The northernmost part of Rochester, Charlotte formerly was part of the town of Greece before it was annexed by the city in 1916. The centerpiece is Ontario Beach Park, which was known as “The Coney Island of the West” for its amusement park and festive atmosphere in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The park area was extensively renovated with the arrival of the fast ferry in the mid-2000s. Ferry service ended and the ship was sold after two years, but the terminal building, alongside the Genesee River, remains and hosts events such as the wintertime Lakeside Winter Celebration.
Sun worshippers and volleyball players pack the beach and cool off in Lake Ontario during summer months. Crowds also line up for Abbott’s Frozen Custard on Lake Avenue, a summer tradition, and stroll the pier.
Charlotte and the Genesee River are featured attractions of the Rochester River Romance in the fall. Other popular spots include Turning Point Park, at the southern end of Charlotte; the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse; and historic River Street.
Construction of a long-discussed marina and adjacent businesses and homes, in part of the area now used for parking at Ontario Beach Park, is expected to begin in 2013.
Local Museums & Landmarks
The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, on the banks of the Genesee River, offers tours. The Charlotte Cemetery, on River Street, is the final resting spot for many of the area’s pioneers. A “secret sidewalk” provides an elegant stroll with a gorgeous view for pedestrians on a path between beautiful homes on Beach Avenue and Charlotte Beach.