Shopping in Minneapolis-St Paul
When it comes to shopping in the Twin Cities, visitors are spoilt for choice. After all, this is home to US's largest shopping mall: Mall of America.
Nicollet Mall is a pedestrian thoroughfare covering a 12-block stretch of Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. There are more than 400 retail outlets in this area. Gaviidae Common, an upmarket shopping complex with department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as designer boutiques, and other complexes, such as the IDS Center Crystal Court are also in the area.
The Hispanic area called District Del Sol is located just across the river from downtown Saint Paul. It features a variety of traditional Latino shops, speciality food items, charming Mexican restaurants and colourful public artwork.
The Uptown area around Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street contains more than 200 primarily trendy, one-off shops such as those at Calhoun Square selling import and gift items, fashions, arts and crafts and jewellery. Grand Avenue between Fairview Avenue and Dale Street also contains attractive independent shops.
Midtown Global Market, on Lake and Tenth Avenue, is housed in the old Sears Roebuck building where tantalizing scents float through the air. The aromas emanate from ethnic restaurants and stalls that sell fresh baked goods, espresso, specialty groceries, flowers and plants. Other vendors sell gifts, crafts and clothing which come from places like Somalia, Mexico, Kenya and Sweden. The market is open daily.
From May to September there are farmers' markets on Thursdays and Saturdays at the Nicollet Mall, with fruit and vegetables, flowers, clothing and crafts. There is also a farmer's market in St Paul, at 290 East Fifth Street, on Saturdays and Sundays between May and November.
Southdale Mall in Edina opened in 1956, as the world's first enclosed shopping mall. Adjacent this is the more upmarket Galleria shopping centre. The mother of them all, however, is the Mall of America, the country's largest shopping and entertainment complex, with more than 520 stores, theatres, cinemas and an indoor theme park with rides. It is located in the southern suburb of Bloomington.
Shop opening hours are generally Monday to Friday 0800-2100 or 0900-2200, Saturday 0930-1800 and Sunday 1200-1700.
There is no sales tax on clothing. Tax on other goods is 7.15%. Some shops that cater for tourists will not charge tax if goods are shipped out of the state.