Go west and discover innovation in the Flower City

Rochester packs a punch a short drive away

The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. Gardens surround the house that was once owned by Mr. Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak.

Rochester is a city built on innovation. A cornerstone of the regional economy, Kodak’s global headquarters, Eastman Kodak, has called this Western New York city home since the early 1900s. Xerox and Bausch & Lomb are among dozens of other companies whose roots are planted in Rochester. Creative individuals who have convened in the Flower City have helped make each tiny neighborhood unique and inviting throughout.

Speaking of neighborhoods — and suburbs for that matter — Rochester has a ton of them. From the uber trendy Park Avenue neighborhood to the affluent Erie Canal village of Pittsford, each offers something different and caters to various clienteles. Want a night on the town without having to drive from a restaurant to a nightclub? Hit the East End. Looking for a good cup of coffee, local foods, hip cafés and shops the cool kids visit? The Southwedge is your place.

For a time-crunched weekend away, Rochester’s east side offers plenty of options. From museums that even children won’t complain about to dining options you’ll want to write home about and shopping and sightseeing that will be worth getting lost in the city’s side streets, there’s something for everyone.

2 P.M. FRIDAY, STICKY LIPS AND FULL STOMACHS
When navigating your 36 hours in Rochester, especially if you’re sticking to the city’s eastside, two major routes will get you in and out of the city and to all points in between: East Avenue and I-490.

Before you even check in at the hotel, you’ll be hungry for some lunch. Stay on I-490 after you exit the Thruway to Exit 20/University Avenue and make a right onto Culver Road. Your destination is the original Sticky Lips BBQ Restaurant. Everything from pulled pork plates to some of the best barbecue chicken that’s ever been made, Sticky Lips is unforgettable. Make sure to start your experience with fried green tomatoes and deep fried pickles.

You’ll be glad you did.

Original Sticky Lips Restaurant, 625 Culver Road, Rochester, www.stickylipsbbq.com, 1 (585) 288-1910

3:30 P.M. FRIDAY, ENJOY YOUR STAY
If you’re looking for downtown city living during your stay, go with the Rochester Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. You will be within walking distance of the heart of the city.

However, for this trip, Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel & Spa is the temporary residence of choice. Located in the nearby suburb of Pittsford, the Del Monte is tucked away off Pittsford’s Main Street and feels like a big city boutique hotel with the amenities of Marriott brand backing.

The Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel & Spa, 41 N. Main St., Pittsford, www.marriott.com, 1 (585) 381-9900

5 P.M. FRIDAY, TAKE A STROLL
Pittsford is a beautiful little town right on the historic Erie Canal. The entire village is pedestrian friendly, from downtown shops to canal side ice cream parlors and sitting areas. It’s a quiet picturesque village that offers a lot.
Grab a cup of coffee at Village Bakery and Cafe, a true treat, or stroll into Pittsford Pub and enjoy a cocktail before dinner.

Walk down the canal side trail and bike path that winds through the village for a perfect way to end a day of travel and take in some new sights.

Village Bakery & Cafe, 5 State St., Pittsford, www.villagebakeries.com, 1 (585) 203-1311; Pittsford Pub, 60 N. Main St., Pittsford, www.thepittsfordpub.com, 1 (585) 586-4650

[Editor’s note: This is a truncated version of this story. For the full version, please see NNY Living in print or subscribe.]

Kyle Hayes is associate editor for NNY Living. Contact him at 661-2381 or khayes@wdt.net.