Home to the world renowned Mayo Clinic, Rochester was providing top-notch TLC long before medical tourism became a trend. It also has hospitality down to a science, welcoming visitors with classy cuisine, chic shopping and sophisticated galleries.
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Rochester Minnesota
Credit: Courtesy of Experience Rochester

Day 1

Base yourself in downtown, where you can reach everything by foot and find most of the city's action.

A tour with Rochester Trolley and Tour Co. makes a great introduction to the city. The 1.5 hour history tour showcases the city's downtown and residential architecture as well as notable residents and legendary physicians.

Rochester Minnesota Galleria at University Square
Credit: Courtesy of Experience Rochester

Spend some time shopping at Galleria at University Square and surrounding Broadway Avenue stores. Find funny girlfriend gifts at Tangerine Gifts: funky cards, flavored floss, wild socks and snarky books. Look for bright, modern home furnishings, kitchenware, attire and kids' stuff at the two-story Counterpoint store. The Nordic Shop sells Norwegian sweaters, Helly Hansen sport clothing, Royal Copenhagen dinnerware and Kosta Boda crystal.

The Rochester Art Center features contemporary art exhibitions from local, national and international artists as well as interactive workshops and tours.

Dine outside on the Peace Plaza or indoors at Chester's Kitchen and Bar, known for tender wood-fired rotisserie meats and creative twists on Midwestern meals. Look for salad with pulled chicken, sweet corn, bacon and apples and a made-to-order banana cream pie with walnut-almond crust.

Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area
Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area
| Credit: Courtesy of Experience Rochester

Spend the night where presidents and royalty have slept at historic Kahler Grand Hotel or choose the modern vibe at downtown's Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area.

Day 2

Learn about the Mayo family's legacy while touring Mayowood Mansion. Visit the 100-year-old, 38-room country home overlooking the Zumbro River Valley during the summer to enjoy the extensive gardens—or come during the winter holidays when it's festively decorated.

Silver Lake Kayaking Rochester Minnesota
Silver Lake
| Credit: Courtesy of Experience Rochester

Explore the paths around Silver Lake Park, which encompasses a scenic widening of the Zumbro River. When the weather is nice, rent kayaks, rowboats and canoes. Water stays ice-free all winter, making it a favorite hangout for more than 35,000 Canada geese.

Ear of Corn Water Tower Rochester Minnesota
Credit: Courtesy of Experience Rochester

Be sure to stop by the Ear of Corn Water Tower at Graham Park for a photo op.

Work up an appetite for apple cinnamon pork chops, slow-cooked ribs, and a slice of Bunnie's coconut cake or the martini inspired by this sweet dessert at Canadian Honker.

More information: Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau, experiencerochestermn.com