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SHOPPERS' UTOPIA

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With more than 520 stores and 50 restaurants not to mention theaters, an amusement park, underground aquarium, comedy clubs and signature experiences, the infamous Mall of America is the undisputed leader in creating the ultimate shopper-tainment extravaganza.
Wall of legos at Mall of America

Image by Todd Buchanan/Greenspring Media

Morning:

Get a great parking spot upfront in one of the many lots that flank all sides of the megamall and start your day walking, which is not just a healthy idea but a practical one as it allows you to see, first-hand, the incredible array of shops to explore. Getting the proverbial lay of this land is paramount to a successful shopping excursion. Stores typically open at 10am but life explodes well before then. One lap around a single level of The Mall is .57 miles…plenty of time to window shop.

When the shops do open, you’ll be ready. Spend the morning hours focusing on levels 1 and 2. Most locals will tell you the best way to navigate the expanse is to simply walk in a circular motion around each level, always taking the same set of elevators or escalators up to the next. The key is to pace yourself, and enjoy the people watching as much as you do the merchandise.

Sea Life MOA

Image by Todd Buchanan/Greenspring Media

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City Secrets

Valet at your disposal is just one of the latest perks offered by The Mall. Simply pull up to a valet station at either the North MOA entrance off of Lindau Lane (main entrance or underground ramp), the Radisson Blu, or the JW Marriott. When you’re done shopping, use your mobile device to contact valet, and your car will be brought to the location nearest you. Other incredible MOA must-visits: Crayola Experience (seriously amazing for kids and grown ups alike), SEALIFE Aquarium, VOM FASS. And don’t forget the incredible spa experiences at Radisson Blu and JW Marriott. Get pampered!

Lunch:

With 50 restaurants to choose from, it’s admittedly tough to call your attention to just one. However…one of our favorites is newcomer Cantina Laredo for a sit-down meal, or head to Culinary on North and experience a new kind of food court that blends the old standbys with incredible sit-down, newcomers-to-go. In this case, try Piada Italian Street Food, which is a fast-casual chain of made-to-order piadas, pastas and chopped salads.

Sky Deck Lanes Exterior

Image by Todd Buchanan/Greenspring Media

Afternoon:

Spend the afternoon finishing up level 2 and immersing yourself in level 3, stopping for a mid-afternoon caffeine fix at local favorite Caribou Coffee. Its unique location allows for spectacular people-watching.

Evening:

Dinner options abound, but some of our favorites are Crave, Tucci Benucch, Twin City Grill, or the adjacent FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar at the Rad (as in Radisson Blu) or the incomparable Cedar + Stone at the JW Marriott. Better yet, have apps and a pre-dinner cocktail at one, and dinner at another. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

Follow up an incredible meal by heading to the level 4 of MOA. An entertainment zone for all tastes. Choose from 21+ theaters showing Hollywood’s latest in which you can order your beverages of choice, Rick Bronson's House of Comedy, or catch your favorite sports team in action at Sky Deck Grille & Lanes…think Chuck E. Cheese for adults!

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