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  • Writer's pictureJenna

A NYE Staycation in Rochester, Minnesota

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

For New Year's I decided to surprise my boyfriend with a "staycation". We adventured to Rochester, Minnesota for a few days. Here are all the details on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. :)

Happy New Year!! I hope 2021 is off to a great start for you :) I am thankful for the new year and all they posssibilities that come with it! For Christmas, I surprised Vince with a NYE “staycation” in Rochester, Minnesota. It is about an hour and a half outside of Minneapolis and we thought it would be so fun to get away! Rochester is home to the best rated hospital in the ENTIRE WORLD. How crazy is that. If you are a Grey’s Anatomy fan, this is where Christina Yang came to work for awhile 😋 If you are coming to Rochester, this blog will help you with where to stay, where to eat, and what you can do (even during the cold winter months!).

Where To Stay

We stayed at the Hotel Indigo in Downtown Rochester, and were we happy with our stay?? “You betcha!“ 😉 From the commuciation prior, to check in, to the room, we loved every bit of it! I am very cautious with germs right now and I wanted to make sure I was staying somewhere that I felt safe and comfortable. The room was very clean and they took the right precautions through out our stay to ensure we felt safe. They didn’t come to clean our room between each night (I am guessing to avoid people in our room). I really appreciated this, because we didn’t need them to come anyways. I also loved the nice little touch of the wine bottle the manager left us for New Year’s! I would definitely recommend the hotel to anyone staying in Rochester! :)


  1. Little Thistle Brewing Co. - We visited this brewery right when we got there because they were closed on New Year’s Day. We didn’t want to miss out! I also have been seeing so much about people going to restaurants and breweries outside in Minnesota, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity for us to try it out! They kept people spaced out inside when ordering and had lots of tables outside. They had a few heating lamps, but not enough for the crowd that was there. Overall, the experience was FREEZING! We were happy we tried it, but don’t know if we will be doing something like it again! We did really enjoy the beer and the feel of the brewery, so post-COVID I would love to go back!

2. Forager Brewery - This was a brewery I also really wish I could have experienced if COVID wasn’t around. I would go back for the experience someday because I have heard the brewery is really cool on the inside! We decided we still wanted to experience the brewery in some way and saw they offered take-out beer. I was really excited to try their “Push Pop Sours”. I am a huge fan of all things sour. We tried two of them, and I thought they were great! I would recommend the Mango one (it tastes like a smoothie 😀), the lemon one was really sour even for me! I have yet to try the third, but I bet it is going to be really good too!

Coffee Shops

1. Fiddlehead Coffee Co. - We grabbed Fiddlehead Coffee on the way out of town and it was really good! We didn’t totally love the Maple Latte, but the Cafe Creme Brûlée was so tasty!! I only ran in quick to grab the coffee, but it looked really cute on the inside too! During non-COVID times, it would be really fun to sit in here!

2. Cafe Steam - We went here the first day since it was right by our hotel. They have two locations right downtown, and one was in the Skyways, which is really nice if you don’t want to leave the hotel to grab some coffee! However, this one was closed on New Year’s so we went to their other location. It had a retro vibe on the inside and the coffee tasted really great!

Places To Eat

1. Hollandberry Pannekoeken - We had this for breakfast on our first morning there! I really liked that they were able to deliver it to our hotel and even came right up to our room with it! It felt like room service! They are known for their dutch style pancakes, so of course, we had to try the chocolate chip one! I wasn’t a huge fan of the consistency, but Vince really loved it! I did think the rest of the food was so delicious and they have us a good sized portion of food for the price! It keep us full even until dinner!!

2. Drift Dough - We got these on the way out of town with the Fiddlehead coffee. We thought they would be a good snack for the road and for leftovers at home (the few that made it that far)! It was really interesting because the donut shop is right in Forager Brewery. An interesting combination, but hey, I am not complaining! The donuts are cake donuts and they make are unique flavors (including Stroopwaffle, cookie butter, and blueberry pancake.. makes you hungry right? :P). I highly recommend these donuts!

3. Crave - This is one of our favorite restaurants in Minneapolis so we were really excited when we found out there was a Crave right in our hotel. It was awesome!! We ended up ordering Crave for dinner both nights while we were there. They have really good sushi (according to Vince, since I don’t like it!) and I really enjoyed the salad and chicken tenders I got! Another opportunity for food to be delivered to our room as well since it was right in our hotel :)

Other Things To Do

With COVID it is hard to do a whole lot during the winters in Minnesota, especially with all restaurants closed for dine in. We were able to find a couple things to do in Rochester that can be done during the winter (you may have to be up for enduring the cold!). We drove around for awhile one day to see what the city was like. There is a river that goes through Rochester and there are some really nice bike/walking paths. We were able to get out for a little bit and enjoy the beauty the city has to offer!

We also really enjoyed walking through the skyways in Downton Rochester (find the skyway map here). They connect to some cute shops and it something that can be done even in the freezing cold! The last thing that you need to do if you are visiting Rochester is to drive by the Mayo Clinic hospital. As I mentioned earlier, it is the top ranked hospital in the whole world and it is a must see while there! It is quite the complex.

I was really looking forward to our first staycation since that is such a popular thing right now. It was so fun to get away for New Year’s and they are some memories that I will never forget! Rochester is such a unique city and I am excited to go back someday! :)

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