Things To Do in Rochester MN

In our Rochester chiropractic office, we frequently see people who are fairly new to the Rochester, MN community. With the Mayo Clinic just down the street and the many job opportunities it provides, we find that people flock here from all over the country, if not the world.

Our Favorite Spots

Since we’ve been in the community for over 13 years now (and I grew up here) One of our favorite ways to connect our patients to the community is to help them find critical businesses that we have come to trust over the years...realtors, plumbers, contractors, housekeeping services...the list goes on; we know how much people appreciate having a name when they are brand new to town. And also how these businesses thrive on referrals from happy clients, just as we do! It’s a win-win.

We also REALLY love to share our favorite spots for healthy active people. We polled our Facebook family and found that our faves were many of their faves too, so I think we are on the right track! Rochester, MN has so many great resources for the health-conscious family...and the good news, most are low-cost and easy to access!

We all have ups and downs and starts and stops on our health journey. When I hit a slump and want to jump start my forward momentum, I tend to think of a few key things and those are the things I want to share with you here--movement, fresh air and real good food!

Parks & Recreational Activities

There are so many options here but my favorites, by far, are getting out for a nice hike or walk away from the hustle. During 2020, my saving grace was my weekly hikes at Oxbow Park. Oxbow Park is in Byron, MN but if you are on the northwest side of Rochester, it’s a quick drive. I discovered that time in the woods calmed me more than almost anything else. The change from early spring flowers to the rustle of leaves in the fall and everything in between reminded me of the ever-changing amazingness of our natural world and the lessons it teaches us...not the least of which in 2020 was that “this too shall pass.” Oxbow also has a small zoo and natural playscape for families with children. There are camping sites available and the Zumbro river to explore. It’s a must; and because it feels like an escape that is only 10 minutes from my door, it’s probably my favorite…

But then I think of Quarry Hill Nature Center and I just can’t pick a favorite! It’s like picking a favorite child, it can’t be done, I love them differently! QHNC was what helped our family integrate when we first moved here. We joined their Nature Toddler program and fell in love with the Nature Center and the kindness of the staff. We met new friends and had adventures. It is a magical place--hiking, biking, exploring the quarry and playing in the creek--when my kids were little we could spend the whole day. Until this past summer, our girls have attended their Summer Camp program which I can’t recommend highly enough! This past winter our girls joined the Rochester Nordic ski team, a fantastic organization by the way! We were motivated to get outside in the cold months with lots of winter hiking (me) and skiing (them)--walking icy trails requires winter grips on your boots, I learned!

Skiing Activities

Living in Minnesota means embracing the winter so don’t be afraid to get out there--if you need some gear, go visit Tyrol Ski & Sports on 2nd street, they are wonderful and helpful and have rental gear for trying out cross-country or downhill skiing. They also carry paddling gear, patio furniture, shoes, boots, sandals, socks, coats and outdoor apparel.

There are so many other nearby gems...Cascade Lake walking/biking trails, the Root River County Park, camping/kayaking/hiking at Chesterwoods County park, Whitewater State Park, Douglas Trail biking and the bike trail system in Rochester. One of my patients absolutely insisted that we check out the bluebells in May along the Mayowood Road trails, we did and they are stunning. And, of course, just getting a great walk in your own neighborhood will help keep you healthy and active. Movement is life!

Now let’s talk about food…

Health starts in the kitchen. We are fortunate to live in the rich farming area that we do-there are so many opportunities to get our hands on fresh food. Our Rochester Farmers Market is truly a wonderful asset to the southeastern Minnesota area. It runs year round, limited dates in the winter, but twice weekly during the spring and summer months on Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon at Graham Park. This is a good way to meet up with some local farmers and producers, possibly find some CSA options and get connected to the wealth of local food options.

If you miss the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday, head on over to the People’s Food Co-op for lots of local goodies including locally roasted coffee, homemade baked goods, great deli options and personal care products. While I love many of the grocery options in Rochester, the food co-op supports our local community and we have been members since we moved here.

The restaurant scene has changed DRAMATICALLY in the 13 years we have been here. There are so many more locally-owned options to offer an alternative to chain restaurants. Do a little digging and try some new spots...a few come to mind: Chester’s, Porch, Pedal Pushers in Lanesboro, the Tap House (their tacos saved us during restaurant shut-downs), Five West, Pho Chau…we don’t eat out a ton and I’m sure I’m forgetting some, let us know what your favorites are!

Speaking of cooking at home...I try to, now and then, find a recipe with ingredients I don’t frequently use. I tend to keep cooking pretty simple (dare I say boring at times?) so it’s fun to try something new. The latest was Italian Wedding soup with leeks and fennel, two ingredients I don’t use a whole lot. Challenge yourself to explore something new as your browsing the Farmer’s Market on a sunny, summer Saturday.

I want to mention this gem, and technically it is local as well. One of my patients turned me on to the “Dishing Up Nutrition” podcast and app. It is recorded weekly by the nutritionists at Nutritional Weight and Wellness in the Twin Cities. This is a really good resource for getting back to real-food eating and is searchable by topic or condition.

Hope something mentioned here sparks your interest! Let us know what we missed, we’d love to hear your local favorites for health and wellness!

Dr. Stacy LeQuire

Owner @ Vitality Chiropractic