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How to Plan a Visit to Rochester's World-Renowned Mayo Clinic

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How to Plan a Visit to Rochester's World-Renowned Mayo Clinic

By Ann Teget

Rochester’s world-renowned Mayo Clinic sees more than 1.3 million patients from all 50 states and 140 countries every year. Ann Teget has been making the journey to southern Minnesota for more than a decade. Here are the Nebraska-based writer’s tips on how to make the most of the Mayo Clinic.

The foyer of the Mayo Clinic's Gonda Building

The foyer of the Mayo Clinic's Gonda Building / AB Photography

HOW TO MAKE A MAYO CLINIC APPOINTMENT

The Mayo Clinic has delivered world-class, patient-centered care since 1914. Anyone can request an appointment; simply call 507-538-3270 or visit mayoclinic.org to schedule a visit. You can also ask your primary doctor for a referral.

Located in the heart of downtown Rochester, the Mayo Clinic is just a 90-minute drive south of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Getting to the clinic is simple. If you’re coming from a distance, you can fly into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and take the Rochester Shuttle Service or rent a car.

Better yet, fly right into the Greater Rochester International Airport. Once there, Rochester is easy to navigate by car or public transportation. Uber and Lyft services are also readily available.

Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area Hotel lobby

The lobby at the Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area Hotel  / Croft Hospitality

WHERE TO STAY NEAR THE MAYO CLINIC

With more than 6,000 hotel rooms in Rochester and 24 hotels downtown near the Mayo Clinic, there’s something for every price range and type of stay. Whether you need a budget-friendly hotel for a few nights, or a room with a kitchenette for a long-term stay, you’ll find it in Rochester.

Rochester’s award-winning Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area Hotel is conveniently located downtown just two blocks from the Mayo Clinic. Its upscale furnishings, fine dining restaurant, and fifth floor terrace with panoramic city views make this a true luxury hotel. Other hotel options close to the clinic include the Kahler Grand Hotel, Hotel Indigo, Hilton Garden Inn, and Rochester Marriott.

Hotels located closest to Mayo’s St. Marys Hospital include The Berkman Short Term Stays, Courtyard by Marriott, Aspen Select, and Even Hotel Rochester. Most Rochester hotels also offer shuttle services to and from the clinic.

In addition, Rochester has a variety of home share options you can book through Airbnb and VRBO, as well as RV parks, extended stay accommodations, and charitable lodging such as the Ronald McDonald House and the Gift of Life Transplant House. Best of all, each place is uniquely equipped to cater to a variety of personal and health-related needs.

A group of friends walk by the restaurant ThaiPop

A group of friends walk by the Rochester restaurant ThaiPop  / Paul Vincent

WHERE TO EAT NEAR THE MAYO CLINIC

Want something quick and easy? Stop by Salad Brothers for speedy lunch options like soups, salads and sandwiches (and the best garlic rolls). Or grab something on campus at Skylight Commons in the subway level of the Mayo Building or Center Café at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center.

Downtown Rochester has dining options for every taste and budget within walking distance from the clinic. In fact, many of the restaurants are connected to the medical facilities by skyways or subways (the walking, not train kind).

Contemporary American fare can be found at Bleu Duck Kitchen, Chester’s, Pittsburgh Blue, Marrow, The Tap House, Red Cow and Crave. Prefer ethnic cuisine? Try Italian favorites at Victoria’s Ristorante & Wine Bar, Terza, Salute! Wine Bar & More, or Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria. Craving Asian food? ThaiPop is a local favorite along with Mango Thai (the spring rolls are a must), Bebap and Wabi Sabi Express.

For more info on dining options in downtown Rochester, check out our restaurant and bar roundup.

Mayo Brothers statue at the Mayo Clinic

The iconic Mayo Brothers statue on the grounds of the Mayo Clinic / TJ Turner

THINGS TO DO NEAR THE MAYO CLINIC 

When visiting the Mayo Clinic, there’s often time between appointments to explore the clinic and surrounding area. The Mayo Building has several tours available to patients and companions.    

From Monday through Friday, volunteers lead an art tour where you can view select pieces at the Mayo, Gonda and Siebens buildings. Tours begin at 2 p.m. and last one hour. Reservations are not needed. 

Self-guided tours of the Mayo Historical Suite in the Plummer Building and the Heritage Hall in the Mathews Grand Lobby of the Mayo Building are also great ways to spend free time at the clinic. 

A couple friends look at an installation in the Rochester Art Center

Rochester Art Center 

Just a few blocks from the clinic are the Rochester Art Center, art galleries, and the Rochester Civic Theatre, which hosts such major productions as “Matilda”, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, and “Legally Blonde”. In addition, the Rochester Public Library is housed downtown and is open seven days a week.There are also walking and jogging trails throughout downtown. 

Perhaps you’d like to relax and unwind after your appointments? The Rejuvenate Spa in the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center offers premier services in a clean and health-conscious environment. Book a massage or facial, relax with a mani/pedi, or indulge with a half-day rejuvenation spa package.  

However you plan to spend your time in Rochester, know that the community has a long history of welcoming visitors and you’ll feel right at home.  

Ann Teget

Ann Teget is a Nebraska-based freelance writer and speaker, Airbnb Superhost, and soup enthusiast.  She and her husband, Steve Teget, share tips to live and travel well on their blog at postcardjar.com. Join their journey on social media @postcardjar.