Boasting a picturesque setting along the northern bank of the Minnesota River, Bloomington attracts more than 40 million visitors each year. If you are planning a visit, here are some of the highlights that will make your trip to one of the most popular cities in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area a successful one.
Where to Stay in Bloomington
With around 8,000 hotel rooms to offer, it should come as little surprise that Bloomington is known as “The City of Hospitality.” If you seek a little luxury, you might choose to stay at one of the city’s high-end hotels, such as the Radisson Blu or the Embassy Suites Hotel Bloomington. Budget options like the Super 8 Hotel and the Microtel Inn and Suites also offer convenient access to the city’s most popular attractions.
Landmark Attractions in Bloomington
Bloomington is perhaps best known as the home of the Mall of America. With more than 500 stores, the mall serves as a haven for shoppers. But, you won’t want to miss out on the other attractions you’ll find here. Nickelodeon Universe, the amusement park found right in the center of the mall, is a fun way to spend a few hours, while the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, the A.C.E.S Flight Simulation Center, and 14 movie theaters will also make sure that you don’t leave the mall in a hurry.
There’s more to see and do in and around Bloomington than visit the mall. If you’re fond of the outdoors, you should make time to visit the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and the picturesque Normandale Lake Park. The Bloomington Ice Garden and the Water Park of America are both worthy of a visit, and if you visit the area during September you can mix it up with the locals and attend the annual Bloomington Heritage Days parade and festival.
Bloomington Bars and Restaurants
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to dining in Bloomington. If you are looking for a laid-back eatery for lunch, Gyropolis (2325 W. 90th St.) and Sawatdee Thai (8501 Lyndale Ave. S) are perfect. Upmarket options for dinner include Parma 8200 (5600 W. 83rd St.) and the Blue Point Restaurant & Oyster Bar (4400 W. 78th St). If you just want to relax and enjoy a drink, try the FireLake Grill House and Cocktail Bar (2100 Killebrew Drive) or Joe Senser’s Sports Theater (4217 American Boulevard W).
Getting In and Around Bloomington
Bloomington lies a little under 10 miles southwest of Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. Car rentals are readily available, but it’s worth calling your chosen hotel to check if they offer a free shuttle. Once in Bloomington, the Metro Transit system, which incorporates buses and light rails, enables you to get around easily. If you decide to drive to Bloomington, you can easily get to the city via Interstate 35W or Interstate 494.
Bloomington is the kind of city that has something for everyone. What will you discover?