From Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, Wegmans to Kodak, many great people and businesses have called the Rochester area their home…and you can too! Considered one of the first boomtowns in the United States, Rochester is a thriving community known for its historical and cultural contributions. Frederick Douglass’ North Star fought for the abolitionist movement from Rochester, NY. Meanwhile, music centers such as the Eastman School of Music and the Rochester International Jazz Festival has put Rochester at the heart of American music culture. If you’re moving to Rochester for the first time, look through our Rochester Neighborhood Guide to help find the perfect place for you:
Center City/Central Business District
The heart of Downtown Rochester, Center City (also referred to as the Central Business District) is the economic and cultural hub of the area. It is the home to several key organizations including Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb, The Strong National Museum of Play, and the Eastman School of Music. When you’re not heading off to work in the morning or seeing a show in the evening, you can take in the beautiful 19th century architecture or the stunning High Falls.
The Rochester neighborhoods outside of Center City are split up into four quadrants: the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest Quadrants. The Southeast Quadrant is home to some of the most vibrant areas of Rochester, NY.
Southeast Quadrant Neighborhoods:
- Park Avenue: Southeast of Center City, home to many local shops, restaurants, cafes, and businesses.
- Neighborhood of the Arts: A small neighborhood just east of Center City. It features museums, art galleries, restaurants, and more.
- Monroe Village: Right alongside Monroe Avenue, the Monroe Village boasts an eclectic mixture of homes, businesses, and cultural institutions.
- South Wedge: This area of Rochester is just south of Center City, providing great access to Downtown and the University of Rochester.
- Cobbs Hill: Cobbs Hill is south of Park Avenue and is considered a mainly residential neighborhood. Many of its homes feature styles from the 1920s and 30s.
- Upper Monroe: Just west of Cobbs Hill, Upper Monroe is a scenic area of Rochester filled with tree-lined streets, parks, and old homes.
- Swillburg: Move further west and you head into Swillburg, a unique area of Rochester that got its name from the 19th century pig farms that once occupied this spot. It is now home to many ethnic restaurants, artistic murals, and annual festivals.
- Highland Park: Highland Park is the highest point in the City of Rochester and is home to the annual Lilac Festival.
- Upper Mount Hope: The final Southeast Quadrant neighborhood is Upper Mount Hope, home to the University of Rochester and its University Medical Center.
The Southwest Quadrant of Rochester is currently experiencing a revival. While once a struggling neighborhood, it is now booming thanks to the efforts of the University of Rochester and the city government.
Southwest Quadrant Neighborhoods
- Corn Hill: Sitting right on the Genesse River, Corn Hill is full of revitalized 19th century homes, and it is also the place where Frederick Douglass sat down to publish the abolitionist newspaper the North Star.
- Mayor’s Heights: Also known as “Changing of the Scenes,” Mayor’s Heights is home to the iconic Nick Tahou’s Hots restaurant, the founder of the infamous Garbage Plate.
- Genesee-Jefferson: Also known as S.W.A.N. (Southwest Area Neighborhood Association), the Genesee-Jefferson area has one of the highest rated schools in the U.S.: Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School.
- Plymouth-Exchange: Plymouth-Exchange, or PLEX, is where many college students and families looking for an urban lifestyle call home.
- 19th Ward: The largest residential community in the city, the 19th Ward boasts many stunning homes ranging from small cottages to esteemed mansions.
Home to the Susan B. Anthony House, Frontier Field, and other attractions, the Northwest Quadrant is a great place for tourists and residents.
Northwest Quadrant Neighborhoods:
- Brown Square: Just beside High Falls and to the west of Center City, Brown Square offers close-knit residential neighborhoods with Frontier Field and the Rochester Rhinos’ soccer stadium right next door.
- Bull’s Head: Also known as B.E.S.T., Bull’s Head sits right near the Susan B. Anthony house and offers easy access to downtown.
- O.S.A.N.A.: The Jay and Orchard Street Neighborhood Association is northwest of Center City and is one of the most diverse areas of Rochester.
- Dutchtown: A historic, German neighborhood with deep working-class roots.
- Lincoln Park: Sitting at the edge of the City, Lincoln Park is where many families moved to during the post-World War 2 housing boom.
- Lyell-Otis: With easy access to both downtown and the expressway, Lyell-Otis offers convenient commutes to anywhere in the Rochester area.
- Edgerton: A mostly residential neighborhood comprised of single-family homes and apartment buildings.
- Maplewood: A scenic, park-like community, Maplewood has many boulevards, gardens, and parks to take advantage of.
- Charlotte: For those who want to live right by the lake, Charlotte is your best bet, offering a wonderful lakeside and riverside community.
Finally, there’s the Northeast Quadrant. It has three main neighborhoods that cover the expanse of the area.
Northeast Quadrant Neighborhoods:
- Group 14621: Named for its zip code, this area of Rochester boasts the historic Seneca Park as well as the Genesee River gorge.
- Marketview Heights: Home to the Rochester Public Market, Marketview Heights is seeing growing interest thanks to public and private investments.
- Upper Falls: Directly north of Downtown is the Upper Falls neighborhood, an area with many cottage-style homes and large apartment complexes.