People watch from Cobbs Hill Reservoir as the planet Venus transits across the sun over Rochester

People watch from Cobbs Hill Reservoir as the planet Venus transits across the sun over Rochester (Adam Fenster, Reuters)

Children in tow? A popular alternative is The Strong, the second-largest museum devoted to children in the United States. Among dozens of interactive educational exhibits are a butterfly garden, a streetscape from television's Sesame Street and a whaling ship.

3 p.m. - Stroll from the art gallery along University Avenue. Dawdle over coffee or antiques at the Flatiron building or photo art at Image City Photography Gallery.

3:30 p.m. - The walk extends to George Eastman House, the world's oldest museum of photography and motion pictures with an archive of 400,000 images stretching back to 1830s daguerreotypes.

View old cameras, famous original photos and film reels at Eastman's majestic 1905 Colonial Revival mansion and villa-style gardens. The patriarch of popular photography, Eastman founded Eastman Kodak Co, which ruled the world of film photography for over a century but has been brought to its knees by a swift shift to the digital technology it helped pioneer but couldn't capitalize on.

6:30 p.m. - For a cut-above meal, try the restaurant Good Luck. Its tapas-style dishes are meant to be shared, from red lentils to smoked pork shank.

9 p.m. - Head to The Little for an indie, foreign or art film in a funky 1929 Art Deco theater on East Avenue.


8:30 a.m. - Start the day with French toast or Eggs Benedict at The Frog Pond in the fashionable Park Avenue district.

10 a.m. - On the edge of downtown is Mount Hope Cemetery, a 196-acre arboretum favored by dog walkers, history buffs and curious souls. A classic example of a pre-Civil War "rural cemetery," Mount Hope is a heavily wooded jumble of ridges, ravines and meadows with gravestones and mausoleums set amid fountains, ornate sculptures and stone terraces fringed with wildflowers and pines.

11 a.m. - Across the street, stroll through Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Highland Park, famous for its lilac bushes and a floral, food, art and musical festival in May that serves as the true advent of spring in a city where snowfall tops 100 inches in a typical winter.

12:30 - Lunch at The Food Bar in the suburb of Pittsford.

1:30 p.m. - Tee off at one of the Rochester region's 90-plus golf courses to get a feel for the undulating, tree-framed terrain the world's top golfers will encounter at two majors here this year: the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Pittsford on August 5-11 and the Wegmans LPGA Championship at nearby Locust Hill from June 3-9.

(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Jim Marshall)