When it comes to shopping in the Twin Cities, the four-story Mall of America retail and entertainment center is easily the star of the show. As the largest of its kind in North America, it draws 40 million visitors a year and boasts more than 500 stores, including big names like Anthropologie, Kate Spade New York and Nordstrom; technology shops Apple and Microsoft; specialty shops like Knit & Crochet Store, the LEGO Store and Just Dogs! Gourmet; and plenty of options for new parents, fitness gurus and makeup aficionados. People can literally spend the whole day there. In addition to shopping, it has an aquarium, a 7-acre indoor theme park and other kid-friendly attractions like the Crayola Experience and the FlyOver America ride.
Before the Mall of America was built, we already had the nation’s first indoor shopping mall, Southdale Center in Edina. Now we also have Ridgedale Mall, about 15 minutes west of Minneapolis in Minnetonka; Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan; Maplewood Mall, just northeast of St. Paul; and Albertville Premium Outlets in the northwest. Rosedale Center, just north of Minneapolis, has stores like Rose & Loon, which focuses on local artists, and Von Maur, a lavish department store.
Shopping sprees extend to bustling city districts. Just as the North Loop in Minneapolis and Grand Avenue in St. Paul are flush with dining favorites, they also have unique stores: Family-focused options on Grand Avenue include Red Balloon Bookstore and the cooking classes at Cooks of Crocus Hill, and North Loop’s fashion-forward can be found at Queen Anna House of Fashion, for women, and MartinPatrick3, for men.
Uptown, just southwest of downtown Minneapolis, has Fjällräven for chic outdoor gear and Local Motion Boutique for local and national women’s designs. Farther west is Edina, with wide-ranging boutique shops around the intersection of 50th & France, plus the high-end Galleria shopping center a couple miles south.
To get your steps in while you shop, check out the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park, the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove and the Riverdale Village in Anoka. West End favorites include Evereve, Francesca’s and JoS A. Bank. Once you’ve finished your shopping spree, stick around for a movie at the huge ShowPlace Icon Theatres.
Among the Shoppes at Arbor Lake, you’ll find pampering opportunities at Ulta Beauty and Eighteen Eight fine men’s salon; clothing options like H&M, J.Jill and Lane Bryant; and home decor stores Goodthings and Pottery Barn. Riverdale Village in Coon Rapids, anchored by JCPenney’s, Sears, Kohl’s and Lowe’s, has more than 100 shops, including Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kay Jewelers, Evenson’s Hallmark Shop and accessories haven Charming Charlie.