Bloomington, Minnesota is a suburb of Minneapolis. It is near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP IATA) and home to the Mall of America, the United States' largest shopping mall. Bloomington has a population of 82,893 people (as of 2010).
The Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport is near Bloomington and from there it is easy to get on a light rail train to take you into the city.
Bloomington is intersected by two major interstates and a number of major highways. Interstate 35W runs north/south through the center of Bloomington. Interstate 494 runs east/west along Bloomington's northern edge, intersecting with Interstate 35W near the center of the city.
By public transit
There are no regional buses that have drop off points in Bloomington. The nearest Greyhound bus terminal is in downtown Minneapolis (see Minneapolis#By bus). The bus terminal is at 950 Hawthorne Ave (at 10th St, one block west of Hennepin) in downtown Minneapolis and is 4-5 blocks away from the light rail station, which you can take into Bloomington. If you need to get into Bloomington from anywhere else in the Twin Cities metro area, you can generally take a local bus or light rail line. Metro Transit is the public transit authority for the entire Twin Cities area, including Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington. Their website has a great and easy to use route finder .
Bloomington has abundant public transit options and it is well connected to Minneapolis and St. Paul and other cities in the Twin Cities metro area. The south end of the METRO Blue Line light rail ends in Bloomington at the Mall of America, giving easy access from Bloomington to Downtown Minneapolis for a sports game, shopping or night out on the town. Within the city of Bloomington, there are a plethora of bus lines to get you just about anywhere that you need to go.
Bloomington's uses the same public transit system as the rest of the Twin Cities Metro area, including Minneapolis and St. Paul. This integrated system is called Metro Transit. Metro Transit fares are valid for 2 1/2 hours of unlimited transfers from first use and are valid on all Metro Transit buses and light Rail (excluding the Northstar Light Rail Line which requires an additional fare.)
Adult fares as of 2011 are $1.75 non rush/$2.25 rush ($2.25 for express busses during non rush hours and $3.00 for express buses during rush hour.) Discounts apply for senior citizens and children, as well as disabled veterans and people with disabilities. Up to 3 children under the age of 5 ride for free with a paid adult fare .
- 1 Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, 120 East Broadway (inside Mall of America), ☏ . Visit the world's largest underground aquarium and see over 5,000 marine creatures! From 360 pound sea turtles to young sea horses, you will find everything you were hoping to see in the underwater adventure. Scuba Certified, try scuba diving with 9 foot sharks. $20-25.
- 2 [dead link] Bloomington Civic Theatre, 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd (located in the Bloomington Arts Center/Bloomington Civic Plaza), ☏ . The Bloomington Civic Theatre offers a variety of plays and concerts in many different styles and genres. From musicals to comedies, symphony orchestra concerts to blue grass, you are sure to find something for everyone's taste. Looking for a night out on the town? Upgrade your ticket to a package that includes dinner at Kincaids for $31 additional. $14-28.
- 3 The Works Museum, 9740 Grand Ave (north of 98th St), ☏ . Jun-Aug: M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM; Sep: Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM; Oct-May: M,Th-F 9AM-3PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Children's engineering and design museum with hand-on exhibits. $8.50, free for children 2 and under.
- 1 Hyland Hills Ski Area (Hyland Ski & Snowboard Area), 8800 Chalet Rd (at Hyland Lake Park Reserve), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. With 175 feet of vertical, it may be the shortest ski resort you ever experience.
- 2 Water Park of America, 1700 E American Blvd, toll-free: . "America's biggest indoor water park"
- 3 Nickelodeon Universe, In Mall of America. "A large indoor amusement park in the middle of the Mall of America. It has 3 roller coasters in addition to many different rides."
- 4 Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, 3815 American Blvd E (near the Mall of America), ☏ . Visitor center: Winter Tu-Su 9AM-4PM, Summer Tu-Su 9AM-5PM. Refuge lands open from sunrise to sunset daily. The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife refuge is right on the Minnesota River and provides a sanctuary for wildlife and migrating birds. The Visitor Center offers fascinating interactive exhibits about the area's natural history. There are an abundance of hiking trails and the refuge offers educational programs as well as picnic grounds and cross country skiing in the winter. This is a great place to take the kids if they haven't burned off all of their excess energy at the Mall of America! Free.
- 5 Normandale Japanese Garden, 9700 France Ave S, ☏ . 24 hours daily. This serene spot is next to Normandale Community College. It offers a restful spot to contemplate or walk, as well as a great location for weddings and photo shoots. Free.
- 6 [dead link] Bloomington Arts Center, 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd, ☏ . Gallery hours M-F 8AM-10PM. The Bloomington Arts Center is in the Bloomington Civic Plaza. It offers six exhibits a year as well as art classes for adults and children. Exhibitions are free, classes vary in price.
- Pinnacle Rock Climbing Tower located in REI, 750 W American Blvd, ☏ . Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: Closed / Thursday and Friday: 5PM-8PM (estimated) / Saturday and Sunday: 11AM-4PM (estimated). An indoor climbing tower for all ages and climbing abilities. $10 / climber.
- 1 Mall of America, at the junction of Interstate 494 and Minnesota State Highway 77 (Cedar Avenue), ☏ . Largest indoor shopping complex in the United States. A dizzying shopping experience. It has hundreds of stores, a LEGO play area, an indoor theme park, and a large aquarium. You can get there by light rail or bus.
- Chez Daniel, 2800 W American Blvd (inside the Embassy Suites), ☏ . Pricey but authentic French cuisine. Better than you'd expect from a hotel restaurant. $20-30.
- [dead link] Gyropolis, 90th & Penn, ☏ , fax: . M-F 11AM-8PM, Sa 11AM-3PM.
- Joe Senser's, 4217 W 80th St, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-1AM, Su 10AM-midnight. A bunch of big screen TVs makes this a good place for visiting sports fans to catch their hometown team's game or "the big game". Decent bar food, trivia and video games round out the experience. $7-15.
- [formerly dead link] Surabhi Indian Cuisine, 517 W 98th St, ☏ . A Bloomington favorite. $8-20.
- Osaka, 2631 Southtown Dr, ☏ . Minnesota's premier Japanese steak house. $15-25.
- Kincaids, 8400 Normandale Lake Boulevard (Off of the intersection of 84th Street and Highway 100 in West Bloomington), ☏ . Lunch: Mon-Fri 11AM-2PM / Dinner: Sun-Thurs 3PM-10PM, Fri 3PM-10PM / Lounge: Sun-Thurs 11AM-10PM, Fri 11AM-11PM, Sat 4PM-11PM / Sunday Brunch: 10AM-2PM. A contemporary American Restaurant in West Bloomington near Normandale Lake (so you can walk off the great meal you just ate!) Kincaids offers upscale dining in an elegant atmosphere. Perfect for a night out on the town without going into Downtown! This restaurant has long been a Bloomington staple for prom kids and adults alike looking for a special night out. Kincaids has great food, good portions and an extensive wine list. Lunch: $11-20, Dinner $15-40.
- Shantytown Bar and Grill, 8512 Pillsbury Avenue South, ☏ . Open for Lunch and Dinner, Monday-Saturday.. Bloomington's best kept secret. For those who like restaurants that are off the beaten path, this is your place! Located in an industrial park surrounded by a residential area in Bloomington, this restaurant offers a quirky, family atmosphere. They serve awesome gourmet burgers, onion rings and sandwiches. Has a full bar and great Happy Hours! It doesn't look like much on the outside, but once you get past the exterior and its location, the food is excellent. A great place to hang out with friends. $7-10.
Mall of America
The Mall of America has several good eating options inside from fast food to upscale restaurants.
- Bubba Gump, 396 South Avenue, ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM.
- CRAVE, 368 South Avenue, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-8PM.
- Rainforest Cafe, 102 South Avenue, ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM.
- Twin City Grill, 130 North Garden, ☏ . M-Th 11:15AM-9:30PM, F-Sa 11:15AM-10PM, Su 11:30AM-8PM.
- Try the new Water Park of America looked adjacent to the Mall of America. Hotel features indoor water slides soaring 90 feet above the Twin Cities' skyline.
- Cambria Suites Hotel Bloomington, 2870 Metro Dr, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- Comfort Inn, 1321 E 78th St, ☏ , fax: .
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Bloomington at Mall of America, MN, 5120 W American Blvd, ☏ , fax: . Charming country style décor.
- Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Bloomington, 5401 Green Valley Dr, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Hotel near the Twin Cities.
- Embassy Suites Hotel Bloomington, 2800 W American Blvd, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- 1 Embassy Suites Hotel Minneapolis-Airport, 7901 34th Ave S (between I-494 and American Blvd), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- Hampton Inn Airport, 4201 W American Blvd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. $79-129.
- Hilton Garden Inn Bloomington, 245 N College Ave, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
- Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington, 3900 W American Blvd, ☏ , fax: . Extensive nearby shopping and dining at the Mall of America or Southdale Center as well as quick, convenient access to the Twin Cities business community. Bloomington ChopHouse Restaurant and the Olive Lounge on premises.
- 2 Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 1601 E American Blvd (at Bloomington Ave), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. Directly across from the indoor Water Park. Free 24-hour shuttle to and from the airport and the Mall of America. Indoor pool and spa, fitness room, free wifi, business center, free hot breakfast, free parking. $89.
- 3 Homewood Suites by Hilton Minneapolis-Mall Of America, 2261 Killebrew Dr (at 24th Ave/Old Shakopee Rd), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Across the street from the Mall of America.
- 4 [formerly dead link] Le Bourget Aero Suites, 7770 Johnson Ave S, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Complimentary wireless high speed internet access, a European style bistro & espresso bar, on site fitness center, heated indoor pool, and business center. $79 to $109.
- Quality Inn and Suites, 814 E American Blvd, ☏ , fax: .
|Routes through Bloomington|
|Minneapolis ← Richfield ←||N S||→ Burnsville → merges onto → Des Moines|
|Maple Grove ← Eden Prairie ←||W E||→ Eagan → Woodbury|
|Grand Rapids ← Edina ←||N S||→ Shakopee → Mankato|
|Gaylord ← Eden Prairie ←||W E||→ Fort Snelling → Saint Paul|
|Minneapolis ← Richfield ←||N S||→ Eagan → Apple Valley|
|Brooklyn Center ← Edina ←||N S||→ END|
|Downtown Minneapolis ← MSP Airport ←||N S||→ END|