The Historic town of Geneseo is home to a vibrant community and nationally recognized State University College at Geneseo Named a National Historic Landmark destination in 1991, Geneseo is known for its picturesque architecture and charm. Take a drive down Main Street and visit a variety of shops and restaurants, visit the local trails, public parks, and historic walking tours during your stay.
The English name Geneseo is an adaptation of the Seneca town there; about 40 minutes south of Rochester, Geneseo is located in Livingston County, New York. The town of Geneseo was established in 1789 and settlement came soon after when brothers James and William Wadsworth came from Connecticut to work on the Treaty of Big Tree between Robert Morris and the Senecas. This land was purchased to foster the growth of agriculture and keep the wheels of progress rolling. Today Geneseo’s rich land provides some of the best agriculture in New York.
With the purchase of this land, the Wadsworth brothers built two large homes at either end of the village to serve as bookends for commercial and residential development, inviting tradesmen and merchants to come, build homes and businesses alike. These two homes, as well as many of the other original structures, still stand today.
James Wadsworth had a great passion for public education and so began the Wadsworth Normal School which would eventually become State College at Geneseo. In 1867 the state legislature acquired the school and when it opened its doors with 91 students its name was changed to the Geneseo Normal School, only after 9 more name changes did it become The State University College at Geneseo. The College at Geneseo has been accredited as one of the best public Liberal Arts Colleges in the nation.
A THRIVING DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
The vibrant main street in Geneseo houses a diverse mix of shops and restaurants. The Geneseo Municipal Government has made a huge effort to revitalize the main street attractions; investing in signage and streetscapes.
What you’ll find here: restaurants, bars, antique shops, farmers market, coffee shops, gift shops, health and fitness studios, breweries, wineries. Geneseo is just a short drive from the Finger Lakes Wine country, as well.
THINGS TO DO HERE
Take the self-guided Historic Downtown walking tour to start your day and visit local shops, breweries, and restaurants as you pass through. After lunch, you can head to the Wadsworth Homestead and take a tour with 6th generation occupant William Wadsworth in the iconic home or hit the American Warplane Museum and see an air show. End your day watching the sunset from the gazebo on the college campus.
One of the biggest events held in Geneseo is the Genesee Valley Hunt. Rooted in history the Genesee Valley had been regarded as the foxhunting center of North America through the 1890s. What used to be called the Livingston County Hunt was organized by Major Wadsworth in 1879. Today the Hunt and races take place in October each year and is a fun spectacle for the whole family to see.
A GATEWAY TO OUTDOOR RECREATION AND ADVENTURE
With many local parks to pick from you definitely won’t be left to sit inside. There are four village and town parks as well as two state parks within a short drive of downtown. The village and town parks are home to family-friendly events and are rentable. Right around the bend is the Genesee Valley Greenway and many other bike and paddle friendly locations just a short jaunt from the Historic Village.