Named one of Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live, Rochester is a beautiful city with amazing scenery. Located on the Zumbro River, Rochester is Minnesota’s third-largest city with a population of 114,000 people and a metro area of 215,800. Rochester is home to the world-class Mayo Clinic and one of the largest IBM locations. Along with the beautiful scenery, Rochester offers many activities downtown as well as in the surrounding areas.
Rochester has also experienced large economic growth in the recent years. The city’s convention center and event facility, Mayo Civic Center, just completed a recent $84 million expansion that nearly doubled the facility’s capacity for hosting events. A unique investment project is currently taking place in Rochester as well. The DMC, Destination Medical Center, is the largest public-private economic initiative in Minnesota with a $5.6 billion plan from private and public investments over the next 20 years. These investments will be used to facilitate and support public infrastructure in Rochester in order to help support Mayo Clinic as a global medical destination center. With a booming city like Rochester, amazing real estate opportunities can be found throughout!
Arts and Entertainment in Rochester, MN
Rochester has a variety of entertainment offered throughout the year. Make sure to check out the community public art program, ARTWalk, that showcases art throughout the downtown area. Help support local family farms by visiting the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market every Saturday during the summer. Thursdays on First & 3rd is a weekly outdoor market of more than 100 art, craft and food vendors and live entertainment every Thursday throughout the summer. For a fun afternoon, check out the Rochester Art Center which displays fine art in contemporary exhibits.
If you are looking to learn more about Rochester, the Rochester Trolley & Tour Company provides a variety of public and private sightseeing tours that everyone in the family will enjoy. The History Center of Olmsted County, which hosts educational and local events for the community, features artifacts, furniture, medical equipment and art.
Rochester has numerous music and theater productions throughout the year. Regular productions are put on by Hill Theatre at Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester Civic Theatre, and Words Player Theatre. The Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale offers world-class concerts each season as well. Make sure to stop by Mayo Park for Riverside Concerts, a free summer concert series every Sunday. A wide variety of concerts are offered throughout the summer which are sure to entertain everyone in the family.
Recreation in Rochester, MN
With more than 3,500 acres of parkland and more than 85 miles of paved trails, Rochester offers numerous recreational opportunities. If you are looking to get outside, make sure to check out the more than 100 park areas, including playgrounds, picnic shelters, tennis courts, dog parks, groomed cross country ski trails and, outdoor and indoor hockey rinks. Trails and You is a unique experience offered in Rochester. This downtown trail system was built to promote physical activity; trails are available for pedestrian, bike, in-line skate, wheelchair and stroller use.
You’ll also find multiple walking and biking destinations including Quarry Hill Nature Center which has an assortment of live animals, a fishing pond, and a quarry for fossil hunting. Silver Lake, a small, freshwater reservoir, is only a half mile north of downtown Rochester. Cascade Lake offers breathtaking views and serves as a popular beach destination.
Shopping and Dining in Rochester, MN
Restaurants, pubs, and family-owned shops can be found on downtown Rochester’s Historic Third Street. Along with these smaller venues, the Apache Mall is also located in Rochester. The Apache Mall is southeastern Minnesota’s largest shopping center and even has no sales tax on clothing.
A wide variety of restaurants can be found in Rochester, ranging from American, ethnic cuisine, and even specialty gluten-free and vegan restaurants. Along with these amazing restaurants, be sure to check out the numerous breweries and wineries which can be found all over Rochester for a fun-filled day!