Geographically speaking, Rochester  is the heart of the region, so you can use it as a hub for making multiple day trips. On the other hand, just about everything detailed in this section except Rochester lies along a conveniently circular route, so you can also loop through it all and detour to Med City for a look at the Mayo family legacy when it’s most convenient.
Either way, count on four days for a quick look at the best of the best.
Along the Mississippi-hugging Great River Road , which is the one place to go if you have just one day to spend (though it can’t be done justice without spending two), do some sightseeing and shopping in Red Wing , Wabasha , and Winona , soak up the scenic vistas from John A. Latsch  and Great River Bluffs State Parks , and take a spin on the LARK Carousel.
Turning inland to Amish Country , weave through the contorted hills and valleys to little Lanesboro , which is just too lovely to miss. After visiting some Amish farms around Harmony , head over to the SPAM Museum in Austin .
Owatonna , for a look at Louis Sullivan’s breathtaking National Farmer’s Bank, and Northfield , for a riverside stroll, are the two mandatory stops on your way up I-35 back to the Twin Cities .