The shopping is great in Minnesota. In Minneapolis, find the newest shopping hotspot in the North Loop neighborhood hosting some unique and trendy boutiques. Grand Avenue in St. Paul adds additional variety with a wide range of styles that complement the ultimate shopping paradise in nearby Bloomington: Mall of America, which is lined with upscale designer and brand names. And don’t miss the bargains at the outlets, unique crafts and antiques, and outdoor goods retailers throughout the state. With no tax on clothing, shoes, food and medicine, Minnesota is a bargain hunter's dream.
DAY 1 (Bloomington)
Mall of America, the country's largest entertainment and shopping complex, is located in suburban Bloomington just 5 minutes from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. From the airport there is taxi, bus and light rail service to the Mall. All major rental car companies have counters at MSP airport. Mall of America boasts more than 520 stores plus Nickelodeon Universe -- an indoor amusement park, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, restaurants, nightclubs, movie theaters and more.
DAY 2 (Minneapolis)
From rags to riches, The North Loop has made the ultimate transformation. Within 20 years, this historic neighborhood has gone from industrial railroads, to the historic shopping “hot spot.” This artistic neighborhood is located just north of downtown Minneapolis. Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis' pedestrian walkway, has an array of shops in City Center and Gaviidae Common. Target Corporation's headquarters store is also located here. The mall features dozens of restaurants, most with alfresco dining. Nightclubs and music venues abound, in particular the Dakota Jazz Club and the Orchestra Hall.
DAY 3 (St. Paul)
St. Paul's charming Grand Avenue hosts numerous one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques. This long stretch of owner-operated stores parallels historic Summit Avenue, the longest street of Victorian homes in America. Plenty of restaurants, eateries and bars punctuate the avenue.
DAY 4 (Metro Area Outlets)
Don't forget the outlets! Albertville Premium Outlets, 20 (32km) miles northwest of Minneapolis and Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan, both boast 100 designer and brand name outlets. To the northeast of the metro is North Branch Outlets (50 stores) in North Branch, while 55 miles (89km) south is the Medford Outlet Center (40 stores).
Cabella's, the direct marketer and specialty retailer of hunting fishing camping and related outdoor recreation merchandise has locations in Rogers and Owatonna, located near two of the outlets as well as a Woodbury location.
DAY 5 (Day Trip)
Stillwater and Red Wing are antique and collectible hunters' paradises. These Victorian river towns on the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers are just a short drive from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Both are replete with riverside shopping districts, microbreweries, wineries, and historic hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns. South, in the bluff country of the mighty Mississippi on the Great River Road, a National Scenic Byway, lie additional towns with regional products and cultural interest including those of the Amish.
DAY 6 (Duluth - 3-hour drive north)
Duluth's Lake Superior boardwalk and harbor area feature specialty items at Fitger's Brewery Complex, an 1857 brewery filled with unique shops. The Holiday Center Mall & Downtown Shopping District contain a number of shops connected by skywalk with fine apparel, jewelry, quality toys and gift shops. The Canal Park Shops host quaint waterfront shopping highlighting regional art, outdoor clothing and gear, books, toys, gourmet cooking items, candy, antiques and more. Overnight in Duluth and then explore the North Shore Scenic Drive, an All-American Road, the next day.
DAY 7 (Day Trip)
Drive to the Canadian border and back and seek out unusual local wares, including Lake Superior agates and American Indian crafts and food stuffs such as wild rice, en route. Numerous Minnesota State Parks and other geological sites abound. Dozens of streams and rivers flow into the great lake, most with attractive waterfalls to explore and photograph.
DAY 8 (Return to Minneapolis-St. Paul)
Depart for home. If flying out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, be sure to take advantage of the marvelous shopping opportunities in Terminal 1 and throughout the various concourses, where more than 50 shops await you.