A detailed spending breakdown of how much a weekend trip to Rochester costs — Summer and Fall are as good of a time as any to explore somewhere new, so why not plan a trip to upstate New York — specifically Rochester, New York. Home to one of the best ice cream parlors in the state, the Erie Canal, and where you can simultaneously enjoy the city skyline and a waterfall, Rochester made for a perfect weekend getaway. When looking for new-to-us cities along the East Coast, my best friend and I were looking for a few things in particular.
Since we are both foodies and this was our first trip together since 2019, we were looking for a destination that offered plenty of dining options and lots of places to hang out, relax and socialize. We wanted to explore the city but also spend time outdoors. Rochester checked all the boxes (and did not disappoint). We packed our bags and set out for a 5-hour road trip to upstate New York. If you’re planning a trip to Rochester and you’re wondering how much it will cost, you’re in the right place. My Rochester vacation budget breaks down how much we spent during a three-day, two-night weekend jaunt.
If you are new here, we are mid-range travelers (affordable luxury travel enthusiasts). We did not hold back on spending during this trip. I’ll share my thoughts at the end, but I must say that Rochester is one of the affordable travel destinations I’d recommend visiting in the United States. I have traveled extensively throughout New York State, and Rochester offered a great value at an affordable price.
Feel free to use this blog post as a guide to determine the cost of a trip to Rochester, but note that your expenses may vary depending on your spending preferences and priorities.
So, how much does it cost to visit Rochester, New York? Read on for all the details.
Weekend Trip To Rochester, NY Budget Breakdown
Our Rochester Vacation Budget For 2 People
Total Accommodation Cost: Average $400 (for two nights)
Where to stay in Rochester?
We stayed at The Strathallan Rochester (a.k.a. The Strath), a Doubletree by Hilton in downtown Rochester.
Right in the city center and only a short 5-minute drive from all the activities we had planned, we could easily park the car (free parking at the hotel) and explore the local area on foot. On arrival, the host greeted us with a friendly smile and gave us a printout of recommended Rochester restaurants to check out while we were in town. Rather than searching for cool places to eat, this saved us a lot of time.
Our room featured a comfortable queen bed, a pull-out couch in the living room area, and a balcony where we enjoyed the sunset.
With multiple spots to grab a drink at the hotel, we savored nighttime views of the city at Hattie’s, the gentlemen’s club-inspired rooftop bar on the 9th floor.
Overall, if you plan to stay at Strathallan Rochester, expect to spend approximately $175+ per night plus taxes and fees (no breakfast included).
Helpful Tip: At check-in, don’t forget to provide your Hilton Honors number to earn points on your hotel stay. It’s free to join the Hilton rewards program.
Total Transportation Cost: $41.75
With a 5 hour drive from Connecticut, driving to Rochester was the perfect road trip. The trip was long enough to feel like we were getting away, but not overwhelming where we needed to take frequent breaks. If you’re looking for podcasts to listen to while on the road, here’s a list of travel podcasts I recommend.
As for our gas expense, we ended up filling up the tank twice. To be on the safe side, we prefer to do gas when we reach the half-tank mark. We started the trip with a full tank of gas.
Road Trip Gas Expense:
- Gas on Friday: $24.26
- Gas on Sunday: $17.49
Read Next: What To Pack For Road Trips
Total Rochester Food Costs For 2 People: $213.69
As foodies, most of our budget went to eating all the good food Rochester had to offer. From upscale restaurants to one of the largest food halls in New York State, Rochester has an incredible food scene that should not be missed. Here’s how much we spent on food and drinks during our trip.
Friday Food Expenses: $100.88
- Abott’s Frozen Custard: $10.25
- Bitter Honey (Mexican): $64.80
- Bitter Honey Sample Prices
- Mojito: $10
- Appetizer: $11
- Quesadilla: $15
- Bitter Honey Sample Prices
- Living Roots (Urban Wine Bar): $25.83
- Living Roots Sample Prices
- Flights of four: $10
- Living Roots Sample Prices
Saturday Food Expenses: $93.28
- Coffee and croissant at Java’s Coffee Tea: $7.76
- Nani’s Kitchen at Mercantile on Main (Rochester’s first food hall): $6.48
- Flour Kitchen at Mercantile on Main: $12.96
- Radio Social (Mediterranean): $66.08
Sunday Food Expenses: $19.53
- Grab and go breakfast: $7.65
- Boxcar Donuts: $11.88
Total Activities Cost: $110.40
Whether you’re on a tight budget and want to keep expenses low or you have more funds available, there are plenty of things to do in Rochester. Throughout the weekend, we split our time doing free and paid activities.
Free Things To Do in Rochester
- Cobbs Hill Park
- High Falls and walk the Pond de Rennes Bridge
- Spot street art murals downtown (check out some of Rochester’s street art by watching this short reel on Instagram)
Other Rochester Activities
- Kayaking at BayCreek Paddling Center: $68 (2 kayaks rentals for 1.5 hours)
- Erie Canal Lock 32 Cruise on the Sam Patch: $42.40 ($21.20 per person)
For another perspective on things to do in Rochester for first-timers, check out this video by Christopher Rudder.
Trip To Rochester Cost Final Thoughts
For a weekend trip (three days and two nights) for two people, we spent approximately $775 total.
Aside from our accommodation, dining out was our most significant expense, but it was still affordable.
For our first time in Rochester, we felt like we got a great sense of what the city has to offer. Rochester is booming with new restaurants, wineries, and breweries. We left wanting more which is always a great thing! There’s still so much that we did not get to do.
Overall, Rochester is a perfect travel destination for couples, mother-daughter, or just the girls. It’s a great midsize city to socialize, enjoy a drink, try all sorts of food, and experience a variety of different cultures and activities. We had an incredible experience visiting Rochester, and I cannot wait to bring my husband next time. And if you plan to visit Rochester with kids, this article has you covered.
I would love to hear from you. Have you been to Rochester, or are you planning a trip? Is my spending breakdown on par with what you were expecting to spend?
Can’t get enough of Rochester? Please tune in next week, where I’m sharing my Rochester food guide recapping all the incredible dining spots worth checking out. Don’t forget to join the newsletter below, so you never miss a blog post or podcast episode like 5 Reasons To Visit Rochester from The Thought Card Podcast.
Read Next: Best Vacation Spots on the East Coast (USA)
Danielle Desir Corbett paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27, and has traveled to 27 countries, including her favorites, Iceland, China, and Bermuda. Go here to learn Danielle’s incredible story, from struggling financially and in debt to finding creative ways to earn more and live on her terms. Listen to The Thought Card Podcast, where Danielle shares how you can creatively travel more and build wealth regardless of your current financial situation. Reach out to Danielle by contacting: thethoughtcard (at) gmail (dot) com.