You might be among the 50,000+ working commuters coming in and out of our city on a daily basis or one of the 5,000+ downtown residents looking to enjoy the urban landscape while the weather allows for it. Instead of being cooped up in your downtown high-rise, home, loft, apartment, or condo, here are 6 outdoor spots that you may want to try out on your next lunch, walk, or break.
St. Mary's Park
Almost hidden from sight on the corner of St. Mary's Place and Court Street due to the fence, trees and large bushes, this is a beautiful sanctuary for the parishioners of St. Mary's as well as the public at large. There are benches to sit on, lilacs in full bloom as we speak, a working fountain, and a gravel trail that leads you around this meticulously-manicured lawn. You may have seen bits and pieces of this place from the sidewalk if you have been to Dave's Sidewalk Cafe or attended the Dachshund Parade recently near the Washington Square Park. Map
Central Library - Dorris Carlson Reading Garden
If you know where Starry Nites is in the Central Library or the Kate Gleason Auditorium, then you would only be steps away from the Reading Garden. Open to the public during library hours, take your favorite drink or lunch out to this lush patio area with beautiful trees, flowers, and wooden patio furniture. Chairs and benches allow for the individual to get away for a moment or two under the large skyscrapers of the city, while tables and seating under the wooden canopy make a perfect place for those occasional outdoor meetings. Map
This small, almost forgotten park downtown, is located at the corner of Stone Street and East Broad Street just across the street from the Central Library. Inside you'll find plenty of picnic tables and park benches to sit and enjoy lunch from a nearby food truck or coffee from Starry Nites, located inside the library. Map
Many of you know and have been to this park area. Named for its views and proximity to the iconic and historic Aqueduct in our city, this is a great place to relax within the hustle and bustle of the city. If you're lucky, you might even catch a performance from a local musician as organized by the City. It helps that lunch favorites such as Subway, Hot Rosita's, and Galleria Pizza are steps away from the park.
This romantic spot is known to the many patrons of Java's Cafe, Max at Eastman Place, and the Eastman School community around Gibbs Street. The small park area is popular at almost any time of day or night, and a great place to relax with your coffee, read a book, or even just people watch. Map
Pont de Rennes Bridge
If the sound of rushing water is more your thing, then you might want to check out the view of the Falls from the Pont de Rennes Bridge. Beware, this is not for the faint of heart, the bridge rises higher than the 96ft High Falls it overlooks - but it's a great spot to take in all that Rochester has to offer in terms of the urban historical architecture, the vast rock formations along the river, and of course, the city skyline. It helps that this bridge connects the popular and growing High Falls District with the historic Genesee Brew House where you can grab a lunch (or dinner) and sip some of Rochester's finest hops including Genny Light, Genesee Bock and Genesee Cream Ale. Some of us just might need a beer or two - just to make it across the bridge. Map