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Best Shopping Malls In Minnesota

It's not hard to imagine that the state claiming to have one of the earliest malls (established almost 100 years ago in Duluth) is going to have quite a selection of shopping malls and outlet centers scattered throughout the area. Thankfully, many of them are also located near destinations with multiple attractions, making it easy to plan a girl's shopping weekend, a family vacation which includes back to school shopping, or just a solid day of Christmas shopping. Thanks to modern conveniences like rental strollers and free wireless internet, along with diverse food options to satisfy the most divided families, shopping truly can be more than a painful necessity – it can be a fun experience.
Shopping & Style Malls, Apache Mall
Photo Credit: Apache Mall via Facebook

Apache Mall
Hwys 52 South & 14 East
Rochester, MN 55902
(507) 280-7291

Hours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun - 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Click here for a list of sales and events.

It used to be that people headed to Rochester for one of two reasons – the Mayo Clinic or IBM. For those of you who are lucky enough to have never needed to head to Mayo, or don't work for IBM, you may have missed one of the hidden gems in southeastern Minnesota. Tucked away in the southwestern corner of Rochester, the Apache Mall offers a wide variety of shopping options under one roof. With over 100 different shops and eateries, there is sure to be something for every person and every occasion. Anchor stores like Sears, JCPenney, Macy's, Herbergers and Barnes & Noble help frame in shopping options like Radio Shack, Abercrombie, Game Stop, Zales Jewelry, and Best Buy Mobile. Stop at Cold Stone Creamery for some mid-afternoon ice cream, grab a slice at Sbarro, or settle in for a meal at Red Lobster after a long day of shopping in Minnesota's Bluff Country.

Shopping & Style Malls, Burnsville Center
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Burnsville Center
1178 Burnsville Center
Burnsville, MN 55306
(952) 435-8182

Hours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here for to sign up to be notified of upcoming sales and special events, and here for a current listing.

Situated just south of the metro area, the Burnsville Center offers two full levels of shopping options, as well as a separate floor solely dedicated to the food court. Anchor stores include Dick's Sporting Goods, Sears, JCPenney, Macy's, Gordman's and Old Navy, but the real treat here is the variety of smaller stores throughout. Life Uniform seeks to outfit medical professionals, Chuck E. Cheese offers a great children's birthday party option, the MN Wild Hockey Lodge and Goldy's Locker Room both get fans geared up quickly, and the No Fear store is well equipped to outfit most any extreme sport participant. Just to be careful – with so many good food options scattered along most any route, you might just need to take another lap around the upper level to work off that tasty Cinnabon treat or bucket of Karmelkorn.

Shopping & Style Malls, Woman Shopping
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North Branch Outlets
38500 Tanger Drive
North Branch, MN 55056
(651) 674-5886

Hours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here for a list of sales, coupons, and events.

If you find yourself north of the Twin Cities metro area and have a penchant for outlet shopping, then North Branch Outlets is just for you. Boasting almost 50 different stores across a variety of markets (housewares, jewelry, clothing, shoes and several specialty stores), the sprawling campus will keep you moving from deal to deal. As with most outlet centers, the stores are set in a square shape, meaning lots of walking outdoors to go from store to store – so plan accordingly if doing some winter shopping or trying to make the most of a rainy day. On the topic of planning, also keep in mind that the crowds at outlet centers tend to ebb and flow along with traditional shopping seasons, including back to school and Christmas – possibly even more so than traditional locations. Anchored by brands like Nike, Gap, and Old Navy, this outlet center also includes a movie theater and two furniture shopping options, Ashley and Furniture Mart.

Shopping & Style Malls, Outlet Shopping
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Preferred Outlets at Medford
6750 West Frontage Road
Medford, MN 55049
(507) 455-4111

Hours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For those of you inhabiting the southern edge of Minnesota, your outlet shopping options include the Preferred Outlets at Medford. While online information is a bit sparse (they don't have their own website, but plenty of information is published on more general websites listing information about multiple shopping options throughout the state) and there are potential new owners from the property anticipated by this fall, don't let that stop you from taking your shopping dollars down south. Major options include Nike, Gap, Old Navy, and Levi Strauss, and nice assortment of 30 other stores rounds out your selection. With Ashley Furniture just outside the parking lot, and Cabela's a very short drive down the road, options abound for everyone.

Related: Best Places For Kids To Shop

Shopping & Style Mall, Couple Shopping
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River Hills Mall
1850 Adams St.
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 388-1100

Hours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here for a calendar of sales and events.

Nestled in southwestern Minnesota, River Hills Mall in Mankato has approximately 100 stores conveniently located right off of Hwy 14 as you arrive at the eastern edge of Mankato. Anchored by such big names as Barnes & Noble, Herberger's, JCPenney, Scheels, Sears and Target, entrances (and parking) are available from all sides of the mall depending on where you are heading. Browse the mall's online directory to map out your adventure ahead of time, or start at one end and work your way to the other. Spend the middle of the day people-watching in the mall's spacious food court or end a long day of shopping by settling in to catch a movie. High speed wireless internet access is available throughout the mall, so you can remain as connected as you would like – perfect for splitting up to maximize your coverage (and allowing your husband and kids to run off to Scheels while you peruse a few of the more feminine shopping options).

Related: Creating A New Look For Under $35

Rich Rein, previously featured in magazines like Midwest Outdoors and Outdoors Weekly as well as a contributor to and covering the Minneapolis fishing scene for, is a Minnesota transplant doing his best to enjoy the state's multitude of fishing opportunities while holding down a career as a software developer by day and a firefighter/EMT by night. His work can be found at

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