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The Young Lion of the West: Rochester, Minnesota

The Young Lion of the West: Rochester, Minnesota

This little city is not the most famous or most beautiful in the U.S. state of Minnesota but it is surely the most sophisticated city in day and most rocking at night. Rochester is the county seat of Olmsted County and located on the banks of Zumbro River. This city has also been named as “Best Small City” in America by a recognized US magazine. All cities in Minnesota, including Rochester, are free from sales tax on medicines, groceries and clothing and very small rate of sales tax is levied on other goods so you will surely enjoy shopping here. It is also third largest city of Minnesota and is home to one of the most respected medical facilities in the world, the Mayo Practice. The history of this amazing city is also interesting as it was hugely shattered by the Great Tornado in 1883 and left many people dead or injured. Then Mayo worked hard to give a medical facility named St. Marys Hospital to the city because there were no medical facilities in Rochester that time. Fighting with all problems and crossing all the hurdles, today this city is one of the favorite destination of the visitors around the world.


The climate of Rochester is humid continental just like rest of the state with hot summers and no dry season. July is the warmest month with average maximum temperature of 80 degrees and January is quite bone chilling with average minimum temperature of 2 degrees. Rainfall is not so common here but you can see rain at any time of the year here. The month of July is the most rainy with 4.5 inches. The best time to visit Rochester is during March and April when spring knocks the door and keeps the weather pleasant.

How to get here?


Rochester International Airport is located just 8 miles south of Rochester and receives flights from all major countries and neighbor cities. However, there is also another airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, just 90 minutes from Rochester downtown which is also receives a lot of visitors to come to Rochester. Reaching downtown from the airport is cake walk as there are always buses, cabs, taxis, limos, trolleys waiting outside the airport for visitors. A number of highways also make Rochester accessible by road from many other cities and there are rail services also like Go Carefree Shuttle and Transports Amtrak.

Accommodation and Food

Double Queen Suite

There are more than 5000 hotel rooms, boutiques, hostels, apartments, villas, resorts around Rochester city and budget is absolutely no problem. One of the best Hotels is Doubletree by Hilton in Mayo Clinic Area featuring 100% smoke free rooms with king size beds, free internet, coffee maker, private spa, bar, pool and health club. In other luxurious options there is Comfort Suites at Maine Avenue, Broadway Residence and Suites by Bridge Street at 1st Street SE and Aspen Suites at 2nd Street SW. In budget accommodations, there is 2nd Street Inn & Suites, 5th Avenue Inn & Suites, Americlnn, Baptist Hospitality House and many more.


You will surely love the international tastes of this great city with its more than 160 restaurants, cafe and bars. Rochester has every type of food from American to Asian, Ethiopian to Greek, Indian to Italian and Mexican to Middle Eastern. You can enjoy Steaks, Fresh Fish and delicious Martinis at 300 First located at 1st Avenue, some good Root Beer and Burgers at A&W, traditional fast food at Arby’s South and hot & fresh bagels at Bruegger’s at Centerplace Subway. Other good Options include Bilotti’s Italian village, Fazoli’s, BB’s Pizza, City Cafe and Kinney Creek brewery.

The Attractions

Mayo Civic Center


The Mayo Civic Center is a multipurpose event complex located at Civic Center Dr SE in Rochester. It is the hub of entertainment for the locals and visitors. It has an exhibition hall covering an area of 25000 square feet with 1700 seats, specially designed for athletic events along with skating and ice hockey rinks. There is also famous theatre which exhibits some art shows and musical presentations. The original Center was designed by Ellerbe and Company but it was modified by other architects in 1972 including the centralized air conditioning system.


Mayo Civic Center is also famous for holding conferences, concerts, meetings, events, wedding receptions. It also gives the facilities of skyway to downtown hotels and shopping spots. There are more than 1500 hotel rooms connected by its skyway and 3900 parking spaces. There is also a park covering an area of 11 acre, also called Mayo Park, which is used for outdoor parties and events.

Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo


Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo is located in Olmsted County of Rochester, featuring a public park and a zoo. The Oxbow Park is a beautifully preserved area and provides good opportunities like hiking, camping and nature awareness. In 2004, 50 acres of land was gifted by Dr. David and Geraldline Donald to the park for public. Today it is a great tourist attraction and remains open daily for visitors. Zollman Zoo is home over 30 species and receives more than 50,000 visitors every year.

Gonda Building


Gonda Building is located right in the heart of Rochester campus and used as a medical building by Mayo Clinic. It is a great piece of architecture designed by Ellerbe Becket Architects and engineers and has 21 floors. The building is 305 feet high and was completed in 2001. Gonda building is home to a lot of major specialties like oncology, neurology, urology, cardiology which are located in the building centrally.

Other attractions in Rochester include Plummer House, Douglas State Trail, Chateau Theatre, Silver Lake, Apache Mall, Avalon Music, Oakwood Broadway Plaza and others.

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