Best Places to Live

Rochester, MN

Population: 116,000
LIV
SCORE
725
AB-PHOTOGRAPHY.US

Maybe you’ve never heard of this city of 116,000 in southeastern Minnesota, but we bet you’ve heard of its biggest employer: The Mayo Clinic.

While Rochester may be best known for its famous hospital, which draws patients, doctors and researchers from all over the world, this city is so much more than that. There’s a growing food scene and plenty of community events to keep residents entertained. And for a relatively small city, Rochester has a great public transportation system. Its bus system has 40 weekday routes. Skyways and pedestrian subways connect buildings downtown. If you’re car-free, Rochester has 85 (!) miles of interconnected trails that are available for pedestrian, bike, wheelchair and stroller use.

Rochester is also incredibly civic-minded — its citizens vote, volunteer and get involved in their communities at a much higher rate than the national average. The bottom line? Living here means taking pride in your city.

Local Obsession: The Mayo Clinic! It’s currently ranked the best hospital in the U.S.

Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: Very cold winter, very hot summer.

Top Employers: Mayo Clinic, IBM and Charter Communications

Local Dream Job: A pediatric surgeon at the Mayo Clinic

Quintessential Meal: A burger and beer at Newt’s, a local restaurant that’s been in business for almost 40 years. It’s kid-friendly which makes it a great place for Rochester’s many young families!

Favorite Weekend Activity: Rochester is surrounded by picturesque river bluffs, making it a great place for hiking.

After-Work Meetup Spot: The Half Barrel’s happy hour runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. every weekday and is walking distance from the Mayo. And they have over 400 different whiskeys to choose from!

Best Brewery: Forager Brewery

Free Way to Have Fun: Rochester’s popular Winterfest is free every year.

- Sarah von Bargen

Read More:

Rochester Is One of the Best Places in America to Find a Job Right Now

Why Rochester, MN is a Top 100 Best Place to Live

8 Reasons to Move to Rochester, MN

Rochester, MN Ranking Data

Civic
83
Demographics
57
Economy
78
Education
63
Health
70
Housing
69
Infrastructure
91