9 Of Our Favorite Things To Do While In Rochester (Year-Round Guide)

Rochester is a common destination for many Minnesota families for a few reasons—most notably is the Mayo Clinic that offers care for millions of patients each year. Thankfully, the city has grown around this hospital to provide an escape for families and loved ones who need hospital care and for others who venture to Rochester for a new city to explore.

As a local business based out of Mankato, Minnesota, we love when work brings us to Rochester. Here are some of our favorite places to see, restaurants to eat at, and things to do in Rochester.

Restaurants in Rochester, MN

When it comes to finding great restaurants, it’s not too difficult in Rochester. Several places throughout the city have gained statewide and even national attention. Here are a few of our favorites:

Five West

A new American restaurant serving up all of what you’d expect from a modern grill and bar, this spot has got fans raving. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a happy hour they aim to please and have a great menu lineup with lots of different selections.

Be sure to stop by at a few different times to try some of the different menu items offered at different times of the day.

Address: 1991 Commerce Dr. NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Phone: (507) 361-5555

Google Rating: 4.4 stars


Changing things up a bit and offering delicious seafood is Pescara. With a spacious dining area, an upscale restaurant, and refined seafood and chops, there’s nothing here that won’t be amazing. Many of the reviews for this restaurant claim it to have some of the best eats in town. So be sure to check it out and enjoy some of the best that Roch has to offer.

Address: 150 Broadway Ave S, Rochester, MN 55904

Phone: (507) 280-6900

Google Rating: 4.5 stars

Chester’s Kitchen & Bar

things to do in rochester

A modern destination with an upscale bar and a stylish dining experience. Here you’ll be able to enjoy cocktails and bar favorites along with great eats all day long. One thing to note about this restaurant is the great patio seating that’s offered.

Address: Shops At University Square, 111 Broadway Ave S #108, Rochester, MN 55904

Phone: (507) 424-1211

Google Rating: 4.5 stars

The Redwood Room

Pies, pasta, cocktails, and more are all served in a cozy wood-paneled room that regularly features live music from many local artists. You’ll be able to enjoy your food and great company in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The music and homie feel at The Redwood Room make it a local favorite.

Address: 300 1st Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Phone: (507) 281-2978

Google Rating: 4.6 stars

Things To Do in Rochester

If you’re looking for a fun place to explore or take your family, Rochester has lots of history and great places to visit. Whether you’re looking to spend the day at the local zoo or see some of the historic buildings tied to the Mayo Clinic, there’s no shortage of opportunities.

Quarry Hill Nature Center

quarry hill nature center in rochester

Artificial caves, a nature center, live animals, and long trails help bring this park to life. The park is large and makes for a great evening outing, or you can spend the day there with your family and see the many different attractions.

The Plummer Building

The Plummer Building is a place you can visit to learn more about the different things that put Rochester on the map. The Mayo Clinic still uses the building itself after nearly a century. The architecture throughout this building is second to none, especially when you consider that it was built nearly 100 years ago and long before modern power tools would have made the job easier.

Plummer House

Notorious for the Plummer Building, the Plummer house was the residence of the late Dr. Henry Stanler Plummer and Daisy Berkman Plummer. Originally called Quarry Hill, the residence sits on a 65-acre plot of land filled with history. Today you can take tours throughout the property to learn more about it or rent the entirety of the property for groups to use. Be sure to check out their website for more info.

Mayowood Mansion

This mansion is spectacular and, as a property, was and is extremely large. “The 23,000-square foot, thirty-eight room mansion was built in 1910 by Dr. Charlie and Edith Mayo. The home is built of concrete construction, the first of its kind in southeast Minnesota. Once a 3,300-acre country estate, the mansion has seen many changes over the years.”

Today you’ll be able to see many different parts of the home through a guided tour of the riverfront mansion. We encourage anyone who has the chance to visit the mansion and learn more about the amazing Mayo family.

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Just a short way from Rochester city center is the Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo. An escape from regular city dwellings and a way to get out and enjoy something different with the kids or your family, the zoo makes for a great stop. There are 30 species of animals; most of them are rescued animals native to the landscape. You can visit the zoo daily from 10 am-4 pm for free.

The Oxbow Park also offers opportunities for camping seasonally from late April – late October every year.

These are just a few of our favorite places to visit throughout Rochester. If you’re looking for more ideas, then be sure to do a quick Google search or connect with a local and ask them what they like to do around the city. Rochester is a growing city that regularly adds new things to do.

And, if you’re in the area and you APX Construction Group out and about, be sure to send a wave our way.

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