For many of you, going to RIT and moving to Rochester, NY, will be an entirely new experience. You may be wondering what the weather is like or what there is to do on and off campus. Hopefully, this blog will shed a little more light on Rochester and some of the fun things to do.
1. The nature scene
Upstate NY has a lot to offer for hiking trails, parks, waterfalls, and scenic nature. You will be blessed if you are an outdoorsy person. The rock climbing club goes rock climbing in the nature parks, and Niagara Falls is about a 2-hour drive from the school. Letchworth State Park and Taughannok Falls are also great hiking places. You can always take a kayak trip in the Genesee River or Irondequoit Bay. Western NY is also famous for its Finger Lakes region - home to lots of hidden gem hiking spots (as well as wine trails for upperclassmen).
2. Close to the Metropolitan city
Most people who are unfamiliar with Rochester's location in Western NY may believe that NYC is just a short drive away. Sorry to bust your bubble, but it's more like 6-8 hours away and a lot more on a time commitment to plan out a trip. RIT's campus is conveniently located about 10 mins from downtown Rochester, but if you're really looking to go to a larger city you can try Toronto, CA. RIT is only 2-3 hours from Toronto. You can simply take a weekend road trip to Canada with your friends (definitely stop by Niagara Falls on your way if possible).
3. Small city feel
Although Rochester is not a huge city, there are lots of things to do. There are lots of outdoor activities. You can find a bunch of boutique shops, nice restaurants, and things to do in downtown Rochester. The prices of goods are not too expensive in Rochester and you can also enjoy the city life in downtown Rochester or College Town near U of R.
4. Skiing resorts in the winter
Rochester gets a decent amount of snow in the winter (which may seem like a lot more for some out-of-staters), which means there are lots of good skiing resorts near the area. Bristol is one of the popular ones among RIT students and people go there quite often for price and distance. If you drive a little further, you can find other ski resorts - especially towards Buffalo, NY.
5. Local festivals
Rochester offers lots of fun festivals in the summer, like Lilac festival and Park Ave festival. You can find a festival almost every weekend in the summer. There will still be several to choose from in the fall as well, such as the Hilton Apple Festival. RIT also hosts Imagine RIT every year towards the end of spring semester. The public market host food truck rodeos in the summer as well.
I would definitely recommend getting out and exploring Rochester. Even after several years of attending RIT, I am still finding new and interesting things to do around Rochester!