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Drivable Weekend Getaways From Rochester, MN

Justin Schwirtz

Justin was born & raised in SE MN  all his life  where now he & his wife Sarah reside in Rochester and have raised 3 active children...

Justin was born & raised in SE MN  all his life  where now he & his wife Sarah reside in Rochester and have raised 3 active children...

Jan 27 2 minutes read

Grab your snacks and get your playlists ready, we’re going on a road trip!

Whether you've got a three-day weekend coming up that you want to take advantage of or you're looking for a getaway from Rochester, MN, we have some suggestions to make the most of your weekend trip.

1. Saint Cloud

Distance from Rochester: 2 hours 30 minutes

For an unconventional take on an outdoorsy vacation, try St. Cloud. It’s the perfect base for exploring the unexpected in central Minnesota, a place where you can scale quarry walls, plunge into swimming holes and paddle to islands in the Mississippi River all in one day.


2. Minneapolis, MN

Distance from Rochester: 1 hour 30 minutes

Hit the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on your way into town. The garden features over 40 sculptures, including the whimsical Spoonbridge and Cherry, a symbol of the city and point of reference.

3. Red Wing, MN

Distance from Rochester: 1 hour

Have a leisurely lunch with Mississippi views on the rooftop Veranda at the St. James Hotel, then explore the shops in the cozy downtown district.

4. Mankato, MN

Distance from Rochester: 1 hour 30 minutes

To do Mankato right, you’ve got to get outside. The county with the most river shoreline in the state lures paddlers and anglers to the Minnesota River and the Blue Earth River’s rapids. More than 50 miles of paved trails tempt cyclists and runners. There are mountain biking trails to conquer and indoor and outdoor rock walls to climb. So maybe wait to visit here in the summer.

5. St. Paul, MN

Distance from Rochester: 1 hour 15 minutes

Minnesota’s capital city is a blast for families. The historic city center is easy to navigate on foot (even little ones) and most family-friendly sites are close together, with parks and green spaces in between.

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