A Rochester College Student’s Guide to Entertainment

Main & East AveRochester has enough activities to keep your college self busy without emptying your bank account.

Finding activities that keep you occupied, while helping you procrastinate your homework, can be difficult this time of year. Mustering up the courage and motivation to go out into the cold can be painful — believe me, I know! Don’t let that stop you from enjoying the best time of your life.

Bundle up, grab some friends and a hot beverage – and get to exploring.

Rochester has it all, from coffee shops and music venues to its beautiful scenery, and it all lives within the heart of the city. Now I know as college students, our budget for fun tends to skew to the smaller side, however, this guide does include many free activities in the downtown Rochester area.

Who can pass that up?

Each location listed gives the approximate driving distance it will take you to get there from the Nazareth Arts Center. (Want to visit these hotspots but don’t have a car? Hop on the RTS bus that stops at the Arts Center.)

Landmarks (FREE) 

  1. High Falls (14 minutes)
  2. Kodak Tower (15 minutes)
  3. Genesee Riverway Trail (16 minutes)
  4. Liberty Pole (13 minutes)

The FrayMusic & Live Entertainment  

  1. Rochester Main Street Armory (15 minutes)
  2. The Historic German House (11 minutes)
  3. Eastman Theatre (13 minutes)
  4. Water Street Music Hall (12 minutes)
  5. Geva Theatre Center (11 minutes)
  6. Rochester’s many summer festivals (Fringe Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Park Ave Summer Fest, Rochester Lilac Festival)


Many bars and cafes (like Starry Nites Cafe and the ones listed below) have live entertainment nights that showcase local musicians and acts. The great thing about these shows is there is often no cover fee (or if there is, it is a small one).

IMG_1298Coffee shops/Cafes

  1. *Boulder Coffee Co. (my personal favorite and only 11 minutes away)
  2. Glen Edith Coffee Roasters (10 minutes)
  3. Java’s Cafe (12 minutes)
  4. *Spot Coffee (13 minutes)
  5. *Equal Grounds (12 minutes)

Of course, Rochester has many more landmarks and locations to visit. Now that I gave you a head start, your job is to go out and explore all that downtown has to offer.

*offers a student discount

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