22 Best Things to Do in Rochester, MN

Rochester, MN
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Rochester is one of the biggest cities in Minnesota and a lovely place to visit on your next vacation.

The city has fantastic historical museums for you to spend hours exploring the rich exhibits.

The local community here is exceptionally welcoming and friendly.

Many other attractions in this city will give you great memorable experiences to cherish for life.

Interested to know more about this stunning city?

Here are the 22 best things to do in Rochester, Minnesota:

Go Shopping at Downtown Peace Plaza

Downtown Peace Plaza
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Let your hair down and enjoy great fun and frolic at the Downtown Peace Plaza.

Experience the endless amount of entertainment and the fun-fest available at this lively place.

Without breaking the bank, you can feast on the delectable recipes in one of the eateries here.

It is one of the most affordable entertainment spots in Rochester.

You can also go around the many shops and pick up some beautiful items from their rich wares.

They also conduct outdoor performances here, which also provide ample entertainment.

Taste Some Wines at Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery

A visit to Rochester is incomplete for wine lovers without traveling to the beautiful Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery.

The countryside around here is as refreshing as the delicious vines from the cellars.

The place carries a rustic, old-world charm to it.

You will have the most amazing warm feelings as you breathe in the vibes while sipping your fabulous wine.

This place is nicely nestled in the Zumbro River area, away from the clamor of the central city.

The picturesque natural scenery here consists of lazy hillsides and clear blue skies.

The Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery is a family-run business.

This place started in 2006 and has been making delectable wines since then.

They also provide good eatables to nibble on along with the wines.

The pizzas are lovely as they are baked on a natural wood fire.

Shop at Apache Mall

Apache Mall is the biggest mall in Rochester.

You can go on a crazy shopping spree in this glittering modern shopping complex.

The layout is impressive, and shopaholics will love this place on their first visit.

The Apache Mall is one of the star tourist attractions of Rochester and draws hordes of tourists to the city.

You can spend hours window-shopping the beautiful and exciting wares in the shops.

You can also pick up some fantastic items from among the rich collections.

The mall is particularly suitable for buying fashion and technology products.

Sports enthusiasts will also find plenty of stuff to their liking.

The many delicious eateries complete the whole shopping experience in the Apache Mall.

The mall lights up with beautiful entertainment at night.

Glittering lights and fun activities add a new shine at this time.

Watch a Concert at Rochester Symphony Orchestra

Enjoy flowing harmonies by attending a live concert performed by the amazingly talented Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale.

It is a full 70-member orchestra that will leave you mesmerized with their soulful playing.

The 60-member strong chorale is equally enjoyable.

The group will leave you stunned with their loud and boisterous renditions of famous classical compositions.

These talented musicians and singers also perform outside the main hall venue.

Their local Coda concerts are great for catching some of their work with the local youth.

Explore the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial

You can pay your tributes to those who laid their lives on the line and salute the country’s war heroes by visiting the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial.

Many veterans are recognized for their gallantry and service to the nation at this memorial.

A visit to this place can be an emotional experience, mainly if you lived through one of the wars the decorated veterans honored at this memorial served in.

More than 3,000 daring veterans are memorialized at the Wall of Remembrance in this place.

You must also walk down the Walk of Remembrance, where 50 trees are planted to honor the martyrs and brave hearts from the 50 states.

Witness Live Performances at Rochester Civic Theatre

Watch some fantastic live performances by attending one of the productions in play at the incredible Rochester Civic Theatre.

They select their productions from a wide range of compositions cutting across multiple genres and themes.

You can enjoy every kind of theatre here. Laugh your hearts out by watching one of their funny comedy performances.

Alternatively, enjoy the sweet melancholy of a soulful dramatic performance.

Other than theatre, you can also watch some spectacular live dance shows here.

It is one of the finest places in Rochester to enjoy a sumptuous feast of culture.

Pay a Visit to Quarry Hill Nature Centre

Snow covered trail at Quarry Hill Nature Centre
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You can catch a glimpse of a wide variety of animal species in their natural habitats by visiting the Quarry Hill Nature Centre.

You will be amazed at the intuitive intelligence of these beautiful animals as they go about their lives in safe environments here.

You can spot various animal species ranging from glorious birds to colorful fish.

Closeup of a fish in a aquarium at Quarry Hill Nature Centre
Jonathunder, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

More than 35 kinds of animals roam these natural expanses.

The raptors in this place are rare bird species to watch out for.

These grand birds can be dangerous and are known to be one of the most ferocious bird varieties.

Explore Plummer House

Plummer House
Jonathunder, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Stanley Plummer, the founder of the world-famous Mayo Clinic, is one of the legendary characters in the history of medical sciences.

He is also one of the most famous past residents of Rochester.

Besides setting up the wonderful Mayo Clinic, Dr. Plummer also built an exquisite house in Rochester.

You must visit the Plummer House and marvel at the architectural grandeur of this house.

This house is constructed in a unique Tudor style.

The rich facades and structures reflect the prestige of the place in sync with the reputation of its famous occupant.

Beautiful gardens adorn the surrounding spaces. This impressive building is a testament to the city’s rich historical past.

Visit Calvary Episcopal Church

The Calvary Episcopal Church is the oldest in Rochester and still draws many attendees to its hallowed interiors who come here to say their prayers and enjoy a few moments of peace.

This famous church has also been recognized as a historic site by the Olmsted County Historical Society.

The church has been exquisitely constructed and inlaid with charming stained-glass windows.

The garden in the compound is also a treat for the eyes and soul.

At the top of the main hall is a magnificent altar standing tall in all its shining glory.

See Victorian-era Antiques at Heritage House Victoria Museum

Heritage House Victoria Museum
Jonathunder, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is one of the most famous tourist hotspots in Rochester.

Walking through the exhibits, you will find the saga of the city's rich history replayed in front of your eyes.

This museum was originally the residence of Timothy Whitling and his wife, Eliza Whitling, who lived in it in the Victorian age.

You can view unique artifacts on display here. Some of them reflect the many famous events in the colorful history of the area.

Wander around Rochester Art Centre

Rochester Art Centre
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Enjoy a dash of fine arts by visiting the fantastic Rochester Art Centre situated alongside the equally aesthetic Zumbro River.

This impressive museum makes sure that it rotates its artwork to surprise visitors with new cultural pleasures on each visit.

The artworks are some of the best examples from their genre, style, and era.

They are rich in their deep semiotic meaning, and you should thoughtfully peruse through each piece to get the complete pleasure of the artist's creativity behind them.

The affordable museum welcomes all and sundry into its spaces to enjoy mesmerizing artworks.

Trek Douglas State Trail

You can have a refreshing and energizing hike on the Douglas State Trail in Rochester.

This impressive trail is around 12 miles in length and is a popular destination for joggers and hikers to enjoy the delights of light physical activity.

You can also enjoy riding a horse on the nature trail here.

It is a sight to watch bikers and horse riders enjoying the trail side by side.

This trail leads you into the area occupied by the communities of Douglas Island and Pine Island.

The visuals on both sides are a sheer delight to enjoy as you go along your hike.

Be Entertained at Mayo Civic Centre

Mayo Civic Centre
Joel McCartan / Shutterstock.com

The Mayo Clinic is a world-class medical facility set up by the legendary Dr. Plummer.

The Mayo Civic Centre is the civic arm that is a fantastic entertainment and convention center.

Good health also entails entertainment, and the Civic Centre is set up in that spirit.

The Mayo Civic Centre hosts several amazing fun and entertaining activities, including sports, concerts, and conventions.

The views of the Zumbro River from the high vantage point at the top of the place are gorgeous.

You can have loads of fun-filled moments at this fantastic place.

Shop for Produce at Rochester Farmers Market

Fresh Swiss Chard at Rochester Farmers Market
Jonathunder, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With many people choosing to cook their foods while traveling, the Rochester Farmers Market is the perfect destination to procure freshly plucked exotic local ingredients.

You will get plenty of fruit and vegetables to buy and cook sumptuous recipes with them.

Also, the market is stacked plush with meats, dairy products, and beautiful flowers.

You will also find many fantastic craft items on display here.

Garlics kept for sale at Rochester Farmers Market
Jonathunder, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This place is perfect for getting the right combination of sightseeing and shopping delight in Rochester.

Rochester is a beautiful city to visit on your next holiday.

We would love to hear from you and know which activity on our list you enjoyed the most during your Rochester trip!

Engage in a Friendly Game at Maple Valley Golf and Country Club

Since 1963, Maple Valley Golf & Country Club has been a family-run public facility, and many consider it the most picturesque course in Southeast Minnesota.

The course features stunning scenery and complexity since it is surrounded on three ends by limestone cliffs and the Root River.

While teeing off on the third hole to the green 50 feet beyond, you'll agree that this is the ideal site for a golf course.

They provide over 50 rental carts in addition to logo jerseys, coats, towels, balls, tees, and rental clubs.

The on-site restaurant offers delicious handcrafted deli sandwiches, hot dogs, pizzas, and beverages in a lovely environment.

Join a Tour at Charles E. Gagnon Museum and Sculpture Garden

The purpose of the Charles E. Gagnon Museum and Sculpture Garden is to present artistic and academic programs about the calming, healing bronze sculptures of Charles E. Gagnon in their natural surroundings.

The bronze sculptures of Gagnon are admired all around the world.

The sculpture garden, accessible from May to October, is urged to be explored by guests.

Your tour guide, Charles E. Gagnon's wife, will tell you tales about his life and sculptures at his residence.

In 1960, Chuck started working as a professional sculptor.

He committed his entire life to producing exquisite bronze sculptures that promote harmony and the human spirit.

Don't miss out and arrange a guided tour at the Charles E. Gagnon Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Explore The City Fashionably with Rochester Trolley & Tour Company

Rochester Trolley & Tour Company, established in the spring of 2006, offers a selection of public and exclusive sightseeing excursions, trolleys, and bus charters for groups of any size.

Its goal is to give visitors a tour or adventure that is secure, cozy, educational, and pleasant.

Rochester Trolley offers visitors to Rochester's and the surrounding area's numerous artistic, social, natural, and aesthetic marvels.

It offers individualized attention, complete trip and tour preparation, educated and personable tour operators, and a dedication to quality at every turn.

The business has pioneered and produced several well-liked tours that tourists and locals appreciate via successful relationships with numerous organizations, locations, and attractions.

Pay a Visit to the Children's Dance Theatre

From its founding in 1987 with the sole intention of producing top-notch theatrical dance productions, Children's Dance Theatre has successfully achieved that objective.

Contrary to popular belief, CDT is an autonomous, nonprofit dance theater that has been legally incorporated.

By giving dancers the ability to collaborate with a variety of choreographers and get a firsthand look at the creative process behind producing a show, CDT aims to provide them with an engaging learning environment.

They are pleased to provide this chance to dancers who are not currently members of their regular dance studios and organizations.

Also, Children's Dance Theatre presents chances for outreach and educational performances all year.

Play Endlessly at Bowlocity Entertainment Center

The 34,000-square-foot Bowlocity Entertainment Center boasts 24 lanes of ultramodern bowling, a laser tag area, and a redemption arcade.

Discover the VR rollercoaster, the laser maze, and the sports bar with your classic burgers, pizzas, and appetizers!

It is the ideal location for your upcoming event or celebration.

They provide laser tag, arcade, bowling, or a mix of all three for your party needs!

Leagues are available at Bowlocity Entertainment Center for players of all ages and abilities.

Bowlocity Entertainment Center provides leagues for both experienced bowlers searching for a recognized setting and recreational bowlers looking for a good time.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery

It is yet another fantastic winery where you can enjoy delicious, refreshing wines.

The food is equally excellent, and you can have sumptuous culinary delights on your visit.

You can spend your weekend by visiting the Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery and enjoy many hours of pleasurable experiences.

Of course, you must also try the specialty hard cider of the Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery, which goes by the colorful name of Loon Juice.

The food menu is packed with delightful Italian and gourmet items.

The pizzas and the charcuterie bread are delicious. Also, enjoy some feisty Mexican flavors with the 4D nachos.

The Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery organize many special events.

One that we recommend is the yoga classes that let you sip delectable wines during the rest periods.

Wander around Chester Woods Park

Head out into the wilderness around Rochester by visiting Chester Woods Park.

It is the perfect hiking and camping destination for those who enjoy the outdoors.

It is an ideal spot for traveling with your family and enjoying a fantastic time.

Hike on the many trails in the area and enjoy a refreshing physical workout.

Alternatively, conquer the waters by going around on a rented kayak.

Otherwise, bask in the sun and enjoy a warm family picnic in scenic surroundings.

Try the Amish Harmony Tours

If you want a quick sneak peek into the Amish subculture and their way of life, you must take an Amish Tour of Harmony.

The core philosophy of the Amish subculture revolves around the concepts of hard work, devotion to one's cause, and strong family bonds.

Walk around Amish farms and stores. The guide will provide important information about these places to make the tour more engaging.

Feast your eyes on the signature Amish classic horse-drawn wagons.

You will be filled with nostalgic feelings of the bygone eras.

Also, the simplicity of life here will leave you in a thoughtful mood.

Final Thoughts

After Minneapolis and St. Paul, Rochester is the third-biggest city in Minnesota.

It is a community in southeast Minnesota with a bustling hospital and a lively downtown that exudes a beautiful small-town atmosphere.

For individuals and families with children, there are many entertaining activities to do in Rochester.

Whether staying in Rochester for a couple of hours or several days, you won't have trouble finding activities and attractions to explore.

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