Stroll our malls, boutiques and lifestyle centers to find clothes, shoes, gifts and more. And remember, tax-free shopping equals automatic savings!
Want to know the best thing about shopping in Minnesota? No sales tax on clothes or shoes! In fact, Minnesota is one of only a handful of states where this is true. Depending on the sales tax where you live, this could mean a savings of 7 percent or more. With this in mind, take advantage of every shopping destination Minneapolis Saint Paul has to offerâthere are quite a few.
Everyoneâs heard of Bloomingtonâs Mall of America, with its more than 520 stores and 4.2 million square feet of space complete with an indoor amusement park. And, really, whatâs not to love? The mall, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, truly has it all, from top-end designer shops to trendy local boutiques. But, donât just stop here. If you can tear yourself away from the hours of entertainment at the mall, run across the street to IKEA. The Scandinavian-based store offers a wide assortment of home furnishings and accessories at affordable prices.
For more shopping adventures, take a tour of the enclosed skyways in downtown Minneapolis and shop around 3 million square feet of retail space just above street level. Or, take a stroll down Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian-friendly street lined with cafĂ©s, bookshops, clothing stores and jewelers. Continue down Nicollet to find the unique local shops in Gaviidae Common, City Center and in the IDS Centerâs Crystal Court, not to mention the large Macyâs and Target stores.
Donât miss Saint Paulâs Grand Avenue, which features an abundance of classic and local shops along more than 25 city blocks leading to the Mississippi River. The charm of the historic neighborhood makes it easy to enjoy shopping and the beautiful Minnesota weather. Saint Paulâs intersection of Selby and Snelling avenues also offers sweet boutiques and fabulous vintage stores.
Just west of downtown Minneapolis, hip and trendy Uptown is an area filled to the brim with an eclectic selection of boutiques, eateries, tattoo parlors and bookshops. Start at Calhoun Square and walk along the blocks of stores on Hennepin Avenue for a day of shopping, browsing and dining. Or, check out the new Shops at West End in nearby St. Louis Park for some more top shops and tasty treats. Head north for great deals at Albertville Premium Outlets.
Mall of America isnât the only mall of note in the area. Minnesota also has a claim to the oldest mall in the country. Edinaâs Southdale Center holds this distinction, but donât let the word âoldâ throw you. Home to more than 130 retailers, the mall maintains a firm grasp on high fashion and current trendsâand itâs about to go through a major renovation. While youâre in the area, make sure to swing by the upscale Galleria mall or the intersection of 50th & France, where residential streets overflow with a variety of unique restaurants and boutiques.
No matter where you end up, every suburb, including Maple Grove, Roseville and Woodbury, boasts an extensive indoor mall or outdoor lifestyle center. The options are endless; youâll wish you had time to hit them all.
Iâm here. Now what?
GRAND AVENUE, SAINT PAUL:
Located just west of downtown Saint Paul, Grand Avenue travels for 25 tree-lined blocks to the Mississippi River. Named one of Americaâs most beautiful neighborhoods by Forbes, the street encompasses numerous local shops and restaurants âan easy way to spend a day. Start at Victoria Street.
â DINE: Avenue. Sample the Southern casual dining at James Beard Award winner Alex Robertsâ Brasa Rotisserie, or grab a slice of the delicious pies at Punch Pizza. In the mood for real Minnesotan cooking? Stop at Tavern on Grand to meet the locals and sample their specialty: walleye. For dessert, head to the Grand Ole Creamery for your choice of more than 30 flavors of ice cream.
â SHOP: Shop âtil you drop for the latest womenâs trends at local boutiques such as Hot Mama, Bombshell and Karma. The kids will love to explore the variety of books at the local Red Balloon Bookshop, or let your young ones have a blast at Creative Kidstuff, where imagination and fun reign supreme.
â PLAY: Relax all your cares away at the luxurious Juut Salonspa for a day of well deserved pampering. In the evening, attend a youthful performance at the SteppingStone Theatre. Or plan for a full night of dancing at the Wild Onion.
â FREE: Explore Grand Avenue from a bike. Free for the first half hour, Nice Ride bikes allow you to take a quick ride along the avenue and enjoy a view of the quaint, local boutiques all the way to the river. Several bike stations are located along nearby Summit Avenue.
Shop Like A Local
Albertville Premium Outlets & North Branch Outlets: No sales
tax is great, but for an even better deal, head out to the area outlet malls. Albertville has Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren and so much more. North Branch features Leviâs, Carterâs, Christopher & Banks and many others. Albertville, 6415 Labeaux Avenue N.E., Albertville (30 minutes northwest of Minneapolis Saint Paul), 763-497-1911, www.premiumoutlets.com; North Branch, 38500 Tanger Drive, North Branch (45 minutes north of Twin Cities), 651-647-5886, www.northbranchoutlets.com
Common Good Books & Birchbark Books: Local authors-turned-storeowners Garrison Keillor of Common Good Books and Louise Erdrich of Birchbark Books not only write great stories, but share some of the best around. Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Avenue, Saint Paul, 651-225-8989, www.commongoodbooks.com;
Birchbark Books, 2115 W. 21st Street, Minneapolis, 612-374-4023,
Linden Hills: There are plenty of neighborhoods to enjoy around town, but if you have kids, you must stop in this area of Minneapolis. Meet the animals of Wild Rumpus childrenâs bookstore or find inventive toys at Creative Kidstuff. Grab a cone at Sebastian Joeâs or try a tasty roll at Great Harvest. Itâs all within walking distance of Lake Calhoun. W. 43 Street and Upton Avenue S., Minneapolis, www.linden-hills.com
I Like You: This Northeast Minneapolis shop features goodies, like cards, body care products, knick-knacks and art, from all sorts of local artists. 501 First Avenue N.E., Minneapolis, 612-208-0249, www.ilikeyouonline.com