47 Rochester, MN

PopulationMetro: 218,280
Rochester continues to compete for a small but lucrative slice of the global medical tourism industry.

Rochester hosts more than 3 million visitors each year—yes, many of them receiving care at the Mayo Clinic.

From its humble origins as a 19th century family practice, Rochester’s Mayo Clinic has evolved into a “medical mecca” for difficult cases from around the world.

Hosting the top international brand in medicine means this third-largest city in Minnesota now sees millions of visitors a year, including business titans and world leaders. And once they’re here, they’ll get much more than a poke and a prod as Rochester welcomes all comers with a good dose of Minnesota hospitality.

Place 44
Product 23
Programming 17
People 65
Prosperity 48
Promotion 17

The city and the Mayo Clinic are a third of the way through a 20-year, $5.6 billion economic development plan dubbed “Destination Medical Center” that will turn Rochester into a global biotech hub, likely doubling its population in the process. Healthcare, of course, will remain the primary industry, which means plenty of doctors, nurses, researchers and other highly-skilled medical workers to help the city earn rankings of #4 for Household Income and #20 for Prosperity.

All those patients and their families need places to stay and things to do between appointments, and Rochester delivers with boutique hotels, hot new restaurants and plenty of entertainment options, from IMAX films to an escape room, a play at the newly-expanded Mayo Civic Center to art exhibitions and poetry slams at the Rochester Arts Center.

True to its brand, Rochester is the picture of health, with little to get stressed out about in this city that routinely wins accolades for livability. Residents praise the city as “safe” (backed up by a great #11 ranking for Crime) with “good schools” and plenty of space to enjoy the outdoors, thanks to five square miles of parks within city limits and 85 miles of paved trails suitable for walking, jogging or cycling.