Welcome to Henrietta. No, we're not quite in Rochester yet.
When I first came to RIT, I had no car. I would have had to take the bus to get anywhere. Since I was from a small town, however, the concept of public transportation was terrifying —o during my first year at RIT, I didn't go into the city of Rochester at all. Last summer I decided to explore, and found what I was missing out on. I want to encourage you to explore and to reach out of your comfort zone. Pick a place, take a bus and discover new places and opportunities.
How to Get There
If you have a car, you can probably figure out how to get into the city. For those of you who don't, here's how the buses work: while RIT has its own bus system, it isn't the same as the general Rochester area service. Rochester is serviced by Regional Transit Services (RTS), which costs one dollar per ride. To plan your trip, you can either go to myrts.com or download the "RIT Bus App" from the App Store. Both of these services have the ability to track buses and show you multiple possible routes.
Most of the places on this list will involve taking two buses, one to the Transit Center in downtown Rochester and then another to wherever you are going. The Transit Center is where all the bus routes begin and end. You can also buy passes with credit or debit cards there.
The buses only take cash, but don't worry if you don't have exact change. On the bus, you can put in $5, $10 and $20 bills and receive a card with change that can be used for future rides. You can also purchase an all-day pass for $3 if you talk to the driver.
Where to Go
At RMSC, there are many hands-on exhibits that are fun to play with, amazing displays and stellar performances. There is also a planetarium where you can view the stars and learn about space, as well as other exciting shows that are played on the large dome.
Cost: $12 with student ID
The Seneca Park Zoo is on the opposite side of Rochester from RIT, but it is still accessible by bus. This zoo has a wide variety of animals from across the world that live in large, suitable habitats. The zoo also places a large emphasis on conservation efforts around the world.
Memorial Art Gallery (MAG)
The MAG has a permanent collection of over 12,000 pieces, in addition to many temporary exhibits. The building appears small from the bus stop, but inside it is a vast expanse of art and architecture. The MAG is tranquil, and the surrounding sculpture park is a sight to behold.
Cost: $5 with student ID
A cemetery may seem like a strange place to visit, but there is a lot of Rochester history that can be learned here. This cemetery is the burial place of many historical figures, including Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Friends of Mt. Hope provide guided walking tours that visit the graves of historical figures and discuss much of the local history.
Cost: $5 (cash) for a tour
The Museum of Play is a destination for the child inside all of us. This expansive museum has more than can be seen in one day. From a large arcade to a child-run Wegmans, you're guaranteed to find a toy you once enjoyed. Almost everything is interactive in some way, so there is a lot of fun to be had. In addition, there are many rotating exhibits, so there's always something new and exciting. Don't be ashamed to let your inner kid come out to play.
There's plenty more to do in Rochester, and I encourage you to expand your horizons and go somewhere new. The city isn't scary, hard to get to or boring, so go ahead and explore.