15 Best Things to Do in Henrietta, NY

Henrietta, NY
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Henrietta is a town in Monroe County and a suburb of the city of Rochester.

It’s bordered by the Genesee River in the west, Brighton in the north, Pittsford and Medon in the east, and Rush in the south.  

The town is situated on the southern side of Rochester but doesn’t share a border with it.

It’s believed that Native Americans were the first settlers in the area, as evidenced by artifacts and skeletons unearthed by archaeologists.

By the end of the American Revolution, Native Americans that sided with British forces were removed from Upstate New York, resulting in lands becoming available to European migrants in the Genesee Valley and Finger Lakes regions.

The town is named after Henrietta Laura Pulteney, Countess of Bath and the daughter of Sir William Pulteney, who had stakes at the Pulteney Association that owned the land where the town sits.

The construction of the Erie Canal in 1825 and the New York Thruway in the 1950s were the driving forces in Henrietta’s commercial development, becoming a major shopping destination in Monroe County.

Here are the best things to do in Henrietta, New York:

Visit the Historic Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell Childhood Home

Exterior of Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell Childhood Home
Ammodramus, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Pinnacle Road, the Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell Childhood Home is a two-and-a-half-story Federal-style building that served as the childhood residence of women’s rights advocate Antoinette Brown Blackwell.

The structure was built in 1830, five years after Antoinette’s birth, using random fieldstone with brick infill.

In this home, she learned to read and felt an attachment to the Protestant revival movement that was spreading out throughout this area of New York at that time.

Facade of Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell Childhood Home
Ammodramus, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Antoinette was the first woman to be ordained by a Protestant denomination.

She was a staunch women’s rights advocate and a supporter of universal suffrage, becoming one of the first few women to vote during the 1920 presidential elections.

Celebrate Antoinette’s contributions to women’s rights by visiting the Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell Childhood Home.

Explore Devil’s Bathtub

If the name doesn’t intrigue you enough, maybe the gorgeous views will.

Located inside the Mendon Ponds Park is a small pond surrounded by steep ridges called Devil’s Bathtub.

Contrary to what its name suggests, the pond is a sight to behold, especially during fall, with its lush forests turning into a palette of orange, red, and brown.

It was formed thousands of years ago from melted ice blocks that left behind a circular depression on the ground.

The small pond is surrounded by a two-mile trail with a steep stair climb and a boardwalk.

Explore the trails and admire the ice age “kettle hole” that is Devil’s Bathtub.

Try the Rides at Clubhouse Fun Center

Clubhouse Fun Center is a family amusement park on Jay Scutti Boulevard, offering fun rides and arcade games.

Drive go-karts with the kids on an outdoor track with a double flyover bridge.

Let it all loose on the Spin Zone Bumper Cars, where kids and adults will have a great time taking aim and bumping opponents.

Try gemstone hunting, where you’ll purchase a bag of gems, arrowheads, or fossils and do panning like a real miner from the 1800s while learning about the process.

Feel like a kid again by playing arcade games and exchanging tickets for stuffed animals.

Play with the whole crew at the 18-hole outdoor miniature golf with two courses to choose from: Timber Falls or Feathers Canyon.

Kids and kids at heart will surely enjoy their time at Clubhouse Fun Center.

Admire Tinker Cobblestone Farmstead

Exterior of the Tinker Cobblestone Farmstead
Matthew D. Wilson (LtPowers), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tinker Cobblestone Farmstead, located on Calkins Road, is one of Henrietta’s 13 remaining cobblestone buildings.

It was built in 1828 for the Tinker Family using cobblestones they collected while clearing the fields.

When they first arrived in town in 1912, the Tinkers lived in previously built log cabins, but when the construction of the Erie Canal opened opportunities for farmers, the family was able to build their own home.

They employed skilled masons that previously worked on the canal, and construction took two years to finish.

Six generations of Tinkers lived in the house until ownership was transferred to the town in 1991.

Its interior has been restored to resemble an elegant turn-of-the-20th-century Victorian house.

See how agriculture developed on this side of New York with Tinker Cobblestone Farmstead’s collection of equipment used throughout the years.

Ride on Historic Trolleys at the New York Museum of Transportation

Located on East River Road in West Henrietta, the New York Museum of Transportation is a non-profit organization that aims to collect, preserve, and operate artifacts and information about the transportation history of Upstate New York.

It operates the only trolley ride in New York with restored cars originally built for the Philadelphia and Western Railroad in the 1920s.

The museum is home to 14 full-size trolley cars, a steam locomotive, a caboose, and horse-drawn vehicles.

In the gallery are signs, diesel engine cutaways, cap badges, and track tools used during the early days of mass transportation.

A rare color film of the Rochester Subway can also be found in the gallery.

Every visitor’s trip to the museum is highlighted by the scenic two-mile trolley ride through the Genesee Valley countryside.

Learn about the history of New York transportation and ride on historic trolleys at the New York Museum of Transportation.

Discover the Hidden Gem That Is Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham

Driving down Martin Road in West Henrietta, you’d probably be surprised to find an elaborate gold and red temple that stands out from the rest of the neighborhood.

Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham is a Theravada Buddhist Temple offering spiritual services to the surrounding Laotian community.

The community purchased the property where the temple sits to be a place of worship for Theravada Buddhists.

Theravada, which translates to “Doctrine of the Elders,” is a school of Buddhism that draws inspiration from Tipitaka, or Pali canon, widely believed to be the earliest record of Buddha’s teachings.

Admire the red and gold temple that houses Buddha statues.

Scattered on the temple grounds are smaller shrines, “Spirit Houses,” a fountain with more Buddha statues and koi fish, and a shrine dedicated to the 12 astrological animals.

Have a relaxing stroll around Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham.

Get Classic Greek Food at Peppermints

Located on West Henrietta Road, Peppermints is a family restaurant serving old-fashioned eatery-style dishes and classic Greek and American food.

Originally established in Avon, it’s expanded to Henrietta and has served handmade meals to the town ever since.

The restaurant prides itself on making meals from scratch, from homemade soups to rich smoothies.

You know a restaurant takes their eggs seriously when they have a whole menu page dedicated to just egg dishes.

Try their Smorgasbord Omelet, stuffed with bacon, sausage, cheese, and mushrooms, served with toast and homemade fries.

If you’re craving Greek food, try the Greek Sampler Platter, which has moussaka, Greek chicken, and spanakopita served with Greek salad, pita bread, and tzatziki sauce.

Drop by Peppermints for your fix of American diner classics and traditional Greek specials.

See the Town’s First Vertical Wood Plank Construction: The Andrew Short House

Exterior of the Andrew Short House
Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Andrew Short House on Lehigh Station Road was built in the 1850s as a farm residence for Irish immigrant Andrew Short.

It was constructed using the vertical plank wood technique, the first of its kind to be documented for the town.

Short immigrated to the town in 1855 and was able to purchase three acres of land in 1870 by working as a laborer in the city of Rochester.

The farmhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Its unique architecture utilizes the town’s readily available lumber supplies through laths, plaster walls and ceilings, wooden floors, and an enclosed staircase.

Learn about the agricultural beginnings of Henrietta and what life was like for immigrants during that time by paying a visit to the Andrew Short House.

Experience Friday Night Fish Fry at Fireside Grill & Sports Bar

Fireside Grill & Sports Bar is a locally owned sports bar specializing in burgers, grilled prime rib, and local beers on tap.

Never miss a game even when you’re away with 17 TVs scattered inside the restaurant.

Every Wednesday and Saturday, they host Prime Rib Night where they serve slow-roasted prime beef ribs, while Fridays are Fish Fry Day.

Other must-tries are the Kung Pao Chicken Fingers tossed in their homemade sweet and spicy sauce, Surf & Turf Sliders with char-grilled tenderloin steaks and jumbo grilled shrimp, and the Fireside Grind burger that’s made with a blend of ground brisket and sirloin grilled to perfection and topped with caramelized onions.

Pair your food with your choice of local beer on tap for a perfect sports night grub.

Spend Friday nights at Fireside Grill & Sports Bar and enjoy good food with exciting sports events.

Create the Pizza of Your Dreams at Fire Crust

Located on West Henrietta Road, Fire Crust lets its customers create their pizza from scratch.

The restaurant provides authentic Italian dough and a wide selection of sauces, cheeses, fresh vegetables, and meats as toppings.

Your pizza will be cooked in a wood-fired brick oven in just two minutes.

If you don’t feel like making your own, you can always order off the menu, pair it with fire-roasted wings, and you got yourself a meal.

Fire Cust is also known for milkshakes, and they serve scoops from local ice cream maker Pittsford Farms Dairy.

Make the pizza of your dreams at Fire Crust.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore Mendon Ponds Park

The waters of Mendon Ponds Park
NoFoxPhotography / Shutterstock.com

Located 10 minutes from Henrietta in Honeoye Falls is Mendon Ponds Park.

It spans 2,500 acres and is the largest Monroe County park.

Due to its geologic history and the presence of kames, eskers, and kettles, the park was listed on the National Registry of Natural Landmarks in 1969.

A deer at Mendon Ponds Park
Engelmeier Photography / Shutterstock.com

The park has six lodges and seven shelters available for rental, aside from the many recreational areas like Sharon’s Sensory Garden, a youth camping area, and the Wild Wings Nature Center.

Sharon’s Sensory Garden provides a unique sensory experience for people with disabilities with over 170 feet of plant exposure that visitors can touch, tear, and smell.

The Wild Wings Nature Center is a non-profit educational organization that takes care of permanently injured animals with low chances of serving in the wild.

Get Chicken Wings from Dirty Dave’s

Don’t let the name keep you from visiting this bar and grill in Scottsville, 16 minutes from Henrietta.

The only thing getting dirty here are your fingers from eating their chicken wings!

Wednesdays are Wing Days at Dirty Dave’s, which means you can get their wings for a fraction of their usual price.

Try their buffalo wings, homemade barbecue sauce, or garlic parmesan, served in six to 100 pieces.

Also a must-try is their Friday Fish Fry, where you can get lightly-battered fish with tartar sauce.

Don’t miss out on Dirty Dave’s chicken wings.

Cross the Genesee River from Genesee Valley Park

Aerial view of Genesee Valley Park
Jeffrey M. Frank / Shutterstock.com

Located in Rochester, just 10 minutes from Henrietta, is the 800-acre Genesee Valley Park.

Situated along the shores of Genesse River, it was originally named South Park because of its location south of Rochester.

The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the late 1800s, with its eastern side intended to feel like a large pasture and the western side designed for recreational use.

The grounds of Genesee Valley Park
debra millet / Shutterstock.com

Olmsted brought in 80 sheep in 1893 to realize the plan of having a pasture and keeping the grass trimmed.

Today, Genesee Valley Park features two 18-hole public golf courses and four footbridges crossing the Genesse River and Erie Canal.

Final Thoughts

Henrietta’s rich history as an agricultural land shaped the town’s architecture and food.

That said, it’s filled with exciting attractions that reflect its fascinating history and culture.

With so much to offer tourists, there’s never a dull moment in this charming town.

Consider the best things to do in Henrietta, New York when planning your next vacation.

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