Words by Marléna Ahearn
Photos by Julia Merrell
Autumn is my favorite time of year! I love to be outside in the crisp air and feel the seasons change around me. It’s also the perfect time to be in touch with the experience of death as the veil grows thin and we near the magical holiday of Halloween. We’re lucky in Rochester to have the incredible Mount Hope Cemetery right in the city. I love to walk my dog through this historical cemetery, explore the many paths and secret nooks, and sit quietly for moments of reflection. I always seem to find something new on every visit.
Pele Yoga is another place I’ll be frequenting this autumn. The mind-body connection is an important part of my daily life, and I love this studio as it not only makes yoga accessible but also provides possibilities to take our practice off the mat into more free-form movement and dance. In addition to regular yoga classes, there’s a lot in the works for the Pele fall calendar, including regular performance art every First Friday, a unique workshop on death, and more.
Maybe I secretly hate fall because I’m really a summer person, but I love The Landmark Society’s Ghost Walk. Creepy, gory stories ripped from the headlines, told by the ghosts of Rochester’s past under the moonlight surrounded by historic architecture on one of Rochester’s coolest streets. What more is there to say?
Also, leaf-peeping in the Olmsted parks, especially Seneca Park where you have the leaves set again the dramatic river gorge.
I have a couple of favorite things to do around Rochester in the fall. I always walk the trail at Lakeshore Boulevard and Durand Eastman Park. I had my engagement photos taken here in fall and it’s a fall tradition for me and my mom to walk the trail when all the leaves have changed.I also love the Rochester Public Market. You can get something warm to drink and look at all the vendors and fall decor. They have lots of pumpkins to choose from too!
For me, fall is peak knitting season. As soon as the air gets a little crisp, I'm immediately thinking about knitting sweaters. It is so nice after the summer heat to feel energized to knit again, and it is a great way to wind down and cozy up for the winter. Some of my favorite places to visit are the Rochester Public Market (the fall vegetables and apples are perfect), and Rootstock Ciderworks which is a great place to grab a drink, sit outside and knit.
To lean into the fall season, I go to local breweries and try fall flavored beers. I also love going to Cobb's Hill to get a good view of the fall colors, then heading to the farmer’s market to get fresh fall veggies. Though it’s not directly in Rochester, I of course like apple picking, pumpkin picking/carving, haunted hayrides, and getting local cider and doughnuts at Schutt’s Apple Mill as much as I can. At my bakery, Daydream Cakes, we also offer our fall cake flavors during autumn, such as pumpkin, apple cider, ginger, and caramel apple—my favorites!
Check out our fall classes to round out your fall to-do list!