Wow. Does the Mall of America have every store you could dream of, or what? There’s even an amusement park right smack in the middle. So, imagine your surprise when you ask a Twin City local where to shop, and she guides you far away. But that’s okay. You don’t want to be a shopping mall zombie anyway. Avoid that glazed-over look people get after too long in the mall by heading to some of these funky and fun local shopping districts for a little retail therapy. These options are a breath of fresh air.
50th and France for Fashion
If high fashion is your thing (okay, not top hats and coattails, but the finer stuff you buy as a treat) head to the area centered at 50th and France. This shopping district has more than 175 stores stocked with jewelry and clothes, plus spas and plenty of restaurants for a pit stop to keep the “shop ‘til you drop” mentality. Pop into Luya Shoes and Other Fine Things for shoes ready for struttin’, Pacifier for the kids, Grethen House for the fashionista, and Witt+Bliss for everything you’d want for home.
For a funky mix of cool shops and restaurants, take Hennepin Avenue to Lake Avenue, just south of downtown, to get Uptown. It’s the spot to live and shop if you’re cool, young, and hip. (Or you’re shopping for kiddos who are.) There are places to catch a movie, get a cup o’ Joe, and pick up souvenirs, all within walking distance of Lake Calhoun. Check out shops like Proper & Prim or Cliché for ladies’ apparel, and stock up on cool gifts at ZRS Fossils and Gifts or Pharmacie.
Get Cultured in Midtown
The Midtown Global Market lets you see the world without having to take off your shoes to get through airport security. Pick up a necklace made in Africa, a scarf from Sweden, and a bag from Morocco, all without needing a passport. Be sure to stick around for lunch: The options include everything from The Rabbit Hole Korean Gastropub to Taquería Los Ocampo and Safari Express for a real ’round-the-world treat.
St. Anthony District
With tons of local mom and pop shops located in cute historic buildings around the Stone Arch Bridge, the St. Anthony District is where to find all kinds of one-of-a-kinds. Located along the Mississippi River on the northeast end of the city, this district is best explored starting on SE 4th Street. Don’t miss Micawber’s Books for a paperback by a local author, Succotash for old-timey housewares and postcards, and Bibelot for great gifts.
Steppin’ Back in Time
Just a 30-minute drive from Minneapolis is the small town of Stillwater, named one of the top 10 best places for antiquing in 2017 by Fodors. Browse the day away at American Gothic Antiques, Midtown Antique Mall, and Let There Be Light Antiques. If you get tired, simply shack up at one of the cozy bed and breakfasts in town.
Looking for more ideas on where to shop local in cities across the states? Check out our “Local Finds” Pinterest board for even more inspiration!