Things to do in Rochester MN

29 Fun Things to do in Rochester MN in 2024

Rochester, Minnesota has something for everyone! Rochester offers a variety of activities, from fishing and hiking to indoor attractions like the Mayo Clinic and the Rochester Art Center, ensuring an unforgettable stay for everyone.

I love getting to spend time in Rochester whenever I head to southern Minnesota. Since it’s at the end of highway 52, it’s almost impossible to miss.

Rochester has something for everyone, whether you want to explore the outdoors, enjoy the sights, find a great meal, or spend time with friends and family.

Take a look at some of the best things to do in Rochester, Minnesota and start planning your next adventure!

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29 Things to do in Rochester MN

Heritage House Victorian Museum

  Central Park, 225 1st Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901  More Info

The Heritage House Victorian Museum in Rochester, MN is a must-visit destination. The museum is in a grand Victorian-style building with a pretty garden. It shows the city’s history in a special way.

In the building, visitors can discover different rooms with old furniture and decorations. They can also find a shop that sells antiques and collectibles.

The museum offers tours during the summer months on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Visitors can learn about the history, stories, and original furnishings of Rochester during the guided tour.

If you love history or want to experience Rochester’s past in a unique way, you should visit the Heritage House Victorian Museum for an unforgettable experience.

Plummer House

  1091 Plummer Ln SW, Rochester, MN 55902  More Info

Plummer House is a historic building in Rochester, Minnesota that was built in 1917. It was originally the home of Dr. Henry Stanley Plummer, a physician who worked at the Mayo Clinic.

The house is now a conference center and event space, while still keeping its original beauty and charm. Plummet House is a popular tourist attraction in Rochester, drawing visitors from around the world to see its impressive architecture and learn its history.

The house and grounds are open to the public. You can take guided tours to learn about the Plummer family and their impact on the Mayo Clinic.

If you love history or just want to visit a beautiful and interesting attraction in Rochester, Plummer House is definitely worth seeing.

Rochester Art Center

  30 Civic Center Dr SE STE 120, Rochester, MN 55904  More Info

Rochester Art Center is a must-visit attraction when in Rochester, MN. As a top modern art center, it offers a diverse mix of art exhibitions, events, and programs for a unique cultural experience.

The center caters to all audiences, from seasoned art enthusiasts to beginners looking to appreciate world-class art. With a blend of thought-provoking and interactive exhibits, there is something for everyone at Rochester Art Center.

The building’s architecture is also noteworthy. Visit Rochester Art Center for an enjoyable day exploring galleries and artistic workshops.

Furthermore, the center has a unique gift shop that sells art-inspired products to take home with you. For an artistic experience and the joy of contemporary art, visit Rochester Art Center.

Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale

  1530 Greenview Dr SW #120, Rochester, MN 55902  More Info

Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale is a premier musical ensemble based in Minnesota. Established in 1919, the orchestra has been entertaining audiences with its mesmerizing music for over a century.

It has carved a niche for itself in the music industry, captivating audiences with its classical performances. The orchestra performs at the Mayo Civic Center, a state-of-the-art facility, which provides an engaging and immersive experience.

The stunning performances showcase the ensemble’s musical talent, from famous classical compositions to contemporary masterpieces.

The Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale is an outstanding musical group in Minnesota that inspires young artists and music fans.

Rochester Civic Theatre

  30 Civic Center Dr SE Suite 100, Rochester, MN 55904  More Info

The Rochester Civic Theatre is a vibrant cultural center in southeastern Minnesota. It provides an array of options, including live music performances, dance recitals, plays and musicals, and art exhibitions.

The Theatre supports local artists and provides a platform for them to showcase their talent. The theater’s mission is to provide quality entertainment for the community, along with educational opportunities in the arts.

Located in downtown Rochester, MN, the Rochester Civic Theatre is a popular destination for both locals and visitors alike. 

Rochester Trolley & Tour Company

  970 14th Ave SW, Rochester, MN 55902  More Info

For a fun and unique way to explore Rochester, the best option is the Rochester Trolley & Tour Co.

Hop on the trolley and embark on a guided tour that will take you through some of the city’s most fascinating landmarks and attractions.

It’s a great way to learn about Rochester’s history and culture while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

The trolleys are comfortable and equipped with state-of-the-art audio systems, so you can hear every bit of the narration. Whether you’re a tourist or a native, the Rochester Trolley & Tour Co is a must-try experience. 

Trolley Tours are one of the best ways to learn about the city you are visiting. Stillwater also has a great tour worth exploring!

Thursdays Downtown

  1st Avenue Southwest and Northwest, 3rd Street Southwest, and, Peace Plaza, Rochester, MN 55902  More Info

Summer Market and Music Festival (Thrus on 1st and 3rd)

Thursday’s Downtown Music Celebration in Rochester, MN celebrates the city’s vibrant music scene.

Every Thursday evening in summer, downtown Rochester has a free music festival with live performances.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of food and drink vendors too. Local restaurants and bars join in on the festivities, offering up special discounts and happy hour specials.

There are many activities besides the live music to keep the party fun, such as games, dancing, face painting, and more.

Chester Woods Park

  8378 14 Highway Southeast, Eyota, MN 55934  More Info

Chester Woods Park in Rochester, MN is a beautiful and peaceful location, perfect for a relaxing day outdoors. The park is on the city outskirts, surrounded by beautiful hills and a river valley, offering visitors a stunning view of the area’s natural beauty.

The park is home to fishing and kayaking, biking and hiking, picnicking and camping, and even horseshoe pits!

Chester Woods Park is great for families or friends to have fun and relax outdoors.

If you want a day trip or an overnight getaway, Chester Woods Park is the ideal place for a peaceful and beautiful escape.

Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial

  300 7th St SW, Rochester, MN 55902  More Info

The Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial is a significant attraction in Southeast Minnesota. This memorial is dedicated to honoring veterans who fought bravely for their country.

The Walk of Remembrance is one of the most notable features of the memorial. It’s a collection of engraved bricks, each representing a veteran who served in the military.

The memorial includes several sculptures that depict heroic actions taken by soldiers.

You can visit the Field of Honor to pay tribute to all branches of the military.

The Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial honors the service and sacrifice of those who served their country.

Peace Plaza

  1st Ave SW & 1st St SW (Street Level) Rochester, MN 55902

Downtown Peace Plaza is an iconic attraction located in the heart of downtown Rochester, Minnesota. The plaza is a peaceful place in the busy downtown area, where both residents and tourists come together.

The proximity to Mayo Clinic is a bonus, particularly for patients and their families seeking respite during stressful times.

The streets of downtown Rochester offer a multitude of activities and attractions. When the weather is unpredictable in the Midwest, the climate-controlled travel offered by the Peace Plaza is a welcome escape.

For events, the Peace Plaza can be rented, making it a versatile option for both personal and corporate occasions.

Rochester MN have some great places to stay. One of my favorite places is The Towers At The Kahler Grand.

Silver Lake Park

  840 7th ST NE Rochester, MN 55906  More Info

Silver Lake Park is a beautiful recreational area located in southeastern Minnesota, only a few miles away from downtown Rochester, MN.

The park has a large 80-acre lake called Silver Lake, where you can enjoy activities such as kayaking, fishing, and swimming.

The Zumbro River flows through the park, enhancing its charm and beauty.

The park also has a walking trail, picnic spots, and playgrounds to keep visitors of all ages entertained.

Silver Lake Park is a popular spot for families, friends, and outdoor lovers who want to get away from the busy city life.

Quarry Hill Nature Center

  701 Silver Creek Rd NE, Rochester, MN 55906  More Info

Quarry Hill Nature Center is a must-visit place for nature enthusiasts. It is located in Rochester, Minnesota and boasts of an impressive range of indoor and outdoor exhibits.

If you like nature, Quarry Hill Nature Center is the perfect place for you, whether you’re into wildlife, geology, or just hiking.

The center is open all year and features educational exhibits on geology, aerospace, and environmental studies.

The outdoor hiking trails are ideal for those who want to explore the great outdoors and get some exercise.

Corn Water Tower

  1300 Fairgrounds Ave SE, Rochester, MN 55904  More Info

The Corn Water Tower is a cherished landmark in Rochester, Minnesota. It stands proudly on a hill, offering a view of the downtown area.

The tower was built in 1922 to store water for the local farming community and has become a symbol of the city’s history.

The tower stands at a height of 118 feet, with a diameter of 32 feet at its base, and has been designated as a historic landmark.

It is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering stunning views of the city and its surroundings.

The Corn Water Tower reminds us of the city’s agricultural origins and how Rochester will always stay connected to its past.

Corn Water Tower in Rochester MN
Photo by Cody Otto on Unsplash

Douglas State Trail

 More Info

The Douglas State Trail is a popular multi-use trail that stretches over 12 miles within Minnesota.

The trail starts at the city of Rochester and ends at the town of Pine Island. Along the way, the trail passes through scenic landscapes, including wetlands, forests, and prairies.

The trail is perfect for hiking, bicycling, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, and it is accessible for all skill levels. 

Visitors can enjoy bird watching, fishing, and picnicking at designated areas.

The Douglas State Trail in Minnesota is a wonderful place to experience the beauty of nature while having outdoor fun and exercising.

Bike Downtown Waterfront Route

Rochester, MN is home to one of the most scenic bicycle routes in the state. This 9-mile route showcases the city’s most scenic spots, with breathtaking views of the Zumbro River and Lake Zumbro.

From the downtown area, the route winds through the historic neighborhoods of Mayo Park, Mt. Hope and the River Arts District.

Along the way, riders can take in sweeping views of the city skyline and the rolling hills of the countryside.

The route also includes several stops at parks, restaurants and shops, making it a great way to explore the city.

Minnesota has some amazing bike trails. Make sure to check them out! 40 Scenic Bike Trails in the Twin Cities

History Center of Olmsted County

1195 W Circle Dr, Rochester, MN 55902 More Info

The History Center of Olmsted County in southeastern Minnesota is an interesting place to learn about the region’s history.

The center has exhibits that show the rich heritage of Olmsted County and how its residents have influenced the state and the nation.

Visitors can explore interactive displays, artifacts, and photographs that bring the history of Olmsted County to life. 

The History Center’s exhibits cover the area’s past, from its early settlers to its medical and agricultural innovations.

Whether you’re a local or just passing through, the History Center of Olmsted County is a must-visit destination in MN. 

Mayowood Mansion

1195 W Circle Dr, Rochester, MN 55902 More Info

Mayowood Mansion is a historic site located in Olmsted County, MN. It was the home of the co-founder of the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Charles Mayo, and his family from 1911 until 1965.

The mansion was originally built in 1911 and underwent several expansions in the following years. The estate features a 38-room mansion, carriage house, gardens, and a tunnel that connected the mansion to the Mayo Clinic.

Mayowood Mansion is open for tours today. Visitors can go back in time and see how a very influential medical family lived.

Rochester Civic Theatre

  15 1st St SW, Rochester, MN 55902  More Info

The Rochester Civic Theatre is a popular performing arts venue in Rochester, Minnesota.

The theater was built in 1951 and has been renovated and expanded several times. It has always been an important cultural center for the community.

The Rochester Civic Theatre promotes and inspires creativity by offering plays, musicals, dance performances, and educational programs for all ages.

The theater boasts a talented and dedicated staff and a beautiful, intimate setting for all who attend. It is truly a gem in the cultural landscape of southeast Minnesota.

Chateau Theatre
Chateau Theatre in Rochester, MN” by uff-da is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Rochester Honkers Baseball

  41 7th Ave NE, Rochester, MN 55906  More Info

The Rochester Honkers are a collegiate baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League. The Honkers are dedicated to providing an enjoyable, family-friendly atmosphere for fans to enjoy a great game of baseball.

The Honkers play their home games at the Mayo Field in downtown Rochester, and have been playing in the Northwoods League since 1995.

The team has top college players from Minnesota and nearby states, giving fans the chance to see future MLB stars.

The Rochester Honkers are a great choice if you want to have a fun night out with your family or see some up-and-coming stars.

Soldiers Field Golf House

  244 Soldiers Field Dr SW, Rochester, MN 55902  More Info

Experience a classic golf course with a breathtaking backdrop in the heart of downtown Rochester! Soldiers Field GC is a classic course located along the Zumbro River and has been a beloved fixture since 1925.

Measuring less than 6,000 yards, the golf course proves that strategy and ball placement, not just length, are needed to score well.

The golf course features tree-lined fairways, well-bunkered greens, and challenging shots over the river.

The course conditions are always pristine thanks to golf course staff who work hard to keep Soldiers Field GC in perfect shape. It is no wonder that it is ranked among the best courses in the Rochester area.

Soldiers Field GC has hosted numerous State qualifying tournaments, junior championships, and the annual Rochester All-City Golf championship over the years. It is open to the public and is host to tournaments and leagues throughout the golf season.

LTS Brewing Company

  2001 32nd Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901  More Info

LTS Brewing Company in Rochester, MN makes excellent beers that represent the local culture and history.

The brewery produces a variety of traditional and innovative beers, from lagers and ales to sours and IPAs.

LTS Brewing Company aims to give customers a great experience by offering a taproom and patio with a variety of their beers, including seasonal and limited-release options.

They also make their own Craft Soda with flavors like Grape Lime Rickey, Pomegranate Ginger Ale, Butter Beer, and Root Beer. Also make sure to get a fresh made pizza!

LTS Brewing Company is an excellent choice in Rochester, MN, whether you love craft beer or want to socialize and have fun.

Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery

  5211 60th Ave SW, Rochester, MN 55902  More Info

Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery is a beautiful destination in the state of Minnesota. The winery in Rochester was established in the early 2000s and has become a popular destination for wine lovers in the region.

The vineyard sprawls over 10 acres of land, with carefully tended vines that produce exceptional grapes. Visitors are treated to a guided winery tour that covers the entire wine-making process, from grape cultivation to bottling.

Visitors can also enjoy wine tastings, admire beautiful landscapes while sipping wine, and buy bottles to take home.

Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery in Minnesota is a must-visit place. It offers top-quality wines, a relaxed ambiance, and beautiful surroundings.

Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery

  78757 MN-16, Spring Valley, MN 55975  More Info

Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery in Rochester, MN is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery that brings Minnesota’s wine country to the Midwest. Located on a sprawling estate in the rolling hills of southeastern Minnesota, Four Daughters

Visit Vineyard and Winery to taste and buy the best wines in the area.

Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery has more than 20 acres of vineyard and offers a great variety of award-winning wines. It’s the ideal place for a wine-tasting adventure.

The vineyard has a tasting room for visitors to try the wines, learn about winemaking, and buy bottles to take home.

The tasting room has a lot of tasty food and snacks, and a beautiful view of the vineyard and hills.

Four Daughters Vineyard is a great place to hang out. Click to find out more: Four Daughters Winery | The Home of Loon Juice Cider

Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery Barn


  150 Broadway Ave S, Rochester, MN 55904  More Info

Pescara in Rochester, MN is a beloved destination for seafood lovers.The restaurant has a welcoming and elegant atmosphere where people can savor tasty seafood dishes made with high-quality ingredients..

The restaurant has a coastal vibe, with a menu that ranges from classic seafood dishes to innovative creations. From classic seafood dishes like Sesame Seared Tun and Grilled Norwgian Salmon to unique creations like the Scrispy Artic Char and Cioppino.

With an extensive wine list and a full bar, you can find the perfect beverage to accompany your meal.

Rochester Farmers Market

  35 Fairgrounds Ave SE, Rochester, MN 55904  More Info

The Rochester Farmers Market in Rochester, MN has been connecting local farmers and consumers.

The market has more than 50 vendors who offer fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as meats, cheeses, and artisan crafts.

Farmers at the market focus on providing healthy, fresh, and sustainably grown products. The market aims to be a zero-waste event.

 Every Saturday from May through October, the Rochester Farmers Market is a great place to find fresh, local produce.

Spark Children’s Museum

  1201 12th St SW Suite 632, Rochester, MN 55902  More Info

The Spark Children’s Museum in Rochester, MN provides a unique and educational experience for children of all ages.With interactive exhibits, Spark provides a fun and safe environment for children to explore and learn.

Climb in the Helix’s 16ft vertical maze, set right in the center of Spark. Enjoy Spark City where you can fix traffic jams or enter the world bazaar. Explore the Imagination Station and build something amazing. Spark will have your kids not wanting to leave.

The Machine Shed

  11 2nd St NE, Rochester, MN 55906  More Info

The Machine Shed is the perfect place for a day of fun and excitement. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the classic arcade games or just want to try something new, you’ll find something here that’s sure to please.

You can find a wide range of games, from classics like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong to modern favorites like X-Men and Street Fighter, that will keep you entertained for hours. Plus, you can enjoy all these games for just $10 all day play!

If you’re looking for something a little more unique, you’ll find plenty of vintage games as well. From classic pinball machines to old-school arcade games, The Machine Shed has it all! Plus, you can even grab a few vintage game consoles to take home and play.

The Machine Shed remis me a lot of Zap! Arcade in Jordan MN. It’s so much fun!!!

Apache Mall

  US Hwy. 52 and, US-14, Rochester, MN 55902  More Info

Located in the heart of Rochester, Minnesota, the Apache Mall is the premier shopping destination in the area. With over 150 different stores, including popular retailers like Macy’s,  JCPenney, and Scheels.

Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends, electronics, home décor, beauty products, or just a day of fun and relaxation, the Apache Mall has it all.

With its convenient location, ample free parking, and great selection of restaurants, the Apache Mall is the ideal place to spend the day.

The Galleria at University Square

  111 Broadway Ave S, Rochester, MN 55904  More Info

The Galleria at University Square in Rochester MN is a shopping center located in the heart of the University of Minnesota Rochester campus.

Featuring over 80 stores and restaurants, the Galleria is a premier destination for all your shopping, dining, and entertainment needs.

Mayo Civic Center

  30 Civic Center Dr SE, Rochester, MN 55904  More Info

The Mayo Civic Center, located in Rochester, Minnesota, is a hub for cultural and entertainment events in the Rochester community.

The center boasts a 7,200-seat arena, exhibit halls, and meeting rooms that can accommodate events of all sizes. 

Additionally, the center is in close proximity to the Zumbro River, providing a picturesque setting for outdoor events. The Mayo Civic Center hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, conferences, and trade shows.

It serves as an anchor for the community, bringing people together to celebrate and engage in a diverse range of activities.

What to do first?

With so many amazing things to do and see in Rochester, Minnesota, it’s no wonder why it is such a beloved destination! From outdoor activities to indoor attractions, Rochester is sure to provide something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking to explore the great outdoors, take in the sights, find a great meal, or just enjoy some quality time with friends and family, Rochester is the perfect spot to do it all.

So why wait? Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Rochester, Minnesota!

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