Experience: Picture yourself here
Want to dig in and get a deeper look at what it's like to be a learner on our campus in Rochester, Minnesota? Learn more about the reasons people choose Mayo Clinic and what they do while they're here.
Complete your Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science experience checklist
Your education is shaped by your time in our hospitals, outpatient buildings, research labs, classrooms, and simulation centers. Beyond that, there’s more to be discovered in and around the campus and city.
To fill your breaks and days off, let us suggest a dozen can’t-miss activities that are student and trainee favorites.
Winter outdoor options
Hiking, walking, and biking
Beaches, paddling, and canoeing
Summer outdoor options
When you need a weekend getaway
One of the best things about living in Rochester is its proximity to weekend adventures in the surrounding region. Head in any direction and within just a couple hours, you’ll find big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between.
Road trip to the Twin Cities
St. Paul is Minnesota’s capital and the "twin city" to Minneapolis. You could say the Twin Cities are where much of the action takes place. While they seamlessly blend together, there are a few differences. Minneapolis has metropolitan flair and is a hub for performing arts, nightlife, and pro sports. St. Paul is historic and has a more relaxed vibe, situated on 26 miles of the Mississippi River. They both have outstanding food and drink scenes, family-friendly entertainment, and options for live music, shopping, events, and arts and culture.
Spend a weekend on one of the 10,000 lakes
Does Minnesota really have 10,000 lakes? The answer is yes! There are actually more than 10,000, if you want to be precise. With this many lakes spread out across the state, the options for fun on the lake are plentiful all year-round.
Some of the more popular vacation destinations "up north" are the Brainerd Lakes area, Detroit Lakes area, and even farther north, Bemidji. From swimming and boating in the summer to ice fishing and snowmobiling in the winter, no matter what draws you to the lake, you’ll find the perfect area to rest and relax.
Head up the North Shore
Just four hours north of Rochester, you’ll find Duluth. Duluth is its own vacation destination, but it’s also the start of the North Shore Scenic Drive right along Lake Superior.
The North Shore area is full of natural beauty, dramatic landscapes, and so much to see and do. People flock to enjoy the sights and sounds of Lake Superior, state parks, camping, hiking, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and other outdoor activities.
Take in the small-town charm of bluff country
Scattered around the outskirts of Rochester are several small towns full of charm. Each has its own unique style and activities, but they all have a hometown feel. In the very southeastern corner lies the Root River State Trail. A top spot for biking and river tubing, Lanesboro is also a popular destination for canoeing, fishing, and fine arts. To the east, you’ll run into the river towns of Lake City, Winona, Wabasha, and Red Wing along the mighty Mississippi River. These cities played a key role in Minnesota’s history and carry a historic appeal.