the George Eastman Museum, the world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography and comprising one of its oldest film archives – and which is named after the legendary founder of the Eastman Kodak company. Yes, if you’ve decided to stay with us at Rochester Riverside hotel, you simply have to visit this wonderful venue…

Home, sweet home

Eastman’s home for nearly three decades between 1905 and his death 28 years later in 1932, this Colonial Revival-style mansion is a beautiful building; truly one of the city’s jewels. Moreover, the historic site is the perfect place to get a fascinating glimpse into the innovator’s life and career – one of the world’s foremost inventors of the early 20th Century, just as the United States itself was taking great strides forward and emerging as a global superpower. Inside you’ll discover a coterie of artifacts, including exquisite furnishings, restored landscape paintings and carefully crafted reproductions.

Discover the gardens and grounds

It’s hard to beat a good romp around the house’s extensive gardens and grounds – whatever the time of year; spring with its bounteous blooming flowers or fall with its stunning cornucopia of leaf-colours. That said, you may want to aim for a day between May and September, for its then that, on a daily basis, tours of the gardens take place.

Experience the exhibits

You must take the time to visit the museum’s exhibit on ‘Photography and America’s National Parks’. Why? Because it celebrates the centenary of the National Park Service; one of America’s most esteemed organisations when it comes to serving and preserving our glorious natural habitats. That said, you must check what’s also currently being exhibited – and what’s coming up on that score too.

Give Garden Vibes a go

It’s been going for 23 tune-tastic years now and ‘Garden Vibes’, the museum’s annual summer concert series, shows no sign of turning down the volume, let alone going anywhere! Concluding in mid-August (and so running thru much of the summer season), attendees are invited to bring along blankets, chairs and picnics for each of the concerts held in the house’s glorious gardens – or alternatively they can buy concessions from the likes of the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Abbott’s Frozen Custard or, of course, the Eastman Museum Café. But that’s not all, if you’re planning to book Rochester accommodation on 31st July, be sure too to book tickets for the Garden Vibes concert ‘Music in the American Wild’; it’s set to feature music written by 11 separate composers (all of them affiliated with the esteemed Eastman School of Music), with each piece inspired by our nation’s National Parks.

Make time for a movie

Finally, if the weather’s a bit of a washout during your visit (sad, yes; but it can happen), there’s no need to despair because, instead, you can pop into the museum’s delightful Dryden Theatre and catch an unbeatable cinematic experience. For this theatre hosts all its films in their original, glorious formats to reproduce – and honor – their historical resonance. The Dryden Theatre is one of the only cinemas in the whole world that’s capable of doing this on a regular basis. So, quite frankly, you may consider spending a night out here whatever the weather’s like outside!