Rochester Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, stay, eat, and things to do in Rochester, Vermont to plan your perfect trip to this charming town.

Introduction to Rochester

Located in the southern part of Vermont, Rochester is a picturesque town known for its vibrant arts scene, outdoor recreational opportunities, and stunning natural beauty. The town is surrounded by lush green mountains, winding rivers, and hiking trails that make it a perfect destination for adventure seekers. Whether you’re traveling solo or with family and friends, Rochester has something to offer to everyone.

In this comprehensive travel guide, we have curated a list of the best places to visit, stay, eat, and things to do in Rochester to make your trip memorable.

List of Places to Visit in Rochester

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Rochester Historical Society - Located in the heart of downtown Rochester, the Rochester Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the local history and culture of the town. The museum houses a collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that provide an insight into the region’s rich past.

  • White River Craft Center - With its picturesque location on the banks of the White River, the White River Craft Center is a hub of creative activity in Rochester. The center hosts art exhibits, workshops, and events throughout the year. Visitors can also buy unique handcrafted items from the gift shop.

Natural Attractions of Rochester: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Green Mountain National Forest - Rochester is located in the heart of the Green Mountain National Forest, which is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The forest covers over 400,000 acres of land and offers a range of activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and bird watching.

  • Texas Falls Recreation Area - The Texas Falls Recreation Area is a popular spot for hikers and picnickers. The falls are located on the Hancock Branch of the White River and offer beautiful scenic views.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Rochester

Rochester has several hiking and biking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Some popular trails include:

  • Brandon Gap Trail - This 7-mile trail offers a moderate hike through the Green Mountains and offers stunning views of the nearby towns and valleys.

  • Tweed River Trail - This trail follows the banks of the Tweed River and offers stunning views of the forests and wildlife.

Best Things to Do in Rochester: Activities and Tours

  • Kayaking and Rafting - The White River is a popular spot for kayaking and rafting. Several local companies offer guided tours and equipment rentals.

  • Fishing - The rivers and lakes in and around Rochester are well-stocked with trout and other fish. Fishing is a popular activity among tourists and locals alike.

Week-Long Itinerary for Rochester

Day 1-2: Explore the downtown area, visit museums and art galleries, and attend local events.

Day 3: Hike one of Rochester’s scenic trails and take in the beautiful views.

Day 4: Go kayaking or rafting on the White River.

Day 5: Relax and unwind at a nearby spa.

Day 6: Take a scenic drive through the Green Mountains and explore the nearby towns.

Day 7: Enjoy an outdoor picnic at the Texas Falls Recreation Area.

Food and Drink Scene of Rochester

Must-Try Dishes

  • Vermont Maple Syrup - Vermont is known for its world-famous maple syrup, which is used as a condiment in many local dishes.

  • Apple Cider Donuts - A popular local treat, these donuts are made from freshly pressed apple cider and covered in cinnamon sugar.

Local Beverages

  • Vermont Craft Beer - Vermont’s craft breweries produce some of the best beers in the country. Visit local breweries such as Long Trail Brewing Company and Foley Brothers Brewing to sample their offerings.

  • Vermont Wines - Vermont’s climate is ideal for growing grapes, and several local wineries produce award-winning wines.

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

Rochester has several accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Some popular hotels, hostels, and guesthouses include:

  • The Rochester Inn - A quaint and cozy bed and breakfast located in the heart of downtown Rochester.

  • The Black Bear Lodge - This lodge offers comfortable and spacious rooms and is located close to the Green Mountains.

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

  • Maple Syrup - Vermont maple syrup is a must-buy souvenir for anyone visiting Rochester.

  • Handcrafted items from White River Craft Center - The White River Craft Center sells unique, handcrafted items such as pottery, glassware, and jewelry.

Local Culture and Customs of Rochester

The people of Rochester take pride in their local culture and traditions. Visitors are expected to respect local customs and etiquette, such as removing shoes when entering someone’s home and saying “please” and “thank you” when interacting with locals.

Best Time to Visit Rochester

The best time to visit Rochester is from late spring to early fall, when the weather is mild and pleasant. The fall season is particularly beautiful, as the leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow.

Do’s and Don’ts of Rochester


  • Respect the local culture and customs.

  • Take care of the natural environment and avoid littering.

  • Try the local cuisine and sample the craft beer and wine.


  • Trespass on private property or disrupt the local wildlife.

  • Leave valuables in your car or in plain sight.

  • Hike or bike alone in remote areas.

Safety and Health

Safety in Rochester

Rochester is a relatively safe town, but visitors should take normal precautions to avoid any incidents. It’s advisable to lock your car and keep valuables out of sight.

Health in Rochester

Rochester has a small medical clinic that provides basic healthcare services. In case of an emergency, visitors should dial 911.

Getting to Rochester: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Rochester

The closest major airport to Rochester is Burlington International Airport, which is approximately 70 miles away. Visitors can also fly into Albany International Airport, which is approximately 100 miles away.

Bus Stations Near Rochester

The nearest bus station is located in Middlebury, which is approximately 25 miles away. The station is served by Greyhound and Megabus.

Other Options

Visitors can also rent a car or take a taxi from nearby towns to reach Rochester.

How to Get Around Rochester

The easiest way to get around Rochester is by car. Visitors can rent a car from nearby towns or bring their personal vehicles. Taxis and ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are also available.

Where to Go Next from Rochester: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Woodstock - A charming New England town known for its picturesque town center and art galleries.

  • Killington - A popular ski resort town with several skiing and snowboarding trails.


Rochester is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Vermont. From its vibrant arts scene to its stunning natural beauty, the town has something to offer to everyone. Use this comprehensive travel guide to plan your perfect trip to Rochester and discover all the amazing things this charming town has to offer.