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Tourism - Attractions & Hospitality

There is much to do in Rochester that will please the entire family. From go-karting and golfing, to nature centers and wineries, Rochester has it all. There is no shortage of attractions, theatres, restaurants, sporting events and entertainment located within city limits.

History buffs are afforded the opportunity to go back in time at one of several historical sites in Rochester. Browse through Heritage House, a restored 19th century home located in the city’s 1856 Town Square, or take a tour through the sprawling 10-acre Mayowood Estate. Built by Mayo Clinic co-founder Dr. Charles H. Mayo between 1911 and 1938, the estate is a designated Minnesota Historic Site, and the impressive 38-room Mayowood Mansion and its encompassing landscape are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A site not to be missed is Pill Hill, an historic neighborhood distinguished by hundreds of well-preserved, elegantly appointed homes that were once home to prominent Rochester residents, such as Dr. Will Mayo and Dr. Henry Plummer, inventor of the pneumatic tube. Pill Hill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Also be sure to make a stop at the beautiful Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial, a structure designed to honor veterans of war from southeast Minnesota.

Get a jumpstart on weekend fun in the summer by heading downtown for Thursdays on First and Third, a weekly market and music festival from mid-June through September. Thursdays on First features local vendors selling food, drinks, jewelry, flowers and more; as well as music lined up throughout the day.

Explore more of what Rochester has to offer, including art galleries, day trips, movie theatres, music and art scene and nightspots, at


Hospitality stands as the City of Rochester’s second-largest industry, hosting more than 2.5 million visitors each year. With more than 5,000 comfortable guestrooms to choose from, visitors, whether here for business or leisure, rest assured that they will find something to suit their traveling needs.

Many of the hotels and motels located in Rochester are located near the Mayo Clinic and its affiliated hospitals, providing convenient options for visiting patients and their families. More than 15 are located downtown, and of those, nine are connected to the city’s subway/skyway system. While amenities vary between hotels, common services offered include courtesy clinic shuttles, complimentary continental breakfast, indoor pools, fitness centers and free high-speed Internet access.


A new initiative called Destination Medical Community (DMC) is sure to change Rochester’s already positive reputation among its millions of annual visitors. DMC’s goal is to provide the ideal patient experience and make Rochester the world’s premier destination medical community by creating a more authentic community experience for patients and visitors, while helping attract and retain the businesses and talents our area needs to remain a vital community for the future.

Recent National Recognition

#6, “10 Best Cities for the Next Decade”
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, July 2010

A top “10 Great City for Raising a Family”
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, August 2010

#1, Metro Area with Fastest-Growing Jobs
Where the Jobs Will Be, by Richard Florida, The Atlantic

“Top 10 Best Places to Grow Up”
U.S. News & World Report, 2009

“Best Small Places for Business and Careers”, 2009

“#9 Best Cities for Job-Seeking Retirees”
U.S. News & World Report, 2009

“#34 Best Places for Business and Careers”, 2010

“#12 Best Town in America for Hunters and Fisherman”
Outdoor Life Magazine, June/July 2010

“#9 Top Towns for Outdoorsman”
Outdoor Life Magazine, 2009

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