Rochester Travel Guide

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Rochester Travel Guide

Rochester Local History

Rochester and the surrounding areas of western New York State first belonged to the Iroquois (Native Americans) who lived in villages (longhouses), farmed extensively and traded with other tribes, and then with the Europeans, they called this area 'Ganondagon'. It was during the 1650 1687 French Indian war, that their villages and crops were destroyed by the French army.

The Governor of Massachusetts, Col. Sam Shute, signed the town charter in 1722. It was not until 1728 that the first settler, Captain Timothy Roberts, decided to move to this area. Shortly after Roberts Eleazar Ham was the next person to settle. Due to the Indian hostilities in the area it wasn't until 1727 that the town of Rochester started to flourish. There were more than sixty families in Rochester by 1738. However, because of Indian hostilities the families all lived very close together for personal protection. During 1789 Rochester became known as the 'Flour City' as huge amounts of grain were milled and shipped out along the Erie Canal. Rochester became the biggest flour producer in the world. It wasn't until 1779 that the Indians were eventually driven off. Returning soldiers told of the wonders that they had seen and although the migration was slow, those moving west increased rapidly. The town was named after Lawrence Hyde (Earl of Rochester) brother-in-law to King James ll.

Rochester was a station for the 'Underground Railroad', (this was an organisation of volunteers who helped the slaves to freedom), before the Civil War. During the 1800's two historic figures, who were also close friends, lived in Rochester, namely Susan B. Anthony (she led the struggle for women's right to vote) and Frederick Douglas (he was an escaped slave who published a newspaper to help with the fight against slavery). In 1851 Western Union was founded in Rochester. Probably the largest single influence on Rochester from the 1880's was Kodak, when George Eastman discovered how to develop photographs on to film instead of glass plates. Haloid Corporation was another local key player in the town; they perfected the technique for dry-printing. After the success of this technique the business was renamed Xerox.

By the 1900's the population in Rochester had increased to 162,608. It was in 1902 that a smallpox epidemic hit Rochester and killed 100 people and Dr Groler helped in fighting this terrible disease. Rochester also became a major clothing centre and is still the home of Hickey-Freeman. Rochester has become home to a lot of companies in the optics and printing industry and this is partly due to Kodak and Xerox. It has also moved into the telecom industry and has almost 100 companies dealing in this business.

Rochester Attractions

Rochester Shopping

Eastview Mall 7979 Pittsford-Victor Rd., Victor. This is Rochester's only mall with five major department stores such as Bon Ton, JC Penney, Kaufmann's, Lord & Taylor and Sears. There are also more than 170 speciality shops in the mall as well.

Waterloo Premium Outlets 655 Route, 318 Waterloo. For better shopping the outlets has over 100 stores some of which are Bose, Coach, Eddie Bauer to name but a few.

Village Gate Square 274 North Goodman Str., Rochester. Here you will find a unique amount of speciality shops, restaurants, night clubs, art galleries and studios all located in an historic printing factory.

Public Market 280 Union St N, Rochester. This is a great place to walk around and explore the stall and shops. The market has fresh produce, fresh meat, fish and arts and crafts plus much more. There are special events on Sundays and the market is open Tue, Thur 6am 1pm Sat 5am 3pm.

Rochester Activities

Six Flags Darien Lake 9993 Allegheny Rd., Darien Centre. This 1,600 acre amusement park is fun for the whole family. The park offers a water park and a new Superman 'Ride of Steel' roller coaster. The park is open from mid May Oct.

Seneca Park Zoo 2222 St Paul St., Rochester. This wonderful zoo has more than 300 animals such as elephants, tigers, wolves, orangutans and plenty more, there are also sea lions, penguins and polar bears. They also feature special events and educational opportunities.

Humane Society at Lollypop Farm 99 Victor Rd., Fairport. This interactive farm is 20 minutes from Rochester and they offer interesting and educational activities for children. There are live animals such as sheep, llamas, miniature horses and goats. The farm also offers cats and dogs and small creatures for adoption. There are also great hiking trails.

Rochester Parks & Gardens

Highland Park Rochester. This park founded in 1888 is the city's first park and in May hosts the annual Lilac Festival. The park offers a variety sites such as a conservatory, Vietnam Memorial, the historic Warner Castle, hiking paths and much more. In winter there is an ice-skating rink. Entrance is free and the park is open daily from 10am 11pm.

Durand-Eatsman Park Rochester. This park situated on 965 acres of land on Lake Ontario has picnic areas, a golf course and hiking or horse riding trails.

Letchworth State Park Castile. This is the 'Grand Canyon of the East' and is about 1 hours drive from Rochester. There is a truly superb view of the Genesee River Gorge. You will also find that a relaxing ride on the steam railroad train will rejuvenate you for shopping in the quaint village.

Rochester Restaurants and Bars

Rochester Restaurants

Bennigan's Grill & Tavern 120 East Main St., Rochester. This tavern serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has two great Happy Hours. Typical American cuisine is served with a true Spirit of Ireland.

Erie Grill Del Monte Lodge, Renaissance Hotel, 4 North Main Str., Pittsford. This restaurant will tempt your palate with its imaginative menu in American and European cuisine. There is a superb view of the canal and the atmosphere is exceptional and distinctive.

Crystal Barn Restaurant 2851 Clover Str., Pittsford. This restaurant set in an 1860 country barn has an atmosphere of comfort and elegance. The diner will find a pleasant blend of crystal chandeliers and Victorian motifs as the decor in this restaurant.

Beale Street Cafe 689 South Ave., Rochester. Here you will find award winning BBQ and Cajun food that in probability could rival any restaurant in New Orleans. This is where you will find authentic down home relaxation.

Rochester Bars & Clubs

Jonny's Irish Pub 1382 Culver Rd., Rochester. This fun, casual and comfortable pub is just what the doctor order for relaxation. There is live music on Thurs, Fri and Saturday with no cover and the beer is great as well. You can either just kick back and relax or play pool or darts.

Tapa's One Seventy Seven Lounge 117 St. Paul Str., Rochester. This relaxed by trendy restaurant has live entertainment throughout the month, including a salsa night and popular DJ Luna. The restaurant's small appetizers (Spanish tapas) are taken to a completely new level. As this is a very popular place reservations are recommended.

Jillian's 61 Commercial St., Rochester. In the lively restaurant cum bar you will find great food and a wonderful atmosphere. Once you have had dinner you can move to the bar area and enjoy an evening playing pool or getting involved with the virtual reality video games that will keep you entertained until late.

Rochester children's activities

Six Flags Darien Lake 9993 Allegheny Rd., Darien Centre. This 1,600 acre amusement park is fun for the whole family. The park offers a water park and a new Superman 'Ride of Steel' roller coaster. The park is open from mid May Oct.

Seneca Park Zoo 2222 St Paul St., Rochester. This wonderful zoo has more than 300 animals such as elephants, tigers, wolves, orangutans and plenty more, there are also sea lions, penguins and polar bears. They also feature special events and educational opportunities.

Humane Society at Lollypop Farm 99 Victor Rd., Fairport. This interactive farm is 20 minutes from Rochester and they offer interesting and educational activities for children. There are live animals such as sheep, llamas, miniature horses and goats. The farm also offers cats and dogs and small creatures for adoption. There are also great hiking trails.

Useful Rochester Links

Rochester. Made For Living
Great site for knowing all about Rochester, NY - the knooks, the in-depth history, and a lot of thinsg to do when you're there. Really easy to navigate too.

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