Travel With Kids: Rochester

Travel With Kids: Rochester 1Rochester, Minnesota is a city that surprised me. I expected a tiny town with nothing to do...but found an active place with a peppy, modern downtown.

The heartbeat of this Minnesota city (which is just 1.5 hours south of Minneapolis) is the Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical group and medical research group. Mayo Clinic Rochester employs approximately 30,000 people, roughly 30% of the population. Known for innovative care, cutting edge research, and putting patients first, Mayo Clinic maintains its high level of care by keeping doctors on salary. Interestingly, many of our U.S. presidents have either been patients at or trustees for Mayo.

We spent a fair share of time downtown, a lively place with restaurants, shops, hospitals, music, and festivals every Thursday in the summer. There is a two-story Barnes & Noble that is housed in a historic theater - a great nook for reading and wandering.

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On Thursday evening, I met up with blogger Jenny Nash for a Girls Night Out at Jasper's Alsatian Bistro, where we shared a pizza topped with caramelized onions & applewood bacon. We chatted the night away for 3 1/2 hours! Jenny is a gem - smart, fun, thoughtful, and gorgeous at 7 months pregnant.

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On Friday, our family took a spin on Silver Lake in an electric paddleboat with our 4-year-old as the driver. Afterward, we oohed and awed at Jenpachi Japanese Steakhouse, where the chefs create mouthwatering dishes on a stainless steel flat stove in front of you. Our girls were frightened at first by the fire, but then enjoyed the show immensely. The fried rice was especially outstanding.

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Have you ever been to Rochester, MN? What did you like/not like about it?

* Special thanks to the Rochester MN Convention & Visitors Bureau for providing a campground spot and  passes to area attractions.

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20 comments on “Travel With Kids: Rochester”

  1. Awh. You and MamaNash look so cute in that picture! One of our favorite WDW restaurants is a hibachi style one. Did they do the onion volcano?

    1. Our chef didn't do the onion volcano, but he was super kid-friendly - balancing food in his hat, handing out samples liberally, making jokes, and cracking eggs with gusto.

  2. Oooh! My neck of the woods :) I actually grew up in North Dakota, but we travelled to MN quite a bit as a family growing up. I'm sad to see that you guys are skipping ND on your route..I'm sure it's impossible to hit everything you want to see, but I can't help but thinking that you are really missing out! Enjoy your time in the midwest - it gives me warm fuzzies to know that you get to be there!

    1. I'm sorry we're missing North Dakota this time, but it's impossible to go everywhere. We've had a wonderful few days in Rapid City, SD...and we're heading toward Yellowstone tomorrow morning!

  3. What what! Rochester?? Hah, us Northern MN girls go to cities like Rochester for culture! ;) Serious.

    We go to Rochester once a year to bring our youh group to a youth conference. My husband likes The Canadian Honker and likes to frequent there. Rochester is a beautiful city, very modern and full of good food! I'm glad you enjoyed your time. Next time, maybe swing a little further north; I know my sister Vanessa & I would love a coffee date with you! :)

    1. We actually ate breakfast at The Canadian Honker one morning...but it was cut short because our 4-year-old threw up mid-meal! Thankfully, she was okay within a few hours and back to her normal active self.

  4. I have never been, but know several people who have been to Mayo Clinic, my grandpa included. There is a small (ok, maybe large) part of me that will always LOVE the midwest!

  5. I have never been to Rochester or in MN.

    We took our girls to see the Hibachi cooking on the open stove thinking it would entertain them. but they were not interested at all. It was a year ago, We should try now. Hopefully, they will be able to concentrate on the cooking more than on running away from the table

  6. Hey, so fun to see this post! We were just in Rochester this last spring, and loved it! We went there because of the Mayo Clinic, but we had such a great time, we might go again, just for fun!

  7. MN is a great place to live! As for the weather, we actually have seasons...from -20 below in winter to 100 degrees in summer :) and it gives us something to talk about ALL year long!

    I've been to Rochester a few times and you described it well. The Mayo Clinic is an amazing place that we are proud to have in MN.

    1. Minnesota really does have all kinds of weather. I was actually surprised by how hot it was when we were there. I was aware of the "famous" freezing winters so I expected the summers to be mild (maybe 70 degrees?). Boy, was I wrong!

  8. I know people from Minnesota who love being "from" there - they usually grumble something about the winters when they say that :) However... hubby and I don't mind snow and winter so moving north is something we have definitely considered, Minnesota is on that list!

  9. My cousin lives in Rochester, though I've never been there. My whole family is from Minnesota, I love visiting there, and I am always a little bit tempted to move every time I'm there. (Though they all tell me that's because I haven't visited in the winter yet!)

    1. I've heard that Minnesota winters are somethin' else. I'm not sure that this Arizona girl could handle the cold. ;)

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