Being a local Rochesterien, every summer I try to put together a bucket list of things I want to do in the greater Rochester area. The list usually includes the basics like: go to the beach, watch movies, ride roller coasters, go mini-golfing, ride go-carts, hike, go to concerts, and try to go to as many festivals as possible.
So far, only a few weeks into summer, I have tried my hand at line dancing, went to the movies, gone rock climbing at the Red Barn on campus, and went to a pottery festival and Canal Days. Canal Days, in Fairport (about 20-30 min from campus), is a three-day long festival right in the village of Fairport on the Erie Canal. I love buying the festival foods – it's my weakness.
One of my favorite summer pastimes is going to the lake. Ontario Beach Park and Durand Eastman Park are both nice places to go if you enjoy hanging out on the beach along Lake Ontario. My family has a cottage on Conesus Lake, a small lake about 40 minutes south of campus (see picture below). I love to water ski, wakeboard, kneeboard, tube, and pretty much any other water sport you can think of. Canoeing and kayaking are also on my list of things to do each summer.
I love movies. I've written a blog about movies and some of the theaters around campus before. Now's a great time to bring up the Vintage Drive-In again. If there is a movie or two that I want to see over the summer, I try to see it at the drive-in. I love parking outside on a nice, warm summer night and watching a movie under the stars. It's a double feature, so you're basically getting two movies for the price of one! The Vintage Drive-In is only about 15-20 minutes from campus, which makes it a perfect quick getaway from campus. Plus, there's a mini-golf course located near the concessions stand too!
Concerts are also on my summer bucket list. There are several free concerts hosted in Park Point, right by RIT's bookstore on campus. I also tend to go to Darien Lake Theme Park, which hosts a variety of concerts in addition to having some pretty fun roller coasters and rides. Last summer I saw the Backstreet Boys with Special Guest Avril Lavigne – yes, the Backstreet Boys are still performing; no, I'm not ashamed I went to this. I also went to see Fall Out Boy at Darien Lake last summer and will be seeing them again this summer (also at Darien Lake).
Rochester is also really big on festivals. Almost every weekend during the summer you can find a festival somewhere. Coming up, there will be the Corn Hill Arts Festival, the Festival of Lights, the East End Festival, the Jazz Festival, the Park Ave Fest, the Rochester Greek Festival, and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
As the summer goes on, I find myself finding more and more things to add to my list. Rochester has a lot to offer, especially in the summer - you just have to find it.