The Rochester skyline at sunrise
Exploring Silver Lake on a paddleboat
The grand Mayowood Mansion and its wooded grounds
Mayo brothers statue at the entrance to the Gonda Building
The illuminated Chateau Marquee and Peace Fountain in Peace Plaza
An array of pumpkins at Sekapp Orchard
Sliding into base during a Rochester Honkers baseball game
Taking a wintry stroll around Silver Lake
Sampling craft brews at Thesis Beer Project
Canadian geese soaring over the Silver Lake bridge in winter
Where wellness is a way of life
The Mayo Clinic’s impressive campus with its architecturally significant buildings is a must-see on any trip to Rochester, Minnesota. Marvel at the Gonda Building, which at 93 meters high and 21 floors serves as the central location for the clinic’s mission. The Plummer Building, built in 1927, is a counterpoint to Gonda’s modern design. Hear its 56-bell tower ring out songs throughout the week, and stop into the Mayo brothers’ historical suite on the third floor, which looks as it did in 1928. Tour Mayowood Mansion, the historic estate of the clinic’s co-founder. Be sure to experience the serenity of Assisi Heights Spirituality Center’s beautiful buildings and grounds. Run by the Franciscan Sisters for 130 years, the center offers tours of its gardens, cathedral and courtyard.
Adventures in Nature
The city’s Silver Lake is a source of endless fun on the water. Canoe, paddleboat or rent a bike and cycle along trails. Visit Quarry Hill Nature Center and walk through Exploration Hall, feed the fish in the 1,700-gallon tank and see the center’s indoor honeybee hive. A Wahpekute Dakota Native American burial ground, Indian Heights Park Scenic Lookout offers a view of the city from the calm woods. In fall, explore corn mazes, festivals and apple orchards. Ice fishing and cross country-skiing are popular in winter, and every other season you can lake or pond fish or go upland bird hunting.
Arts and Culture
Plummer House of the Arts, once a historic home, is an English Tudor mansion with expansive grounds to explore. At the Rochester Art Center, you can view everything from installations and sculptures to video and photography as well as participate in a wellness program. Go downtown to really get a sense of Rochester’s modern feel. Start in Peace Plaza, a public park that hosts music festivals and even an ice bar in winter for a unique Minnesota twist on nightlife. See the plaza’s Peace Fountain and the historic Chateau Theatre marquee. Elsewhere, take advantage of outdoor dining on patios and rooftops along historic Third Street after shopping a variety of independent stores.
Shaped as a giant ear of corn, Rochester’s prized water tower is a remnant of a vegetable packing manufacturer.
Rochester is consistently ranked as a top place to live by publications such as “Money” magazine and “U.S. News and World Report.”