Rochester ~ A Stone’s Throw from Niagara

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The gardens at the Sonnenberg Mansion, on Lake Canandaigua, near Rochester, NY.

Rochester, New York, is an easy thruway drive of under two hours from Niagara Falls. It has a different vibe than Northern Buffalo and the Niagara area, including the hilly terrain, and it’s a great place for a very doable day trip.

This weekend was a fun one for the 2chicks. We had a family wedding in Rochester, New York, so we went a bit early to do some exploring! One of the ‘chicks’ was in the wedding party, so the other one took the ‘rooster’ to do some of that sight-seeing… feel free to tag along…

Our favorite stop was the Sonnenberg Garden and Mansion, State Historic Site. Located in Canandaigua, about a half hour from where we were staying, this is definitely a worthwhile place to spend a half-day. A Victorian Era Private Home, we found it to be very tourist-friendly, with guides available with historic information and tid-bits, and encouraging people to take photos inside (not oft the case). There’s more ‘wiggle-room’ for exploration than some places allow as well. http://www.sonnenberg.org/

So please, enjoy the Sonnenberg Tour.

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A view of the mansion from the gardens.
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The front entrance.
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The rose garden as seen from the Mansion balcony.
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A Rooster and a Chick. 😉
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The greenhouse and surrounding gardens.
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Love us some orchids!
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We happened to attend the day of the Arts at the Gardens Event, 2015.

http://artsatthegardens.com/

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A view of the fountain from the Mansion.

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High Noon Cafe at Sonnenberg, located near the greenhouses. They have reasonable prices and good food.
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High Noon.
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A fruit Gazpacho. Very good!
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A tasty seafood crepe and fresh tomato-basil salad.

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A delicious shrimp dish with brown rice and a side of steamed vegetables.

Back in Fairport (a village/suburb of east of Rochester) we went to Chakara Restaurant. They are rated the number one restaurant in Fairport, and perhaps they deserve that rating…at least our tastebuds thought so.

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Their won ton soup was one of the best we’ve had, anywhere!

https://www.facebook.com/EatChakara

Rochester is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. At the Northern end of the city lies a lovely park: Ontario Beach Park. There is a fishing pier, a public boat launch, an historic operating carousel, public beach picnicking facilities and more. We enjoyed strolling and relaxing there after the wedding festivities.  http://www.cityofrochester.gov/ontariobeachpark/

One of only fourteen operating antique menagerie carousels in America, “The Duchess” Dentzel carousel is accompanied by a Wurlitzer Military Band Organ. http://rocwiki.org/Dentzel_Carousel

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Some kids enjoying themselves on the colorful carousel!
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I went for a ride on this cat. Bad boy!
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High traffic in the waterway leading to the lake.
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Volleyball Tournament every weekend.

Back in the city, downtown Rochester, we met up with the other chick and her rooster, for a lovely Sunday Brunch. The Owl House is a hidden gem, but known to those on the lookout for that unique spot to eat fresh made-from scratch foods. It has a varied menu including a good selection of gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian dishes. We would highly recommend it!  http://www.owlhouserochester.com/

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The Spring Scramble with sourdough bread and tofu ricotta. (The ricotta is delicious, but a bit spicy, be warned).

Thanks for joining us on our Rochester adventure!

The happy bride and groom...and a sneaky brother!
The happy bride and groom…and a sneaky brother!
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