Hotels in Bloomington, USA
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Bloomington, the home of Mall of America and much more
Situated in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis, Bloomington is often best known as the home of the Mall of America. The nation’s largest shopping mall is obviously a focus of the city, however there are also a range of leisure activities in the area including many centred around the surrounding nature. Families are well catered for in Bloomington with a diverse mix of attractions ensuring there is always a variety of things to do in any weather or season. Overall it is a conveniently located suburb which provides a calmer experience and a closer proximity to the great outdoors.
A strong focus on shopping
Although a reasonably widespread city, much of the commercial activity and points of interest in Bloomington are focused around the district containing Mall of America. The mall lies just south of Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport and close to two major interstate highways and is thus in a very accessible location. Hundreds of stores and restaurants plus a host of tourist attractions are present inside the mall, including The Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, the Nickelodeon Universe theme park plus a host of other family attractions. In terms of accommodation, there are an assortment of Bloomington MN hotels in the immediate vicinity of the Mall of America which provide convenient access to that and the airport. The stretch heading east alongside Interstate 494 and American Blvd is also home to many more large stores and restaurants, cumulating at the Southtown Shopping Center with further well known chains. Visitors to Bloomington are really spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping and this is consequently one of the major draws of the city.
Leisure activities and the Minnesota River
Aside from shopping there are also multiple leisure activities to be found around Bloomington including several large family-focused facilities. The Water Park of America is located adjacent to the Mall of America and is a substantial indoor complex of swimming pools and slides, one of the largest in the country. Being an indoor facility it is popular throughout the year but tends to be especially busy during school holidays and throughout the summer. Another well-frequented attraction for families is the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, located alongside the Minnesota River. This sanctuary houses many species of wildlife including several migrating bird species, plus is just two kilometres from the Mall of America. Its location makes it easily accessible for guests staying in any of the hotels in Bloomington MN which surround the mall. The Minnesota River is a popular area in general with locals as it contains several parks and vast green areas to escape from the city. One prime example is Long Meadow Lake which runs which alongside the river, presenting some prime fishing opportunities plus a host of surrounding trails for hiking and cycling.
History and culture of Bloomington
For all its modernity and mainstream activity, Bloomington also has an interesting history which shapes its present-day arts and culture. The Bloomington Historical Society gives an overview of the area and its development through to the present day, whilst the Bloomington Arts Center offers a range of exhibits throughout the year which give examples of the local scene. Local performing arts are also represented, with the Bloomington Civic Theater hosting a variety of performances including a mix of touring productions. All of these facilities are located close by 98th Street and Lyndale Avenue, on the other side of Bloomington to that of the Mall of America. This area of the city has a much more localised feel but also contains a few of the smaller Bloomington Minnesota hotels, plus is within a short drive of any other accommodation in the city. Other museums include the NWA History Museum, presenting the history of Northwest Airlines which was founded in the area, plus the Minnesota Children’s Museum housed in the Mall of America. This is another fascinating attraction for families which has a heavy focus on interactive exhibits and games.
Beyond the central limits of Bloomington
As Bloomington is on the southern edge of the Minnesota metropolitan area, its surroundings quickly move into nature and countryside. One major natural area is the Hyland Lake Park Reserve to the west side of the city. Here there is a small outdoor ski hill which is popular during the winter months, plus the area of the Hyland Lake itself which offers a variety of outdoor activities on and around the lake. Tourists and locals alike enjoy the opportunities of fishing, kayaking and even swimming during the summer months. Closer towards central Bloomington lies the Bloomington Ice Garden and the Normandale Japanese Garden, two outdoor areas, each with a very different appeal. The Ice Garden is home to three ice rinks and it hosts the local junior hockey team, whilst the Japanese Garden is a serene spot with a variety of rare plant species, maintained by the nearby college. Of course, visitors to Bloomington also regularly head north into Minneapolis city centre, to discover the assortment of attractions and bigger city facilities on offer.