Best Places to Live

Rochester, MN

Population: 118,935
Time Into Pixels

If you know the Mayo Clinic, then you know Rochester. This city in southeastern Minnesota is the birthplace of the world-renowned medical center and, perhaps unsurprisingly, offers a warm, caring atmosphere for visitors and new residents alike. Rochester has a thriving downtown, handy transportation options and a stable economy. It’s also an affordable place to raise a family, with fun activities all year round.

Top Industries and Employers: With more than 30,000 employees, the Mayo Clinic makes up the bulk of all employment in Rochester. 

Best Coffee Shop: Cafe Steam is a local favorite coffee shop with several locations around town. The downtown shop is a great place to meet a friend or study while sipping a mocha with cayenne pepper known as The Mayan.

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Come for the beer, stay for dinner at Forager Brewery.

Best Co-Working Space: Collider Coworking is the perfect place to put your head down and get some work done or collaborate with other entrepreneurs and freelancers (or both!).

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Porch has a great happy hour. Plus, they give out free pickleback shots on Thursdays.

Creative Hub: Rochester Art Center, which hosts everything from exhibits to open mic nights to summer camps for burgeoning artists. 

Favorite Weekend Activity: Spending the day outdoors at one of Rochester’s 100 parks and 85 miles of paved trails, followed by a film at the Gray Duck Theater and Coffeehouse

Free Way to Have Fun: Thursdays Downtown Summer Market & Music Festival, a weekly block party-esque event held every Thursday featuring craft vendors, lots of tasty food and live entertainment.

Local Dream Job: Nurse at the Mayo Clinic, where you can make a huge positive impact on the lives of patients and their families.

Read More:
Why Rochester, MN is a Top 100 Best Place to Live
Looking for a Job? Here’s Where to Move. 
8 Reasons to Move to Rochester, MN 

- Sarah Kuta

"We have a vibrant downtown with over 330 area businesses, 37,000 people working and 3,300 residents living within the downtown area. The city is looking to partner with a developer to create additional housing opportunities to meet  a growing need in our downtown district. Rochester has been recognized as an all-American city, a gold LEED certified city and is consistently recognized as one of America's most livable cities."


Jenna Bowman
City of Rochester Communications and Engagement Manager

Rochester, MN Ranking Data