Rochester is known for being the home of the Mayo Clinic, but it has so much more to offer. Their surprisingly large access to arts and culture, a thriving food scene, and world-class educational opportunities helped the town land the #1 spot on our list of the 100 Best Places to Live in America. If you haven’t considered moving there, here’s a few reasons why you should:
1. The University of Minnesota-Rochester (UMR)
One of the many colleges in Rochester, UMR is the the University of Minnesota's newest campus and offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Advance your career with a degree at one of Minnesota’s leading university—the best part is that you won’t have to drive far to do so.
2. Quarry Hill Nature Center
This is an outdoor lover’s dream. Quarry Hill Nature Center boasts numerous hiking and biking trails that span across 320 acres of breathtaking landscape. It features a hands-on exploration hall where you can observe live animals in their natural habitat, along with a summer camp program that’s perfect for little ones.
3. Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery
Afternoons are best spent at Salem Glen—sipping on their full-bodied wines, relaxing on the outdoor deck and perhaps indulging in a cheese plate. Be sure to stop by on Saturdays from 2-5 p.m. when they offer live music.
4. Mayo Clinic
The city’s top employer, Mayo Clinic, is world-renown for being the first and largest not-for-profit medical practice. Rochester’s growth and booming economy is largely a result of this medical powerhouse. It employs thousands of people, provides sought-after medical expertise, and is a huge draw for tourists.
5. Convenient to Minnesota’s best amenities
Need a short weekend escape? Rochester is just an hour outside of Minneapolis-St. Paul, giving you access to world-class museums and fine dining restaurants. The twin cities offer endless entertainment options like cheering on the Minnesota Twins at Target Field or enjoying a Broadway play at Guthrie Theater.
6. Fun activities for every season
Whether it’s a snowy winter or gorgeous spring, this city is full of activities to keep you entertained year-around. Capitalize on the fresh powder with a ski trip at Welch Village. Then during warmer weather, swing a club at one of the many golf courses or cast your fishing line at Silver Lake.
7. Thriving art and music scene
For a town its size, Rochester packs a serious punch in the arts/culture/music department. There’s something for everyone to appreciate. For an elevated musical experience, the Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale will serenade you with their gorgeous sounds. But for a more casual, laidback vibe, Thursdays on First & 3rd Summer Market & Music Festival happens every week during the summer and is filled with fun music, food and people.
8. Chester’s Kitchen and Bar
This restaurant is no laughing matter. The #1 Rochester restaurant on Trip Advisor, Chester’s Kitchen and Bar serves up a culinary experience you won’t soon forget. We guarantee you’ll be back again… again… and, quite possibly, again.