Category - Major Events
What to Do in Rochester During the 2023 PGA Championship
By Visit Rochester
(Patrick Luke / Visit Rochester)
Few other cities in the U.S. wholeheartedly embrace the sport of professional golf quite like Rochester, New York.
This week, Rochester is proudly hosting the 2023 PGA Championship at the historic and prestigious Oak Hill Country Club. The Greater Rochester area, the third largest metro in New York State, is home to just under 1 million residents. And when professional golf events come to town, the entire community comes alive, brimming with enthusiasm and pride to welcome the greatest golfers in the world, event officials and spectators to the community.
Visitors to Rochester for the PGA Championship will find no shortage of things to do, places to dine, or unique sights to see while in the area. Read on for some must-do activities while visiting Rochester for the PGA.
Play like a pro
Tee up in the same city as some of the world’s best golfers during the PGA Championship excitement. More than 60 public and semi-private courses are within an hour's drive of the city’s center. Visit our wide range of golf courses at excellent value and book through the Rochester Golf Trail for advance tee times, nearby accommodations, and affordable, customized packages.
Satisfy every appetite during a visit to Rochester, which offers a diverse culinary scene encompassing everything from “gourmet to the garbage plate.” Only in Rochester can you dine on the city’s infamous “Garbage Plate” and then enjoy a meal by a Michelin-starred chef within a mile of the original Garbage Plate's home. Thanks to the city’s geographic proximity to the Finger Lakes, there is no shortage of farm-to-table dining options. A diverse population brings a plethora of different ethnic cuisine and restaurant choices. See a list of restaurants to check out in the city for the Championship here.
In addition to being a great city for golf, Rochester is a community rich with cultural abundance and deemed the “cultural capital” of Upstate New York. Visit one of the area’s unique museums, including The Strong National Museum of Play – home to the largest collection of toys, dolls, and games in the world, and also where you will find the National Toy Hall of Fame and World Video Game Hall of Fame. The Strong is fun for all ages, encouraging visitors of all ages to tap into their inner child. The George Eastman Museum is the oldest photography museum in the world. It is housed in the historic estate of George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak and pioneer of modern photography. The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House is the home of the legendary American suffragist and the site of her famous arrest for voting in 1872. For more local history, be sure to visit Mount Hope Cemetery, the final resting place of Susan B. Anthony and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Douglass lived in Rochester for 25 years, where he also published his North Star newspaper and helped guide enslaved people to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Tour three floors filled with over 200 interactive science and history themed exhibits and science demonstrations at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, which is also home to the Strasenburgh Planetarium.
With more than 12,000 acres of parkland in Monroe County (where Rochester is located), there is no shortage of outdoor opportunities. Bring your bike or hike in a Rochester area park or trail. The Finger Lakes are a short drive away, and Rochester is a 35-minute drive from Letchworth State Park, dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the East.”
Historic craft beverage
Cheers! Rochester ranks 21st in the nation when it comes to craft breweries per capita. Included among the list of Rochester breweries is Genesee Brewing, the oldest brewery in New York State, creating iconic brews since 1878. As the “front door” to the Finger Lakes wine region, Rochester is a short drive away from the 100+ wineries found in the Finger Lakes. There are also several award-winning wineries right in the Rochester area, including Living Roots – the first urban winery in the Finger Lakes region.
On the water
Rochester has a reputation as an industrial and enterprising city, but many don’t know that it’s also surrounded by clear, cool waters and outdoor playgrounds. Its proximity to water made Rochester a boomtown – largely thanks to the mule-drawn canal boats that transported goods along the Erie Canal.
Bordering the northern edge of Monroe County is Lake Ontario, running through its suburbs and villages is the Erie Canal, and downtown features the Genesee River and the urban waterfall, High Falls. And as the western gateway to the Finger Lakes Region, eleven sparkling, glacier-cut lakes lie right in Rochester’s backyard.
Score a unique souvenir from a small boutique or a local gift shop. Find your favorite brands at one of several local malls. The Rochester Public Market is another must-visit spot. It is one of the country's oldest and largest public markets and is open three days a week, 52 weeks a year!
Festivals & events
With more than 140 festivals a year, there is always something going on in Rochester. In fact, at the same time as the PGA Championship, the 125th Rochester Lilac Festival will be taking place in Highland Park. The Lilac Festival is a beloved spring tradition and celebrates the blooming of North America's largest collection of lilacs! From Jazz to arts, theatre, and more – there is a festival nearly every weekend for every interest in Rochester during the spring, summer, and fall months.