- Mon: 10am-9:30pm
- Tue: 10am-9:30pm
- Wed: 10am-9:30pm
- Thu: 10am-9:30pm
- Fri: 10am-9:30pm
- Sat: 10am-9:30pm
- Sun: 11am-7pm
With almost 5 million square feet and more than 520 stores, the Mall of America is one of the largest malls in the U.S., and one of the most visited. Nearly 40 million people visit here each year, almost half of whom are tourists from outside the Twin Cities metro area. On any given visit, you will see people of all ages, from all walks of life. That's because it has something for everyone: retail from low-end to high, entertainment, fine dining—even a wedding chapel.
Must see/do at the Mall of America
Besides shopping, there are plenty of ways to entertain yourself here (or the other members of your group who aren't excited by shopping). You can visit the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, or spend an afternoon enjoying the attractions at Nickelodeon Universe (and the adjacent LEGO play area), or play some mini golf at Moose Mountain Adventure Golf.
Types of stores at the Mall of America
If you can't find it here, you probably can't find it anywhere. Anchor stores include both Nordstrom and Sears, and in between you've got everything from name-brand boutiques (Guess, Clark Shoes) to tech stores (Apple and Microsoft) to kids' clothing and toys to regional or single-item stores (including one that sells only socks).
Food at the Mall of America
The Mall has everything from food court counters to sit-down gourmet, chains and locally owned restaurants. American Girl enthusiasts will want to schedule teatime at the American Girl store, while those looking for something more grown-up will appreciate high-end Japanese restaurant Masu or FireLake Grill House. For the in-between meals, check out perennial favorites like Buffalo Wild Wings.
Parking and public transportation to the Mall of America
The Mall has extensive free parking ramps surrounding it, and flat lots adjacent to the ramps. There are numerous bus lines that come to the Mall from all over the metro, as well as Metro Transit's light rail trains from Minneapolis.
Other places to visit near the Mall of America
Across the street from the Mall is the Radisson Bloomington, which is home to the Water Park of America. If you need a break from the large scale of shopping here, in nearby Edina is the Galleria shopping mall, much smaller (and entirely upscale). Or if you need a nature break, Fort Snelling State Park is just a few minutes away, where you can see where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers merge.
Insider tip for visitors to the Mall of America
Before the stores open, the Mall is home to dedicated Mall walkers—a lap around each floor is .57 mile, and many people come early in the morning to get their daily walks in, particularly in less-than-delightful weather.
Author's bio: Amy C. Rea is the author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes: an Explorer's Guide, and Backroads & Byways of Minnesota. Her third book, Camping Minnesota, will be published in 2016.