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Things to Do in Western New York (Nature Rx)

Find amazing places to go and things to do from on-campus, to surrounding villages, parks and countryside, to nearby cities of Rochester and Buffalo.

(Looking for virtual activities?  Check out the section on "Virtual Activities for General Wellness" from our Coping with Covid page.)

On-Campus/Geneseo:

On-Campus Places to Visit
  • Geneseo Arboretum(South Side, near Onondaga main parking lot)
    Guided walks meet every Wednesday at 12; can also visit on your own
  • Greenhouse in Newton
Geneseo Clubs with Involvement in Nature
  • Outing Club
    The Geneseo Outing Club is an organization which consists of dozens of students who join the eboard for excursions to hike, climb, camp, and enjoy other activities.
    outingclub@geneseo.edu
  • FORCES Club
    Friends of Recreation, Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship
    forces@geneseo.edu
  • Nature Walk Club
    The Nature Walk Club aims to encourage both the students of SUNY Geneseo and the Geneseo community to understand, enjoy, and preserve the natural world through education, hiking and volunteering.
    nwc@geneseo.edu
  • Geneseo Environmental Organization (GEO)
    The Geneseo Environmental Organization's mission is to promote environmentally-friendly practices.  Meetings are Mondays, 7:45 p.m. in the Union Fireside Lounge.
Classes with a Nature Focus
  • ENVR 124
    Environmental Issues
  • HIST 369
    Environmental Thought & Politics in Modern America
  • HIST 369
    Environmental Thought & Politic
  • PSYC 275
    Environmental Psychology (Dr. Allen)  
  • SOCL 218
    Sociology of Environmental Issues
  • BIOL 376
    Environmental Management
  • BIOL 305
    Conservation Biology
  • GEOG 382
    Climate Change and Variability
  • GSCI 335
    Global Climate Change
  • GSCI 200
    Environmental Geology

There is also an environmental studies minor:
www.geneseo.edu/geography/environmental_studies

Other On-Campus and Local Options
  • Live in EcoHouse (Monroe Hall)
    Apply to live in Geneseo’s very own EcoHouse, where you can practice sustainable living habits and be surrounded by other environmentalists. Contact Residence Life for application dates.
  • Become Involved with the Office of Sustainability
    Send an email to get on the list for updates and/or express your interest in an internship.
  • Shakti Yoga
    Local yoga studio for over 30 years and currently offering in-person, livestream, and recorded classes; discounts available for SUNY Geneseo students.
    63 Main Street, Geneseo
  • Sunrise Bouldering
    Livingston County's first and only climbing gym; steps away from campus.
    2 School Street, Geneseo
     

Off-Campus:

Websites for Inspiration
Places to Visit
  • Indian Fort Nature Preserve (open 6 am - 9 pm)
    geneseevalleyconservancy.org/indian-fort-nature-preserve 
    An 8-minute drive from campus, this site includes hiking trails.
  • Geneseo Valley Island Preserve (open 8 am - 5 pm)
    geneseevalleyconservancy.org/island-preserve 
    A 5-minute drive from campus, this 40-acre nature preserve includes walking trails.
  • Railroad Bed Trail (open daily, sunrise to sunset)
    geneseevalleyconservancy.org/railroad-bed-trail
    There are 3 different access points within a 9-minute drive of campus:
    Fowlerville Road - 100 ft west of the intersection with Route 39
    Hogmire Road - .5 mile west of the intersection with Route 39
    South Avon Road - 1 mile west of the intersection with Route 39
  • Geneseo River Access Park
    275 Riverside Drive, Geneseo
    This small park is a 5 minute drive from campus and offers picnic tables, a pond, and view of the Genesee River.
  • Highland Park in Geneseo 
    Highland Road, Geneseo 
  • Mill Creek Nature Preserve (open sunrise to sunset)
    geneseevalleyconservancy.org/mill-creek-nature-preserve
    Check website for updates on possible future trails.
  • Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area
    A 15 minute drive from campus, this park/nature area offers hiking, hunting, trapping, and fishing.  It is accessible off of Sliker Hill Road, with a parking area, kiosk, and a paved path along the creek (extending to the dam).
  • Canaseraga State Forest
    dec.ny.gov/lands/38932.html
    A 35 minute drive from campus, this is a 1,287-acre piece of property filled with waterfalls and a river to walk along.
  • Finger Lakes Trail
    fingerlakestrail.org
    This trail runs parallel to the Letchworth Gorge and in Mt Morris; it is 25 miles long and can be found on the All Trails app (www.alltrails.com).
  • Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area (open sunrise to sunset)
    parks.ny.gov/parks/harriethollisterspencer/maps.aspx
    A 40 minute drive from campus, this park includes biking, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and more.
  • Letchworth State Park
    parks.ny.gov/parks/79/details.aspx 
    Just a 15 minute drive from campus, this "Grand Canyon of the East" includes hiking trails and camping.  There is a $10 entry fee per vehicle.
  • Stony Brook State Park
    parks.ny.gov/parks/118/details.aspx 
    This park is a 30 minute drive from campus and includes hiking, swimming, camping, and sports fields.  There is a $7 entry fee per vehicle.
  • Vitale Park (open 7 am - 8 pm)
    5828 Big Tree Rd, Lakeville, NY 14480
    This park is a 20 minute drive from campus; it offers picnic tables and a view of Conesus Lake.
  • Al Lorenz Park (open 6 am - 10 pm)
    Murray Hill Drive, Mt. Morris, NY 14510
    This park is a 14 minute drive from campus and includes hiking trails, fishing, and recreational facilities.
  • Conesus Campground Rentals
    5609 East Lake Road, Conesus, NY 14435
    This rental service is a 20 minute drive from campus; rent a kayak or paddle board and explore Conesus Lake!
  • Twin Cedars Environmental Area
    6274 E. Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY 14414
    Take a 19 minute drive from campus to walk on 1.5 miles of trails and see beautiful water, plants, and animals.
  • Tree Creations (by appointment only)
    This tree house village is an 11 minute drive from campus and consists of themed tree houses connected with rope bridges - for all to enjoy!
  • Livingston County Historical Museum
    Take just an 11 minute walk from campus to view the rich history of Livingston County, including artifacts and exhibits that relate to the Geneseo area.
  • National Warplane Museum
    Just an 11 minute walk from campus, this is a warbird and military history museum located on the grounds of the Geneseo Airport and noted for restoring, flying, and displaying vintage military aircraft.
  • Vintage Drive in Movie Theater
    Located in Avon (a 19 minute drive from campus), this is a 4-screen drive-in theater for both current movies and retro films.
  • Genesee Country Village
    This is a 19th-century living history museum with 68 buildings and over 20,000 artifacts' a 30-minute drive from campus.
  • Castile Cider Mill
    A 30 minute drive from campus and minutes away from Letchworth, this landmark historic site offers fresh apple cider and donuts that are made daily.
  • Minnehan's Fun Center
    This recreational center is a 12 minute drive from campus and offers outdoor kart racing, mini golf, batting cages, a driving range, and more.
  • Werner Farms & Greenhouses
    This farm offers a wide array of plants and seasonal vegetables; a 23 minute drive from campus.
  • East Hill Creamery
    Stop by to enjoy French Alpine-style cheeses made from their own dairy’s raw milk plus tours of how they make it.  Also, purchase their cheese 24/7 from the region’s only cheese vending machine!
Things to Do in the Rochester Area

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EAT! Rochester offers nearly every kind of ethnic foods, both in restaurants and specialty grocery stores. Just Google the kind of food you like and see what pops up!

Downtown, East End

  • Rochester Contemporary Arts (RoCo), 137 East Ave
    Offers recent works by established and emerging artists. Free admission.
  • Java’s, 16 Gibbs St
    This is an intimate cafe with great coffees and a whole wall of teas to drink or take home.
  • Spot Coffee, 200 East Ave
    This former Chevrolet dealership is a huge art deco coffee house with great baked goods.
  • Little Theatres and Cafe, 240 East Ave
    thelittle.org
    Offers five screens with independent and other films.
  • Strong Museum of Play, 1 Manhattan Square www.museumofplay.org
    Host the National Toy Hall of Fame; offers places to play vintage video and other games and more.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park at Manhattan Square (Adjacent to Strong Museum)
    www.cityofrochester.gov/mlkparkicerink
    Offers ice skating with skate rentals.
  • Golden Port Dim Sum and Restaurant, 105 East Ave.
    Offers authentic Dim Sum and Asian cuisine.
  • Eastman Theatre, Gibbs St
    www.esm.rochester.edu/theatre
    • Kodak Hall - home of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and other live concerts
    • Kilbourn Hall - a 444-seat auditorium considered one of the best chamber music venues in the world
    • Hatch Hall - a new 222-set venue for solo instrumental, chamber, and vocal music

Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA)
Just east of Downtown, this area features many places to see, to buy great art and fine crafts, to visit artistic studios, and to eat and shop. The neighborhood contains some of Rochester's major cultural institutions.

  • Memorial Art Gallery (the MAG), 500 East Avenue 
    mag.rochester.edu
    The MAG is Rochester’s premier large art gallery with permanent and special exhibits.
  • Village Gate Square, 274 Goodman St North
    villagegatesquare.com
    This is a sprawling campus of old factory and newer buildings housing restaurants, stores, artist studios, and loft apartments. 
  • Craft Company No.6, 785 University Ave
    craftcompany.com
    This is a gallery and shop of fine crafts from across the US/Canada and housed in a Victorian fire house.
  • George Eastman Museum, 900 East Ave
    eastman.org
    Located on the estate of George Eastman (founder of Eastman Kodak), this museum holds unparalleled collections in the fields of photography, cinema, and the like.  The mansion and gardens are available for tours, and the museum is also home to the Dryden Theatre
  • Rochester Museum & Science Center, 663 East Ave
    rmsc.org
    A science museum that also includes the Strasenburgh Planetarium.
Things to Do in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls Area
  • Tifft Nature Preserve (open daily)
    Tifft is a nature preserve located near Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.  It includes trails and boardwalks, and it is a great place to see wildlife
  • Canalside (open dusk to dawn)
    Buffalo's waterfront offers a great place to walk along the water plus has concerts, festivals, fitness classes, ice skating, history tours, and outdoor winter activities. 
  • Wilkeson Pointe Park
    Offers wellness classes, kayak rentals, beach volleyball, and much more to do/see.
  • Buffalo Riverworks
    This large waterfront complex offers skating, hockey, curling, and concerts plus kayak rentals and ziplining during the summer.
  • Buffalo Botanical Gardens
    Provides the opportunity to explore indoor and outdoor garden sanctuaries and amazing architecture.
  • Buffalo Zoo
    Offers a variety of animals and exhibits.
  • Buffalo Museum of Science
    Through interactive exhibits designed for multi-generational learning, the Museum showcases its extensive collection of more than 700,000 artifacts.
  • Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve (open daily dawn to dusk)
    A beautiful nature preserve that includes wetlands, ponds, trails, and lots of wildlife.
  • Martin House
    Built between 1903 and 1905, a beautiful house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that displays beautiful architecture.
  • Chestnut Ridge Park
    A beautiful park with trails, an outdoor athletic sports field, picnic grills, and the Eternal Flame Falls
  • Ice Skating at Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza
    An ice skating rink in the heart of Buffalo; weather-dependent.
  • Hoyt Lake Boat Rentals
    Rent a boat and explore the beauty of Delaware Park. Flamingo paddle boats are also available!
  • Vidler’s 5 & 10
    The largest 5 & 10 store in the world! A one of a kind store that offers nostalgic candy, toys, kitchen gadgets, crafts, gifts, home decor, jewelry, candles and seasonal decor.
  • Aquarium of Niagara
    Explore an array of marine life, including adorable penguins, sea lions, and seals.
  • Niagara Falls State Park  (open 24 hours)
    Walk around the park and experience the power of the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and a portion of the Horseshoe Falls.
  • Maid of the Mist
    Experience the currents and mist of Niagara Falls! The Maid of the Mist safely takes you right near the falls.
  • Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls
    This outlet shopping mall offers well-known outlet stores and restaurants.
  • Stella Niagara Preserve
    This is an incredibly scenic preserve that allows you to walk along the Niagara River.