Rochester Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit and things to do in Rochester, Massachusetts with this definitive travel guide.

Introduction to Rochester

Located in SouthCoast, in Eastern Massachusetts, Rochester is a picturesque town with a rich history and natural beauty. The quaint town is a popular destination for tourists looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the serenity of nature. Whether you are looking to explore the town’s cultural attractions, venture into the great outdoors, or indulge in culinary delights, Rochester has something for everyone. In this guide, we will take a closer look at the best places to visit, things to do, and local culture and customs of Rochester.

List of Places to Visit in Rochester

Rochester has a variety of attractions that cater to different interests. Here are some of the must-visit places in Rochester:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • The Plumb House Museum: This historical house museum is known for its Victorian architecture and antique furnishings, reflecting life in Rochester during the 1800s. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Plumb House Museum to learn about the history of the town and its residents.
  • The Rochester Historical Society: The society preserves and promotes the history of Rochester. Visitors can view exhibits that showcase the town’s history, including Native American artifacts, early farm equipment, and photographs of early Rochester residents.

Natural Attractions of Rochester: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • The Lloyd Center for the Environment: This nature center has several trails that are perfect for hiking, bird watching, and wildlife spotting. Visitors can also take part in nature programs and learn more about the local ecology.
  • The Sippican Lands Trust: This organization protects and manages several conservation areas in Rochester. The trails offer stunning views of the countryside, and visitors can hike or bike through the serene landscape.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Rochester

Rochester has several hiking and biking routes that offer beautiful views of the town’s natural beauty. Some of the popular routes include:

  • The Sippican Lands Trust Loop Trail: This moderate 4-mile trail offers scenic views of the forest, ponds, and wetlands. The trail is ideal for hiking and biking.
  • The Old Colony Rail Trail: This 2.7-mile trail follows the route of the old New Haven Railroad. The trail is perfect for biking and walking, and it provides a glimpse into Rochester’s history.

Best Things to Do in Rochester: Activities and Tours

Rochester offers several fun activities and tours that cater to different interests

  • Kayaking: The Mattapoisett River is perfect for kayaking, and several rental companies offer guided tours of the river.
  • Fishing: Rochester has several lakes and ponds that are popular for fishing. Visitors can hire a guide or bring their own gear and try their luck at catching trout, bass, or pickerel.
  • Winery Tours: There are several wineries near Rochester that offer tours and tastings of their wines. Visitors can sample locally made wines and learn more about the wine-making process.

Week-Long Itinerary for Rochester

If you are planning to stay in Rochester for a week, here is a sample itinerary:

Day Activity
Day 1 Explore the Plumb House Museum and the Rochester Historical Society
Day 2 Hike the Sippican Lands Trust Loop Trail and enjoy a picnic lunch
Day 3 Do some kayaking on the Mattapoisett River
Day 4 Take a wine tour of local wineries
Day 5 Visit the Lloyd Center for the Environment and take a nature walk
Day 6 Go fishing at one of Rochester’s lakes or ponds
Day 7 Shop for souvenirs and enjoy a meal at a local restaurant

Food and Drink Scene of Rochester

Rochester has a thriving local food and drink scene. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages to try:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Lobster Roll: Rochester is known for its fresh seafood, and the lobster roll is a must-try dish. The roll is stuffed with chunks of succulent lobster meat and topped with melted butter.
  • Clam Chowder: Another seafood classic of the region, clam chowder is a hearty soup made with locally sourced clams.
  • Cranberry Bread: Cranberry bread is a sweet quick bread made with locally grown cranberries. It is a must-try dessert for visitors to Rochester.

Local Beverages

  • Cider: Rochester has several apple orchards that produce delicious cider that pairs perfectly with fall weather.
  • Beer: Rochester has several micro-breweries that produce locally crafted beer. Visitors can take a brewery tour and sample different types of beer.

Where to Stay in Rochester: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Rochester has several accommodation options for visitors. Here are some of the popular options:

  • The Rosewood Motel and Apartments: This motel offers cozy and comfortable rooms at affordable prices.
  • The Sippican Harbor House: This guesthouse is located near the harbor and offers a serene and relaxing atmosphere.
  • The Mattapoisett Inn: This inn offers luxury accommodations and is a popular option for visitors who want to splurge on their stay.

What to Buy in Rochester: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Rochester has several local products that make unique souvenirs. Some of the popular products include:

  • Cranberry Products: Rochester is known for its cranberries, and visitors can buy cranberry products such as cranberry juice, cranberry sauce, and cranberry bread mix.
  • Local Art: Rochester has a thriving art scene, and visitors can buy locally made art pieces such as pottery, paintings, and sculptures.

Local Culture and Customs of Rochester

Rochester is a friendly town with a strong sense of community. Visitors to Rochester should respect the town’s culture and customs, which include:

  • Respect for Nature: Rochester residents take great pride in preserving and protecting the natural beauty of the town. Visitors should avoid littering and be respectful of wildlife.
  • Appropriate Clothing: Visitors should dress appropriately when visiting cultural attractions such as museums and historical sites. Modest and respectful clothing is recommended.

Best Time to Visit Rochester

Rochester is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on your interests. For outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking, the best time to visit is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild. For a relaxing holiday, the summer season is the ideal time to visit.

Do’s and Don’ts of Rochester

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for visitors to Rochester:


  • Respect Nature: As mentioned earlier, it is important to respect nature while visiting Rochester.
  • Try Local Cuisine: Rochester has a thriving food scene, and visitors should sample the local cuisine.
  • Be Friendly: Rochester residents are friendly and welcoming, and visitors should reciprocate the same.


  • Litter: Visitors should avoid littering to maintain the town’s natural beauty.
  • Disrespectful Behavior: Visitors should be respectful of the town’s culture and customs and avoid any behavior that may be considered disrespectful.

Safety and Health

Safety in Rochester

Rochester is a safe town with low crime rates. Visitors should, however, take precautions such as locking car doors and not leaving valuables in plain sight.

Health in Rochester

Rochester has several medical facilities, including hospitals and clinics. Visitors should ensure they have adequate health insurance coverage before traveling to Rochester.

Getting to Rochester: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Rochester

The nearest airports to Rochester are Boston Logan International Airport and T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island. Visitors can hire a car or take a taxi from the airport to Rochester.

Bus Stations Near Rochester

The nearest bus station to Rochester is the New Bedford Bus Station. Visitors can take a bus to the New Bedford Bus Station and hire a taxi from there to Rochester.

Other Options

Visitors can also drive to Rochester or hire a car from nearby cities.

How to Get Around in Rochester

Rochester is a small town, and visitors can easily get around on foot or by bike. Visitors can also hire a car or take a taxi to explore the surrounding areas.

Where to Go Next from Rochester: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Rochester is located near several popular tourist destinations. Here are some nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  • Cape Cod: Located just a short drive away, Cape Cod is a popular holiday destination known for its pristine beaches and charming towns.
  • Boston: Boston is a vibrant city located just an hour’s drive away from Rochester. Visitors can explore the city’s historical landmarks and enjoy the nightlife.
  • The Islands: The islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are popular destinations known for their pristine beaches and stunning scenery.


Rochester is a beautiful town with a rich history and natural beauty. Visitors to Rochester can explore cultural attractions, indulge in local cuisine, and enjoy outdoor activities. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or a longer holiday, Rochester has something for everyone.