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Rochester (Minnesota)

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Rochester [80] is a city in the state of Minnesota that is home to the world famous Mayo Clinic [81]. It is located 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.

Rochester Skyline from Quarry Hill.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Rochester International Airport (IATA: RST) [82] is 10 miles south of downtown Rochester along Hwy 63. Due to the large number of visitors to the Mayo Clinic, there are more flights than in comparably-sized cities, approximately 15-20 per day. Delta Air Lines [83]) has flights from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Atlanta, and Detroit. American Airlines [84] offers direct service from Chicago O'Hare. Allegiant Air [85] offers direct flights to Phoenix. Allegiant used to offer twice-weekly flights from Las Vegas but that ended on 2/15/2010. However, the airline is considering bringing the flights back.

The airport attempting to get more air service into Rochester. The airport directors have recently contacted the current providers, American and Delta, about adding more destinations, and have also contacted United, Frontier, and Allegiant to bring new nonstop destinations to the airport.

  • There are several car-rental companies located at the airport. Taxis are relatively expensive, approximately $25 between downtown Rochester and the airport. Shuttle service is available, timed to meet each arrival; one-way fare to downtown hotels is approximately $11.50. Some hotels also provide shuttle service. Make sure you fly into Rochester, MN, not Rochester, NY!
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (IATA: MSP) [86] is a 90-min drive NW of Rochester. A major airport, it has flights from most major cities around the world. Dominated by Delta Air Lines. Go Rochester Direct [87] and Rochester Shuttle Service [88] offer scheduled shuttle service between MSP and Rochester. Star Limousine Service [89] and Gold Crown Limo [90] offer private sedan service.
  • When flying in to Rochester, it is worth checking flights into both airports. Flights in to and out of Rochester are typically slightly more expensive (about $50); however, as with all things related to airfares, this varies widely.

By car[edit]

  • The closest interstate to Rochester is I-90 running east and west across Minnesota. There are two exits from I-90 that will take you north into Rochester, US Highway 63 (when coming from the west) and US Highway 52 (Exit 218) (when coming from the east).
  • US Highway 14 runs east and west through Rochester, connecting Rochester with Winona and Owatonna. Highway 14 east is a 4-lane freeway in Rochester (with the exception of a partial cloverleaf.)
  • US Highway 63 runs north and south through Rochester and is the main north-south thoroughfare through downtown Rochester, and connects Rochester with Lake City and south to Waterloo and connect you up with the Avenue of the Saints. It is a 4-lane expressway between I-90 and US 52, with a freeway portion in the last couple of miles towards Highway 52.
  • US Highway 52 also runs north and south through Rochester and is the main pipeline connecting Rochester with the Twin Cities and running south to the southeast corner of Minnesota and into Iowa. It is a 6-lane freeway.

By train[edit]

  • There is no train service into Rochester. The closest station is 45 minutes drive away in Winona. However, ground transportation between Rochester and Winona is available from GoCarefree Shuttle [91]. However, GoCarefree Shuttle does not wait in Winona for passengers disembarking at the Winona Amtrak station seeking transit to Rochester.

By bus[edit]

  • Jefferson Lines [92] offers service to many cities, plus connects to Greyhound in Minneapolis. Jefferson Lines buses stop at the Sinclair gas station located at 205 6th St SW. If part of your trip involves travel on Greyhound [93], you can purchase your ticket on Greyhound's website, which will cover travel on both carriers.
  • Rochester City Lines [94] offers weekday commuter bus service to about 40 communities surrounding Rochester, including Winona, Austin, Owatonna and Bloomington and Inver Grove Heights (the latter two being suburbs of the Twin Cities). All routes are open to the public and arrive/depart from the downtown Rochester area in the heart of the Mayo Clinic campus. Fares vary based on trip length.

Get around[edit]

A map showing all of Rochester, but not the surrounding towns.
  • If you are only going to the Clinic, you may not need a car as most hotels provide (free) shuttle service to the Clinic. However, most visitors will want or need a car to get around.
  • Parking. In most areas of Rochester, parking is not an issue, with plenty of surface parking. The only exceptions are downtown and near the Clinic. It is possible to find street parking downtown, although difficult in the inner downtown. Note that the time limit on parking meters is enforced even for cars with handicap parking placards. The city-owned parking lots are free nights and weekends, with the first hour free during weekdays. However, the privately-owned lots do not offer this, so look for the "free evening parking" signs if you want to take advantage of this. The signage downtown is pretty much non-existent, so you're own your own to find the lots. If you are going to the Clinic, there are Mayo-owned lots near the primary patient-care buildings; Mayo provides a map showing them. Rates are $2 for the first hour, $1 per hour thereafter. You can purchase 5 or 10 day passes which allow in-and-out in the same day. They also do not need to be used on consecutive days. The Mayo lots sometimes fill during the morning hours, but turnover is very quick and you are unlikely to wait more than 10 min.
  • Public bus system [95]: There is a public bus system, but it is likely not to be useful to the visitor. There is no bus service on Sundays or holidays, and during the rest of the week, they will stop running fairly early, generally the last routes end at 9PM. The main goal of the bus system is to serve the downtown area. Also, the bus system revolves around the Mayo Clinic schedule, so if the Clinic were to close early (Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve), the buses will also stop running early as well. The buses run generally on an hourly basis with half hour service during the rush hours. The bus system utilizes a wagon-wheel-spoke type of grid, with routes all ending up in the downtown area to make transfers. You can request a transfer pass from one bus to the next if you are getting on a bus to get to another part of the city. On Tuesdays, there is a Shopper's bus that will get you to some of the different shopping areas in Rochester. A bus terminal was recently made downtown, with electric signs telling when the bus route is scheduled, and whether is is on time or delayed (like an airport).

The central part of the city is arranged on a more-or-less standard grid. Streets run east-west and avenues run north-south. This divides the city into four quadrants, NW, NE, SE, SW. There are some named streets you might encounter.

  • The dividing line between east and west is Broadway (up to about 25th St north when things get weird).
  • The dividing line between north and south is Center St.
  • Civic Center Drive runs east-west from Hwy 52 to downtown approximately at 5th St. NW.
  • West Circle Dr. (also called CR 22) runs north-south at the west edge of town.
  • There is also an East Circle Dr, but there are fewer businesses there. In case you're wondering, the two circle drives do not meet, yet they are both CR 22. They are both 4-lane expressways.

Most of the newer residential development in the last 15 years has largely abandoned the numbered grid system and gone to named curved streets. If you need to find these, there are free maps available in most hotels and the local phone book.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Assisi Community Center (Assisi Heights), 1001 14th St, +1 507-282-7441, [1]. Guided tours M and Sa 2PM by appointment. Additional times may be arranged for groups of 10+. Motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Francis. Tours are held on Monday's and Saturday's at 2:00 p.m. Group tours may be arranged by appointment. Free will donations are encouraged. Large and small gathering spaces are available to rent to the public. Full on-site catering is also available. Mayo rents a portion of the building for meeting and dining space but the building is owned by the Sisters of St. Francis. Beautiful Romanesque architecture high on hill. Beautiful flowers abound in the summer on the grounds and along walking trails. This is a must see destination and a charming location for meetings, seminars, retreats, etc. There is a cost for renting space and food must be ordered through the Assisi Heights catering service but the rates are extremely reasonable. Free, donations accepted.  edit
  • Heritage House, 225 First Ave NW, +1 507-286-9208. " (Jun 1-Aug 30 Tu, Th, Su 1PM-3:30PM). 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.  edit
  • 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.)  edit
  • History Center of Olmsted County, 1195 W Circle Dr SW, +1 507-282-9447, [2]. 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.  edit
  • Mayo Clinic Tour, [3]. 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.  edit
  • Mayowood Mansion, 3720 Mayowood Rd SW, +1 507-282-9447, [4]. (Varies by season). 38-room mansion, originally the home of Dr. Charles Mayo. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. $12 adults, $5 children under 15.  edit
  • Plummer House, 1091 Plummer Ln SW, [5]. 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.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]


  • Feast and Footlights Dinner Theatre, +1 507 288 4440. (Fall only).  edit
  • Jon Hassler Theater, [6]. Nationally recognized theater in the middle of nowhere.  edit
  • Mayo Civic Center, [7]. Main event center, check website for calendar of shows, events, etc.  edit
  • Rochester Art Center, 40 Civic Center Dr SE, +1 507 282 8629, [8]. No permanent collection, check website for which exhibits are currently open.  edit
  • Rochester Repertory Theatre, [9]. Local theater company, check website for calendar  edit
  • Rochester Civic Theatre, 220 E Center St, +1 507 282 8481, [10]. Community theater. Also offers classes year round.  edit
  • Mantorville Theatre Company, Mantorville, MN, +1 507 635 5420, [11]. Community theater offering summer melodramas and traditional shows year round.  edit
  • Oak Center General Store, [12]. Live music Nov-Apr Sa-Su. (latitude,) edit


Rochester has more than 100 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), [13].  edit
  • Chester Woods, 8378 14 Hwy SE, Eyota (20-min drive E of town along Hwy 14), [14]. Picnic areas. Small beach. Fishing. Canoe and paddle boat rentals. Camping.  edit
  • Douglas State Trail, +1 507-285-7176, [15]. 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).  edit
  • 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, [16]. Picnic areas by river. Several miles of hiking trails through the woods. Small zoo. Free (donation requested for zoo).  edit
  • Quarry Hill Nature Center, 701 Silver Creek Rd NE, +1 507 281-6114, [17]. Nature center with displays. Lots of trails and parks to explore. Cross-country skiing and snow shoeing in the winter. Free.  edit
  • Recreational Trails, [18]. 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.  edit
  • Rochester Park System, [19]. 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.  edit
  • Silver Lake Boat and Bike Rentals, 700 W Silverlake Dr NW, +1 507 261-9049, [20]. 11AM-Sunset Apr-Oct. Canoe, kayak, paddle boat, and boat rentals.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial, Third Ave and Seventh St, [21]. Consisting of 4 60-foot circular granite walls, created to honor veterans from the area. See the Wall of Remembrance. Free.  edit


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

  • Paragon, [22]. [Formerly Chateau Theater] 14-screen theater located on the NE side. Remodeled March 2011 with all digital projectors.  edit
  • Cinemagic, [23]. 12-screen theater located on the NW side. (latitude,) edit
  • Galaxy, [24]. 14-screen theater located on the south side in the Shoppes on Maine lifestyle center. Also has one 60 foot wide MegaScreen. (latitude,) edit


  • All-American Segway, +1 507 206-0988, [25]. Take a Segway ride around Rochester.  edit
  • 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 14 (aka 12th street south) and hwy 63 (aka Broadway).  edit
  • Flamingo Bingo (Circus World Bingo), 2828 E Frontage Rd, +1 507-282-0988.  edit

  • Minnesota Children's Museum Rochester, 1643, +1 507 218-3100, [26]. Small Children's Museum (in the middle of the River Center Plaza stripmall). Great for the 1-4 age set.  edit
  • Prairie Walls Climbing Gym, 4420 19th St NW, +1 507 292-0511, [27]. Indoor rock climbing facility.  edit
  • Recreation Center, 21 Elton Hills Dr, +1 507 281-6167, [28]. 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.  edit
  • Rochester Honkers, [29]. (summer). Collegiate baseball without the college.  edit
  • Rochester Trolley Tour, [30]. One hour trolley tour of the highlights of Rochester. Hop On & Hop Off at 5 different locations. $10.  edit
  • Skyline Raceway, 2250 40th St SW, [31]. Paintball, go-cart racing, mini-golf.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • The Apache Mall, located southwest of downtown, is the main (indoor) mall. Major department stores are Macy's, Herbergers, 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, and Gander Mountain. 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, 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.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Salute Wine Bar and More, 101 SW First Avenue (on the Peace Plaza), 507.280.6000, [32]. Located in the Rochester Marriott Mayo Clinic Area, Salute Wine Bar is well located for after work or daytime dining. Good wine selection. Has patio in the summer. Open daily from 6:30am to 11pm, menu has nice variety of traditional and new age.  edit
  • Crossings Bistro & Bar, 9 Third Avenue NW (on the corner of W Center St & 4th Ave NW), 507-285-9200, [33]. 6:30am - 11pm. Crossings Bistro & Bar, a new popular restaurants in Downtown Rochester. All-day dining in a relaxing bistro-style atmosphere. Patio in the summer.  edit

Grocery Stores[edit]

  • Asian Food Store, 1010 7th St NW, 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.  edit
  • Cub Foods, 1021 15th Avenue SE. Open 24 hours. Based on a warehouse model of business.  edit
  • People's Food Co-Op, 519 First Ave SW. 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!  edit
  • Gluten-Free Cupboard, 1833 Third Ave. S.E., [34]. Carries only gluten-free items. Also provides information on area restaurants that have gluten-free items on their menus.  edit
  • Hy-Vee. The primary grocery store in town, with three locations. Both Wal-marts and both Targets also have grocery sections, but smaller selection.  edit
  • 500 37th St NW, 507 289-1815.
  • 1315 6th St NW, 507 288-8233. Newly renovated to be more upscale (e.g. has olive bar), has kids play area.
  • 500 Crossroads Dr SW, 507 289-7500. Open 24 hours, has complete pharmacy.
  • Just Rite foods, [35]. Neighborhood style grocery with an excellent deli counter and butcher.  edit
  • Rice and Spice, 810 S Broadway. Indian groceries.  edit
  • Silver Lake Foods, 1402 N Broadway, 507-282-3414, [36]. 6AM -10PM weekday & 7PM - 10PM weekends. Located directly north of downtown on the east side of North Broadway..  edit
  • Trader Joe's, 1200 16th Street SW, 507 281-4411, [37]. 8AM to 9PM. Specialty grocery store with items that you likely won't find elsewhere.  edit
  • Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe, 902 7th St NW, 507 282 5908, [38].  edit


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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Good Food Deli, 1001 6th St NW (Hidden just north of Civic Center Dr inside the Good Food Store). Vegan.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Nupa, 1035 Civic Center Dr, +1 507 206 5044. Mediterranean fast food. Gyros, hummus, muffaletta, florettas, etc.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Pi, 3932 Marketplace Dr NW (Near Target North), +1 507-424-3885, [39]. Wood-fired Pizza. Somewhat limited menu, with very unusual ingredients.  edit
  • Stadium Club, 1340 Salem Rd SW (TJ Maxx Plaza), [40]. Pizza, toasted sub sandwiches, hot dogs. Free popcorn. Also has large collection of sports memorabilia for viewing / purchase.  edit


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, [41]. Italian-American. Very popular for the large amount of cheese on their pizza.  edit
  • Canadian Honker, 1203 2nd St SW (Across from St. Mary's), [42]. Traditional American. Serves fresh fish F-Sa. Often has live music.  edit
  • Dos Amigos, 20 4th St SE (5 blocks SE of downtown). Mexican.
  • Fiesta Mexicana, 1645 North Broadway, +1 507 288 1116. Mexican  edit
  • Great China, 4214 Highway 52, +1 507 280 9092. Chinese. Great deal on lunch plates, otherwise fairly standard American-Chinese food.  edit
  • Green Mill, 2723 Commerce Drive NW, +1 507 282 4222, [43]. 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.  edit
  • HuHot Mongolian Grill, 102 Apache Mall (In the Apache Mall), +1 507 206 4422, [44]. Mongolian barbecue and stir fry.  edit
  • Hunan Garden, 1120 NW 7th Street, +1 507 285 1438, [45]. Simple Chinese food; not to be confused with Hunan on South Broadway, which is a much more renown place for its food and authenticity.  edit
  • Impiana Kitchen, 318 S Broadway, [46]. Pan-Asian. Mostly Japanese (both dishes and sushi), some SE Asian dishes as well.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • John Hardy's, 1940 Broadway South, 929 West Frontage Road NW, +1 507 281 1727, [47]. Another local BBQ place, along with Roscoe's.  edit
  • Kingdom Buffet, 1639 N Broadway, +1 507 282 0211, [48]. All-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. Over 100 dishes, sushi, Mongolian grill, some American dishes.  edit
  • Nile Restaurant, 2711 Commerce Dr NW. Ethiopian  edit
  • Opa! Opa!, 1106 15th Ave SE, +1 507 282 1212. Greek  edit
  • Roscoe's Barbecue, 603 4th St SE, 4180 18th Ave NW, +1 507 285 0501 (+1 507 281 4622), [49]. (1st location outside and closed in winter). 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.  edit
  • 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).  edit
  • Victoria's, 7 1st Ave SW (Downtown), [50]. Wide variety of Italian-American food, with huge portions and cute decoration.  edit
  • Zorba's, 924 7th St NW (W of downtown). Greek.  edit


  • 300 First, 300 First Ave NW (3 blocks N of downtown), +1 507-281-2451, [51]. New American.  edit
  • Chester's Kitchen and Bar, 111 S Broadway (Downtown in Galleria/Shops at University Square), +1 507 424-1211, [52]. Traditional American with a twist, most popular restaurant in town. Voted Best Restaurant in Rochester Magazine poll in 2010, 2011 and 2012.  edit
  • City Cafe, 216 First Ave SW (Downtown), +1 507 289-1949, [53]. Modern American. Voted Best Restaurant in Rochester Magazine poll in 2006, 2007, 2008.  edit
  • Pazzo (Redwood Room), 300 First Ave NW (3 blocks N of downtown), [54]. 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.  edit
  • Pescara, 150 S Broadway (In Doubletree/Radisson hotel), +1 507 280-6900, [55]. Opened (May 2009), probably the best seafood in town. Smallish but fancy dining area.  edit
  • Prescott, 1201 S Broadway (Crossroads shopping center), +1 507 536-7775, [56]. Bistro-style French, casual but with great food. Smaller but excellent wine list. Voted Best Restaurant in Rochester Magazine poll in 2009.  edit
  • 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  edit
  • ZZest Café & Bar, 1190 16th St SW (South of Apache Mall), +1 507-424-0080, [57]. New American. Most creative menu in town, changes daily. Part of a gourmet grocery store.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Beetles Bar and Grill, 230 20th Ave SW, +1 507 529-9599, [58].  edit
  • Blues, 129 Main St S, Chatfield (South on Hwy 52 about 10 mins), +1 507 867-3939 (), [59]. Live Blues every weekend  edit
  • Goonies, 7 Second St NW, +1 507 288-8130, [60]. Live comedy shows F-Sa. Open mic on Th.  edit
  • Kathy's, 300 S Broadway.  edit
  • King's Crossing Bar and Grill, 915 21st Ave SE, +1 507-289-1690.  edit
  • Newt's, 216 1st Ave SW, +1 507-289-0577, [61].  edit
  • Sand Trap, 3342 19th St NW, +1 507-536-7768.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Dooley's Pub, 255 1st Ave SW,. Busy Sports bar with actually good food  edit
  • Martini's, 20 SW Second Avenue (on Peace Plaza), 507.280.6200, [62]. 11am - 11pm. Full bar with traditional and mixed drinks and a wide variety of fresh menu items. Adjoining the Grand Grill. Patio in the summer.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Due to the large number of visitors to the Mayo clinic, and their unique needs, there is a wide range of sleeping arrangements to fit almost any budget or need, from low-end to high-end, from short-term to long-term, from standard hotel rooms, to rooms with kitchenettes, to fully furnished apartments. While there are some hotels spread-out through-out the city, most of the hotels are grouped downtown (by the clinic), along SW second street (by Saint Mary's), and along South Broadway (where most of the cheaper, non-chain ones are located). Rochester has about 5,400 hotel rooms in the city, which is more than most cities that are twice Rochester's size.

Below are only a sample of the available hotels. Most of the cheaper, non-chain hotels are not listed.

Mayo Clinic Area[edit]

The following downtown hotels are connected to the clinic, and to the rest of downtown, via a network of above-ground enclosed skyways and below-group passages (called subways). This is very useful in the winter!

  • Brentwood Inn and Suites, 123 4th Avenue NW, 507 288 8011, [63]. Brentwood Inn and Suites offers a continental breakfast, free transportation to clinics and hospitals, voice mail and 24-hour front desk service.  edit
  • The Kahler Grand Hotel, 20 2nd Ave SW, Phone: +1 507 280-6200, Fax: +1 507 285-2701, [96] Experience The Kahler Grand, a historic hotel in the heart of Rochester with 30,000 square feet of onsite meeting space, renowned dining, and direct access by skyway and underground concourse to the world-famous Mayo Clinic. Elegant guestrooms and suites, a rooftop pool, and fine dining at Lord Essex and the Grand Grill make us the perfect destination for a fun getaway, romantic retreat, or business trip in Minnesota.
  • Towers at the Kahler Grand, 20 SW Second Avenue, [97]. Rochester's only AAA 4 diamond hotel, this used to be the International Hotel. Actually the upper two floors of the Kahler Grand Hotel. Gets consistently excellent reviews. Concierge Staff and great amenities.
  • Kahler Inn and Suites, 9 Third Ave NW, Phone: +1 507 285-9200, Reservations: +1 800 533-1655, Fax: +1 507 282-4478, [98]. Updated guestrooms with free breakfast and parking. Convenient to Mayo.
  • Marriott, 101 First Ave SW, Phone: +1 507 280-6000, Fax: +1 507 280-8531, [99].
  • Oakwood Broadway Tower, 15 1st St SE, Phone: +1 507 424-4200, Fax: +1 507 424-4201, [100] High-end long-term stays. Currently also allowing shorter term stays, reviews have been very positive.
  • Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Rochester - Mayo Clinic Area, 150 S Broadway, 507-281 8000, [64]. Downtown hotel connected by skywalk to the Rochester Mayo Clinic. Complimentary WiFi, indoor pool, whirlpool, fitness center, business center. On-site Dining: Pescara (award-winning steak and seafood restaurant)  edit


  • Residence Inn, 441 W Center St NW, +1 507 292-1400, Toll-free: +1 877 623-7775, Fax: Phone: +1 507 536-5020, [101].
  • Centerstone Plaza Hotel Soldier's Field, 401 6th St SW, Phone: +1 507 288-2677, Toll-free: +1 877 887-7776, Fax: +1 507 282-2042 [102].
  • Hilton Garden Inn, 225 S Broadway. In downtown, now is connected to skyway  edit
  • Days Inn Downtown, 6 1st Avenue NW, 1-507-282-3801, [65]. checkout: before 12:00 PM. The Days Inn is located in a building that was constructed in 1919. It has been recently renovated. About $60 per night..  edit

Saint Mary's[edit]

  • Courtyard Rochester St. Mary, 161 13th Ave, Phone: +1 507 536-0040, Toll-free: +1 800 504-1035, Fax: +1 507 536-0050, [103].
  • Fiksdal Hotel And Suites, 1215 SW Second St.  edit
  • SpringHill Suites, 1125 2nd St SW, Phone: +1 507 281-5455, Toll-free: +1 800 678-9894, Fax: +1 507 285-9641, [104].
  • Staybridge Suites, 1211 Second St SW, +1 507 289-6600, [105].

South Broadway[edit]

  • Country Inn and Suites, 77 Wood Lake Dr SE.  edit
  • Econo Lodge, 1850 S Broadway, (507) 282-9905, [66]. Two story Motor Inn (no internal hallways), clean basic accommodations. Free Mayo Clinic shuttle.  edit
  • Hampton Inn, 1755 S Broadway, Phone: +1 507 287-9050, [106].

Other locations[edit]

  • Microtel Inn, 4210 Hwy 52 North, W Frontage Rd, Phone: +1 507 286-8780, [107]. Cheap rates for Mayo patients. Free shuttles to Mayo, free long distance, free breakfast and free internet.
  • TownePlace Suites Rochester, 2829 43rd Street NW, Phone: +1 507 281-1200, Extended-stay, all suites pet-friendly hotel with two indoor pools, sport court, fitness center, BBQ Patio, and Hot Breakfast.
  • Motel 6, 2107 W Frontage Road, Phone: +1 507 282-6625, Fax: +1 507 280-7987, [108].
  • Ramada, 1517 16th St SW. Small indoor warterpark, otherwise mixed reviews. (2007 changed from being a Best Western).  edit


Many many places offer free internet access

  • Public Library. Free computer use, free wi-fi.
  • Caribou Coffee. All five locations offer free wi-fi.
  • Dunns Brothers. Both locations offer free wi-fi and free computer use.
  • Panera Bakery. Both locations offer free wi-fi.
  • Peace Plaza. Free wi-fi. Located east of Mayo Clinc near University Square.


  • The Post Bulletin's listing [109], Local newspaper's list of upcoming events. The best source for looking for things to do.

Get out[edit]

  • Minneapolis / Saint Paul, [67]. About a 90-min drive north on Hwy 52, the Twin Cities area offers all activities of a big city without being overwhelming. Including, of course, the Mall of America.  edit
  • Whitewater Park, (Take Hwy 14 to St. Charles, then north on Hwy 74. 3 mi south of Elba. 45-min drive from Rochester), [68]. beautiful park with many miles of hiking trails.  edit
  • Winona, Lake City, Red Wing, Wabasha, [69]. Cute cities on the Mississippi River  edit
  • National Eagle Center, (In Wabasha), [70]. Chance to see our national bird up close and learn more about them. (Renovated Spring 2007).  edit
  • Spam Museum, [71]. Yes, really. Hormel is headquartered in Austin, about 45-min drive from Rochester. For an experience you can't get anywhere else, give this one a try.  edit
  • Tour SE Minnesota, [72]. The Rochester Tour Company provides private tours of the areas best scenic areas.  edit
  • Forestville / Mystery Cave, [73]. Historic Forestville is a restored 1800s village operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, complete with guides in period clothing and activities. Mystery Cave is an underground cave.  edit
  • Niagara Cave, [74]. Very impressive underground cave.  edit
  • Mantorville, [75]. Just 15 miles west of Rochester. Antiques and other shopping, restaurants, museums, theatre and more in this historic community along the Zumbro River.  edit
  • Lanesboro, [76]. Historic village in a beautiful valley. Old-town main street with unique shops and restaurants. Many outdoor activities along the Root River. Near a fish hatchery where you can feed hundreds of fish with one toss.  edit
  • Bluff Country, [77]. Beautiful area in SE Minnesota  edit
  • Pine Island, [78]. 15 Miles North of Rochester on hwy 52,Come Visit Historic Pine Island!  edit
  • Twin Cities Rod & Custom, [79]. located 15 Miles North of Rochester in Pine Island, Established in 1975 TCRC is the oldest speed shop in Minnesota.  edit

Routes through Rochester
Albert LeaAustin  W noframe E  La CrosseMadison
MankatoByron  W noframe E  WinonaLa Crosse
Saint PaulZumbrota  N noframe S  DubuqueDixon
BaldwinRed Wing  N noframe S  New HamptonWaterloo

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This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!