Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Rochester, New York
People watch from Cobbs Hill Reservoir as the planet Venus transits across the sun over Rochester (Adam Fenster, Reuters)
From top-ranked golf courses and national-landmark house museums to a children's emporium of play and America's oldest municipal park-garden cemetery, the city in western New York is crammed with surprises for visitors of all interests.
Its glacier-carved linchpin is a trio of waterfalls trumpeting the Genesee River's thunderous descent into Lake Ontario.
Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a short stay in Rochester (pop. 210,855), variously known over two centuries as the Flour City, the Flower City and, less so of late, the World's Image Center.
5:30 p.m. - Dinner at Dinosaur Barbecue, a honky tonk rib joint tucked into a former railroad station overlooking the river. Take in a view of the unstoppable torrent from the adjacent Court Street Bridge before digging in to brisket, cornbread and tomato-cucumber salad.
7 p.m. - Head back across the bridge to Blue Cross Arena for a dash of ice-hockey escapades hollering on the Rochester Americans. For spring and summer alternatives, catch a Rochester Red Wings baseball game at Frontier Field or the Rochester Rhinos soccer team at Sahlen's Stadium.
For people who prefer stage or dance, there's Geva Theatre or an occasional hometown performance by the top-notch Garth Fagan dance troupe.
9:30 p.m. - End the day with a Genesee cream ale or Finger Lakes Riesling and a twirl on the dance floor at one of an assortment of bars and music halls that abound in the lively East End.
9 a.m. - Try yogurt and granola plus an egg Danish - caramelized onions baked in fluffy pastry topped with an egg - at Flower City Bread in the Rochester Public Market. This magnet for bargain food shoppers, situated since 1905 on Union Street in the gritty northeast section, has a ring of casual eateries.
10:30 a.m. - Head to the Genesee River at its most spectacular stretch north of downtown for a peek into the city's water-powered origins. Repurposed factories and remnants of a once flourishing flour industry form a ghostly backdrop to the 90-foot (27.4 meter) cascade known as High Falls.
Among panoramic vantage points above the waterfall and its wide gorge basin are a pedestrian bridge and the rooftop patio of a pub-style restaurant in Genesee Beer and Ale brewery.
For more outdoors adventure, take a short drive north to a path behind Maplewood Park's rose garden that descends close to river level in the nearly 200-foot-deep gorge.
11:30 a.m. - The red-brick Victorian home of women's rights crusader Susan B. Anthony is a highlight among memorials concentrated in upstate New York that extol women's achievements in molding the nation.
Step into the parlor where Anthony was arrested after daring to vote in 1872. The home contains the trademark alligator bag she carried on frequent travels, and the bed she died in after delivering her "Failure is Impossible" speech in Washington in 1906.
12:30 - Cross downtown into the South Wedge neighborhood for lunch at Mise en Place, a modest grocery-cum-diner with window tables looking out at a string of rib restaurants, pubs and bakeries along South Avenue. Cheesy Eddie's is a stalwart for cheesecake, while newcomers include The Little Bleu Cheese Shop and Hedonist Artisan Chocolates and Hedonist Artisan Ice Cream.
1:30 p.m. - Memorial Art Gallery (mag.rochester.edu), located for 100 years in an Italian Renaissance-style architectural gem in the East-side arts district, features an eclectic collection of 12,000 works of art, from Impressionist paintings to metal sculptures by hometown luminary Albert Paley.
Search out the only full-size Italian Baroque organ in North America, a 600-pipe, fully restored instrument built around 1770 that is played at periodic recitals by students at the acclaimed Eastman School of Music.