Outside view of VIDA Building

The Best Fall Views of Rochester

Downtown Rochester and the Genesee River

September 2021


Fall is a great time to take a walk around Rochester. Summer’s heat and humidity are gone and parka weather has yet to arrive. If you’d like to enjoy a beautiful fall view of Rochester, we have eight suggestions for your next walk. We’ve included some well-known spots that you might not have visited in a while. And hopefully you’ll learn about some hidden gems you can discover for the first time. American poet William Cullen Bryant wrote “Autumn is the year’s last, loveliest smile.” We couldn’t agree more and hope these Rochester spots provide you with beautiful views and many smiles.

  1. Cobbs Hill Park. This 109 acre park includes one of the highest points in our relatively flat city. Use the Highland Avenue entrance to access the upper area of the park. Alongside the reservoir, you’ll find a clearing with benches where you can experience a beautiful, panoramic view of downtown.
  2. Pont de Rennes Bridge. Formerly the Platt St bridge and renamed for one of Rochester’s sister cities, it’s adjacent to the Genesee Brew Haus on the east side of the river. It provides a nice view of the Genesee River, upper falls, and portions of downtown. And after your walk, you can stop in the Brew Haus for a snack and a cold one.
  3. Genesee Riverway Trail. There are numerous scenic views along this trail. In particular, we love the view of downtown you get at the University of Rochester just alongside the River lot parking area.
  4. Ford Street Bridge. You can enjoy a nice view of the Genesee River and downtown Rochester from the sidewalk of the bridge.
  5. Lucien Morin Park. Located off Empire Boulevard at the south end of Irondequoit Bay, this is a great park for hiking and birdwatching. Take the white trail entrance to the park, right next to the parking lot of MacGregor’s. Bear left, and you’ll find a trail left going up a hill. When you get to the top, you’ll enjoy a stellar hidden view of Irondequoit Bay; especially at sunset.
  6. Driving Park Bridge. This 717 foot long bridge spanning the Genesee River gorge provides some incredible views of the river and falls.
  7. The rooftop deck at TRATA. The first of two “cushy” options, the rooftop deck of TRATA offers great views of Rochester along with cocktails and food.
  8. Horizon’s Restaurant & Lounge at Woodcliff. Sometimes getting a great view of Rochester means leaving Rochester. If you want to enjoy dinner, cocktails and/or live music along with a panoramic view of downtown Rochester, head to Woodcliff.