Things to do in Rochester MN

Rochester MN

Are you looking for things to do in Rochester MN? This area is known for many things, but one thing that it is most famous for is the world renowned health care center The Mayo Clinic. This research center is known for it’s education, research, and patient care. There are many more things to Rochester MN and in this post I will show you some of the highlights this area has to offer.

Love the outdoors?

Looking for things to do in Rochester MN and love the outdoors then we have great options for you. Located in southern Minnesota, Rochester has around 85 city parks to choose from. Hiking and biking rails can be found throughout the city on some of it’s more famous trails.

Just outside of downtown Rochester you will find Silver Lake. The Zumbro River near Silver Lake offers many activities including boating, kayaking, and trails. This is perfect if you want to experience nature at it’s fullest. If you don’t have your own equipment there are bike and boat rentals.

If you are a true nature lover I would recommend Quarry hill Nature Center. This a 329 acre wildlife center with it’s own 1700 gallon aquarium. The wildlife center has 35 of the natural species found throughout Minnesota. There are eight miles of hiking trails located in the park. You will also find sandstone caves to explore, a pond for children and a quarry full of fossils.

Shopping and Eating

If your looking for places to eat and shop while you in Rochester then checkout peace plaza and university square. Located in downtown near the Mayo Clinic the peace plaza offers easy access for pedestrians with walkways and skywalks giving you quick access to everything downtown has to offer. There is even an underground mall with shops for everyone to enjoy. This area offers many restaurants and shops to choose from. During the winter time there is even climate control on some of there enclosed walkways so it’s easier to enjoy.

Top places to eat in the area include

  •  Pescara
  • Chester’s 
  • B.B.’s Pizzeria
  • Salad Brothers
  •  Bravo Espresso

Go below the street to check out the Grand Shops of Marriott, this is a climate-controlled, underground pedestrian mall right in the middle of downtown. This mall has more than 65 shops, art galleries and stores.

In the summer months of June through August the city on thursdays turns into one giant block party that is a great attraction for anyone. There are plenty of street vendors and music artist to enjoy.

Trolley Tour of Rochester MN

There are many things to do in Rochester MN and one of them I highly recommend is doing the trolley tour. This tour focusses on the cities top attractions that it has to offer.

Some of the top highlight in the area include the tour of Pill Hill, the campus tour of the mayo clinic. Like most tours they start by explaining the History of Rochester along your way to the more popular areas. Another great stop would be the Mayowood Mansion and the Assisi Heights Spirituality Center.

Tours similar to this one include the Rochester Microbrew trolley tour and the haunted tour of Rochester.

Mayowood Mansion in Rochester

The Mayowood Mansion is home to the founder of the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Charles H. Mayo. He built this mansion back in 1911. The home has over 30 rooms and is furnished with antiques from all over the world including French, German, Spanish, and English. This estate also has a sprawling garden that is a major attraction to tourist.

In 1965 the Mayo family donated the house and the estate to the Olmsted County Historical Society. Since 1970 the mansion has been used as a tourist attraction and is loved by many. This site is one of the top destinations along the Rochester trolley tour.

Field Veterans Memorial

This is a memorial located in downtown Rochester that pays tribute to all the veterans who fought for their country. Among those mentioned in the memorial there are also over 3,000 veterans from Minnesota that fought and died.

The walk of remembrance consist of 6,000 paver stones that honors the United States Veterans and their allies for their service to their country. Funded without the use of the tax payers money the tree of remembrance is dedicated to all the 50 states that fought for their country.

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