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Known for Shopping

For some people, shopping is a relaxing pastime; others see it as a competitive sport. But either way, shopping is serious business.

Some shopping areas, whether city districts or stand-alone malls, are world renowned, such as Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the Magnificent Mile in Chicago and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. These famous shopping destinations offer groups myriad options to shop for their every whim.

 Bloomington, Minnesota

Every year, more than 42 million people from across the United States and around the world come to Bloomington, a southern suburb of the Twin Cities, to see and shop the Mall of America. The city within a city houses 50 dining options, more than 520 stores over 30 attractions.

“No matter what the season, the Mall of America is like its own city,” said Pamela Joy, media and tour account manager for the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Shoppers can take full advantage of the fact that there’s no sales tax on clothing and shoes, and restaurants run the gamut from fast food to fine dining. The JW Marriott and Radisson Blu restaurants, the Hard Rock Café and Crave work well for groups.

The mall is also home to many attractions and activities. Fly Over America is a flying, 4-D theater experience that’s “a perennial favorite,” Joy said, and Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium offers group experiences and behind-the-scenes tours. Groups can also take culinary classes at gourmet grocer Vom Fass or do a scavenger hunt through Dick’s Last Resort using iPads.

City tours, duck tours and even tours of the late musician Prince’s stomping grounds set out from the mall. Light rail connects the mall to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.