• 5 Hours in Bloomington

Credit: SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium

Hours One & Two: What trip to Bloomington would be complete without a stop at Mall of America®? Begin by shopping the Mall’s growing list of stores and seeing the attractions this mecca has to offer. Whether you’re freshening up your look or trying on the latest trends, there are stores to suit all styles at the nation’s largest shopping mall. Anchored by Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears, the Mall features more than 520 stores and, like everywhere in Minnesota, won’t charge you sales tax on clothing and shoes. Explore the upscale shops on the newly remodeled South Avenue, which houses brands like Hugo Boss, Burberry, Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman and Henri Bendel. Also, don’t forget to check out new stores to MOA, like Fjällräven, Kit and Ace, Kate Spade New York and The North Face. Aside from clothing, shoes and accessories, the Mall’s four levels are also filled with beauty products, electronics, home decor, gifts and more.

Hour Three: Now that you’ve power-shopped, recharge your batteries at one of the 50-plus quick-bite or sit-down restaurants throughout the Mall. Check out the newly remodeled Rainforest Cafe, score Mexican fare at Cantina Laredo, or get dinner and a show at Benihana. Dine at restaurants like Piada Italian Street Food in Culinary on North, the third floor’s new upscale food court that features views of the Minneapolis skyline. Other Mall staples include Asian-American fusion at CRAVE, the music lover’s haven Hard Rock Cafe, and Dick’s Last Resort, where the wait staff infuses tough-love humor into your dining experience.

Hour Four: Having shopped and eaten a delicious meal, it’s time to have some real fun. Purchase an 18-point pass for Nickelodeon Universe® theme park in the center of the Mall and get ready to feel the thrill of being a kid again. The 18-point pass will allow you to go on at least three rides, and with 27 rides in the theme park, it will be hard to choose which ones. If rides aren’t your thing, visit three of the Mall’s other attractions, FlyOver America, SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium and Moose Mountain Adventure Golf. All of these attractions are must sees, so spend your time wisely!

Hour Five: Adventure into the great outdoors by leaving Mall of America and experiencing the quiet solitude of the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge. This federally managed sanctuary for migrant birds and waterfowl features miles of trails for the avid nature lover to enjoy and locations to sit and rest your weary legs after a day of entertainment.