Erie Canal, Pittsford

Rochester and the Erie Canal

Family vacation fun begins with a day trip to Rochester. Be a kid again and bring back memories of your favorite childhood toys at the National Museum of Play and Toy Hall of Fame. Visit the life of and accomplishments of George Eastman as you go back in time in the world of photography. There's also hands-on fun for the entire family at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and make sure your day includes time to relax with your family on or near the Historic Erie Canal on a cruise on the Sam Patch.

There's so much to see and do at The Strong Museum and the National Toy Hall of Fame. The Strong is the only museum in the world devoted solely to the importance of play and blends the artifacts of a history museum with the high interactivity of a children's museum. Get ready for more than 150,000 square feet of whimsical, highly interactive exhibits. Families can get hands-on with exhibits about the history of puzzles, board games, and video games. Step into Sesame Street, visit The Berenstein Bears, walk into a life-size pop-up book, or join forces with American Comic Book Heroes. Kids love "shopping" in the pint-sized Wegmans Super Kids Market. The Strong Museum also holds the world's most comprehensive collection of dolls, toys, games, electronic games, and play-related objects and includes the prestigious National Toy Hall of Fame, which inducts iconic toys each November. You can also experience the magic of the region's only indoor butterfly garden. No matter what age - from toddlers to "the big kid" in all of us - The Strong Museum appeals to young and old alike. 

Today, the Kodak name is known throughout the world. George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film is the world's oldest photography museum and third-largest film archive in the United States. Visitors can enjoy photo and camera galleries displaying items from the museum's 4.5 million artifacts, which include the world's largest collection of camera technology. The museum includes the work of every major photographer throughout history, and George Eastman's 35,000-square-foot Colonial Revival mansion on East Avenue is a National Historic Landmark attracting visitors from around the globe. Visitors can tour Eastman's impressive home and gardens where, in 1928, he and Thomas Edison introduced the world to motion pictures in color.

Explore the fascinating and fun sides of science, history and technology at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) and Strasenburgh Planetarium for hands-on educational fun for the whole family! RMSC has 200 interactive exhibits and activities that will capture the interest of every member of the family. Climb a wall, build a tower, power a robot, explore lasers, see the only exhibit on Frederick Douglass in New York State, and kids can even create their own TV weather report!

Other favorites are the Seneca Park Zoo and Seabreeze Amusement Park. For history lovers, there's the Genesee Country Museum and the Susan B. Anthony House with direct ties to Finger Lakes history.

Rochester is home to performing arts venues like Rochester Broadway Theater League and Geva Theater, where performances can be seen by traveling shows and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

The world-renowned Erie Canalway Trail offers 450 miles of wonderful views along old towpaths of the legendary waterway created to link Albany and Buffalo. With no motorized vehicles allowed, walkers, joggers, hikers, and cyclists enjoy safe, easy traveling. The Erie Canal Heritage Trail, part of the longer Canalway Trail, covers 70 miles between Fairport and Lockport.

No day out should be without good food too! Pick up some of the local specialties and try a garbage plate, Chicken French, or grab a Zweigle’s hot dog with some French's mustard.