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Living in Rochester, New York:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

12 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Rochester, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 12 people living in Rochester what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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12 comments on “Rochester”

Rochester like many places has its good points and bad. Geographically, it is situated nearby some incredibly beautiful scenery, however the city itself is quite run down in many places. It is best to live in one of the suburbs, as downtown Rochester doesn’t have much to offer other than a bar scene.

Rochester, New York, can get extremely cold in winter. It’s not as bad as living in Michigan or Wisconsin, but the wind and low temperatures might take some getting used to if you’re from California or somewhere in the South. Convenience stores and gas stations tend to close around midnight. Rochester is not one of those cities where everything is open all night.

Laurel, says: 2020

Rochester is a city with beautiful parks. These parks are usually close to the Genesee River, which flows through the area. Additionally, the Erie Canal also flows through the area and both waterways provide ample opportunity for recreation and relaxation.

Ricardo, says: 2020

It is the case that in Rochester there are a lot of liberal-minded people occupying roles of authority. These people are in our churches, whole swaths of fields like music and art, and the LGBTQ Community. However, there is also a lot of opportunity to get involved with local groups of all strides.

One of the best aspects of living in Rochester is its diversity of opportunity. We have a vibrant work culture and a vibrant relaxation culture. We’re often known as the Flour City and we live up to that moniker every summer when neighbors adorn their gardens with flowers for the public to enjoy.

Skyler, says: 2020

Rochester is a vibrant city with wonderful music entertainment, art, and a fantastic food scene. There are also many places to adventure outdoors whether on land or water and enjoy the beautiful landscape on the banks of Great Lake Ontario. Rochester also offers affordable housing and proximity to many colleges.

Life in the city of Rochester is rich with culture, art, and history. The people are diverse, and the food is incredible. Rochester’s signature takeout dish, the garbage plate, tastes better than it sounds (and looks). Between the many museums, parks, and festivals, there is always something to do. Plus, with a comparatively low cost of living, a focus on education, and a strong sense of community, the Rochester area is an excellent place to raise a family. That is, if you can handle the snow.

Sierra, says: 2020

Rochester is home to Wegmans, a top-ranked grocery store in the U.S. by Food & Wine magazine. It’s still owned by the Wegman family who support the local farmers, community, schools, and economy. A lot of people that are born in Rochester never actually leave, and they never really experience life outside of Rochester. Although that may seem strange to some, it does make for a tighter community. Rochester is home to the Garth Fagan Dance, one of the original Fringe Festivals, and Geva Theater.

Taylor, says: 2020

If you’re moving to Rochester, New York, there are some things know before. Property taxes are outrageous and higher than almost any other state in the United States. Upstate has four seasons but it always feels like winter is the longest! If it weren’t for my family, I’d be long gone!

Jeremy, says: 2020

Rochester, NY is home to Xerox, Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and the grocery store, Wegmans. Rochester is not a very big city, and pretty much everyone knows everyone. The city is home to one of the greatest jazz festivals in the country people and performers come from all over the world (it is also home to the Eastman School of Music) and its arts scene is second to none.

The city is an hour from the Finger Lakes region, which is world-renowned for its wines. No conversation about Rochester is complete without the famous Garbage Plate from Nick Tahou’s, Zweigle’s white hots, and The Strong National Museum of Play. Rochester is full of cultural and musical events, great places to eat and shop, and a place to make lifelong friendships a great place to come home to.

Rochester is a very cheap city; many things are affordable here. Rochester is also very cold, so be prepared for long winters. Specific parts of town can be quite dangerous, but overall the city is pretty safe. There are plenty of unique, local restaurants and bars, despite being a smaller city.

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