Is Rochester, Minnesota a Good Place to Live?

Sure, we've all heard how great it is here in Southeast Minnesota, but did you know there are 10 good reasons why you *shouldn't* live in Rochester, MN?


1. Rochester, Minnesota Has Bad Schools

Jessica Williams / Townsquare Media Rochester-Preston
Jessica Williams / Townsquare Media Rochester-Preston
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Yes, they're REALLY bad, alright. The 2021 graduation rate for Rochester Public Schools (RPS) came in at 85.6%, slightly higher than the state average for the state of Minnesota, which was 83.8%. And, in 2020, RPS set a record when the graduation rate was even HIGHER, at 85.9% 

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2. There are no four-year universities in Rochester

Curt St John/Townsquare Media Rochester-Preston
Curt St John/Townsquare Media Rochester-Preston
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Well, that would be news to the roughly 1,000 students enrolled at the University of Minnesota - Rochester, who are on track to get their bachelor's degrees in many specific areas tailored to the healthcare industry. Winona State and St. Mary's Unversity also offer classes in Rochester.


3. Rochester, Minnesota Doesn't Have Access to Quality Healthcare

Mayo Clinic's Gonda Building (Curt St John - Townsquare Media Rochester-Preston)
Mayo Clinic's Gonda Building (Curt St John - Townsquare Media Rochester-Preston)
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We sure don't! I mean, Rochester has been home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic since 1865. And, again in 2022, Mayo Clinic was just rated the number-one hospital IN THE WORLD, and has been rated the number-one hospital in the U.S. for six years in a row.


4. There Are No Parks and Recreation Areas in Rochester, Minnesota

Curt St John - Townsquare Media Rochester - Preston
Curt St John - Townsquare Media Rochester - Preston
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Exactly! I mean, the city of Rochester's Parks and Rec Department only maintains over 5,100 acres of public lands, comprised of 142 separate parks and over 100 miles of paved bike/recreational trails. And, there are six scenic state parks close by, as well.


5. Rochester, Minnesota is a bad place to live

Google Street View
Google Street View
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Right! It's not like the city of Rochester has been routinely listed as a Best Place to Live by various national surveys. Like, say, the 2022 Best Cities to Live in America list, where Rochester was one of only two cities in Minnesota to make the list (coming in at #33 out of 228.)


6. There aren't any good restaurants in Rochester, Minnesota

ThinkStock
ThinkStock
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Indeed. Let's forget about all of the many award-winning restaurants that call Rochester home, right? Trip Advisor has a list of 10 can't-miss restaurants HERE, and Rochester's expanding culinary scene is ready to add even more new eateries later this year too.


7. No big artists ever come to Rochester, Minnesota

Curt St. John - Townsquare Media - Rochester/Preston
Curt St. John - Townsquare Media - Rochester/Preston
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How true! Why, there are hardly EVER any concerts going on at the newly-updated Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, or outside at Mayo Park (home of the FREE Down By the Riverside Concert series each summer.) Plus, Rochester is close to a TON of other great concert venues, all hosting huge artists this year as well.


8. You Can't Fly Direct to Anywhere From Rochester, Minnesota

Rochester International Airport (Google Maps)
Rochester International Airport (Google Maps)
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Well, that's true-- if you don't count the five different locations where you can catch a direct flight from the Rochester International Airport, located just south of downtown Rochester. And, as travel continues to pick up after the pandemic, airport officials are hoping to add even more direct flights.


9. There are no good craft breweries in Rochester, Minnesota

Curt St John - Townsquare Media - Rochester/Preston
Curt St John - Townsquare Media - Rochester/Preston
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If you're looking to hoist a pint of a lovely fermented adult beverage, why you wouldn't want to head to any of the six award-winning, incredible craft breweries that call Rochester home, right? (Like Little Thistle Brewing Company, which has been brewing incredible craft beer in Rochester since 2018.)


10. There aren't any good-paying jobs in Rochester, Minnesota

Curt St John - Townsquare Media - Rochester/Preston
Curt St John - Townsquare Media - Rochester/Preston
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Exactly! Why, Mayo Clinic, which has been headquartered in Rochester for over 150 years now only employs 41,000 people-- all of whom were just given a 4% raise. Not to mention that Rochester's median household income was $73,106 in 2020, well above the U.S. national average of $65,712.

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11 "Lakes" in and around Rochester, Minnesota

When you think of Rochester, what comes to your mind first? Yeah, not lakes. But we actually have 11 lakes or reservoirs in town including Lake Maroo. Yep, it is a real thing.