After a moment’s peace? Rochester’s relaxing lunchtime spots


Any visit to the fantastic city of Rochester, NY (perhaps while staying at the Rochester Riverside Hotel) is bound to feature a busy day spent downtown (or, frankly, anywhere in the area surrounding the urban center), so taking a peaceful lunchtime breather is a must; here’s some prized spots to choose between for that moment of respite…

St. Mary’s Park

Perfect for grabbing a few moments’ peace and quiet in the center of town, this secluded spot’s situated where St. Mary’s Place intersects with Court Street (it’s pretty much hidden from view). Actually intended as a sanctuary for the parishioners of St. Mary’s church, it’s nonetheless entirely open to anyone and everyone to enjoy its quiet – and beautiful – solitude, with lilacs in full bloom, a water-spouting fountain and a gravel trail to follow around its gracefully manicured lawn. In fact, it’s not impossible to see into this restful space from the outside; should you grab some food from nearby Dave’s Sidewalk Café, you’ll be able to espy into its environs – which may be just the enticement for you to check it out, with your just-bought lunch in tow.

rochester garden

Cornerstone Park

To be found at the spot where Stone Street meets East Broad Street right in the heart of downtown (so very much in the vicinity of the best hotels in Rochester), Cornerstone Park’s just across the street from the Central Library; so a lovely outdoor patch for a picnic amongst all the hustle-bustle of the city. Not least because, yes, it’s packed fill of park benches and picnic tables, enticing you to pick up a snack or two from a nearby food truck and/ or a coffee of your choice from the library’s very own outlet, Starry Nites.

Aqueduct Park

If spending a few snatched minutes staring at great manmade structures that awe the senses are your thing, then a visit to Aqueduct Park is bound to prove just the antidote to a busy day spent in downtown Rochester. This park – so-named because of the pristine panoramas of the city’s historic aqueduct that it affords visitors – is also a top spot for enjoying a local talented musician doing their thing; not a busker, but one booked for an official ‘Noon-time Concert’ by the city itself. And when it comes to sustenance, Aqueduct Park certainly doesn’t disappoint either; Galleria Pizza, Subway and Hot Rosita’s snack-food outlet are just a few steps away for purchasing that lunchtime pick-me-up.

Eastman Place

Something of a romantic mainstay, owing to its whimsical atmos come day or night, Eastman Place truly is the perfect place to relax in and escape the hurly-burly of the center of the city for a half-hour or hour. Its especially popular with the patrons of the eateries Java’s Café and Max at Eastman Place, but also – naturally – with visitors to the area, whom enjoy nothing more to find a patch of grass or a bench and read a book, check their phone or sip away at a coffee as they people-watch, all the while in totally blissful peace.

Pont de Rennes Bridge

Should you not be crazy about heights then this final suggestion simply won’t be for you but for everyone else, don’t doubt it, the view afforded from atop this 96-feet-tall bridge of the High Falls it towers above is magnificent, indeed. Especially as, from here, you can also take in the comprehensive and considerable rock formation that runs along the river below, as well as the city’s awe-inspiring historical architecture (and the rest of its impressive urban skyline). Moreover, when you’re done, you can cross the bridge from the High Falls District to the terrific attraction that’s Genesee Brew House, where you can enjoy lunch/ dinner while sampling some fantastic locally-produced real ale – which may give you just the courage you’ll need to make it back across the bridge!