Rochester Facts

Rochester, MN is a vibrant and cosmopolitan mid-sized city that has the ease of small town living combined with the opportunities of a much larger city. Rochester has over a million visitors each year as well as a large number of young professionals and active international communities. These factors make Rochester an ideal place to train and live.


Destination Medical Center (DMC)

The opportunities for arts and entertainment are growing and will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years. A $6 billion public-private partnership was approved in 2013 to ensure that Mayo Clinic and Rochester will remain the preeminent destination for patients from around the world. Foremost in the DMC plans is ensuring the vibrancy of Rochester through expansion of arts, entertainment, hospitality, and dining, among many others. As a result, the city will continue to see unprecedented growth over the next several years with expansion of recreational opportunities while maintaining Rochester’s ease of living.


Minnesota Quality of Life

Minnesota frequently ranks among the states with the highest quality of life because of its high employment, low crime, low cost of living, as well as substantial investment in education and public works. Moreover, the overall sense of community, inclusion, and well-being are the intangible reasons why Minnesotans enjoy such high quality of life. This is especially true for medical trainees in Rochester. Compared to other top training programs in larger metropolitan areas, Mayo Clinic residents spend very little time commuting to work and can easily afford to live in a safe and welcoming community. At the same time, they have convenient access to high quality dining, entertainment, and services.


Major Industries

With over 36,000 employees, Mayo Clinic is the largest employer in Rochester, although IBM is another major employer. As one could imagine, having a world-renown medical center in the same city as a world-renown technology company has also led to a burgeoning biotechnology industry in Rochester that will continue to grow and bring more high-skilled jobs to Rochester. With several local colleges and a robust public school system, education comprises the second largest employment sector in Rochester. There is also a large hospitality and retail industry as well as substantial opportunities in agriculture.


The last seven years has seen a dramatic change in the number and types of restaurants and bars in Rochester. Largely due to the abundance of young professionals as well as the number of visitors, Rochester has a substantial number of high quality restaurants and bars. Several restaurants have been rated among the best in the state, and Rochester has a “James Beard award finalist” among its chefs. In addition to Minnesota’s best wine bar, a renowned craft cocktail bar, and several craft beer bars, Rochester also has a local brewery and several wineries. The expansion of the city as part of DMC will further accelerate the growing restaurant and bar scene in Rochester.



Rochester Activities

ThursdaysOnFirstThere is constant activity in Rochester, including a weekly outdoor music/food/cultural event in the summer (Thursdays on First), the Riverside Concert Series, Rochesterfest, and SocialIce, among many others. Rochester also has a minor league baseball and hockey team. For those looking for a one-stop shop for things to do in Rochester, 507 Magazine is a publication that highlights the week's activities including music, arts, entertainment and festivals.


From the classic Bob Dylan and Prince, to more recent artists such as Trampled by Turtles and Chastity Brown, Minnesota has a long tradition of supporting local musicians. Most of these artists include Rochester in their tours, and for regional and national acts, the venues in Minneapolis are a short drive away. Minnesota Public Radio also includes the Current, an independent radio station dedicated to providing an eclectic mix of new and local music to the entire Minnesota listening audience.


Locally grown meats and produce

In addition to standard grocery store options, Rochester has the state’s best-rated farmers market every Saturday as well as a local butcher shop and the People's Food Co-op as venues to get locally grown meats and produce. For those who want to grow their own vegetables, there are community garden plots available.



Rochester has a relatively inexpensive housing market. Whether one is planning on renting or buying, Mayo Clinic residents are able to afford to live in spacious and safe areas. Rochester was not hit as hard by the housing collapse as other similarly sized cities, in part due to the high median income and stable employment.


Outdoors activities

For those interested in outdoor activities, Rochester has plenty to offer. From canoeing, hiking, and fishing in the summer to cross-country skiing and ice skating in the winter, there is something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors. Rochester has over 3500 acres of park land, including a wildlife refuge and outdoor skating rinks in the winter. There are over 85 miles of paved trails for walking, running, and biking as well as numerous facilities for tennis, soccer, basketball and other sports, and over 20 golf courses.



School system

Rochester has a well-funded and highly-acclaimed public school system, with extensive curricular and extracurricular opportunities for all students. Although not necessary to obtain a high-quality education, Rochester has a large number of private denominational and non-denominational schools that families may explore, if interested. The academic performance of Rochester students on a state and national level is outstanding.



Rochester embraces the multicultural nature of its residents and celebrates its ethnic diversity. The relatively large number of international communities in Rochester and progressive nature of Minnesotans has created a welcoming and inclusive environment. Mayo Clinic also has Mayo Employee Resource Groups to help support ethnic minority groups and the LGBT community.