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Living in Rochester


Rochester’s affordable cost of living, ease of access, vibrant cultural scene, and family-friendly community give you peace of mind as you pursue your passion at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

In 2010, USA Today named Rochester one of the top 10 college towns among mid-sized metropolitan areas. A number of sources rate Rochester highly, including:

  • Among top 20 best places to live in the country for quality of life (U.S. News & World Report, 2016)
  • Named No. 1 “Best City for Commuters" in the U.S. (Kiplingers, 2011)
  • Named the 7th "brainiest" large metro in the nation (Lumosity, 2013)
  • Named 5th best city for families, citing low cost of living, top public schools, and a low jobless rate (Kiplingers, 2012)

This metropolitan region— situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario – offers the best of all worlds throughout the year.

In the spring, the festival season kicks off with the world’s largest lilac collection at Highland Park’s Lilac Festival. Listen to the sounds of jazz and music in every corner of the city during the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival. Rochester is also known as one of the 10 best golf cities in the country – and was the only city to host the PGA championship and LPGA championship in one summer. Highlights of the summer also include the Park Avenue Festival, the Corn Hill Arts Festival and the Clothesline Festival at the Memorial Art Gallery.

For the outdoors-lovers, Rochester Situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario and just north of the picturesque Finger Lakes, Rochester residents have access to plenty of sailing, canoeing, and hiking opportunities.

Rochester has professional baseball (Red Wings), hockey (Amerks), and soccer (Rhinos) teams. Football is also big in Rochester – Buffalo Bills fans can travel to the stadium in about an hour.

Fall is also a beautiful time to take in the fall foliage, go apple-picking at nearby farms or visit the Strong National Museum of Play or Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Once winter hits, snow certainly becomes a fact of life (Rochester averages 93 inches of snow per year). Winter sports are abundant and include sledding at local parks, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing or snowboarding at Bristol Mountain. There are also plenty of places to escape from the winter weather: the city is home to a thriving coffee scene, restaurants, bookstores, movie theaters, and museums. Wegmans grocery store was born in Rochester and is beloved by locals.

Simply put, Rochester is a delightfully small "big city," with many of the benefits and few of the disadvantages of an urban center. 

Born as a milltown on the Genesee River, boosted to boomtown status with the opening of the Erie Canal, and brought to the pinnacle of modernity and innovation by its entrepreneurial patriarch George Eastman, Rochester provides a richness and diversity of life that's hard to find outside of the country's largest cities. Its lively "knowledge economy" draws its strength from Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, Xerox, growing telecommunications, biotech and IT sectors and other technology-driven enterprises located here. It hosts the renowned Eastman School of Music, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of Rochester—named one of the "new Ivies" by Newsweek magazine.

Rochester, URMC, and You

As a community, Rochester consistently performs among the very best in charitable giving, community investment, unemployment, violent and property crime rates, recreation, education, housing, health care, and other quality-of-life measures. Whether you're single or married with children, Rochester is an ideal "home"—providing what you need, as well as what you like, as you fulfill your residency or fellowship requirements at the University of Rochester Medical Center.