Rochester, Minnesota has something for everyone! From outdoor activities like fishing and hiking, to indoor attractions like the Mayo Clinic and the Rochester Art Center, there is something to pique everyone’s curiosity and make your stay in Rochester an unforgettable one.
I love getting to explore Rochester whenever I head south. Since it’s at the end of highway 52, it’s almost impossible to miss.
Whether you’re looking to explore the outdoors, take in the sights, find a great meal, or simply enjoy some quality time with friends and family, Rochester has you covered.
Take a look at some of the best things to do in Rochester, Minnesota and start planning your next adventure!
29 Things to do in Rochester MN
Heritage House Victorian Museum
The Heritage House Victorian Museum in Rochester, MN is a must-visit destination. Located in a grand Victorian-style building and surrounded by a picturesque garden, the museum provides a unique glimpse into the city’s past.
Inside, guests can explore a variety of rooms filled with period furniture and decorations, as well as a museum shop that features a wide selection of antiques and collectibles.
The museum offers tours during the summer months on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. During the guided tour, visitors can learn about the history of Rochester, hear stories about the city, and view the building’s original furnishings.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a unique way to experience Rochester’s past, the Heritage House Victorian Museum is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.
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 used as a conference center and event space, but it still retains its original beauty and charm. Plummet House is also a popular tourist attraction in Rochester, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to see the impressive architecture and learn about its history.
The house and the surrounding grounds are open to the public, and guided tours are available for those who want to learn more about the Plummer family and their impact on the Mayo Clinic.
Whether you are a history buff or simply looking for a beautiful and interesting attraction to visit in Rochester, Plummer House is definitely worth a visit.
Rochester Art Center
Rochester Art Center is a must-visit attraction when in Rochester, MN. As a leading contemporary art center, it offers an eclectic mix of endearing art exhibitions, events, and programs to provide 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, and it adds to the overall ambiance. Whether you are looking to spend an afternoon browsing the galleries or attending one of the many artistic workshops, Rochester Art Center is a fantastic place to visit.
Furthermore, the center has a unique gift shop that sells art-inspired products to take home with you. If you are looking for a creative outlet or just want to experience the joy of contemporary art, Rochester Art Center should be at the top of your list.
Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale
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 a beacon of musical excellence in Minnesota and continues to inspire budding artists and music enthusiasts alike.
Rochester Civic Theatre
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 is committed to showcasing the works of local artists, and it is a hub for artists to showcase their talent. The theatre’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
If you’re looking to explore the city of Rochester in a unique and fun way, then the Rochester Trolley & Tour Co is your best bet.
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.
This is a perfect way to get an overview of Rochester’s history and culture, while enjoying the delightful scenery along the way.
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!
Summer Market and Music Festival (Thrus on 1st and 3rd)
The Thursdays Downtown Music Celebration in Rochester, MN is a one-of-a-kind event that celebrates the vibrant music scene in the city.
Every Thursday evening during the summer months, downtown Rochester is transformed into a free outdoor music festival, featuring some of the best live music that the city has to offer.
Don’t worry, there is plenty of food and drink vendors too. Local restaurants and bars join in on the festivities, offering up special discounts and happy hour specials.
In addition to the live music, there are also a variety of activities to keep the party going, including games, dancing, face painting, and more.
Chester Woods Park
Chester Woods Park in Rochester, MN is a beautiful, serene location that is the perfect spot for a peaceful day outside. Located on the outskirts of the city, the park is nestled in the Zumbro River Valley and is surrounded by lush, rolling hills, giving visitors a stunning view of the natural beauty of the area.
The park is home to fishing and kayaking, biking and hiking, picnicking and camping, and even horseshoe pits!
With its wide open spaces, Chester Woods Park is the perfect spot for a family or group of friends to enjoy a day of outdoor activities and relaxation.
Whether you’re looking for a day trip or an overnight getaway, Chester Woods Park is the perfect spot for a peaceful and peaceful and beautiful escape.
Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial
Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial is an important 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.
Visitors can also pay their respects at the Field of Honor, where flags of all branches of the military fly proudly.
The Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial is a fitting tribute to the service and sacrifice of those who have served their country.
Downtown Peace Plaza is an iconic attraction located in the heart of downtown Rochester, Minnesota. The plaza serves as a gathering place for residents and tourists alike, providing an oasis of tranquility in an otherwise bustling downtown area.
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. But when the weather is unpredictable – as it often is in the Midwest – the climate-controlled way to travel that the Peace Plaza offers 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 Has some great places to stay. One of my favorite places is The Towers At The Kahler Grand.
Silver Lake Park
Silver Lake Park is a beautiful recreational area located in southeastern Minnesota, only a few miles away from downtown Rochester, MN.
The park is home to a vast 80-acre lake called Silver Lake, which offers plenty of opportunities for water activities like kayaking, fishing, and swimming.
At the same time, the Zumbro River flows through the park, adding to the charm and appeal of this picturesque natural setting.
The park also has a walking trail, picnic spots, and playgrounds to keep visitors of all ages entertained.
Silver Lake Park is a popular destination for families, friends, and outdoor enthusiasts looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Quarry Hill Nature Center
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.
Whether you’re interested in wildlife, geology, or simply enjoy a good hike, Quarry Hill Nature Center is the place for you.
The center is open all year round, and visitors can expect to see various 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
The Corn Water Tower in Rochester, Minnesota is a beloved landmark of the city, proudly standing atop a hill overlooking the downtown area.
The tower was first built in 1922 as a way to store water for the local farming community and has since 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 is a reminder of the city’s agricultural roots, and a reminder that Rochester will always remain rooted in its past.
Douglas State Trail
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.
Overall, the Douglas State Trail is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of Minnesota while getting some exercise and outdoor fun.
Bike Downtown Waterfront Route
Rochester, MN is home to one of the most scenic bicycle routes in the state. This 9-mile route takes riders through some of the most beautiful spots in the city, offering stunning 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
The History Center of Olmsted County, located in southeastern Minnesota, is a fascinating destination for those interested in the region’s history.
The center features a variety of exhibits showcasing Olmsted County’s rich heritage and the impact its residents have had on the state and the nation.
Visitors can explore interactive displays, artifacts, and photographs that bring the history of Olmsted County to life.
From the area’s early settlers to its medical and agricultural innovations, the History Center’s exhibits provide a comprehensive look at the region’s past.
Whether you’re a local or just passing through, the History Center of Olmsted County is a must-visit destination in MN.
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.
Today, Mayowood Mansion is open to the public for tours, offering visitors the opportunity to step back in time and witness the lavish lifestyle of one of the most influential families in the medical field.
Rochester Civic Theatre
The Rochester Civic Theatre is a beloved venue for the performing arts in the city of Rochester, located in southeast Minnesota.
Established in 1951, the theater has undergone many renovations and expansions over the years, but has always remained a cultural hub for the community.
With a mission to promote and inspire creativity, the Rochester Civic Theatre offers a variety of productions, including plays, musicals, and dance performances, as well as 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.
Rochester Honkers Baseball
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 features some of the best collegiate players from Minnesota and the surrounding states, giving fans the opportunity to see future MLB stars.
Whether you’re looking for a fun night out with the family or to catch a glimpse of some rising stars, the Rochester Honkers are an excellent choice.
Soldiers Field Golf House
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
LTS Brewing Company in Rochester, MN is a craft brewery dedicated to creating high-quality beers that reflect the unique culture and history of the Rochester area.
The brewery produces a variety of traditional and innovative beers, from lagers and ales to sours and IPAs.
LTS Brewing Company strives to provide a memorable experience for its customers, offering a taproom and patio with a rotating selection of its beers, as well as seasonal and limited-release offerings.
You’ll also find Craft Soda made inhouse with flavors like Grape Lime Rickey, Pomegranate Ginger Ale, Butter Beer and Root Beer. Also make sure to get a fresh made pizza!
Whether you’re a craft beer enthusiast or looking for a place to socialize and have a good time, LTS Brewing Company is a great option in Rochester, MN.
Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery
Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery is a beautiful destination in the state of Minnesota. Located in Rochester, the winery was established in the early 2000s, and since then, it has become one of the most sought-after places in the region for wine lovers.
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.
They can also enjoy wine tastings, sip a glass of wine while overlooking stunning scenery, and purchase bottles to take home with them.
With its top-quality wines, relaxed ambiance, and beautiful surroundings, Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery is a must-visit for anyone visiting the state of Minnesota.
Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery
Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery in Rochester, MN is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery that brings the best of Minnesota’s wine country to the heart of the Midwest. Located on a sprawling estate in the rolling hills of southeastern Minnesota, Four Daughters
Vineyard and Winery offers visitors a unique opportunity to sample and purchase some of the finest wines produced in the region.
With over 20 acres of vineyard and a wide selection of award-winning wines, Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery is the perfect destination for a wine-tasting adventure.
The vineyard has a tasting room where visitors can sample the wines, learn about the winemaking process, and purchase bottles to take home.
The tasting room offers a wide variety of delicious food and snacks, as well as a stunning view of the vineyard and surrounding 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
Pescara in Rochester MN is a beloved destination for seafood lovers. With an atmosphere that is both inviting and upscale, diners can enjoy fresh, delicious seafood dishes prepared with the finest 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
The Rochester Farmers Market in Rochester, MN has been connecting local farmers and consumers.
With over 50 vendors, the market provides fresh and seasonal locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as other products such as meats, cheeses, and artisan crafts.
The farmers at the market are dedicated to providing healthy, fresh, and sustainably grown products, and the market strives 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
Spark Children’s Museum in Rochester, MN is a unique and educational experience, designed to engage and inspire 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 int the center of Spark. Enjoy Spark City where you can fix traffic jams or enter the world bazar. Explore the Imagination Station and build something amazing, Spark will have your kids not wanting to leave.
The Machine Shed
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.
From classic games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong to modern-day favorites like X-Men and Street Fighter, you’ll find something to 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!!!
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
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
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!