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Best of Rochester: Recreation 

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From first dates to dancing and shooting stick to shooting hoops, CITY readers have the scoop . . .

Best Biking Trail
ERIE CANALWAY TRAIL

Cycle a few miles or all 365. The Erie Canalway Trail between Albany and Buffalo is almost all off-road and suitable for all ages and abilities. Check out eriecanalway.org and ptny.org for tips on planning your trip.
Genesee River Trail | Genesee Valley Greenway | Tryon Park

Best Bowling
RADIO SOCIAL

radio-social.com
With 34 lanes, a lounge area, indoor and outdoor games, an award-winning Middle Eastern restaurant, and top-shelf booze, bowling at Radio Social is an experience. Mark it an eight, Smokey.
Bowl-a-Roll | Dewey Games | L&M Lanes

Best Camp for Kids
CAMP STELLA MARIS
campstellamaris.org

Situated 30 miles south of Rochester on the shores of Lake Conesus, Camp Stella Maris has been a home away from home for young campers for 95 years.
Flower City Arts Center | Genesee Country Village and Museum | Girls Rock!

Best Cross-county Skiing
MENDON PONDS PARK
monroecounty.gov/parks-mendonponds

The largest county party with 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds, wetlands, and plenty of flats and gentle hills for your winter workout. Snowshoeing is popular here, too.
Cummings Nature Center | Durand-Eastman Park | Harriet Hollister Spencer Recreation Area

Best Day Hike
LETCHWORTH STATE PARK
parks.ny.gov/parks/letchworth

They don’t call it the “Grand Canyon of the East” for nothing. Gorgeous gorges, stunning waterfalls, and 66 miles of hiking trails await. Guided walking tours are available.
Chimney Bluffs State Park | Durand-Eastman Park | Mendon Ponds Park

Best Family-Friendly Attraction
THE STRONG NATIONAL MUSEUM OF PLAY
museumofplay.org

A highly-interactive experience devoted to the history of play and exploration. Kids get to be kids, and grown-ups can feel like a kid again.
Genesee Country Village and Museum | Seabreeze Amusement Park | Seneca Park Zoo

Best Fishing Hole
IF WE TOLD YOU, WE’D HAVE TO KILL YOU

Check out the honorable mentions.
Black Creek | Conesus Lake | Irondequoit Bay | Genesee River | Lake Ontario

Best Guided Tour
MT. HOPE CEMETERY
fomh.org/tours-events

There are guided tours galore at Rochester’s best known final resting place between May and October, with the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery offering theme tours every Saturday, twilight tours on Thursdays, and foundational tours on Sunday afternoons.
George Eastman Museum | Memorial Art Gallery DeTOURS | Susan B. Anthony House | WALL\Therapy

Best Outdoor Ice Skating
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. PARK
cityofrochester.gov/skating

Rochester is backyard rink country. But if you’re looking to strap on the blades and capture the magic of the city, there’s no place better than MLK Jr. Park. Good hot chocolate, too.

Best Outdoor Swimming
CANANDAIGUA LAKE
canandaiguanewyork.gov

Native peoples didn’t call the lake “The Chosen Spot” for nothing. Admission to the beach at Kershaw Park on the north end of the lake is $5 per adult and $2 per child ages 6-18 for non-residents. Seasonal passes are available.
Durand-Eastman Beach | Ontario Beach Park

Best Pick-up Basketball
COBBS HILL PARK
cityofrochester.gov/cobbshill

These courts draw some of the best street hoopsters in the city year-round, weather permitting. Casual cagers can find a place to fit in in the morning hours, but the afternoon and evening crowd are players who don’t play around.
Court at Atlantic and Merriman | Potter Park | YMCA

Best Place to Go Dancing
ROAR
roarroc.com

If you’re not singing karaoke or geeking out on trivia or trying your luck at bingo at ROAR, you’re shaking your thang to tunes spun by DJ Mighty Mic.
Lux Lounge | Tapas 177 | Vertex

Best Place to Take a First Date
RADIO SOCIAL

radio-social.com
If your first date doesn’t like 34 bowling lanes, a lounge area, indoor and outdoor games, an award-winning Middle Eastern restaurant, and top-shelf booze, then you need a new date.
Highland Park | The Little Theatre | Roc Brewing

Best Place to Play Pool
SALINGER’S
salingersroc.com

When it comes to places to play pool, Salinger’s on East Avenue is running the table. The competition is fierce but friendly, and the bar’s stock of 50 beers are as chill as its patio and free peanuts.
Dicky’s Corner Pub | Joey’s | Lux Lounge

Best Stargazing Spot
COBBS HILL PARK
cityofrochester.gov/cobbshill

When the hoops games end and the joggers have all gone to bed, the elevated hills of this city park are the perfect spot to take in the night sky.
Ellison Park | Highland Park | Mendon Ponds Park

Best Weekend Getaway
THE FINGER LAKES
visitfingerlakes.com

With 11 pristine lakes nestled between bucolic hillsides, waterfront hotels, wineries and breweries at every turn, and dining options that range from fine to low-key, there’s plenty to love about the region.
The Adirondacks | Ithaca | Skaneateles

In This Guide...

  • Best of Rochester: The winners . . .

    This year, some 10,349 discerning CITY readers cast 426,656 votes to determine the Best of Rochester winners across 110 categories. Here, we present the top picks of the people, places, and things that make Rochester home.

  • Best of Rochester: Arts & Entertainment

    Nightlife, music, theater, and art, CITY readers know them by heart . . .

  • Best of Rochester: Food & Drink

    Hankering for burgers, baked goods, or beer? CITY readers come here . . .

  • Best of Rochester: Goods & Services

    Whether you're looking for flowers, a haircut, or that special gift for a four-legged friend, CITY readers recommend . . .

  • Best of Rochester: Who we are

    They rise above the crowd, they make CITY readers proud . . .

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