Greater Rochester is the third-largest metropolitan area in New York State. It includes six counties: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, and Wayne. The City of Rochester is the 79th largest city in the U.S.A.
The 1990 census reported these numbers: City of Rochester--231,636; Monroe County--713,968; Metro Area--1,062,470.
Rochester is located within a 400-mile radius of 14 northeastern states, two of the most populated Canadian provinces, New York's capital city of Albany, and the nation's capital of Washington, D.C. Rochester is also the western gateway to the fabulous Finger Lakes Region, part of this country's longest scenic byway--the Seaway Trail, and a day's drive from New York City--America's largest eastern port for overseas travelers entering the United States.
Rochester enjoys a particularly scenic geography courtesy of the huge glaciers during the Cenozoic era, which carved out the fertile Genesee valley and created a topography of rolling hills around it. Another part of this legacy are the many waterways left behind including Lake Ontario (one of five, fresh-water Great Lakes), the Genesee River with its deeply carved gorges and several waterfalls, Irondeqouit Bay, hundreds of scenic streams and ponds, plus the nearby Finger Lakes.
Rochester has been known as the "Young Lion of the West," the "Flour City," and the "Flower City." During the 1990s, Rochester was called "The World's Image Centre®," a title stemming from its unique and impressive history in photography, xerography, and optics along with its leading role in manufacturing/research activities, and impressive educational resources in both traditional and evolving imaging sciences.
Visitors can reach Rochester by plane (over 200 flights daily at the Greater Rochester International Airport), by train (an Amtrak station is located in the city), by bus (a central terminal for motorcoach travelers is behind Midtown Plaza in downtown Rochester), or by expressway (NYS Thruway exits 45, 46 and 47).
Rochester is a four-season community averaging 78ºF (26 C) in the summer and 32ºF (0 C) in the winter.