Midwest Living Review
Founded by farmers and originally fueled by an economy of flour mills, through the years the persona of this southeast Minnesota city of 106,000 has become completely intertwined with medical care. Yes, Rochester has other employers (IBM, for one, has a large facility here), but it is known first and foremost as the home of Mayo Clinic, the largest -- and perhaps most acclaimed -- integrated medical complex in the world. As a result, Rochester routinely hosts an ever-changing array of international medical experts and patients and their families, bringing notoriety and sophistication to what was primarily an agribusiness town. Along with its groundbreaking medical advances, Mayo Clinic has cultivated a heartfelt atmosphere of caring and healing in Rochester. This is a city that knows how to cater to guests. Out-of-towners will find a tidy, well-designed downtown surrounding the medical complex, much of it linked by an extensive subway and skyway system. Visitors have easy access quality restaurants, fun locally owned shops and ample green space along the banks of the Zumbro River. What's more, everyone from bartenders to shopkeepers seem to exude an attitude of TLC, as if they understand that many of their guests need someone to talk to or a place to recharge. Rochester isn't exciting -- a lament sometimes heard by locals -- but it certainly is comforting.