Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota

Penny pinchers beware. The greatest shopping extravaganza has shopaholics from just about every corner of the world clamoring to see what waits inside. Mall lover’s dreams came true when 78 acres of highly accessible land became available in Bloomington, Minnesota, and the Ghermezian brothers snapped it up and signed a historic agreement in 1986 with the Bloomington Port Authority to develop the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex. The largest mall in America opened its doors in August of 1992, and when it did, the face of the Twin Cities had changed forever.The Mall of America claims to attract more visitors than Disneyland, Graceland, and the Grand Canyon combined.

The Mall of America is an unprecedented mix of retail and entertainment, offering visitors the chance to shop their favorite stores on four-levels as well as see a movie, ride a roller coaster, meet their favorite celebrity or build a LEGO castle as the enormous four-story LEGO showplace entertains guests of all ages and contains LEGO bricks to play with, models to look at, and sets to buy.

Not only does the mall house some of the finest department stores where you can shop until you drop, but it is also home to the world’s largest underground aquarium. Shark Cove has 47 sharks, and it has been voted the world’s best shark encounter. You can’t go wrong if underwater adventures are your thing as there are more than 4,500 sea creatures to study, and a virtual submarine tour.

Along with the many activities that constantly keep the mall buzzing with people and an endless supply of events, you can find celebrities visiting this popular mall. Book signings have become part of the Mall of America’s itinerary, and September at the mall will see guests like Dr. Phil and his author wife Robin McGraw greeting anxious fans while she signs her newest book, “Inside My Heart.”

Anyone with the need for speed will surely gravitate toward the NASCAR silicon motor speedway. The high-tech indoor stock car racing competition offers fans a chance to drive and complete five races to receive a Drivers Club license. The mall also offers plenty of NASCAR collectibles for diehard fans to purchase.

The Mall of America has no shortage of eateries as it offers seventeen different restaurants with cuisine ranging from shrimp and sushi to steaks and hamburgers. The Wolfgang Puck Express is a favorite as is Johnny Rockets and Hooters. Along with the restaurants there is a food court that offers a wide variety of specialties from twenty six-different restaurants as well. There are also numerous eateries throughout the mall that serves ice cream, cinnamon rolls, fudge, and health foods. They have thought of every style and type of pallette, and left no food off of the list.

A favorite among children is the Dinosaur Walk Museum which Features more than 60 life-sized dinosaurs and several interactive displays. The museum also hosts a fossil dig, a learning center, two theaters, a 40-foot long T-Rex and plenty of adventure for all ages.From the dinosaur display you can head on over to the largest indoor family amusement park in the nation. Complete with a roller coaster, the Timberland Twister is the mall’s latest attraction. The indoor amusement park includes seven acres of 30 outrageous rides and attractions, and while the kids are riding you can shop at one of the many convenient locations in the park.

The Mall of America offers maps, coupon books, itinerary packages and a planning guide for ensuring that your visit is enjoyable. The mall is only minutes away from downtown Minneapolis in Bloomington. They have a visitors kit and travel guide available online at: http://www.mallofamerica.com/adults_plan_visit.aspx

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