The charms of Rochester, Michigan (con't)

Rochester, which was settled early in the 19th Century, takes its name from Rochester, New York – the early settlers came from there – and has numerous well-preserved and charming old buildings.

Check out the Rollin Sprague Building, the oldest commercial building and now a business called The Home Bakery.

Or the Western Knitting Mills, now a beautifully refurbished and spacious brew pub on Water St. that is home to the Rochester Mills Beer Co. (if only Windsor has something like this!)

The downtown has more than 350 shops, melding the historic with the hip.

You’ll find art galleries, clothing, jewellery and gift shops.

There are restaurants galore including Sumo Sushi and Seafood, the Rochester Chop House & Oyster Bar, Mr. B's Food & Spirits, Crust Pizza and Wine Bar, and Mind, Body & Spirits, specializing in organic cuisine.

Part of the city’s charm (pop. 11,000) is its location along three water ways, including the Clinton River, with lots of parks and two nature trails (again, why doesn’t Windsor-Essex have such amenities?)

The city has become well known for its Christmas lights display, which it has even advertised on Windsor billboards.

This isn’t any old display.

During the Christmas season buildings along Main St., and a couple of side streets, are covered in more than one million colourful lights (see picture).

The Big Bright Light Show runs Nov 29 – Jan 2.

Most stores will also be opened Monday – Saturday until 9 pm.

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