Rochester Minnesota tourist attractions and vacations are about a lot more than visits to the Mayo Clinic. When you visit Minnesota be sure to take some time to visit Rochester.
Rochester is an intriguing combination of big city and small town. In addition to the Mayo Clinic, Rochester has IBM's largest building. Its rural roots, however, are best exemplified by the large corncob water tower on the edge of town.
The history of the "Clinic in the Cornfield" is worth taking the 90 minute tour of the Mayo Clinic. Come a bit early for your tour to watch the 15 minute movie that tells the story of Mayo's founding as southern Minnesota's first hospital. Tours begin every day (Monday thru Friday) at 10am in the Judd Auditorium.
Because of the large numbers of people who come to Rochester for medical treatment there is a wide variety of hotels. Many Rochester hotels are in historic buildings and many are very reasonably priced. One of the most charming B&Bs in the state is near Rochester.
Rochester vacation packages are a good place to start planning your Rochester Minnesota vacation.
You will find seasonal discounts and last minute Rochester hotel deals. Other vacation planning tips can be found by checking the best deals on flights to Rochester as well as Rochester hotel & air deals.
Outdoor activities in Rochester might include hiking the five miles of trail in the city's Quarry Hill Park. In winter cross-country skis and snowshoes can be rented. Kids will love the Nature Center just off County Road 22. Explore the interactive displays, touch tables, aquarium and animal mounts. Bike the Douglas State Trail between Rochester and Pine Island. Golf the Northern Hills Golf course.
You can also tour Mayowood Mansion, the country estate of clinic co-founder Dr. Charles Mayo and Plummer House of the Arts the 49 room mansion owned by another early Mayo doctor, Henry Plummer.
Listen to live concerts featuring the 56 bronze bells at the top of Mayo Clinic's Plummer Building. You will hear everything from hymns to show tunes. One of the best ways to hear the music is to simply sit down near the Boy With A Dolphin statue at the front of the Mayo Building. Read reviews of many other ideas for Rochester Minnesota vacations.
There are two Rochester area campgrounds. The Silver Lake RV Park is closest to Rochester's downtown and to the Mayo Clinic however you will often find it to be crowded. You might do better just seven miles east of town on Highway 14 at Chester Woods Park campground.
Stop in at the Chateau Theater: Built in 1927, the Chateau was one of the most elaborate theatres in Rochester in the early 1900s. The exterior sunburst design marquee is lit with 636 light bulbs. Its unique French Village decor includes interior balconies and turrets and, on the ceiling, stars in the night sky. Refurbished in 1994, this elegant old theatre now houses a Barnes and Noble Bookstore and Starbucks Cafe.
Learn why we think Rochester is one of Minnesota's 10 Best Vacation Spots.
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