Quirky Rochester’s Hidden Gems

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With any city, once you spend enough time there, you’ll find a whole host of hidden gems. With such a diverse culture and a fascinating history to complement it, Rochester might take a while to delve deep into, but once you have, you’ll be faced with a whole new world of discoveries. From long forgotten fossil collections to secret nature trails, the area of Rochester will open itself up to a wide range of exciting finds. Whilst staying at the Riverside Hotel in Rochester, you’ll be ideally located to explore every inch of the city. With the central location of the hotel, you’ll be able to explore the culture, shopping and natural landscape of the city and the surrounding area. Below are some of the best little-known attractions in the city, giving you a new lens with which to look at the city.

House of Guitars

The House of Guitars is said to be the largest guitar shop in the entire world and brings the lifetime work of Armand and Bruce Schaubroek to full realisation. Founded in their mother’s basement in 1964, this incredible guitar collection has had more than half a century to grow and become one of the best-known guitar shops in the New York area. Made famous by the fact that it was the first American shop to sell Vox amplifiers, subsequently selling to George Harrison upon the Beatles first American tour, the House of Guitars moved around Rochester throughout the 1960’s.

National Toy Hall of Fame

Based on the top floor of the Strong Museum of Play, the National Toy Hall of Fame showcases some of the best-known toys of the last 50 years, and even doubles up as a children’s play area, bringing with it a space buzzing with activity.

Hutchinson Hall specimen collection

When the University of Rochester were searching around for more office space, they stumbled upon a completely forgotten range of animal specimens which dated back to the 19th century, all tucked away in a janitor’s closet! Collected by Henry Ward and Edwin Howell and sold around the world to Natural History Museums, the remains of the collection were forgotten about when the mid-20th century rolled around. Now you can find the 200 skeleton large collection exhibited in Hutchinson Hallo, alongside a narwhal tusk and a wide range of taxidermy animals.

Cary Graphic Arts Collection

Housed in the Rochester Institute f Technology, the Cary Graphic Arts Centre gives art enthusiasts a deep dive into the history of graphic art and the technology which grew with its innovation. Holding a collection 10 different ink pressers as well as giving visitors a chance to learn how these printing presses, some used by famous 19th century designer William Morris himself, work and operate.

The Fox Sisters Séance Table

Raised in a now defunct town 20 miles outside of Rochester, the Fox Sister’s were three spiritualist sisters who claimed to be able to talk to the dead. Using the table which is now on display in the Rochester Historical Society’s building, the Fox Sister’s claimed they could speak to the dead. Located near the centre of the city, anyone visiting the table will no doubt have a sleepless night when they return to their Rochester accommodation.

The Secret Room of Central Library


Hidden behind a swinging shelf in the children’s section of the Rochester Central Library, the secret room was created in the 1930’s as a school project and holds a selection of children’s dolls and quilts.

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