Hotel at a Glance: Ramada Minneapolis at Mall of America
Ramada Minneapolis at Mall of America is just a couple of blocks from the world-famous shopping and entertainment complex that shares its name. Guests can walk or take the hotel's free shuttle to the mall, where they can can easily explore its 500-plus shops, indoor aquarium, and 14-theater cinema, which has a special VIP theater reserved for moviegoers 21 and older. The shuttle also runs to and from light-rail stations, where you can catch a train into downtown Minneapolis.
- Time to downtown: about 35 minutes on the train; about 15 minutes by car
- Onsite dining: Use your two free drinks and $10 dining credit toward classic American cuisine at Boulevard Cafe or Boulevard Pub.
- Grab coffee to go at the 24-hour Grab 'n Go store.
- Go swimming in the year-round indoor pool and hot tub.
- Park and fly: Some options include 14 days of parking, so you can leave your car securely in the hotel lot and take the free shuttle to the airport.
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 for indoor malls 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 of America also has half a dozen attractions including an aquarium and a comedy club. Kids will love Nickelodeon Universe, an enclosed theme park complete with roller coasters and friendly mascots such as SpongeBob SquarePants.
If you’re looking for a little more culture, visit Historic Fort Snelling—a restored military fort that looks just the way it did in the early 1800s when it was the furthest 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. Bloomington is also less than 20 minutes by car from the museums and galleries of Minneapolis.