Although Rochester was a city founded on a booming industry like Kodak, it has been transformed into a place full of art and culture of all kinds. However, for anyone who’s spent a long winter in Rochester, or many, it’s easy to let the dismal weather keep you from getting out of your usual rut, especially in terms of your love life. Fortunately, this list of romantic things to do in Rochester is sure to inspire you!
Ready to start? You can learn more about what makes each of these Rochester date ideas great below. Just remember, whatever you choose, happy dating!
Surprise your date with a fine French meal at Roux
Without a doubt, Rochester is home to many incredible restaurants and culinary delights. Therefore, choosing a restaurant for a first date is a bit tricky because there are so many options. Roux is a great option for Rochester singles who love to explore the city’s gastronomy. Refined and cultured, yet warm and romantic, Roux has an exquisite selection of cocktails, wines and dinners. The bistro-style interior is clad in rich wood tones, creating an inviting atmosphere that is sure to bring the two of you closer. Roux certainly ranks at the top of our list of romantic things to do in Rochester.
Explore the works of artisans together
Artisan Works is a place like no other. In fact, it is one of the many local gems in our city. Learn more about each other’s tastes by perusing this collection of artwork and artefacts together. The huge factory-turned-eclectic gallery has over 500,000 works of art, so the two of you will have plenty to talk about. This is without a doubt one of the most intriguing places on the Rochester dating scene. End the date by visiting the Starry Nights cafe for coffee and the best chocolate croissants in town. flirtwith.com
Watch a sports game, but first, grab a Genny
While the craft brewing game in Rochester is only getting stronger, locals will always hold a special place in their hearts for Genesee Brewing Company. Overlooking High Falls, this is the ideal place to start your date enjoying a good conversation during a flight. Then head to Frontier Field or Blue Cross Arena, depending on the season, to cheer on one of Rochester’s sports teams. If the game is scheduled for later in the evening, feel free to trade your pregame beer at Genesee Brew Co. for great ribs at Dinosaur BBQ. This slightly sloppy meal is sure to break the ice.
Get intellectual with an afternoon at the Memorial Art Gallery
The Rochester Memorial Art Gallery is a beautiful space inspired by an Italian cathedral. Its gothic-inspired architecture isn’t the only thing that makes an afternoon at the memorial art gallery one of the most romantic things to do in Rochester. With exhibits featuring the evocative works of artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and MC Escher, this is a great way to get acquainted with your date’s aesthetic passions. Another fun place to get to know your date’s artistic tastes is at the 6×6 collection at Roco. Support local artists and surprise your date by buying their favourite as they are $20 each.
Get cerebral with trivia night at the Old Toad Pub
Sometimes the best way to pick your date’s brains is through a little trivia searching. Unite against the common cause of coming in first against other couples and trivia enthusiasts in the homey surroundings of the Old Toad Pub on Monday nights. Kick off the quiz by enjoying some one-on-one time over a few pints and shared plates of pub-style comfort food. The atmosphere at the Old Toad is always intimate and cheerful, especially during Rochester’s unforgiving grey winters. This is one of our favourite places to snuggle up with love.
Catch an offbeat movie at Dryden or Little
With its multitude of arts festivals, quirky nightlife and galleries, Rochester is no stranger to cutting edge. With a propensity for all things film – think Kodak – it makes sense that there are some pretty lavish independent theatres in the city. Housed in the former home of George Eastman himself, the Dryden and Little Theatre just down the street are known for showing cinematic classics and curated selections from foreign films. For those with first date jitters, the thought-provoking movie experience will give you plenty to talk about as you embark on a romantic stroll down opulent East Ave to wrap up the night. flirtwith
Rise and shine with a morning at the public market.
Let’s face it, not all of us are night owls. If you and your date are feeling like early risers, there’s no better way to enjoy the city than on a Saturday morning at the famous Mercado Public. Enjoy this diverse and bustling event that brings the city together, perhaps picking up some ingredients to cook lunch together later. If you don’t have time for lunch later, share some cider and coffee donuts or indulge in Scott’s famous breakfast sandwich. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the impressive street murals that adorn the surrounding area, making for a fun spy game in the midst of this vibrant environment.
Keep things casual with a night at Schooners Overlooking the Water
Sometimes the most romantic thing to do in Rochester is keep it casual. This will certainly help take the pressure off and allow both of you to be your most authentic selves. Enjoy that glorious summer weather by hanging out at Schooners, a veteran restaurant on the Rochester dining scene that sits right on the Genesee for some cocktails and live music from local bands. The relaxed atmosphere of this place makes it a great place to spend an afternoon or evening.
Watch the sunset on Charlotte Beach with an Abbotts cone in hand.
A classic way to take in the beautiful views of Lake Rochester is to watch the sunset at Charlotte Beach. Naturally, there’s an Abbotts located within walking distance, so we suggest ordering a couple of cones and walking the beach at twilight. The soothing sound of the waves and the sweet burst of sugar from the frozen custard will definitely help peel back the layers of your first date personas, allowing you to get to know each other better. This is one of the best options for a second or third date.
Do you want a fluid conversation on your first date? Try these first date questions.
Savour the best of the Finger Lakes wine country with a wine tasting at Casa Larga
The lake isn’t the only thing that gives Rochester its natural beauty. Travel to Casa Larga Vineyards in Fairport for a tasting of the best wines the Finger Lakes region has to offer. Trying out the different options and being open-minded together is sure to spark some fun memories. We recommend opting for the wine and chocolate pairing, with delicacies from the renowned Hedonist Chocolate. Don’t forget to tour the grounds afterwards. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a first look at the wedding inspo!
RELATED ARTICLE: TRUE AND TIMELESS LOVE ADVICE YOU NEED TO KNOW
Eastman Theatre and Javas
We can’t talk about romantic things to do in Rochester without mentioning the Eastman Theatre. This magnificent historic site has undergone major renovations in recent years, making it a true gem of the city. Sit under the impressive chandelier and enjoy the sounds of the Rochester Philharmonic, one of the most prestigious in the country. If classical music isn’t your thing, the venue also hosts other concerts, ballets, and modern dance performances from time to time. In true rochester style, head to the Javas Café next door after the show ends