Midwest Living Review
In 1911, Mayo Clinic cofounder Dr. Charles Mayo built this elaborate country estate, a 38-room mansion surrounded by ornamental gardens in southwest Rochester. It originally covered approximately 3,000 acres and included working farms, extensive formal gardens, a man-made lake and a hydroelectric dam. Subsequent generations lived here until the family donated it to Olmsted County Historical Society in 1965. The estate is maintained to appear as it did when occupied by the Mayo patriarch. Mayowood is open to the public from May to October. Tours tend to ramble on a bit but provide insights into the life of a famous medical family and a good look at the grandiose house and remaining 10 acres of formal gardens. The best times to visit are late spring and summer when the gardens are in full bloom or when the house is decked out in holiday regalia for special weekend tours in November and December. Admission charged.