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August 21, 2009

Growing up Rochester

Rochester once again tops a “Best Places” list, though this one is different since its looks at U.S. cities through the eyes of a child.

U.S. News and World Reports magazine, a long-time fan of Rochester, named the city as one of America’s 10 Best Places To Grow Up in a list published Thursday.


Described on the list as having “… Enough activities to tire out even the most energetic youngsters,” Rochester is ranked among other cities such as Boston, Denver, San Jose, Calif., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The magazine delved into its database of 2,000 communities to look for place  with a low crime rate, a strong school system, lots of green spaces and plenty of opportunities for recreation and artistic outlets.

When mapping out Rochester’s child-friendly features, the magazine spoke with Brad Jones, the executive director of the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau.

He described the variety of activity options, like “85 miles of trails for in-line skating, 3,200 acres of public parks for touch football, and 56 different playgrounds.”

The list also included the Graham Arena hockey facilities and National Volleyball Center.

U.S. News and World Reports has often named Rochester to its many lists, starting with the Best Places to Live. It also has made the Best Places to Work and Best Places to Do Business lists.


Funny, I remember growing up in Rochester and having a severe lack of things to do. I know it's changed since then, but anytime I go back, I don't feel as if there's more to offer than where I currently live. Rochester is great, but this surprises me!

Did they forget about November to March?! The number of things for kids to do DRASTICALLY goes down in the winter months. Those miles and miles of bike trails and all of those parks mean nothing in cold temps with snow.

Strong school system? Uh huh, sure, and if you believe that, I have a piece of swampland for sale in Florida.

Maybe U.S. News and World Reports should have actually sent someone to Rochester to verify some info for themselves.Where are all these activities that tire the most energetic youngsters?About the only thing to do in this city for kids is to go to the parks and even that gets tiresome for them after while.How can you go by what the executive director of Rochester CVB says?Was he going to give a bad review of Rochester?No way.It's his job to promote the city.Maybe this magazine should start doing their job a bit better and having an independent group do these rankings.There must be some really crappy places to grow up if Rochester is in the top 10.

Wow, a lot of negative comments! Guess I grew up in a different Rochester. Been here since 1972 and went through the full Rochester school system. Loved growing up here and now call it home for my family. Yes, more to do now than before - House of Bounce, PipSqueaks (both indoor), YMCA, Oxbow Park, Quarry Hill, countless festivals. On any given day I have the pick of many activities to take my kids to. Just saw the Shriners Parade on Saturday. It was great! Sometimes it takes a little digging to find activities, but I am very proud to call Rochester home:)

I grew up in a Major Metropolitan Area and I am curious what we are missing in Rochester?

I find it quite comical that we have people bitching about how crappy Rochester is, yet they are still living here. Yeah, it's really, really bad here. LMFAO!!!

Burdened: if I could leave I would. My employer is already supportive of that. But with the tanking of the housing market and a poorly timed (in hindsight) decision to pull our equity and reinvest it into the house (new roof, deck, hvac, etc) my house is so far "underwater" that I couldn't afford to move anywhere else... even with my employer supportive of relocation.

How about, oh I don't know, saving for a new deck, roof, etc instead of pulling equity? I realize you said "in hindsight" but that's what really drives me crazy about how "we" got into this mess. Put a little away each paycheck (even if it's not much) and stop with the instant gratification and keeping up with the Joneses.

I've lived in a number of places and Rochester beats most of them hands down. I am always curious where these heavenly places are that the whiners would morph us in to if they could or move to.

Re: the griping that there is not enough for kids to do in Rochester. Has there ever been a kid anywhere (including myself) who thought their town had enough to do for kids? It doesn't matter where they live, every teenager wants out of their town for someplace cooler and with more to do. It is only after maturity sets in (if it does) that we realize it was just a matter of "the grass is always greener."
As for YeakOK's whining about the school system, it is clear he hasn't seen many others. Whatever faults our school system has, it is still a decent system far better than many, many others around the country.

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