Outlet Shopping Is the Real Deal
Shopping is a top activity when people travel, and some travel just to shop. Mall of America is a major destination in Minnesota, but other shopping centers draw visitors as well. Bargain hunters will find plenty of satisfaction at three outlet shopping centers close to the Twin Cities. A fourth outlet mall is opening in Eagan in late summer 2014.
Outlet shops typically offer savings of 25 to 65 percent. For a complete list of shops at these centers, visit their websites.
Albertville Premium Outlets, the largest of Minnesota's outlet centers with 100 shops, is located on I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Cloud. The focus here is on upscale, designer fashions and sportswear. Brands include Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole, Jones New York, Puma and Columbia Sportswear Company.
Several nearby hotels offer shop-and-stay package for visitors to Albertville Outlets, and there are other accommodations in nearby Monticello and the northwest Twin Cities metro area.
Medford Outlet Center is located on I-35, 50 miles south of Minneapolis. The center houses more than 30 shops including Bath & Body Works, Bass, Gymboree, Old Navy and Kitchen Collection. Outdoor sports buffs will also want to stop at Cabella's, just down the road in Owatonna. There are several motels in Owatonna, including one with an indoor water park.
North Branch Outlets, about 30 miles north of the Twin Cities, has more than 30 shops including Gap, Nike, Old Navy, Ashley Furniture and Wilsons Leather. There's also a multiscreen movie theater on-site.