Top 19 Things To Do In Rochester, Minnesota

things to do in rochester mn
Rienz Althron
Rienz Althron 
Updated

Rochester is Minnesota’s third-largest city and is home to Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical research center, which draws many visitors from around the world. It is also home to several tourist attractions such as Rochester Art Center, Memorial and the History Center of Olmsted County, and Mayowood Mansion to list a few. Rochester has many eateries where you can get delicious food, such as the Dinosaur BBQ where the barbecue rivals that of the South, the Abbott’s Frozen Custard, an ice cream shop that most citizens of Rochester are proud of. Boredom isn’t a thing in this part of the US; they always have a festival going every now and then. Read on if you’re keen to know more about the things to do in Rochester, Minnesota.

1. Focus on the Tudor Revival architecture of Plummer House

PlummerHouse
Source: Photo by user Jonathunder used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are fascinated by architectural designs of buildings and houses, then the Plummer House will be a delight for you to see. Made of bricks and stones, with a recognizable steep gabled roof, and wooden frames give the house its rustic appeal. Plummer House was once owned by the famous Dr. Henry Stanley Plummer, one of the founders of Mayo Clinic. After Dr. Plummer passed away, his wife, Berkman Plummer, donated the house to the Rochester Art Center. Today, it is a private rental facility and has become a famous wedding venue because of its beautiful garden and accepts tours for both children and adults.

Plummer House

Address: 1091 Plummer Ln SW, Rochester, MN 55902-2084

Website: (Plummer House)[https://www.rochestermn.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/indoor-facilities/plummer-house]

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 5 USD onwards

2. Let your kids have a good time at Minnesota Children's Museum

Editor’s note: Establishment is permanently closed.

Bring your kids to a place where fun and education goes hand in hand. At Minnesota Children’s Museum, your children will learn a lot of things, get their innate creativity nurtured, and mingle with other kids. There are a ton of themed entertainment spots in Children’s Museum, such as The Scramble, Imaginopolis, and the Studio, all of which the little one’s can play, learn and develop on their social skills.

Minnesota Children's Museum

Address: 1643 North Broadway Street A, Rochester, MN 55901, United States

Website: Minnesota Children’s Museum

Opening hours: Wed: 9am - 1pm; Thu - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 4pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

Price: 13 USD

3. Pay a visit to the History Center of Olmsted County

things to do in rochester mn | pay a visit to the history center of olmsted county

Established in the year 1926, History Center of Olmsted County’s initial goal was to just collect and preserve the memories of the county. Now, the establishment is where people with a passion for history, its documentation, exploration, and preservation, gather and connect with each other. This is also a great place for you and your loved ones to go to if you want to learn a thing or two about the history of Olmstead County. They conduct exhibits and events that promote the study of history, no matter what the background, no matter what the age.

History Center of Olmsted County

Address: 1195 W Circle Dr, Rochester, MN 55902, USA

Website: History Center of Olmsted County

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

Price: 5 USD

4. Breathe in some fresh air at Silver Lake Park


Silver Lake Park is a great place to be if you want to just breathe easy. You can jog here, walk around, perhaps meet new friends. It’s also a place where you can have fun with your family because you can go on a picnic with them! They will never get bored because of the many activities that will keep the whole family happily busy, such as bike-riding, boating, swimming, and watching the Canadian geese go out and about the park. Also, they have soccer, baseball, softball, and a football field in case your whole gang feels the urge to compete with one another in a friendly, sporty way.

Silver Lake Park

Address: 840 7th ST NE, Rochester, MN 55906

Website: Silver Lake Park

Opening hours: 5am - 11pm (daily)

5. Rejuvenate yourself in nature's lap at Quarry Hill Nature Center


If you can’t get enough of the beauty of Mother Nature, Rochester has many sites to offer! One of the most famous spots where you can enjoy as much of nature as you like is Quarry Hill Nature Center. There are tons of beauty to witness here, and tons of activities to look forward. Wall climbing, rock climbing, and Nordic skiing are among the physical activities to do; Quarry Hill Nature Center is also home to many animal species, such as different kinds of turtles, snakes, birds, and many more! You can also hunt for fossils in one of their sites and bring it home as a souvenir!

Quarry Hill Nature Center

Address: 701 Silver Creek Rd NE, Rochester, MN 55906, USA

Website: Quarry Hill Nature Center

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm

6. Go fishing at Cascade Lake Park


Cascade Lake Park is one of the best places to visit in Rochester if you’re the type of person who enjoys spending time amid the natural wonders. With a wide grassland where you can contemplate and adore the calming beauty in Rochester, a lake where you can go fishing with your family or friends, popping in at this park will be worth it! Not to mention that the place is Instagram-worthy, so you can take your handy-dandy handheld besty with you and put it to good use!

Cascade Lake Park

Address: 88 23rd Ave SW, Rochester, MN 55902, USA

Website: Cascade Lake Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

7. Look through the contemporary collection at Rochester Art Center


For just a couple of bucks, you can enjoy contemporary art of many shapes and sizes at Rochester Art Center. Founded in 1946, it aims to promote awareness of the value of arts in our society. Up to this day, Rochester Art Center features works from different artists from different backgrounds through its world-class exhibitions. You can also help support their cause by becoming a member; the membership fee starts at 35 USD, and it grants you a whole lot of benefits, such as free admission, being invited to members-only events, and more!

Rochester Art Center

Address: 40 Civic Center Dr SE, Rochester, MN 55904, USA

Website: Rochester Art Center

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

Price: 5 USD

8. Taste some wine at Salem Glen Winery


One of the most popular wineries in Rochester is Salem Glen Winery, and if you’re a wine enthusiast, make sure to take advantage of being in Minnesota and have a taste of their high-quality wines. Their wines are produced using cold-hardy grapes, a type of grape that can withstand the colds. Aside from their wines, they also sell wood-fired pizzas, t-shirts, glass wine, and other wine-related merchandise. It isn’t a bad idea to get one of their items as a souvenir, no?

Salem Glen Winery

Address: 5211 60th Ave SW, Rochester, MN 55902, USA

Website: Salem Glen Winery

Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 12pm - 8pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed from Mon - Wed)

Price: 6 USD

9. Unwind yourself at Rochester Parks & Recreation

Posted by Rochester Park & Recreation on Friday, 22 March 2019

Rochester Parks & Recreation has been standing for more than 150 years. It is where people, tourists or locals, can unwind from the burden of everyday living. If you feel like it, you can jog within the park’s premises, or maybe ride a bicycle while reminiscing your childhood years. They have several facilities that might pique your interest, such as the Eastwood Golf Course where you can play golf and several other sports field and recreational facilities to neutralize the boredom in your system. That is if you ever get bored in Rochester, Minnesota!

Dummy Attraction / Tour / Activity

Address: 201 4th St SE - Room 150, Rochester, Minnesota 55904

Website: Rochester Parks & Recreation

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: 5 USD

10. Pay your respects at Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial

Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial come down and visit.

Posted by Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial on Thursday, 5 September 2019

Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial was established to commemorate the bravery of the war veterans; the people who fought for what they believed was right, and for the peace and freedom that our current generation is enjoying. If you feel like you want to pay tribute and show your gratitude for the sacrifices that these soldiers made, not just for their generation and our generation, but for the generations to come, feel free to visit the Wall of Remembrance where the names of the brave soldiers are written.

Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial

Address: 300 7th St SW, Rochester, MN 55902, USA

Website: Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial

Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)

11. Appreciate the talent at SEMVA Art Gallery

Posted by Semva Art Gallery on Friday, 7 December 2018

The Southeastern Minnesota Visual Artists, otherwise known as SEMVA Art Gallery, was established by various artists. They aim to promote art by selling their work, such as paintings, photography, glasswork, woodworks, and other forms of art. Aside from selling, they also showcase the beauty of their artworks through exhibits. SEMVA Art Gallery is yet another place to be if you’re an artwork junkie or if you simply want to purchase something as a souvenir or a gift.

SEMVA Art Gallery

Address: 320 S Broadway, Rochester, MN 55901, USA

Website: SEMVA Art Gallery

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 9pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

Price: 25 USD

12. Soak in some culture at Rochester Civic Theatre

Posted by The Rochester Civic Theatre Company on Thursday, 10 March 2016

Established in the year 1951, Rochester Civic Theatre has been entertaining, while educating, people from all walks of life. The shows they hold varies, from musicals to concerts, dance, and acting, or a combination of all these things. If you suddenly feel like watching a play and you happen to be in Rochester, the best place to be is at Rochester Civic Theatre.

Rochester Civic Theatre

Address: 20 Civic Center Dr SE, Rochester, MN 55904, USA

Website: Rochester Civic Theatre

13. Go golfing at Maple Valley Golf Country Club

Posted by Maple Valley Golf & Country Club on Saturday, 8 July 2017

There’s a lot of people who are into golfing. And if you’re one of the golf junkies who happen to have found their way to Rochester, there’s a special place for you here: Maple Valley Golf Country Club. A 9-hole and an 18-hole golf course are available for all its visitors to enjoy. In addition to being a golf club, they also accept weddings, they sell golfing merchandise, and they are also holding leagues every now and then. So, if you suddenly feel like playing golf with your family or solo, or if you need to buy a golfing equipment or two, you know where to go!

Maple Valley Golf Country Club

Address: 8600 Maple Valley Rd SE, Rochester, MN 55904, USA

Website: Maple Valley Golf Country Club

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 8pm; Sat - Sun: 6am - 8pm

Price: 16 USD onwards

14. Shop your heart out at Apache Mall

Shop our Pop Up event featuring LuLaRoe. Located near the Food Court. October 19th through the 21st.

Posted by Apache Mall on Wednesday, 17 October 2018

If you are the type of traveler who loves to buy clothes, shoes, and accessories from different brands, you can spend your time shopping around the Apache Mall. Since it is a mall, you’ll have access to many services, items for sale, and restaurants to grab a grub or two. Some of the most famous stores here to drop by are Hot Topic, Orange Theory Fitness, Victoria’s Secret, and Nutrition Shack. In addition to its shops, Apache Mall is also holding events every now and then.

Apache Mall

Address: 52 US-14, Rochester, MN 55902, USA

Website: Apache Mall

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 11am - 7pm

15. Bike around the scenic Douglas Trail

things to do in rochester mn | bike around the scenic douglas trail
Source: johnrsims on Instagram

Here’s another place where you can go on bicycling while appreciating the scenic views of the surroundings: the Douglas Trails. It is a road that stretches 12.5 miles (20.11 kilometers) long and connects Rochester and Pine Islands. Aside from biking, you can also jog here if you so wish to, or take a walk and witness the beauty of the trail from different angles and perspectives. The trail is surrounded by different kinds of trees and plants and wild geese roam around the area, so there’s a lot of wonderful subjects for your digital camera or phone to capture.

Douglas Trail

Address: 2.5 miles up Country Road 3, On Valleyhigh Drive NW .2 miles east of the intersection with West Circle Drive NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Website: Douglas Trail

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

16. Shop farm fresh at Rochester Downtown Farmer's Market


Buying and eating local produce is one way to be more “intimate” with the destination that you are touring. And where can you find the freshest produce in a particular spot but in a farmer’s market! In Rochester, they have the Rochester Downtown Farmer’s Market where you can feast on a wide variety of foods, and purchase fresh fruits, veggies, dairy products and everything else in between!

Rochester Downtown Farmer's Market

Address: 401 4th St SE, Rochester, MN 55904, USA

Website: Rochester Downtown Farmer’s Market

Opening hours: Sat: 7.30am -12pm (closed from Sun - Fri)

17. Get the relaxation you deserve at Healing Touch Spa

Experience the healing benefits of human touch... { make the time for massage } Call us at: (507) 287-6162 or visit us online at: www.massagecspa.com

Posted by Healing Touch Spa on Thursday, 20 July 2017

Maybe one of the reasons why you are going on a vacation to Rochester, Minnesota is because you need to take a break from the tiring routines. If that’s the case, then having a relaxing massage is something that you deserve, and you can get that relaxation at Healing Touch Spa. They offer a wide array of massage services, such as reflexology, pre-natal massage, chair massage, and even body scrub! The service they provide is flexible, as you can also book a massage therapist to visit your apartment if you don’t have time to visit their place.

Healing Touch Spa

Address: 111 S Broadway Ste 200, Rochester, MN 55904, USA

Website: Healing Touch Spa

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 9pm; Sat: 9am - 6pm; Sun: 12pm - 7pm

Price: 60 USD onwards

18. Admire 19th Century Italianate architecture of Heritage House

HeritageHouseRochesterMN
Source: Photo by user Jonathunder used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A house that was once supposed to be demolished but thanks to the intervention of Louise Hill, the Heritage House now serves as a portal to the old days. With its 1800s style architecture and furnished with Victorian antiques, you will have an idea of how the people from that generation must have lived. Of course, the house is beautiful enough to still be Instagram-worthy even if it’s more than a hundred years old already!

Heritage House

Address: 225 1st Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901, USA

Website: Heritage House

Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 1pm - 3.30pm; Sun: 1pm - 3.30pm (closed on Mon, Fri & Sat)

Price: 5 USD

19. Stroll through Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center

Looking for a delicious cup of Coffee or Tea in NW Rochester? Check out Le Petit Café. I'm enjoying a yummy autumn spice latte on my way into work!

Posted by Saint Mary's University-Rochester at Cascade Meadow on Wednesday, 4 October 2017

If you’re a fan of beautiful architecture, old and new, you will probably love the style of the structure of Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center. Aside from the beauty of the building, its surroundings are also beautiful! Surrounded by green plants, you’ll feel relaxed just strolling through its vicinity. Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center holds exhibits and promotes sustainable living. Feel free to visit the place and you’ll be rewarded with lots of beautiful pictures and you’ll also learn a thing or two about the environment!

Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center

Address: 2900 19th St NW, Rochester, MN 55901, USA

Website: Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Enjoy your stay in Rochester

So here are the places to visit and things to do in Rochester. Of course, there are a lot of places for you to explore still! The list above is just a few samples of what’s in store for you in Rochester. We’re sure you’ll discover a lot of things to do in Rochester, Minnesota, when you get there. Happy travel!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Rienz is a former office-based employee who entered the world of travel writing. His ultimate dream is to be able to travel the world and experience as much of it as he can. By pursuing his dreams,...Read more

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