Residing in Lake Ontario in New York State, Rochester is a breathtaking city with a rich history and many noteworthy attractions. Because of its fertile Genesee River Valley that was able to house several flour mills and become a manufacturing center, Rochester became one of America's first "boomtowns", or communities that underwent a rapid explosion of population and economic growth at the turn of the nineteenth century. Today, Rochester is particularly known for its music culture, housing the prestigious Eastman School of Music and hosting the annual Rochester International Jazz Festival. Due to its low cost of living, low unemployment rate, and high-ranking public schools, Rochester is often considered to be one of the most ideal places for families to live in the United States. If you're thinking of visiting this vibrant town, here are a few of the many attractions in Rochester that you'll want to check out.
THE STRONG MUSEUM
If you have children, this attraction is a must-visit. Established in 1969 and initially based on the personal collection of the Rochester native collector and philanthropist Margaret Woodbury Strong, The Strong National Museum of Play is a history museum with the interactive characteristics of a children's museum. It is a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated exclusively to the study of play as well as being the second largest children's museum in the United States.
The Strong Museum is an immersive, interactive playground for children and adults alike. It includes exhibits showcasing children's lifestyles, storybooks, history, nature, education, comic books, carousels, train rides, television shows, and even video games. In fact, the museum's eGameRevolution exhibit is the United States' first permanent video game exhibit in the United States and includes the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The Strong Museum also houses another exclusive exhibit, The Berenstain Bears: Down a Sunny Dirt Road, produced in partnership with the Berenstain family, as well as the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden, the largest indoor butterfly garden in the United States.
GEORGE EASTMAN MUSEUM
Opened to the public in 1949 and located on the estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, the George Eastman Museum is the world's oldest museum dedicated to photography and one of the world's oldest film archives. The museum is a leader in film preservation and photograph conservation, being known worldwide for its photography and cinema collections and educating archivists and conservators around the world. It houses the 500-seat Dryen Theatre, the museum's primary exhibition space to showcase its collections.
The George Eastman Museum's extensive collection will undoubtedly leave visitors in awe. It holds over 400,000 photographs and negatives with dates spanning from the invention of photography to the present day, 28,000 motion picture films, three million other cinematic objects including film stills and movie posters, an internationally renowned research library, as well as George Eastman's personal collection.
MEMORIAL ART GALLERY
Founded in 1913 as part of Rochester State University, The Memorial Art Gallery is New York's civic art museum with over 5,000 years of history on display. It is the hub of fine arts in the Rochester area, hosting the biennial Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition and the annual Clothesline Festival.
The gallery's permanent collection contains over 12,000 objects, which include works by renowned fine artists such as Monet, Cezanne, Matisse, Homer, and Cassatt. On the first floor, you'll find a collection of contemporary art in the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas gallery. featuring a collection of American art that ranges from the colonial period to the present. Newer acquisitions to the gallery include works by artists such as Nick Cave, George Condo, and Hung Liu. The second floor houses the Helen H. Berkeley gallery of Ancient Art, which showcases ancient Greek, Etruscan, Roman, and Egyptian artifacts.