Things to do in Rochester

Founded in 1854, the city of Rochester, the state’s third largest city, is located on the Zumbro River in Southeast Minnesota. Rochester has everything — it’s a short hop and a skip away from Minneapolis, is home to companies such as the Mayo Clinic, and has repeatedly been voted one of the best places to live in the country. If you’re looking for something to do in Rochester, take a ride with Vinnie!.

Vinnie Van GO loves Rochester, and has created a guide so you will too. Here are Vinnie’s favorite places to visit when he’s in town!

Rochester MN City Guide


Every June, join Rochester locals at this celebration of their beloved city. This festival sees a series of community events, including treasure hunts, parades, live entertainment, and some of the most delicious food in the state. Check the Rochesterfest schedule for more detailed information and reserve a festival shuttle with GO!

4th of July

If you’re in Rochester for July, you won’t want to miss this celebration of America’s founding. Ring in Independence Day with firework displays, outdoor barbecues, and live music events all across the city.

Rochester Stadiums

Graham Arena Complex

This 100,000 square foot events complex houses four massive arenas on the Olmsted County Fairgrounds. The venue hosts trade shows, hockey games, horse shows, dance shows, antique shows, and more throughout the year. Book your next arena shuttle with GO.

1570 Fairgrounds Ave SE
Rochester, MN 55904

Mayo Civic Center

This convention center is hailed as the premier destination for entertainment, sporting, and social conventions in the state. The Mayo Civic Center is also great for private events.

30 Civic Center Drive
Rochester, MN 55904

Rochester MN Landmarks

Douglas State Trail

This paved 12.5 mile trail is built over a historic abandoned railroad, and passes through some of the most beautiful rural scenery and agricultural land in the state. If you’re looking for a somewhere to spend the day unwinding in nature, this is the place for you.

Chateau Theater

This historic old cinema in town is one of the best places to catch the latest blockbuster film. While the theater may be antique, the seats are still comfy and offer all the modern amenities available at the major modern theaters.

15 1st Street SW
Rochester, MN 55902

Quarry Hill Nature

This nature center is famous for its cross country skiing in the winter, biking and hiking in the spring, summer, and fall, and as a beautiful place to experience nature all year long.

701 Silver Creek Road, NE
Rochester, MN 55906

Rochester MN Neighborhoods

If you’re looking for a guided experience of the city, Rochester Trolley Tours offer the best hop-on hop-off city sightseeing tours, all aboard a vintage reg and green trolley. The company also offers excursions out into the Scenic Mississippi River Valley and Old Order Amish Country.

Rochester MN Restaurants

Twigs Tavern and Grille

Housed snugly in the Centerstone Plaza Hotel, this stunning restaurant offers an eclectic and diverse menu amongst rustic hardwood floors, stone fireplaces, and leather seating. This spot also has one of the best gluten-free menus in the city.

401 6th Street
Rochester, MN 55902

300 First

For some classic American fare, downtown Rochester’s 300 First is one of the best upscale places to get a burger. Save room — the desserts are infamous!.

300 1st Ave NW
Rochester, MN 55901

City Cafe

For some of the highest quality seafood in town, City Cafe offers fresh mussels, clams, shrimp, and fish of all kinds. When the weather is nice, this restaurant also has a beautiful outdoor seating area.

216 1st Ave SW
Rochester, MN 55902

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