Moving to Rochester

Welcome to your helpful guide on relocating to Rochester, MN! Indeed, Rochester has it all. This vibrant city is the third-largest in Minnesota and is renowned for world-class healthcare, rigorous academia, and charming midwestern hospitality mixed with urban sophistication. Whether you have secured a job at the globally respected Mayo Clinic or are simply seeking a fresh start in a city teeming with promise and opportunity, you're in the right place. Let us take the stress out of your move with this comprehensive relocation guide, your passport to making Rochester home.

Moving to Rochester, MN landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Rochester

1. Mayo Clinic: The Heart of Rochester

You can't talk about Rochester, MN without mentioning the Mayo Clinic, a world-renowned medical facility. It's not only the city's largest employer but also a major tourist destination. So if you're a healthcare professional or simply a wellness enthusiast, Rochester is your city. The Mayo Clinic also hosts numerous conferences and events, making the city a hotspot for global professionals.

2. The Climate is... Well, Minnesota-Nice!

Okay, brace yourself, because unlike its super-friendly residents (often dubbed as "Minnesota-Nice"), the climate in Rochester is not always the friendliest. Winters can often be harsh, with plenty of snow and frigid temperatures. But summer, spring and fall? Absolutely gorgeous! You'll be in for fabulous fall colors, blooming springs, and pleasantly warm summers. Dynamic seasons also mean a multitude of recreational opportunities like skiing, ice fishing, leaf peeping, and more.

3. A Boulder's Throw from Big Cities

Living in Rochester provides the charm of a smaller city but don't worry, big city life isn't far away. Minneapolis-St. Paul is just a 90-minute car ride. Fancy a Broadway show? A Twins baseball game? Or exquisite dining? The twin cities won't disappoint. Plus, there's good news for non-drivers, too; there's regular shuttle service to and from Rochester.

4. Rochester Public Transit is the Bees Knees

Speaking of non-drivers, Rochester offers robust public transit. Perhaps it's the influence of the Mayo Clinic, but public transportation here is phenomenal. Regular, on-time, and convenient, living in Rochester without a personal vehicle isn't just possible, it's enjoyable.

5. A Feast for Foodies

Did you know that Rochester is a hidden gem for food lovers? A diverse population means a wide range of international dining experiences, from sushi to shawarma. If you're moving to Rochester, be prepared for a culinary journey that will take your taste buds around the world, without leaving your zip code. Plus, weekly farmer's markets await with the freshest of Minnesota produce.

6. The Mystery of the Corn Water Tower

And now, a Rochester special! Ever seen a water tower disguised as an ear of corn? You will when you move to Rochester! Standing impressively at 60+ feet high, there's an iconic "Corn Cob Water Tower" in the Seneca Foods canning plant area. There's no particular reason why it's a gigantic corn cob; it just is! It's a much-loved and instantly recognizable landmark of the city. So when you're feeling like you've had too much "corn" in your life - you know where to head!

Moving to a new city is an adventure. All in all, Rochester, Minnesota, has much to offer, partly due to its unique quirks. From being a global healthcare hub to housing an iconic corn-themed water tower, from providing robust public transport to gastronomical delights, Rochester has got it all. And bonus: big city bustle is just a short drive away when you need a dose. Except for its daunting winters, most everything about Rochester is just "Minnesota-Nice".

What to know before moving to Rochester, MN image
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Pros and Cons of Living in Rochester

Pros of Living in Rochester

Exceptional Healthcare Facilities

The presence of the Mayo Clinic, one of the top medical facilities in the world, ensures high quality healthcare services in Rochester. This not only brings a diverse pool of medical professionals to the area, but also means residents have access to cutting-edge medical treatments and technologies.

Highly Rated Schools

Rochester Public Schools have consistently high rankings for quality of education. This would be a positive aspect to consider especially for families with children. The city offers a wide variety of educational facilities, from world class universities to excellent public and private primary and secondary schools.

Low Crime Rates

Rochester is known for its safe neighborhoods with crime rates that are significantly lower than the national average. This contributes to a strong sense of community and peace of mind knowing that safety is a top priority here.

Strong Economy

As the home to Mayo Clinic and a branch of the University of Minnesota, Rochester hosts a thriving economy. The city enjoys a low unemployment rate and offers a wide range of job opportunities in healthcare, education, and other fields.

Rich Cultural Scene

Despite being a relatively small city, Rochester boasts a vibrant cultural scene. From music and film festivals, art centers and galleries, to excellent dining experiences and farmer's markets, residents enjoy a rich variety of cultural events and activities.

Cons of Living in Rochester

High Cost of Living

Due to the strong local economy and prosperous health-care industry, the cost of living in Rochester can be high compared to other similar-sized cities in Minnesota. This can especially be felt in terms of housing and consumer goods prices.

Cold Winters

Rochester experiences the typical Minnesota winter - freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall. This may pose a con for individuals not accustomed to such weather conditions or those who prefer milder climates.

Limited Nightlife Option

While Rochester has a thriving arts and culture scene, it has limited nightlife options. For someone who prefers a bustling nightlife, the choices may seem limited in restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

Public Transportation

Public transportation options in Rochester are somewhat limited. Relying solely on public transit can be challenging, prompting most residents to own their own vehicles for commute.

Higher Taxes

Minnesota as a whole is known for its higher-than-average tax rates, and Rochester is no exception. The state has a progressive income tax structure, and residents of Rochester may feel this in their day-to-day life and business operations.

Modern day picture of Rochester, MN highlighting pros and cons of living in Rochester, MN

Is Rochester a Good Place to Live?

Rochester, MN is a great place to live because of its high quality of life, strong sense of community, and excellent healthcare facilities. This city is also home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, engaging recreational opportunities, and a thriving arts and culture scene. Moreover, with a strong educational system in place, it's the perfect city for families to set roots down in.

What Is Rochester Famous For?


Mayo Clinic

The internationally renowned Mayo Clinic is perhaps what Rochester is most famous for. It is globally recognized for its superb medical facilities, innovative research, and excellent education programs. Millions of people from all over the world come to Mayo Clinic for diagnosis and treatment of complex medical conditions.

IBM Presence

A significant presence of IBM in Rochester has led to a boom in technology and innovation for the city. IBM has created thousands of jobs in the region and plays a role in attracting technological talents and stimulating economic growth.

Historic Floods

Rochester has experienced some historic floods, most notably in 1978 and 1997. These floods led to the development of an extensive flood control system that includes a series of dams and reservoirs, adding a unique element to the city's infrastructure and landscape.

Plummer Building

The Plummer Building is an iconic feature in Rochester's skyline. It was one of the original Mayo Clinic buildings and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its striking architectural design makes it a must-see destination for visitors to the city.

' Capital building of Rochester, MN in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Rochester, MN, the average property tax rate is around 1.1% as of 2023. This rate is somewhat lower compared to the national average which is approximately 1.2%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Rochester, MN as of 2023 is approximately 7.63%. This is quite a bit higher than the 5.56% average that is seen across the entire United States.

Income Tax

As of 2023, the income tax level for Rochester, MN is approximately 7.85%. This is slightly above the average US rate of 4.6%.

Housing Market

The Rochester, MN housing market offers a distinct blend of affordability and quality. Median home values here are $239,000, a favorable comparison to the US average of $277,700. Demand outpaces supply, signaling a seller's market, but buyers benefit from almost half the property tax rate than the national average. For renters, the typical cost of $1,100 per month is less than the US average. The city's infrastructure, healthcare, and education opportunities, coupled with robust investment in urban development, make housing in Rochester a promising prospect for both buyers and renters.

Cost of Living

Rochester, MN presents a cost of living that is slightly above the national average, primarily due to housing and healthcare expenses driven by the presence of Mayo Clinic. However, compared to other cities such as San Francisco or New York, it is considerably more affordable. Besides, Rochester delivers a high quality of life with world-class medical facilities, solid educational institutions, and vibrant arts and recreational offerings making the cost more reasonable and attractive.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Rochester, MN experiences a humid continental climate characterized by hot summers and very cold winters. Typically, the city sees plentiful precipitation year-round, with observable snowfall occurring in the wintry months of November through April. The temperatures fluctuate significantly between seasonal extremes, descending well below freezing in winter, and rising to the 80s-90sdegF during summer. Natural disasters that may afflict Rochester include blizzards, thunderstorms, and tornadoes - the city lies within the tornado-prone zone, "Tornado Alley". Floods can also occur due to the sudden and rapid melting of snow in spring or heavy storms. While the weather can be brutal and unforgiving at times, Rochester's beauty continues to spring out, with the changing seasons offering a dynamic landscape of sub-zero winterscapes and lush summer foliage.

Typical weather in Rochester, MN

Economy & Job Market

Health Care and Social Assistance

Education Services

Retail Trade


Accommodation and Food Services

Rochester, Minnesota, fondly known as the "Med City," has a rich history deeply rooted in the health sector, primarily due to the presence of Mayo Clinic, the city's largest employer. Health care remains the dominant industry today, encompassing health services, biomedical research, and health tech innovation. However, that's not all the city has to offer. With a boom in education services - there's a trove of opportunities in our public schools and universities. Additionally, the City of Rochester has a vibrant retail trade sector, robust manufacturing, and a thriving hospitality industry ensuring there's something for everyone in this dynamic economy.

If you're thinking about packing up and heading north to Rochester, you'll be delighted to know the city boasts a lower unemployment rate than the US average. There's an impressive work force growth in the healthcare sector, but don't limit yourself to this domain - Rochester's education sector is thriving too. And let's not forget the retail industry, particularly in downtown Rochester, which is a hub for employment. In a nutshell, if you're a job-seeker making a move to Rochester, you'll find a thriving job market across multiple industries. So polish up that resume and consider yourself invited to come and enjoy all the opportunities Rochester has to offer!

Traffic and Transportation

Hey there, traveler! Navigating the old streets of Rochester, MN? Don't sweat it! The average commute time here is around 15 minutes - a cinch compared to big city gridlock! Now that's what we call Minnesota nice, aye? And if you're fond of public transportation, Rochester has some nifty options. The city's public transit system, aptly named Rochester Public Transit, can take you on a merry loop around town. Or hitch a ride on the shuttle straight to Mayo Clinic. And for the high-flyers, Rochester International Airport is just south of the city. Have a smooth landing and take off again to the tune of 250+ flights daily. So whether you're traveling by car, bus, or plane, Rochester, MN, has got you covered!

What is the traffic like in Rochester, MN?

Best Neighborhoods in Rochester

1. Pill Hill

Let's start with a fun neighborhood that gets its name from the large number of health care professionals living there. We're talking about Pill Hill, of course! Just minutes from downtown Rochester, Pill Hill boasts unique, charming homes, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, you'll find a blend of old-world class and modern suburban bliss. With large trees, enchanting gardens, and a close-knit community feel, Pill Hill is an enchanting place to call home.

2. Kutzky Park

Next up is Kutzky Park, the epitome of eclectic charm. Full of artsy vibes and a bustling community spirit, this neighborhood is perfect for those looking for a dynamic, creative ecosystem. The neighborhood hosts monthly social events, providing opportunities for residents to connect. With Forager Brewery, trendy restaurants, and art exhibits all within walking distance, there's never a dull moment in Kutzky Park.

3. Slatterly Park

Get a taste of the artistic spirit in Slatterly Park, home to the Art on the Ave annual event. Boasting a diverse community, old-world architecture, and plenty of green spaces, Slatterly Park is perfect for those seeking a slower-paced lifestyle amidst an active, vibrant community. If you like to stay active, Slatterly Park is ideally located, with easy access to bike trails, walking paths, and Bear Creek.

4. Historic Southwest

Are you a history buff? Then Historic Southwest might be the neighborhood for you! Known for its breathtaking architecture and historical homes, it's a soaring walk through the past. Couple that with lovely parks, quaint shops and easy commuting routes and you'll see why Historic Southwest is one of the best neighborhoods in Rochester. It's a slice of history with all the conveniences of city living.

5. Elton Hills

Last but not least, we visit Elton Hills. This established neighborhood offers a peaceful atmosphere with acres of green space for outdoor adventures. Situated along the Zumbro River, the neighborhood offers opportunities for hiking, canoeing, or simple riverside picnics. Complemented by select schools, parks, trails, and a quick commute to the downtown area, Elton Hills offers a perfect balance of both tranquility and city life.

So there you go! Whether you're seeking a serene neighborhood, a lively community, or a bit of history, Rochester's diverse array of neighborhoods slides in with something for everyone. But don't just take our word for it - swing by and feel the charm of these communities yourself. Who knows? You might just find your dream neighborhood!

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Things to Do

Whether you're moving for work, study or simply for an exciting change of scenery, Rochester, MN, has a lot to offer. From creativity-inspiring art centers to adventurous outdoor activities, and even some special hidden gems, Rochester is a charming city that never lacks for fun. Here are seven of the top things to do in Rochester, MN for someone moving to the city.

1: Explore the Quarry Hill Nature Center

A gem nestled in the city, the Quarry Hill Nature Center provides the perfect escape to nature without leaving town. With eight miles of hiking, skiing and nature trails, the park is home to a large number of diverse wildlife. And in the Nature Center itself, you'll find a planetarium, thirty-five live animals, and a giant fish aquarium. Perfect for young kids and adults alike.

2: Experience the Rochester Art Center

Immerse yourself in contemporary art at the Rochester Art Center. The center regularly rotates its exhibits, so there's always something new and intriguing to see. The Art Center also hosts interactive workshops, lectures, and other events which are sure to satiate your inner artist.

3: Visit the Plummer House

Imagine stepping back into the 1920s in this English Tudor Revival style mansion. The historic Plummer House, located on 65 acres of beautifully manicured grounds, provides a glimpse into the past. With its ornate decor and impressive architecture, the Plummer House is sure to enchant history and art lovers.

4: Green Thumb It at the History Center of Olmsted County

Here's one of those unique, somewhat unknown things to do. At the History Center of Olmsted County, you can test your green thumb at the Heirloom Garden. The garden grows a variety of historic strains of vegetables and flowers, some of which are not commonly seen today. Ever tried a lemon cucumber or black rose potato? You can here!

5: Take a Stroll in Silver Lake Park

Silver Lake Park is a favorite among the locals. With paddle boat rentals, picnicking spots, and a beautiful walking trail, it's an excellent place to relax and unwind. And for bird enthusiasts, the park is home to a large population of Giant Canada geese!

6: Craft Beer Sipping at Forager Brewery

Forager Brewery is not just an award-winning craft beer spot - it's also a forage kitchen, serving delicious meals created from locally foraged ingredients. Enjoy a pint of innovative brews in their chic warehouse-style space, or unwind in the serene outdoor garden.

7: Get Muddy at Quarry Hill Adventures

Feeling adventurous? Here's a somewhat unknown experience in Rochester: Quarry Hill Adventures. This thrilling adventure race involves the Quarry Hill Caves, orienteering, and plenty of mud. A guaranteed fun way to test your physical endurance and explore the Quarry Hill Park in a whole new way!

As you can see, there's no shortage of things to do in Rochester, MN. This vibrant city effortlessly blends natural beauty, historical architecture, artistic scenes, and much more, promising an enriching life experience. So, go out, discover, and have a fabulous time in your new hometown!

Things to do in Rochester, MN?

Find Movers for Your Rochester Relocation

Having explored the many facets of life in Rochester, MN, it's clear that it offers an exciting blend of small-town charm and dynamic urban living. Whether you're transitioning for a new job, education, or just a change of scenery, the move to this vibrant city promises to be an exciting journey. Ease your transition with the help of Great Guys Moving, a company that streamlines the process of finding reputable, affordable movers. With just a few basic details about your move, you can quickly receive quotes from licensed and insured movers. Make your move to Rochester smoother - request your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.

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