There are two things visitors generally know about Minnesota: We like to brag about our winters and we have Mall of America.
The four-story retail and entertainment center is the biggest of its kind in North America if you’re counting places to shop, and it draws in 40 million visitors a year. Its 520-plus stores include 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 babies, fitness gurus and makeup aficionados. People can literally spend the whole day at the mall. Besides the stores, it has an aquarium, a 7-acre indoor theme park and attractions like SMAAASH game bar, Crayola Experience and the FlyOver America ride.
Even if you took away Mall of America, the Twin Cities have plenty of shopping options. In fact, well before the mall was built, we 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, recently completed a remodel that brought in stores like Rose & Loon, which focuses on local artists, and Von Maur, a lavish department store.
You can go on more shopping sprees in bustling city districts. Just as the North Loop and St. Paul’s Grand Avenue are flush with dining favorites, they also have a bounty of unique stores. Family-focused options on Grand Avenue include Red Balloon Bookstore and the cooking classes at Cooks of Crocus Hill. North Loop’s fashion-forward can be found at Queen Anna House of Fashion for women and MartinPatrick 3 for men.
Uptown, just southwest of downtown Minneapolis, also has its share of eateries and shops. For the latter, go to Fjällräven for chic outdoor gear, Local Motion Boutique for local and national women’s designs, and My Sister boutique, which benefits nonprofit women’s organizations. Farther to the west is Edina’s 50th & France area, which includes the upscale Galleria shopping center and a stretch of so many stores that there are orange and purple paths for you to follow.
For more walkable shopping excursions, 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. Favorites of the Shops at West End include Evereve, Kittsona and JoS A. Bank, and attractions include the paint-and-sip Brush Studio and the ShowPlace Icon Theatres for movies.
As for the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, stop by Ulta Beauty and Soma for some pampering; stores like H&M, Express and Lane Bryant for clothes; and Goodthings, Kirklands or Pottery Barn for home decor. Riverdale Village in Anoka has some of the same shops while adding JCPenney, Savvi Formalwear, accessories haven Charming Charlie, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kay Jewelers, Evenson’s Hallmark Shop and more.