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Rochester is a city in the state of Minnesota that is home to the world famous Mayo Clinic. It is about 80 miles (130km) SE of Minneapolis/St. Paul. It is cold in the winter and warm, and many times hot, in the summer. It has a population of 107,890 in the city limits, with more in the surrounding areas. The city hosts millions out-of-town visitors coming for treatment at the Mayo Medical Center (Mayo Clinic) and has a well developed infrastructure to deal with its many visitors. Due to the large amount of visitors, Rochester is much busier than other cities of its size. (less...) (more...)

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Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
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  • Medical Medical
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  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Rochester

  • Assisi Community Center (Assisi Heights), 1001 14th St,  +1 507 282-7441. Guided tours M and Sa 2PM by appointment. Additional times may be arranged for groups of 10+. Originally built as the home of the Sisters of Saint Francis, now part is being used as a community center. Italian Romanesque structure. Free, donations accepted.
  • Heritage House, 225 First Ave NW,  +1 507 286-9208. hoursextra=. Exhibits the way of life of a typical middle-class Midwestern family as of 125 years ago. The house has been restored and authentically furnished with antiques, quilts, dolls, and china.
  • Historic Chateau Theatre (Barnes and Noble Downtown), 15 First St SW. Was one of the most elaborate theaters built in the early 1900's. Has French Village decor complete with balconies and turrets, then remodeled into a Barnes and Noble store. (Not to be confused with the current Chateau movie theater.)
  • History Center of Olmsted County, 1195 W Circle Dr SW,  +1 507 282-9447. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM. Rare pictures, maps, diaries, exhibits about Rochester's history. Visit William Dee Log Cabin, Hadley Valley School House, and the George Stoppel Farm. $5 adults, $2 children.
  • Mayo Clinic Tour. Offers both a general tour of the history of the Clinic, and an art tour showcasing the art collection. Can also pickup a brochure from any Help Desk for a self-guided tour. Free.
  • Mayowood Mansion, 3720 Mayowood Rd SW,  +1 507 282-9447. 38-room mansion, originally the home of Dr. Charles Mayo. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. $12 adults, $5 children under 15.
  • Plummer House, 1091 Plummer Ln SW. Grounds open Sunrise to Sunset year round, house open for tours every W Jun-Aug 1PM-5PM. Original home of Dr. Plummer. 49-room mansion on 11 acres. Building primary used for events. Free.

Mayo Clinic

Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial

Apache Mall

Assisi Heights

Silver Lake Park

Soldiers Field Golf Course

Shops University Square

University of Minnesota-Rochester

Crossroads College

Mayo Civic Center

Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center

Quarry Hill Nature Center

Saint Marys Hospital

Mayowood Mansion

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Popular events in Rochester in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Rochester



  • Feast and Footlights Dinner Theatre +1 507 288-4440.
  • Jon Hassler Theater. Nationally recognized theater in the middle of nowhere.
  • Mayo Civic Center. Main event center, check website for calendar of shows, events, etc.
  • Rochester Art Center, 40 Civic Center Dr SE,  +1 507 282-8629. No permanent collection, check website for which exhibits are currently open.
  • Rochester Repertory Theatre. Local theater company, check website for calendar
  • Rochester Civic Theatre, 220 E Center St,  +1 507 282-8481. Community theater. Also offers classes year round.
  • Mantorville Theatre Company, Mantorville, MN,  +1 507 635-5420. Community theater offering summer melodramas and traditional shows year round.
  • Oak Center General Store. Live music Nov-Apr Sa-Su.


Rochester has more than 30 parks and 9 golf courses.
  • Carley State Park, 50187 County Road 4, Plainview, MN 55964 (15 mi NE of town on Wabasha Co Rd 4).
  • Chester Woods, 8378 14 Hwy SE, Eyota (20-min drive E of town along Hwy 14). Picnic areas. Small beach. Fishing. Canoe and paddle boat rentals. Camping.
  • Douglas State Trail +1 507 285-7176. 13-mile blacktop trail between Rochester and Pine Island. Suitable for biking, walking. Starts at Valleyhigh Dr. just east of W Circle Dr NW (parking available).
  • Oxbow Park and Zoo, 5731 County Rd 105 NW, Byron (Take Valleyhigh Rd NW /Hwy 4) W from Rochester about 15 min. Just before stop sign, turn right.),  +1 507 775-2451. Picnic areas by river. Several miles of hiking trails through the woods. Small zoo. Free (donation requested for zoo).
  • Quarry Hill Nature Center, 701 Silver Creek Rd NE,  +1 507 281-6114. Nature center with displays. Lots of trails and parks to explore. Cross-country skiing and snow shoeing in the winter. Free.
  • Recreational Trails. Rochester has over 60 miles of paved trails suitable for pedestrian, bike, in-line skate, wheelchair, and stroller use. Downloadable pdf maps are available from the website listed, or paper-version can be purchased for $1.
  • Rochester Park System. Contains over 100 city parks totaling more than 3200 acres. Many parks have sports facilities (e.g tennis, basketball, soccer) and playgrounds. Downloadable pdf maps and facility listings are available from the website listed.
  • Silver Lake Boat and Bike Rentals, 700 W Silverlake Dr NW,  +1 507 261-9049. 11AM-Sunset Apr-Oct. Canoe, kayak, paddle boat, and boat rentals.
  • Silver Lake Park (7th St and 8th Ave NW). Small lake with many walking paths. Best known for the thousands of Canadian Geese that winter here. Park has outdoor pool, playground, and skateboard park.
  • Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial, Third Ave and Seventh St. Consisting of 4 60-foot circular granite walls, created to honor veterans from the area. See the Wall of Remembrance. Free.


All three movie theaters are relatively new and offer stadium seating.

  • Paragon. [Formerly Chateau Theater] 14-screen theater located on the NE side. Remodeled March 2011 with all digital projectors.
  • Cinemagic. 12-screen theater located on the NW side.
  • Galaxy. 14-screen theater located on the south side in the Shoppes on Maine lifestyle center. Also has one 60 foot wide MegaScreen.


  • All-American Segway +1 507 206-0988. Take a Segway ride around Rochester.
  • Ear-of-corn Water Tower. See what is probably the world's largest water tower painted to look like an ear of corn. Built in 1931 to celebrate the opening of the Libby Foods facility (now Seneca Foods). Located at the intersection of hwy 12 (aka 12th street south) and hwy 63 (aka Broadway).
  • Flamingo Bingo (Circus World Bingo), 2828 E Frontage Rd,  +1 507 282-0988.
  • House of Bounce, 6301 Bandel Rd,  +1 507 292-0372. Inflatable bouncing structures. For bouncing. Free WiFi if you want to work while watching your kids bounce.
  • Minnesota Children's Museum Rochester +1 507 218-3100. Small Children's Museum (in the middle of the River Center Plaza stripmall). Great for the 1-4 age set.
  • Prairie Walls Climbing Gym, 4420 19th St NW,  +1 507 292-0511. Indoor rock climbing facility.
  • Recreation Center, 21 Elton Hills Dr,  +1 507 281-6167. Olympic length indoor pool. Two 85' x 200' ice rinks for hockey and figure skating. Make sure to call or check the website for hours the pool is available for open/lap swimming, and the ice rinks are available for open skating, as they are often in use for specific activities. City-owned, no membership required. $4 adults, $3 youth.
  • Rochester Honkers. Collegiate baseball.
  • Rochester Trolley Tour. One hour trolley tour of the highlights of Rochester. Hop On & Hop Off at 5 different locations. $10.
  • Skyline Raceway, 2250 40th St SW. Paintball, go-cart racing, mini-golf.


Grocery Stores

  • Asian Food Store, 1010 7th St NW,  +1 507 536-9097. Rochester's largest Asian grocery store. Also has more East Asian (China, Japan, Korea) food items than others in town, others focus more on SE Asia.
  • Cub Foods, 1021 15th Avenue SE. Open 24 hours. Based on a warehouse model of business.
  • Good Food Store, 1001 6th St NW.. Rochester's primary source of organic food. Also includes a bulk food room for spices, flours, pasta, beans, etc. Also home to a deli restaurant and delicious hot bar & salad bar!
  • Gluten-Free Cupboard, 1833 Third Ave. S.E.. Carries only gluten-free items. Also provides information on area restaurants that have gluten-free items on their menus.
  • Hy-Vee. The primary grocery store in town, with three locations. Both Wal-marts and both Targets also have grocery sections, but smaller selection.
  • Just Rite foods. Neighborhood style grocery with an excellent deli counter and butcher.
  • Rice and Spice, 810 S Broadway. Indian groceries.
  • Silver Lake Foods, 1402 N Broadway,  +1 507-282-3414. 6AM -10PM weekday & 7PM - 10PM weekends. Located directly north of downtown on the east side of North Broadway..
  • Trader Joe's, 1200 16th Street SW,  +1 507 281-4411. 8AM to 9PM. Specialty grocery store with items that you likely won't find elsewhere.
  • Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe, 902 7th St NW,  +1 507 282 5908.


The majority of budget dining options are fast-food chain restaurants. A variety of chains exist. Downtown on the second floor of the University Shopps are several other budget restaurants, many open only for lunch.

  • El Carambas, 1503 12th St SE (East side of town new Big Lots),  +1 507 281-3104. Hole-in-the-wall type casual in the best sense of the word. Great soft shell tacos.
  • Daube's, 1310 5 Pl NW (One branch in subway (lunch only), one branch west of downtown on Civic Center),  +1 507 289-3095. Bakery, also serves sandwiches and quiche and such.
  • Good Food Deli, 1001 6th St NW (Hidden just north of Civic Center Dr inside the Good Food Store). Vegan.
  • Newt's, 216 1st Ave (Downtown above City Cafe),  +1 507 289-0577. Voted best burgers in Rochester. Beetles Bar and Brother's are also popular similar restaurants. Also has second location on the north side right off hwy 52.
  • Nupa, 1035 Civic Center Dr,  +1 507 206-5044. Mediterranean fast food. Gyros, hummus, muffaletta, florettas, etc.
  • La Poblana (Barlow Plaza),  +1 507 292-7791. Authentic Mexican eatery, you'll find dishes here you won't find in a typical American-Mexican restaurant. In the back of a grocery store.
  • Pho Tai (Pho Hoa), 1726 37th St NW (North side),  +1 507 281-9993. Vietnamese. In addition to sit-down meals, bahn mi, inexpensive Vietnamese sandwiches on French bread, are usually available for takeout.
  • Pi, 3932 Marketplace Dr NW (Near Target North),  +1 507 424-3885. Wood-fired Pizza. Somewhat limited menu, with very unusual ingredients.
  • Stadium Club, 1340 Salem Rd SW (TJ Maxx Plaza). Pizza, toasted sub sandwiches, hot dogs. Free popcorn. Also has large collection of sports memorabilia for viewing / purchase.


While mid-range dining is not dominated by chains, there are a number of popular chains in town as well.

  • Bilotti's Italian Village, 304 First Ave SW (Downtown),  +1 507 282-8668. Italian-American. Very popular for the large amount of cheese on their pizza.
  • Canadian Honker, 1203 2nd St SW (Across from St. Mary's). Traditional American. Serves fresh fish F-Sa. Often has live music.
  • (Dos Amigos)20 4th St SE (5 blocks SE of downtown). Mexican.
  • Fiesta Mexicana, 1645 North Broadway,  +1 507 288-1116. Mexican
  • Great China, 4214 Highway 52,  +1 507 280-9092. Chinese. Great deal on lunch plates, otherwise fairly standard American-Chinese food.
  • Green Mill, 2723 Commerce Drive NW,  +1 507 282-4222. Open late. American, very wide verity of pizza, including only place in town for deep dish. Local branch of small St. Paul-based chain. Also does delivery for a small fee.
  • HuHot Mongolian Grill, 102 Apache Mall (In the Apache Mall),  +1 507 206-4422. Mongolian barbecue and stir fry.
  • Hunan Garden, 1120 NW 7th Street,  +1 507 285-1438. Chinese. Voted Best Chinese Food in Rochester Magazine poll 8 of 9 years. Not to be confused with Hunan Wok across the street or Hunan on S Broadway.
  • Impiana Kitchen, 318 S Broadway. Pan-Asian. Mostly Japanese (both dishes and sushi), some SE Asian dishes as well.
  • India Garden, 1107 Broadway Ave N,  +1 507 288-6280. 11PM-2:30PM, 5PM-9PM. Indian. Consistently voted best in the "Indian/Other Asian" category in Rochester Magazine poll.
  • John Hardy's, 1940 Broadway South, 929 West Frontage Road NW,  +1 507 281-1727. Another local BBQ place, along with Roscoe's.
  • Kingdom Buffet, 1639 N Broadway,  +1 507 282-0211. All-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. Over 100 dishes, sushi, Mongolian grill, some American dishes.
  • Nile Restaurant, 2711 Commerce Dr NW. Ethiopian
  • Opa! Opa!, 1106 15th Ave SE,  +1 507 282-1212. Greek
  • Roscoe's Barbecue, 603 4th St SE, 4180 18th Ave NW,  +1 507 285-0501. BBQ, award-winning ribs, and home-made root beer. Given how far north Rochester is, the BBQ in town is surprising good. Roscoe's is one of the two local places, along with John Hardy's. The chain Famous Dave's also has a branch in town. Ask a Rochester local, odds are they'll have a strong opinion on which of the three BBQ places is the best.
  • Sytje's Pannekoeken, 6 1st Ave NW (Downtown),  +1 507 287-0722. Dutch and American. Popular for weekend brunch. House specialty is the Pannekoeken (a fluffy egg-based pancake).
  • Victoria's, 7 1st Ave SW (Downtown). Wide variety of Italian-American food, with huge portions and cute decoration.
  • Zorba's, 924 7th St NW (W of downtown). Greek.


  • 300 First, 300 First Ave NW (3 blocks N of downtown),  +1 507 281-2451. New American.
  • Chester's Kitchen and Bar, 111 S Broadway (Downtown in Galleria/Shops at University Square),  +1 507 424-1211. Traditional American with a twist, most popular restaurant in town. Voted Best Restaurant in Rochester Magazine poll in 2010 and 2011.
  • City Cafe, 216 First Ave SW (Downtown),  +1 507 289-1949. Modern American. Voted Best Restaurant in Rochester Magazine poll in 2006, 2007, 2008.
  • Jaspers, 14 3rd St SW (Downtown),  +1 507 280-6446. Alsatian food.
  • Michael's, 15 S Broadway (Downtown),  +1 507 288-2020. Traditional American, steaks. Go for the pictures of famous people on the wall who have eaten there. Voted Best Steak Dinner in Rochester Magazine poll in 2009.
  • Pazzo (Redwood Room), 300 First Ave NW (3 blocks N of downtown). M-Th 4:30 - 10:00PM, F-Su 4:30 - 11:00PM. Traditional and modern Italian. Below 300 First. Voted Best New Restaurant in Rochester Magazine poll in 2011.
  • Pescara, 150 S Broadway (In Doubletree/Radisson hotel),  +1 507 280-6900. Opened (May 2009), probably the best seafood in town. Smallish but fancy dining area.
  • Prescott, 1201 S Broadway (Crossroads shopping center),  +1 507 536-7775. Bistro-style French, casual but with great food. Smaller but excellent wine list. Voted Best Restaurant in Rochester Magazine poll in 2009.
  • Söntés, 4 Third St SW (Downtown),  +1 507 292-1628. Tapas with extensive wine list, gourmet cheeses.
  • Sushi Nishiki, 2854 41st St NW (by Target North),  +1 507 292-1888. Wide variety of traditional and modern Sushi. Good selection of dishes, including some not very common dishes
  • ZZest Market and Wine Café, 1190 16th St SW (South of Apache Mall),  +1 507 424-0080. New American. Most creative menu in town, changes daily. Part of a gourmet grocery store.


  • Beetles Bar and Grill, 230 20th Ave SW,  +1 507 529-9599.
  • Blues, 129 Main St S, Chatfield (South on Hwy 52 about 10 mins),  +1 507 867-3939, e-mail: Live Blues every weekend
  • Goonies, 7 Second St NW,  +1 507 288-8130. Live comedy shows F-Sa. Open mic on Th.
  • Kathy's, 300 S Broadway.
  • King's Crossing Bar and Grill, 915 21st Ave SE,  +1 507 289-1690.
  • Newt's, 216 1st Ave SW,  +1 507 289-0577.
  • Sand Trap, 3342 19th St NW,  +1 507 536-7768.
  • Whistle Binkies (NE location near Chateau Theatre, and S Broadway location). Very popular pub atmosphere with a very extensive beer menu(easily the largest in town) to choose from. S Broadway location has outdoor seating during the summer months. Variety of menu items. Not for romantic evenings or business talk.


  • The Apache Mall, located southwest of downtown, is the main (indoor) mall. Major department stores are Macy's, Herbergers, Sears, and J.C. Penney. Also contains about 60 other smaller stores. However, there are not any stores here that you wouldn't see at any other mall.
  • For most of the unique and interesting stores, the downtown is your place to go. The Shops at University Square (which used to be called The Galleria Mall) is home to most of them, conveniently located just two blocks east of the Clinic. It is, unfortunately, rather small, only about two dozen stores, but well worth the visit if you want something different. The subway level (between US Bank and Gonda Building) also contains several unique stores, well work a walk down there if you're downtown. There are also some nearby at street level between The Shops at University Square and the clinic.
  • Other small malls with some unique stores can be found in Miracle Mile, located just northeast of the intersection of Hwy 52 and 2nd St S. Second Street (just west of Hwy 52) is starting to turn into a small but interesting shopping area. Crossroads, located at 12th Street and South Broadway, rounds out the small malls.
  • There are four major strip malls in town. Northwest Plaza (at 55th St NW and Hwy 52) has Wal-mart, Sam's club, Gander Mountain, with Menards on the east side of Hwy 52. Marketplace Plaza (located at 41st St and Hwy 52) has SuperTarget, PetSmart, Staples, and Home Depot, with Best Buy and Hobby Lobby on the east side of Highway 52. South Broadway between 23rd street and 30th street has Wal-mart, Kohl's, Shop-Ko, Menards, Bed Bath and Beyond, and others. The newest is Shoppes on Maine (located at Hwy 63 and 48th St S) is home to SuperTarget, Lowe's, Dick's Sporting Goods, PetSmart, Best Buy, numerous smaller tenets, and an enormous Fleet Farm.
  • The best place to buy Rochester souvenirs would be Eagle Drug in downtown Rochester as well as at the gift store in the Kahler hotel.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Rochester (Minnesota) on Wikivoyage.