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28 Best & Fun Things To Do In Rochester (Minnesota)

What’s the biggest city in Minnesota, outside of St. Paul and Minneapolis?

The answer is Rochester, a delightful community with great attractions, perfect for everyone.

Whether you’re someone who loves going for hikes or who gets elated at the sound of the word “museum,” Rochester is an amazing city.

These are 28 of the best and most fun things to do in Rochester, Minnesota.

Things To Do In Rochester, MN

1. Heritage House Victorian Museum

Heritage House Victorian Museum

Heritage House Victorian Museum

One of the coolest tourist attractions near downtown Rochester is the Heritage House Victorian Museum.

It’s a museum full of important history, including its own story.

If you’re dying for places to go related to Rochester’s past, visit this museum.

This museum is the former home of Timothy and Eliza Whitling, who lived during the Victorian Era.

In the 20th century, the vacated home was set to be destroyed.

However, Rochester local Louise Hill fought to save it.

Since then, it’s grown into one of the top things to do in Rochester, MN.

The Heritage House Victorian Museum could very well be called the “Victory Museum.”

Rochester has so many cool places to go that are also educational.

The Heritage House Victorian Museum is open for tours from June to August, from Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays.

Tours are given between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and you can make an appointment.

It’s $5 for adults and $3 for students.

Address: 225 1st Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901, United States

2. Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery

Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery

Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery

Visiting Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery is what to do in Rochester if you’re a total wine devotee.

This attraction not only produces amazing wine, but it also treats you to an unforgettable country setting.

You might feel like you’re in a romantic movie as you sip on the delectable wines.

Tucked away from the city in the Zumbro River area, Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery is surrounded by blue sky and flowing hills.

They’ve been family-run since they started in 2006.

In addition to wines, you can enjoy wood-fired pizza, offered on Fridays from May to September.

They also have lots of fun stuff to do, like bingo and scavenger hunts.

If you love wine, Salem Glen Vineyard and Winery is a must see attraction.

You’ll try so many fantastic wines and get to enjoy so much loveliness.

Check their website for information about their tasting and tour schedules.

Address: 5211 60th Ave SW, Rochester, MN 55902, United States

3. Rochester Art Center

Rochester Art Center

guifengh / Shutterstock

The best place to experience culture in Rochester, Minnesota might be at the Rochester Art Center.

It sits alongside the Zumbro River, which makes it look especially gorgeous.

However, what makes it one of Rochester’s cultural points of interest is the great artwork found within.

The Rochester Art Center is a lot of fun because it’s so unpredictable.

You never know what exactly you’ll see, even if you’ve been the before.

Whether you’re visiting Rochester for the first or fifteenth time, this museum should always be on your list of places to visit.

Any art displayed at the Rochester Art Center is sure to be captivating, even if some of it takes a while to process fully.

It’s open between Wednesdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Adults pay $5 for admission, and everyone 21 and younger gets in free.

Address: 40 Civic Center Dr SE, Rochester, MN 55904, United States

4. Apache Mall

Apache Mall

Apache Mall

Rochester’s largest mall is also one of its greatest tourist attractions.

Apache Mall is a fun shopping center with a great layout that any shopaholic should adore.

Spending money or browsing the shelves here is among the best things to do in Rochester, MN.

If you love fashion, technology, sports, or something else, you should find something you love at Apache Mall.

There are 87 shops, as well as lots of great places to eat.

Come here at night for an evening full of entertainment.

If you’re focused on finding cheap things to do in Rochester, Minnesota, you might want to avoid Apache Mall.

However, if you’re looking to spend some money on some luxuries, Rochester attractions don’t get much better.

Apache Mall between Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Fridays and Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address: 52 US-14, Rochester, MN 55902, United States

5. Douglas State Trail

Douglas State Trail

Douglas State Trail

There are so many beautiful places to visit in the US, but Rochester deserves special mention for points of interest like Douglas State Trail.

This is an immaculate path that so many people can enjoy.

On a beautiful day, you’ll see all kinds of travelers enjoying the spoils of the Douglas State Trail.

This 12.5-mile system has two trails.

First, there’s the paved trail, which has room for walkers, runners, bikers, and skaters.

Then, there’s the natural road trail, which horseback riders can use.

Imagine coasting down on your bike and being near a horse.

You can also reach the communities of Douglas and Pine Island via this trail.

However, you don’t need to have any specific plans in mind to enjoy it.

Just let yourself appreciate being around such beauty, both on the trail and in the world in general.

6. Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery

Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery

Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery

Another fantastic Rochester winery is Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery.

You can have a phenomenal experience here, sipping wine and nipping on food.

Visit Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery this weekend for a fun and sophisticated time near Rochester.

Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery also serves up great hard cider, known as Loon Juice, along with the wine.

Their food includes a charcuterie board, pizza, and 4D nachos.

You can also enjoy exciting special events here, such as yoga classes featuring wine.

Think about holding your own special events here, such as a wedding.

Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery is located near Rochester in Spring Valley, Minnesota.

Their operating hours are from Tuesdays until Saturdays, between noon and 6 p.m., and Sundays, noon until 3 p.m.

Address: 78757 MN-16, Spring Valley, MN 55975, United States

7. Thursdays on First & 3rd Summer Market and Music Festival

Thursdays Downtown

Thursdays Downtown

The best things to do in Rochester, MN bring the whole community together for a fun time.

If you’re in Rochester in the summer, going to the Thursdays on First & 3rd Summer Market and Musical Festival is a must do.

The contagious enthusiasm and great sights will make you wish you could be there all summer.

At Thursdays on First & Third, you’ll find people selling food, and ones selling craft pieces.

You’ll also hear the wonderful live music filling the air.

Most importantly, you’ll see people feeling so much joy and neighborliness.

Thursdays on First & 3rd celebrates Rochester like it truly deserves to be.

For fun things to do in Rochester, MN come to at least one of these events.

This is a place for entertainment, community, and euphoria all at once.

8. Amish Tours of Harmony

Amish Tours of Harmony

Amish Tours of Harmony

The Amish way of life is one of hard work, family, and devotion.

Even if you can’t see yourself giving up your phone for even a week, there’s still a lot to be learned from them.

Amish Tours of Harmony are what to do if you want to learn more about the Amish community.

With a guide pointing out all the Amish-operated farms, stores, and other attractions, you can see how resourceful this community is.

There’s also a lot to be learned about Amish history.

Plus, it’s just such a stunning region, with the horse-drawn buggies adding even more to the already-painterly landscape.

These tours are in Harmony, Minnesota, but they would be harmonious occasions under any name.

Amish tours are great for both sightseeing and education.

This company knows how to provide great tours that are also respectful to the Amish themselves.

Address: 94 2nd St NW, Harmony, MN 55939, United States

9. Mayo Civic Center

Mayo Civic Center

Joel McCartan / Shutterstock

Rochester is home to the Mayo Clinic, an incredible medical facility, and the Mayo Civic Center, an awesome performance and convention venue.

You don’t need any ailments to check out the fun stuff to do at the Mayo Civic Center.

You can see some top performers and events here.

Lots of thrilling activities occur at the Mayo Civic Center.

There are sports, blockbuster concerts, and conventions.

You can also get a great glimpse of the Zumbro River from its terrace.

Many of the fun things to do in Rochester, Minnesota take place at the Mayo Civic Center.

It’s definitely the coolest venues in Minnesota today.

For places to visit that make you feel young and free, visit the Mayo Civic Center.

Address: 30 Civic Center Dr SE, Rochester, MN 55904, United States

10. Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale

Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale

Stokkete / Shutterstock

The Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale hosts incredible musical performances, instrumental and sung.

The 70-member orchestra and 60-plus-member chorale perform stunning renditions of classic pieces.

While the chorale isn’t part of every performance, you can bet that every show will be great no matter what.

Their efforts and talents extend beyond the concert hall.

They do great local programs, especially when working with youths.

Be sure to check out Coda concerts as well.

These are great if you’re looking for free things to do in Rochester, Minnesota.

They’re concerts featuring RSO members that go into more modern stylings, such as jazz and rock.

For more than a century, the Rochester Symphony Orchestra has been an essential part of the city, and the chorale is the cherry on top.

Check out their upcoming season schedule and be sure to book some tickets.

You should be enraptured by the experience and all of the amazing music you hear.

Address: 1530 Greenview Dr SW #120, Rochester, MN 55902, United States

11. Chester Woods Park

Chester Woods Park

Chester Woods Park

Maybe you want to spend some of your Rochester trip exploring and appreciating the wilderness?

If so, get yourself to Chester Woods Park, an excellent campsite.

Located by Bear Creek in Eyota, Minnesota, Chester Woods Park is ideal for a family camping trip.

You don’t have to camp to enjoy Chester Woods Park.

Spend a fun day here hiking a trail, take a kayak out, or have a picnic.

However, while all of those activities are great, spending the night here, sleeping under the stars, is just so great.

Points of interest like Chester Woods Park shows nature should always be valued.

Come here this weekend for a camping trip or just go on a hike.

The best moments here are when you bring yourself to the present and just feel the aura of nature all around you.

Address: 8378 14 Highway Southeast, Eyota, MN 55934, United States

12. Rochesterfest

Rochesterfest

Rochesterfest

Each year, over nine June days, one of the greatest Rochester attractions returns.

Rochesterfest is a time for fun, food, and friends.

Say hello to summer and lots of great people when you come to Rochesterfest.

Rochesterfest has been a beloved event for decades.

You can witness marvelous live music, fill your stomach with great food, and make your way through their triathlon.

Getting there is easy, thanks to the free trolley they have running.

The top thing to experience in this city in June is Rochesterfest.

It’s full of places to visit and things to see and do.

Get ready for the next Rochesterfest today.

13. Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial

Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial is where to go for paying your respects to our nation’s heroes.

Southeast Minnesota veterans from many wars and backgrounds are honored here.

It’s a very moving experience, especially if you’ve served or know anyone else who has.

The Wall of Remembrance is the top thing to see at Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial.

Over 3,000 brave people from the region are memorialized here.

Be sure to also go down the Walk of Remembrance and look at the 50 Trees of Remembrance, one for each state.

Going to Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial can be the best way to spend your Memorial or Veterans Day.

It’s open every day between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Admission is free.

Address: 300 7th St SW, Rochester, MN 55902, United States

14. Rochester Civic Theatre

Rochester Civic Theatre

soul kitchen / Shutterstock

A great stage show is more than just an excellent entertainment experience.

It can also be something astonishing to behold.

When performing live, artists need to be at their best because there’s no suddenly saying “Cut” with an audience present.

Seeing a performance at the Rochester Civic Theatre is what to do for understanding the wonder of live theater.

Performances at this theater occur throughout the year, and they cover so many bases in terms of genre and medium.

You can see an uproarious comedy, a tear-jerking tragedy, and great dance performances at this venue.

It’s a thoroughly engrossing experience whenever you come.

The Rochester Civic Theatre is Rochester culture at its best.

Peruse their website or stop by their box office to see what shows are coming up.

You can also donate, once or monthly donation to show your love for this theater.

Address: 20 Civic Center Dr SE, Rochester, MN 55904, United States

15. Downtown Peace Plaza

Downtown Peace Plaza

Leigh Trail / Shutterstock

There’s so much to see and experience at the Downtown Peace Plaza.

This is a Rochester, Minnesota attraction with everything you’d want for a fun day or evening out.

No matter what the season is, the Downtown Peace Plaza is a place of entertainment and tranquility.

If you have an empty wallet and/or stomach, the Downtown Peace Plaza will definitely set you right.

It has some of the top shopping and dining in Rochester, Minnesota.

There are also awesome outdoor performances and a market in the summer.

Make sure you come to the Downtown Peace Plaza if you’re visiting Rochester, Minnesota tonight.

If you have a longer trip planned, try getting a hotel in close proximity to it.

There are numerous great places to visit at the Downtown Plaza, and you should see as many of them as possible.

Address: Rochester, MN 55902, United States

16. Quarry Hill Nature Center

Quarry Hill Nature Center

Ventu Photo / Shutterstock

Want to see some Minnesota-native animals in a safe environment?

Visiting Quarry Hill Nature Center is what to do.

All sorts of animals, from the winged to the finned, can be seen here.

There are 35 different kinds of animals here.

You can see raptors, which are some of the most vicious birds of prey around.

There’s also a massive aquarium with beautiful fish swimming all about.

Their hive shows how industrious bees are, and their taxidermied items have a quiet majesty to them.

If you’re seeking free things to do in Rochester, MN, you should visit Quarry Hill Nature Center.

See if you can come there this weekend.

It’s open year-round, except for four days.

Address: 701 Energy Parkway NE, Rochester, MN 55906, United States

17. Silver Lake Park

Silver Lake Park

Bob Pool / Shutterstock

In Rochester, Minnesota cheap things to do don’t have to be boring or unsatisfying.

A perfect example of this is Silver Lake Park.

You’ll have the wonderful Silver Lake to look at and use, as well as plenty of other activities to enjoy.

Silver Lake Park has people rowing canoes and kayaks, and powering other types of boats.

These are available for rent, as are fun land items, like tandem bikes.

Explore the trails on your favorite vessel, including your own two feet.

There’s a lot more to love, such a skating area, picnic section, and pool.

When it comes to tourist attractions with great activities, there’s nothing like Silver Lake Park.

Visit them today or as soon as you can for a great time.

Did we mention they also have soccer and softball areas, as well as a playground?

Silver Lake Park operates every day, opening at 5 a.m. and closing at 11 p.m.

Address: 770 W Silver Lake Dr NE, Rochester, MN 55906, United States

18. Plummer House

Dr. Stanley Plummer is one of the most important figures in Rochester, Minnesota as well as the entire global medical community.

He help to found the Mayo Clinic, and also had a stunning home shared with his wife Daisy.

Visit the Plummer House to see Rochester architecture at its finest.

Built in the Tudor-style, the Plummer House beams prestige, with a look that has aged like fine wine.

The surrounding area is also incredible, with gardens that feel like you’re entering some sort of new world.

Tours are fairly limited, but you should definitely make room in your schedule for one.

Rochester attractions such as the Plummer House show how great this city’s people and history is.

Tours are available from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays from June to August.

Adult visitors pay $10 for admission, and youths are charged $5.

Address: 1091 Plummer Ln SW, Rochester, MN 55902, United States

19. Calvary Episcopal Church

Calvary Episcopal Church

Calvary Episcopal Church

It doesn’t have to be a Sunday for you to check out Calvary Episcopal Church.

This is a really special part of the community, as it’s the longest-standing church in the city.

The first brick chapel has been there since 1962, and Calvary Episcopal Church continues to draw in visitors, eager to feel the spirit within its walls and coursing through themselves.

Even with many great churches in Minnesota, Calvary Episcopal Church stands out.

Named a historic site by the Olmsted County Historical Society, it’s been preserved with true love.

With its oasis garden, stained-glass windows, and gorgeous altar, it’s not hard to see why people are so moved when they come here.

If you need places to visit in Rochester, Minnesota that help you feel close to your spiritual self, visit Calvary Episcopal Church.

It could also help reignite some feelings you’ve been missing.

At one of their services, you can witness both a historic building and a great community of faith.

Address: 111 3rd Ave SW, Rochester, MN 55902, United States

20. Rochester Farmers Market

Rochester Farmers Markets

Rochester Farmers Markets

A fun place to go for great food and excellent company is the Rochester Farmers Market.

This is full of friendly vendors selling produce so good, you’ll start brainstorming new recipes immediately.

The Rochester Farmers Market also has awesome meats, dairy, and flowers, as well as plenty of cool craft pieces.

The Rochester Farmer Market operates throughout the year.

It’s outdoors at Graham Park for Summer Saturdays, from May to October, and Wednesday Markets, from mid-June until September.

During the fall and winter, it’s held indoors on Saturdays.

For sightseeing and shopping in Rochester, you have to visit the Farmers Market.

It doesn’t matter what time of year you come, because it’s always going to be great.

Check the Rochester Farmers Market website for more information about their hours.

Address: 35 Fairgrounds Ave SE, Rochester, MN 55904, United States

21. History Center of Olmsted County and Mayowood Mansion

Mayowood Mansion

Mayowood Mansion

Learn the Olmsted County story inside and out by visiting the History Center of Olmsted County.

It has really cool exhibits and amazing old buildings.

You’ll also want to check out the Mayowood Mansion, where the Mayo Clinic’s own Charles H. Mayo once lived.

The History Center of Olmsted County uses education to turn visitors into experts about this area.

It also has great events, like outdoor movie screenings in the summer.

Meanwhile, Mayowood Mansion is one of the richest estates you can find in Minnesota.

Both the History Center of Olmsted County and the Mayowood Mansion are both essential to see for anyone interested in Rochester attractions.

This community is so keyed-into how to teach about history in a fun way.

When you’re at either of these attractions, you can be so delighted by this county.

Address: 3720 Mayowood Rd SW, Rochester, MN 55902, United States

22. Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center

Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center

Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center

Near Lanesboro, Minnesota, you’ll find Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center.

For a meaningful venture out into the wilderness, you need to come here.

Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center is all about teaching visitors of all ages about how and why to value their planet.

You can experience plenty of activities that delight your mind and work your body.

There are more than 9 miles of hiking trails here, as well as high ropes and a rock-climbing wall.

Many attractions can be found, inside at the Discovery Center.

Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center is a great attraction if you feel like venturing out of the city.

You may remember things you learned in science class years ago as well as plenty of other amazing facts.

It’s also awesome for how it puts you in communion with nature.

Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center is open between Mondays and Fridays, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Address: 28097 Goodview Dr, Lanesboro, MN 55949, United States

23. The Chateau

The Chateau

The Chateau

The Chateau dates back to 1927, when Vaudeville was a dominating entertainment style.

While tastes have changed over the decades, the Vaudeville house has survived.

It’s a good thing because this is one of the loveliest theaters in the United States today.

Formerly known as the Chateau Theatre, this was mainly a movie house for some time.

However, renovations have made it ideal for other events, such as concerts and live theater.

Its building design is akin to a castle, and it’s definitely a theater fit for a king or queen.

Going to the Chateau is a perfect way to experience culture in Rochester.

Even if you’re just going to see a movie, the sophisticated setting makes such a great difference.

The Chateau is for people who love the arts and historic buildings with equal fervor.

Address: 15 1st St SW, Rochester, MN 55902, United States

24. Children’s Dance Theatre

Children's Dance Theatre

Oleksandr Nagaiets / Shutterstock

Introduce your children to the wonder of dance by taking them to a production at Rochester’s Children’s Dance Theatre.

This company is filled with great dancers as young as five through college-aged.

For nearly 35 years, they’ve delighted local citizens and visitors with their swoon-worthy performances.

The proprietors have a true passion for dance and using it to help others.

They have regular educational events and do their best to help the community through the arts.

Their performances are also vivid delights, with dancers moving with such poise and determination.

The Children’s Dance Theatre is an essential piece of the Minnesota arts community.

Your children may look to take up dancing themselves after seeing a show here.

Previous productions have included beloved stories like “The Jungle Book” and “Cinderella.”

25. LTS Brewing Company

LTS Brewing Company

LTS Brewing Company

Getting a beer in Rochester doesn’t have to be ordering a watery brew in a dive bar.

LTS Brewing Company shows you how awesome Rochester breweries are.

Visit for some top-quality suds and some very friendly service.

LTS Brewing Company serves great beer, on tap or available to take home.

They also have their own line of craft sodas, with great flavors like Blackberry Sage and StraZzberry.

What’s more, they have a food truck, with dishes made from fresh and healthy ingredients.

Enjoy fantastic beer, soda, food, or all three when you’re at LTS Brewing Company.

Both the taproom and the outside seating area create a fun and happy atmosphere.

Their hours are every day, from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Address: 2001 32nd Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901, United States

26. Rochester Trolley & Tour Company

Rochester Trolley & Tour Company

Rochester Trolley & Tour Company

Want to explore the sights of the city in a vintage way?

Rochester Trolley & Tour Company gives you the chance to do just there.

You can get tickets for all kinds of excellent tours.

Plus, how can you beat traveling on a trolley, even if it isn’t on a cable?

Popular tours include the Rochester City Tour.

However, there are also more niche ones, like the Jolly Trolley Holiday Lights Tour and the Haunted Rochester Trolly Tour.

You can also hire them for private tours, just in case you want a more intimate tour.

The Rochester Trolley & Tour Company lets you see this terrific city in many different ways.

They’re a great introduction to Rochester’s stories, including ones you might not hear anywhere else.

Take a look at their tours and see which ones would excite you.

27. Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo

Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo

Randall Runtsch / Shutterstock

A trip to the zoo and a great park can happen on the same day when you visit Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo.

Oxbow Park is such a grand and humongous park, you couldn’t begin to see all of it in one day.

However, you also need to find time in your day to see Zollman Zoo and all of its great animals.

There are more than 600 acres covering Oxbow Park.

If you really feel up to it, you can go camping here.

Zollman Zoo is distinct as all of the animals here live in Minnesota.

Both Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo shows the right way to practice conservation on a large scale.

All of this land and all of these animals are precious and should be protected as much as possible.

These attractions are located in Byron, Minnesota.

They’re both open every day, except for select holidays. Zollman Zoo operates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Oxbow Park is open from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Address: 5731 County Rd 105 NW, Byron, MN 55920, United States

28. Pescara

Pescara

Pescara

Pescara is an amazing seafood restaurant, the ideal eatery for anyone who loves fish.

Get yourself a table booked here as soon as you can.

If you don’t care for seafood, there are plenty of things to choose from.

The Pescara menu is focused on freshness.

When you taste their grilled salmon or their daily fish special, you can really note the refined taste.

Some non-fish options include their wild mushroom risotto, chicken pomodoro, and their ribeye and filet.

You can find Pescara in the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Rochester.

It captures exactly what a great restaurant should be, seafood or not.

They’re open every day, between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Address: 150 Broadway Ave S, Rochester, MN 55904, United States

Start Planning Your Trip To Rochester, MN

Rochester, Minnesota is such a nice place to visit or, if you really fall in love with it, to live in.

Plan a weekend trip soon, or stay there even longer.

There are so many ways to have a good time here, and you can learn so much.

Happy travels!

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