Why does winter have to last so long?
First off, I will start with the good.
Rochester is small enough not to have the problems of bigger cities, not yet at least. Traffic is pretty decent, though it does seem to be getting worse. The crime rate is pretty low for a city it's size and the overall infrastructure seems to be fairly well maintained. I have lived here almost 8 years and never had a power outage.
Rochester is also big enough to have many of the things that big cities offer. There are many excellent restaurants, especially downtown and many more seem to be arriving all the time. In fact the city seems to be growing very fast, but not too fast. There are plenty of shopping options and there are some concerts once and a while at the civic center, but I wish there were more. However, it is close enough to the twin cities, an hour and a half, that one could head there for a concert or sporting event every now and then.
Now the bad, and the absolute number one bad thing about living here is the weather. I am originally from Southern California, so go figure. The worst in my opinion, is of course the winter. It's bitterly cold and snowy and very, very long. Winter is at least five to six months, so if you like that, you'll love it. I don't.
I have heard people here say, "Well, you get all four seasons!" That is true, however the worst season is the longest. When winter lasts six months, there's not much time for the other three. Do the math. But it is Minnesota and I should have known better. After 8 winters, I am done.
The other thing about Rochester, and I do consider this a bad thing, is the Mayo Clinic. It dominates the entire city. Their buildings are everywhere and they are so full of themselves they feel they can do no wrong. Don't believe me, just google "escape from Mayo Clinic" I am not saying the clinic is bad, just that they are overrated and this comes from personal experience. They have some of the best specialists in the world, I will give them that, however their family practice is horrible. If you move here, do yourself a favor and get a doctor at Olmsted Medical Center, not Mayo.
So, would I recommend Rochester to people? Yes, if you can handle the winter. There are a lot of worse places to live
David | Rochester, MN