Even before it opened in 1992, Minnesota's Mall of America was making headlines. The mall covers an impossible-to-conceptualize 4.8 million square feet, with more than half of that taken up by shops. And yet even at the time of its grand opening, it wasn't the largest mall in the United States – it's only the second-largest.
The Mall of America is in Bloomington, about 15 minutes from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul (and only three miles from the airport). It welcomes more than 40 million visitors every year. The Minnesota Twins' former baseball stadium once occupied part of the site of the mall, and there is a commemorative plaque on the floor where home plate used to be.
While it may not be the largest mall in the country, it's incredibly impressive. There are more than 520 shops, plus space for an indoor amusement park and an underground aquarium. There's a massive LEGO store with a 34-foot-tall LEGO robot, a flight simulator, a stand-up comedy club, a Star Trek exhibition, movie theaters, and an “adventure golf” course. Don't worry if all this activity makes you peckish – there are more than 50 restaurants inside the mall to choose from.
The Mall of America is open Monday-Saturday from 10am-9:30pm, and Sundays from 11am-7pm, and is easily reached from downtown Minneapolis via the METRO Blue or Red Line. And if one visit to the mall simply isn't enough, there is a hotel attached to the mall.