Rochester is the third largest city in Minnesota with an estimated population of 94,950 (2005). Founded by George Head in 1854, the city got its name after his hometown of the same name in New York State. Listed at 67 as one of the "Best Places to Live" by Money Magazine, the city is best known for the Mayo Clinic. This world renowned and well-respected hospital was founded in 1883, after William Mayo and his two sons came to the area to provide medical care for several thousand residents, injured after a tornado demolished much of the city.
A variety of Rochester nightspots, restaurants, and other venues provide free music and entertainment. These include Dunn Bros Coffee, the Redwood Room, Sharâ€™s Country Palace & Bar, CJâ€™s Midtown Lounge, and Whistle Binkies Old World Pub. The Plummer Building in downtown Rochester, Leoâ€™s Pizza Palace, the Chateau Theatre, and the VFW hall are also venues for free concerts and performances. Unique and mainstream shopping can be found in the largest enclosed shopping space at the Apache Mall.
Outdoor activities like biking, hiking, running, inline skating, or walking have available areas located throughout the city with more than 60 miles of paved trails. Other places to enjoy the scenic landscapes, abundant wildlife, and beautiful waterways are the Root River, Douglas State Trails, Quarry Hill Nature Center, and The Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail.
The visual and performing arts, historical preservation, and entertainment community is vital and growing with organizations and venues like the Rochester Art Center, History Center of Olmsted County, SEMVA Art Gallery, Mayowood Galleries, Chorale Arts Ensemble, Rochester Civic Theatre, Rochester Repertory Theatre, and the Southeast Minnesota Youth Orchestra. Each August, the Olmsted County Fair features a variety of musical entertainment, and the 1st Avenue Street Market & Concert Series highlights local musicians throughout the summer season. Among other seasonal entertainment options, four gardens in the Hawthorn Hills Neighborhood host the Rochester Orchestra and Choraleâ€™s Annual Musical Garden Tour presented by the Eden Garden Club, featuring local music ensembles.
The primary industries in Rochester are medical services, computer design and programming, light manufacturing, and substantial hotel and restaurant trades serving tourists from around the world.