The gold standard for malls in the U.S. and a shopaholic’s dream, the Mall of America in Minneapolis houses more than 500 stores and 50 restaurants, along with the Minnesota Aquarium, the Minnesota Children’s Museum, and the largest indoor theme park in the world, Nickelodeon Universe. It’s easily accessible, only 15 minutes from the city’s downtown, and four miles from the airport.
The mall’s anchor stores are Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sears, Best Buy, and the Crayola Experience. It also has unique offerings such as American Girl, a complete complex with stores, a bistro, and even a doll hair salon.
Dining-wise, this ain’t your average food court. Sit-down spots at the Mall of America include Benihana, Dick’s Last Resort, Cadillac Ranch, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Margaritaville, and the Rainforest Cafe. Of course, there’s also your classic fast food options like A&W, Panda Express, and Sbarro when you’re just looking for a quick bite.
If you haven’t quite dropped from all of the shopping, be sure to explore the Twin Cities area, which offers a number of outdoor pursuits in addition to great dining and entertainment. Fortunately you don’t even have to wander too far to enjoy a great stand-up show; Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy is on the premises.
You’ll want to devote at least a day or two to the amazing attractions as well. Nickelodeon Universe, which features characters, rides, and retail stores that are fun for the whole family. Science buffs (and fans of the popular TV show) head to MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition to marvel at the amazing experiments and props. Take the kids to the Minnesota Children’s Museum or the Aquarium for even more fun and interactive experiences. The LEGO Store offers a huge “pick-a-brick” wall and a massive robot that will make for the perfect photo-op. Finally, FlyOver America takes you on a virtual journey over the entire country, with a special North Pole scene just for this holiday season.
In terms of accommodations, there are more than 50 hotels within a 10-minute drive of the mall, including the Radisson Blu Mall of America and the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America. There are also a few cheaper options that will provide you with great service at a low price. So you’re sure to find an option that suits your needs.