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Rochester (Minnesota)

Travel Guide North America USA Midwestern United States Minnesota Rochester

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Introduction

Rochester was founded in 1854 as a frontier town in the southern area of the state. The biggest moment in the cities history was when the railroad arrived in the 1860s, bringing Dr. William W. Mayo in 1863. Dr. Mayo opened a frontier clinic, which toady is one of the leading hospitals in the world. The town tends to revolves around the Mayo clinic and its prestigious clients, although there are some old early 20th century homes to check out also. The town lies on the South Fork of the Zumbro River and is in Olmsted County, which is one of 4 counties in Minnesota that doesn't have natural lake. But in order to make it feel like a normal Minnesota county some artificial lakes have been built including Silver Lake.

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Sights and Activities

Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic is a non profit medical practice located in Rochester. The clinic is one of the best known in the world and is leading center for medical research, especially in cancer. The hospital has experts in cancer, tumors, bone problems, HIV and almost every medical problem under the sun. The clinic also has a medical school and residency program attached to it. Due to the large number of international patients the Mayo Clinic has great facilities to handle people from different cultures.

Frank Lloyd Wright Homes

  • A. H. Bulbulian Residence - Is a good example of Wright's Usonian genre of architecture. The home has been recently restored to its original condition.
  • James McBean Residence - This is a nice Wright home located in the city.
  • Thomas Keys Residence - Built in 1950, with earth berms, this home was originally designed to be a middle class home in order to give working class families more refined homes.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Chateau Theatre - Is national historic building and currently houses a Barnes & Nobel Bookstore and Cafe.
  • Biking/Hiking Trails - The city has more then 60 m of trails for people to enjoy. The Root River and Douglas State Trails, near the Rochester area, includes an additional 55 m (89 km) of trails with mixed woods, hills and limestone bluffs.
  • Rochester Art Center - Open in 2004 is a small art center with visiting collections and a nice garden in the back.
  • History Center of Olmsted County - Learn the history and natural history of the county at this museum.
  • SEMVA Art Gallery - In Peace Plaza in the downtown area, this gallery has a collection of local artists from southeastern Minnesota.
  • Chorale Arts Ensemble - Is a good 40 voice choir that performs a wide range of styles.
  • Masque Youth Theater - Is the local children's theater.
  • Rochester Repertory Theatre Company - This is a good local theater company.
  • Rochester Community Band - Enjoy free classical concerts in East Park during the summer with this group.

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Weather

Rochester has hot summer and cold winters.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-0.6 °C0.3 °C5.9 °C13.3 °C19.9 °C24.3 °C27.1 °C25.6 °C22.1 °C15.8 °C8.8 °C2.1 °C
Avg Min-8.7 °C-8.6 °C-3.5 °C2.2 °C7.9 °C12.4 °C15.3 °C14.3 °C10.9 °C5.3 °C0.7 °C-5.3 °C
Rainfall52.8 mm53.3 mm57.9 mm66.3 mm69.1 mm76.2 mm68.8 mm86.4 mm75.4 mm62 mm74.2 mm69.3 mm
Rain Days11.110.19.79.998.97.68.88.591112.9

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Getting There

By Plane

  • Rochester International Airport (RST) is a major airport located 7 m (11 km) southwest of the downtown area. The airport is serviced by American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Allegiant Air and private jets. Recently Federal Express and DHL added terminals. There is a limousine service to and from the airport to the city.

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Getting Around

During the winter there is a system of underground roads and walk ways called the Subway/Skyway. This system accesses all the major sights and shops in the downtown area, including the Mayo Clinic. During the winter these tunnels can be great way to avoid the cold and some shops even have direct access. The tunnels also have handicap access.

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

  • Buses - Rochester has a very good public bus system. For more information on routes and schedules click here.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 44.019279
  • Longitude: -92.459152

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This is version 12. Last edited at 13:28 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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