MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- If you ever wondered if there's any place in Minnesota that draws even remotely the same number of visitors annually as Mall of America does ... consider the question settled.
Explore Minnesota, the state's tourism board, just released final attendance figures for 2017 and the Bloomington mega mall unsurprisingly topped the list.
However, by how much it topped the list might raise a few eyebrows. Explore Minnesota estimated that 40 million visitors hit the mall last year.
The next closest runner up? Chain of Lakes Regional Park in Minneapolis, with just over 7 million visitors.
In further point of comparison, Mall of America's 40 million visitors outnumber the 20.5 million that visited Orlando's Walt Disney World in 2017, or the 18.3 million that went to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
"Due to the large concentration of attractions in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, it's no surprise that the majority of the top 40 are located in this part of the state," Explore Minnesota announced Wednesday.
The most popular attraction outside the metro area was Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center & Park in Duluth, with 2,526,322 visitors last year.
Central Minnesota's most popular attraction was Grand Casino Mille Lacs; Northwest Minnesota's was Itasca State Park; and in the South it's Owatonna's Cabela's location, which drew more visitors than the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.
Here is the full top 10 list for Minnesota:
- Mall of America, Bloomington (40,000,000)
- Chain of Lakes Regional Park, Minneapolis (7,063,500)
- Como Park, St. Paul (5,367,400)
- National Sports Center, Blaine (4,100,000)
- Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, Minneapolis (2,782,800)
- Mississippi Gorge Regional Park, Minneapolis/St. Paul (2,734,300)
- Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center & Park, Duluth (2,526,322)
- Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul (2,200,000)
- Target Field, Minneapolis (2,131,787)
- Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis (2,051,000)
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