For a rewarding shopping experience, Minnesota is the place to shop around. Metro areas in most states are expensive and have a shortage of accessible neighborhood shopping districts. In Minnesota, with its abundance of shopping centers, selecting a store is almost like a game. If in the mood for a good shopping spree, try the stores in these neighborhoods.
Alexandria Lakes Area
Chamber of Commerce
Alexandria, MN 56308
Alexandria might not be perceived as a shopping mecca. But Highway 29 has a treasure load of bargain retail specialty and department stores. To see what’s on this highway, drop into the Dollar District . Selling tools, gardening supplies, jewelry, party favors and more, this expansive value variety store is its own shopping district. A few miles from Dollar District is Viking Plaza, where you can pass the time at Christopher & Banks , Herberger’s, Maurice’s, JCPenney and other retail chains. The plaza also has fashion boutiques where you can buy the latest styles in clothes, shoes, cosmetics and jewelry. Several locally-owned businesses in the plaza provide essential services such as dentistry and plumbing. Highway 29 has several eating and drinking establishments: Angelina’s Restaurant & Bar, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Tennessee Road House and D. Michael B’s Resort Bar & Grill.
North Loop Neighborhood
207 5th Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
North Loop is a cozy metro neighborhood where business development is ongoing. Cultural events, dining, theater, art, sports and fashion coincide under a business-centered kaleidoscope. You won’t need to scrounge for home goods and décor because of stores such as Ciel Loft & Home and Foundry Home Goods. Boutique clothing and well-known department stores dot the neighborhood block. Target Field, home to the Minnesota Twins, hosts outdoor concerts as well as sports events during the summer and early fall.
Midtown Global Market
920 E. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
For a quick global tour without having to leave the Twin Cities, take a shopping trip to Midtown Global Market. The outdoor fruit and vegetable stalls, full of mostly organic produce, have fragrant freshness. Buy ingredients from specialty grocers to create your favorite ethnic dishes. Appreciate ethnic art and handcrafted jewelry and gifts. The market is one of the best places for last minute gift shopping. Midtown Global has hosted its own summer music festivals.
Related: Best Shopping Centers In The Twin Cities
Grand Avenue, St. Paul
752 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
Grand Avenue has one of the best artisan cheese stores, St. Paul Cheese Shop. Shoppers often make the trip just to buy cheese. Grand Avenue is also home to Northern Brewer and Perrier Wines & Liquors. This shopping district has characteristics similar to that of the North Loop Neighborhood. With trendy boutiques, neat grocery stores, local business services and art and gift shops, Grand Avenue has a little of everything.
50th St. & France Ave.
3925 W. 50th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55424
Getting to 50th & France may be a Minnesota puzzle to Minneapolis newcomers. But look where the two streets first intersect and use as a referential point. From there, you can decide where to go. The area has a staggering number of shops, restaurants and boutiques. Nearby is the Galleria Shopping Center, also called Edina Mall or Galleria Edina. This mall draws as much shopper traffic as Mall of America (MOA) in Bloomington. The Galleria is in the city of Edina, an affluent suburb at 69th St., and France Ave. Edina and Minneapolis are often used interchangeably as metro locations for neighborhoods such as 50th & France.
Related: Best Twin Cities Boutiques
Linda Cameron has written home design, home improvement and lifestyle articles for The Boston Globe and City Shopper Magazine. She has related interests in the building industry, travel, real estate and financing. She is a contributor to Examiner, House Spot, Techsling and Behance, covering topics on career, people, businesses, education and technology.