Rochester is best visited in the summer months between June and August, when the days are warm and temperatures can rise above 30°C. Spring and autumn months are cooler and finding cheap flights should be easier, while the winter months can be exceptionally cold. It is common to get significant snowfall in Rochester in the winter season with temperatures dropping below freezing between November and February.
Located just south of Minneapolis near the Mississippi River, Rochester is a thriving city that has grown from a small stagecoach stop. Now, the third largest city in the US state of Minnesota, Rochester offers a fascinating array of historic, cultural and recreational points of interest. Many of the city’s historical buildings can be visited within the city centre area, such as the Chateau Theatre, a Vaudeville house that dates back to 1927, and Avalon Music, a former hotel that featured in the Civil Rights Movement. To learn more about Rochester’s history, you can spend time at the Heritage House Victorian Museum, a fascinating building located in Rochester’s Central Park, which gives an insight into family life of that era. Alternatively, visit the History Centre of Olmsted County, which displays traditional buildings and artefacts of early settlers. Rochester is also renowned for its performing arts, particularly the Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, a non-profit organisation that performs regularly throughout the year. Renowned for its quality of life, Rochester is a wonderful place to explore and discover live entertainment, particularly in the summer, when street artists and bands perform along the sidewalks or on stages around the city. There are also many large entertainment venues within the city, such as the Mayo Civic Centre, which offers sports events, music and theatre, and the Rochester Art Centre, which provides a wide variety of contemporary art exhibitions and programmes.
There is an extensive network of buses that run throughout the city area, all of which go to the downtown area. If you want to travel from one area of the city to another, you will have to change buses in the centre. There are also several taxi companies that operate within the city and their fares are controlled by the City of Rochester. Many hotels also offer complimentary shuttle services to their guests. If you prefer to hire your own car, you will find several major car hire companies located in the downtown area near the Mayo Clinic. Rochester does not have a train service, so the nearest station is located in Winona, which is 50 minutes’ drive to the east.
Rochester International Airport (ROC) is situated 7 miles (11 km) south of Rochester just off Highway 63. Transfer to the city centre area of Rochester is easy by taking a taxi or shuttle bus from the airport. There are various local taxi companies that service the airport and also a shared ride service. There are also five major car rental companies that operate at the airport building.