Two-Day Getaway to Rochester, Minnesota
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.
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.
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.
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.
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