Sometimes museums are the only place where you can find certain unique items for purchase. Usually, museum stores have more extensive collections of items for sale consistent with the mission of the museum than at any other location. For example, certain art, artifacts, books and memorabilia can only be found at the site of the museum. It just works that way. Be sure to refer to Best Museum Gift Shops after reading this article where most of the other major metro area museums are portrayed. Nevertheless, the five picks below are notable in that their stores provide a focal point of products unlike any other site in Minnesota.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Store at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2400 3rd Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 870-3000

“All of our retail staff has a strong visual design background—whether it’s in the arts, interior design or fashion design. Each staff member has a strong knowledge of our products’ stories. They can tell you where it was made and by whom, and they know the materials” says MIA’s Head of Retail, Ryan Ross. He adds, “I scour the globe to select exclusive objects from across the world that align with the museum’s collections.” Clients benefit from this powerful team of experts by engaging the Store’s Personal Consultation Service. “Visitors have brought in photos of their living room or actual objects from their home. Our staff then guides them through a selection of complimentary design pieces to enhance their home. Our staff is also skilled at providing personal style consultation with the store’s selection of jewelry, scarves, bags, and other style accessories,” says Audience Engagement Department’s Emmalynn Bauer. “The staff will also select the ideal piece for you, wrap it as a gift and deliver it within a 20-mile radius.”

Related: Best Museums In Minnesota

Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
43411 Oodena Dr.
Onamia, MN 56359
(320) 532-3632

The Trading Post offers a major Minnesota collection of traditional and contemporary handcrafted, authentic American Indian art and crafts to scrupulous shoppers. The museum shop also stocks a sizable assortment of books, toys and other tempting items.

(credit: Mike Knox)

(credit: Mike Knox)

Split Rock Lighthouse
3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd.
Two Harbors, MN 55616
(218) 226-6372

Nautical buffs, lighthouse lovers, Split Rock fans and northwoods trekkers will love the mementos at Split Rock Lighthouse store. Many of these items can only be found at Split Rock Lighthouse store. Find figurines, puzzles, books and posters also at the store. In addition, discover special clothing for all sizes from infant to adult.

The Bakken Museum Store
3537 Zenith Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(612) 926-3878

This museum dedicated to revealing the wonders of electrical properties offers books, kits, games and other educational toys that help kids learn more about scientific phenomena such as circuits, green energy and magnets. The Museum Store also has various gifts and souvenirs, such as apparel and jewelry. All revenue from store sales support The Bakken Museum’s mission.

(Photo: Red Wing Pottery) credit: red wing

(Photo: Red Wing Pottery) credit: red wing

Minnesota Historical Society
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 259-3000

Shop online for items unique to Minnesota such as Faribault woolen products, Red Wing pottery and Watkins items. Plus, explore its wide range of jewelry, toys and books. Purchases support the programs of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Related: Weirdest Museums In Minnesota

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at