Skip to Content

6 Fantastic Weekend Trips From Rochester New York You’ll Love

Rochester, NY, is a charming smaller city with many attractions within driving distance, including historical sites, hiking trails, and small towns offering wonderful weekend getaways.

The famous Finger Lakes region, Niagara Falls (including access to the Canadian side ), and Lake Ontario state parks are near Rochester, as is Syracuse’s enormous Destiny USA mall. It also borders Cayuga State Park. That makes for many fantastic weekend trips from Rochester New York.

Upstate New York offers fun for family and friends, romantic weekend getaways for couples, and many museums and restaurants for those who enjoy the vibrant culture.

Continue reading to learn more about spectacular weekend getaways and lovely day trips near Rochester, NY.

Book ahead so you don’t miss out on the top tours in Rochester New York.

6 Weekend Trips from Rochester New York

Whether you are a couple in love, a solo adventurer, or want quality time with family, a weekend getaway near Rochester suits you.

1. Wine, Dine and See A Show in Geneva

Geneva New York
Geneva New York

Geneva is located less than an hour from Rochester along the Seneca Lake shore. This weekend getaway is home to the historic Smith Opera House and picturesque Seneca Falls.

This great place is known for its nearby wineries, micro-breweries, and five-star farm-to-fork restaurants.

geneva new york houses
geneva new york houses

2. Explore The Gardens and Museums of Canandaigua

Only half an hour from downtown Rochester Is the small city of Canandaigua. It is a great day trip, but there is so much to do here, you might as well spend the weekend.


Enjoy fishing on the Finger Lakes, take a zip-line to climb Bristol Mountain or cruise on the Canandaigua Lady Paddle Wheeler.

Canandaigua new york
Canandaigua new york

The city has a significant history, including Mansion States Historical Park, the Genesee Country Village, and the Sonnenberg Gardens.

3. Enjoy Maple Syrup and Wine in Naples, NY

This ideal weekend getaway is known for Wohlschlegel’s Naples Maple Farm. This maple syrup producer serves up delicious pancake meals and guided tours of its property.

Wohlschlegel's Naples Maple Farm
Wohlschlegel’s Naples Maple Farm

Naples has located in the heart of the Finger Lake Grape growing region. Visitors can enjoy tours and tastings at Hazlett’s Red Cat Cellars, Moore Winery, and Arbor Hill.

Wohlschlegel's Naples Maple Farm in fall
Wohlschlegel’s Naples Maple Farm in fall

4. See the Impressive Waterfalls at Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen is the site of the winding Gorge Trail in nearby Watkins Glen State Park. Spend the day exploring the 19 waterfalls that spill along the river as you walk the trail.

Watkins Glen park weekend trips from Rochester New York
Watkins Glen park

This popular weekend getaway in Western New York fronts Seneca Lake, where guests swim, fish, or canoe. It is an easy day trip from Rochester that offers many hikes.

Watkin Glen, but it also has a theater and farmer’s market. The main strip is home to the Skyland Art Barn and the Franklin Street Art Gallery.

Watkins Glen
Watkins Glen

This vibrant artistic community has many great dining spots, music venues, and tastes of the region’s fine wines.

5. Go Camping at Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park is near enough to the big city of Rochester to be just a day trip, but you will want to take more than a day to explore all the offerings of this recreational area.

Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park Flickr Image by James St. John

This weekend getaway is near Castile, NY, along the Genesee River shores. Several impressive waterfalls are along the river’s 66 miles of hiking trails. Enjoy ranger-led adventures such as white water rafting and kayaking.

Letchworth State Park is an all-season park that offers snowmobile and cross-country skiing. Guests can bring their RV or spend the night in a park cabin.

6. Take A Romantic Get-Away In Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls in New York State and Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada, are about an hour-and-a-half away from Rochester, NY. To enter Canada, you will need to present your passport.

niagara falls 1
Niagara Falls with a Rainbow

Niagara Falls, NY, is the perfect place for couples to visit any time of the year. This weekend getaway offers everything from hotels with heart-shaped tubs, hikes along the gorge, and flights down the river in a jet craft to visit the whirlpool.

Rainbow Bridge Niagara Falls
Rainbow Bridge Niagara Falls

A popular attraction is the Maid of The Mist Boat Ride, which transports tourists to the base of the falls. Every night the Canadian side of the falls is lit with illuminated lights and fireworks.

Don’t miss my article on seeing the falls from the US Side.

You might enjoy reading some of my other articles on Rochester New York:
Waterfalls in Rochester New York
Kayaking near Rochester New York
Haunted Houses in Rochester New York
Best Parks in Rochester

Things to do in Fall in Rochester New York

Or Take Two Day Trips to Make a Weekend, Instead!

Don’t have the whole weekend to explore the Finger Lakes region? Explore these attractions, an hour’s drive or less from Rochester, NY.

1. Go Boating on the Erie Canal

Rochester is very near Erie Canal Way, where tourists spend the day navigating the canal locks by kayak or paddle board. You can hike or bike the Erie Canal Heritage trail or enjoy dinner and drinks on a canal cruise.

Erie Canal New York
Erie Canal New York

2. Discover Glass Blowing In Corning, NY

Collectors of antiques and vintage glass can enjoy a day trip to Corning, NY, home to the Corning Museum of Glass, and the many galleries and glass-blowing studios in the Gaffer District.

Corning New York PC Flickr
Flickr Image by Onasill – Bill Badzo – 135 Million Visits – ThankY

The city is also home to The Norman Rockwell Museum, which features the work of the famous folk painter Norman Rockwell. It also features works by other exceptional, historically significant American artists.

A hands-on learner will enjoy the glassblowing, weaving, and pottery demonstrations in the city’s Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes.

3. Tour The National Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown

Cooperstown’s quaint town hosts the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which exhibits sporting artifacts. It’s a great place to take baseball fans, young or old.

It is also home to a farmer’s museum featuring exhibits meant to educate the whole family.

Cooperstown Baseball Museum
Cooperstown Baseball Museum

However, one of the best things about Cooperstown is getting there. The drive from Rochester takes you on a scenic tour through the lush forests and creeks of Hudson Valley.

4. Learn About Arts and Crafts in East Aurora

East Aurora is the perfect destination for architecture enthusiasts that love to tour standing examples of the Arts and Crafts movement.

East Aurora New York
East Aurora New York PC Dylan Buyskes

Take a guided walk to admire the village’s many distinctive dwellings, then enjoy a craft beer at the 42 North Brewing Company.

5. Learn About Bald Eagles in Ithaca, NY

The Cornell Lab of Orthinology in nearby Ithaca, New York, is a research facility that educates the public about birds. It is a great place to take your family for a bird-watching hike.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology PC Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The lab has an exhibition area with 230 acres of peaceful nature reserve. Take a self-guided tour through four miles of trails in Sapsucker Woods, or opt for a guided tour with a bird expert.

6. Catch a Concert At The Rochester Music Hall of Fame

Rock and roll museum

Flickr Image by Dr Bob Hall

Not a day trip, but if you visit Rochester, New York, catch a concert at the Rochester Music Hall of Fame before you leave. This newer attraction in this centrally located city is rich in history and recognizes famous musicians with ties to Rochester.

Past inductees include Nancy Kelly, Roy McCurdy, and Mick Guzauski.

Final Thoughts

Most day trips from Rochester, New York, offer so many attractions that you can easily spend a holiday weekend or even a week there. This is why many people opt to use Rochester as their jumping point to explore the full beauty of New York State.

The places mentioned in this article are also home to charming small hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, campsites offering full service for RVs, and glampers.

I covered all of the costs involved in writing this article on weekend trips from Rochester New York. However, this article does contain affiliate links. That means if you click on them and end up making a purchase I may receive a small commission.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 8th of August 2023

Rock and roll hall of fame is in Cleveland not rochester

Amanda OBrien

Monday 21st of August 2023

Thanks Meaghan - I have clarified that the correct name is the rochester music hall of fame.


Tuesday 4th of July 2023

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not in Rochester, NY -- that's in Ohio.

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame is here, though!

Amanda OBrien

Monday 21st of August 2023

Thanks Laura - we have updated the article for clarity

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Like this post? Why Not Share It?

Thanks for Sharing!