Hotel at a Glance: Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington
The sleek glass-and-brick Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington serves as a perfect home base for visitors to the area. The hotel’s free shuttle takes you to attractions within 5 miles; drive a little farther on your own to shop at the Mall of America and search for your favorite fish at Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium.
- Take a dip in the heated indoor pool and hot tub.
- Onsite restaurants: Dig into steaks at Bloomington ChopHouse Restaurant and enjoy leisurely dining and cocktails at Olive Lounge.
- Get sweaty: The hotel has a 24-hour fitness center with weights and cardio equipment.
- Shuttle service: Free to and from MSP from 6 a.m.–11 p.m.; reservation required.
Bloomington, Minnesota: Gargantuan Mall of America and Family Fun
Located right next to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and crisscrossed by two major highways, Bloomington is fairly easy to get to. It’s a good thing, too, because the suburb’s main attraction, the Mall of America, draws 40 million visitors each year. When it first opened in 1992, the massive shopping center marked a new trend in retail, not just for its size—you can fit seven Yankee Stadiums inside it—but for the way it combined shopping and entertainment. In addition to more than 500 shops, the mall has half a dozen attractions including an aquarium and a comedy club. Kids will love Nickelodeon Universe, an enclosed theme park with roller coasters and friendly mascots such as SpongeBob SquarePants.
If you’re looking to learn a little something, visit Historic Fort Snelling—a restored military fort that looks just the way it did in the early 1800s, when it was the farthest outpost of the US government. Located inside a sprawling state park, the fort hosts craft demonstrations, military drills, and cooking exhibitions performed by costumed characters. The museums and galleries of Minneapolis are less than 20 minutes away by car.