Quick Trip: 24 Hours in Rochester, NY

How many things can you fit into a single day in Rochester? A lot.

My friend Mary lives in Rochester, and while it’s not far, we’ve spent months trying to find a few days that we were both free. When we found a full 24 hours without work, family obligations or weekend trips we already had scheduled, we jumped into full planning mode.

I picked a few places on my Rochester bucket list (almost all involving either coffee or beer) and Mary put together a perfectly designed itinerary. She also instructed her poor boyfriend not to eat or drink anything we ordered until I was done photographing it.

First up was dessert before dinner at Scratch Bakeshop‘s new location in the Neighborhood of the Arts. Just like the other small businesses in this stretch between University and Atlantic Avenues, Scratch has the cutest decor, high quality products and a friendly vibe. We opted for a mix of desserts, including vegan options, which were amazing!

24 Hours in Rochester, NY | Scratch Bakeshop | Neighborhood of the Arts

24 Hours in Rochester, NY | Scratch Bakeshop | Neighborhood of the Arts

It wasn’t on the original schedule, but Three Heads Brewing is literally across the street from Scratch, so… we stopped in for a flight before dinner.

24 Hours in Rochester, NY | Three Heads Brewing | Neighborhood of the Arts

For dinner, we headed downtown to try Fifth Frame Brewing Co.,a brewery and roastery that opened last fall. Who knew that beer and an egg sandwich would taste so good at 8 pm? Actually the welcoming staff at Fifth Frame know this; “comfort food with unwarranted but welcomed riffs” is what they’re all about. Their Half & Half, an espresso oat stout, was amazing.

24 Hours in Rochester, NY | Fifth Frame Brewing, Co.

After dinner and drinks, we headed to Mary’s to watch dramatic TV shows and get a good night of sleep.

The next morning, we bundled up to venture to Turning Point Park and walk off some of the giant cookie and cake slice we consumed the day before. The boardwalk over the water was so pretty, if wind-whipped. We didn’t make it far, but I’ll definitely be back in warmer weather!

24 Hours in Rochester, NY | Turning Point Park

After our minimal exercise, we needed coffee, so off to Glen Edith Coffee Roaster‘s Park Ave Neighborhood location we went. There were way more people doing homework than I would have expected for a Saturday afternoon, but the cozy, quiet vibe was great. As was the coffee, of course.

24 Hours in Rochester, NY | Glen Edith Coffee Roasters | Park Ave. Neighborhood

24 Hours in Rochester, NY | Glen Edith Coffee Roasters | Park Ave. Neighborhood

Our last stop was the Rochester Public Market, which was surprisingly busy for a cold February Saturday. I can’t imagine how crazy this place gets on nice summer days. There was lots of fresh produce at really good prices and I was impressed with the number of fish and meat vendors as well!

24 Hours in Rochester, NY | Public Market

24 Hours in Rochester, NY | Public Market

24 Hours in Rochester, NY | Public Market

The newer buildings make it obvious that this market is a big piece of Rochester’s plan for the future, and they compliment the shops that hint at the age of the Public Market. It’s been operating in its current location since 1905.

Although my trip was short, I really enjoyed everything we were able to fit in. Thanks for hosting Mary! I’ll be back in warmer weather to try more coffee, more beer, more hikes and other items on my bucket list.

Love Ya Like a Sister

My sister and I are close, bonded by our love of cute coffee shops, affinity for new adventures and the misery of both not understanding what your parents are talking about and simultaneously becoming them. Despite this, Paige and I haven’t lived under the same roof in years. Some of that time, we were both in Ithaca, meeting up for Saturday morning coffee dates when we were both free. Others, we were hours apart, one of us home and the other in Ithaca.

Cody and his siblings are incredibly close, and when Cody’s brother moved to Rochester last month, we knew that we’d be gathering often, thankfully only a few Thruway exits apart. This weekend we celebrated the first of many “Siblings’ Weekend,” full of family updates, breweries, boating and ice cream sundaes.

Love Ya Like a Sister | Siblings Weekend | Succulents and Sunnies

Love Ya Like a Sister | Siblings Weekend | Succulents and Sunnies

Love Ya Like a Sister | Siblings Weekend | Succulents and Sunnies

While Cody’s sister and his brother’s girlfriend aren’t my sisters, they do a pretty good job of filling in when Paige hasn’t been home in a while. This weekend, my heart was so full of love and laughter, fueled by a sunset boat ride, flatbread pizzas on the patio, trail mix and Impractical Jokers. Many thanks to Patrick and Shannon for making this weekend happen. Can’t wait for next time!

The Ultimate WNY Summer Bucket List

I love summer in New York and making a bucket list every summer helps me make the most of it! There are a few things that make it on my list every year, as well as some new adventures I’ve been waiting for warmer weather to try. Buffalo is an incredible city in the summer and Rochester has so much to offer too!

I never make it 100% of the way through my summer bucket list. But I do love having lots of options to choose from when WNY offers us a beautiful breezy afternoon with plenty of sunshine!

Buffalo City Hall

Common Council Chambers at Buffalo City Hall

You can step onto the observation deck from 8 am to 4 pm during the week. Preservation Buffalo Niagara offers daily tours (Monday through Friday) at noon that cover the lobby, common council chambers, the mayor’s office and observation deck.

Camping

It isn’t summer without a couple of nights in the tent. This year, I think I might try hammock camping… Wish me luck!

Chestnut Ridge Park

I’ve never hiked to the eternal flame, which is the biggest reason Chestnut Ridge Park is on my summer bucket list. There are also a few miles of trails for hiking or biking.

Chimney Bluffs

Drive east for a couple of hours along Lake Ontario and you’ll arrive at Chimney Bluffs State Park. I think this dramatic landscape will be worth the drive.

Farmers’ Markets

No WNY farmers’ market will ever be as good as Ithaca’s. But the bustling Elmwood Village Farmers’ Market, Rochester’s Public Market and, our neighborhood option, the Kenmore Farmers’ Market, are worth visiting.

Fitness at Canalside

There are so many (free!) classes scheduled at Canalside this summer. I want to take advantage of the nice weather with an outdoor workout at least a few times this year.

Fishing

Fishing on Lake Erie with Brookdog Fishing Company

Whether it’s a trip on the lake with Brookdog Fishing Company or an hour at the pond near my parents’ house, it’s not summer without a little bit of fishing.

Food Truck Tuesday

Hanging out in Larkinville with friends after work on Tuesday never gets old. Between the food trucks and nearby restaurants, there’s something for everyone here.

George Eastman Museum

I love photography and I love upstate NY history. Naturally, the George Eastman Museum is calling my name.

Highland Park

Just like Buffalo’s park system, Rochester’s Highland Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. I really want to spend a few hours wandering through Lamberton Conservatory and the acres of gardens and trees.

Kayaking

We never seem to kayak as often as we want to during the summer. This year, I’m determined to get out on the water at least a few times. Oak Orchard Creek is my personal favorite for a day-long paddle.

Silo City

Every summer there’s something new at Silo City. I will make it to at least one event in this historic venue.

Spruce Lake

Did you know there’s a lake at Holiday Valley? You can kayak and paddleboard on Spruce Lake after arriving by car, chairlift or your own two feet.

Sunday Brunch

It is not summer without brunch on a patio, or three. Bring on the mimosas.

Sunset Drive-In

Our favorite drive-in is a good 45 minute drive from our house, but it’s so worth it. Stop on the way to pick up snacks, or get ice cream after picking the best spot in the parking lot.

WNY Book Arts Center

Buffalo isn’t always sunny and warm, even during the summer. WNY Book Arts Center is a unique indoor option!