Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 3/9/2006 7:08:44 PM EDT
I know it's a gun forum but....
The wife and kids want to visit the mall of America. I was wondering if you locals had any advice like where to stay or not to. Are the indoor water parks nice? Is there areas to stay away from? Any gun shops for dad to visit?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 7:39:35 PM EDT
There are several hotels right next to the MOA.

For gun stores; there will be some driving

Gun Stop
Bill's Gun Shop and Range
Bill's Gun Shop and Range North
Gander Mountain (just new stuff no AR15s)
Al's Gun shop


And the rest of the MN crew will give you phone numbers and directions.

Chris
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 8:28:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/9/2006 8:34:07 PM EDT by GoBlue]
Priceline a hotel. I'm sure you will get a much better rate.
Also, keep in mind no sales tax on clothes, so take all that tax money to buy more guns.
If you have never been, take Dad to Cabellas in Rogers or Owatana. About 45 min drive. It is the mecca of sporting goods stores. Dicks by the mall is not gun friendly so avoid.

If you want water parks- there is always the Dells on the way.

ETA- looks like a 2.5* hotel such as the Holiday Inn can be had for $35/night on PL and a 3* hotel like the DoubleTree or Park Plaza are in the $45 range/night.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 8:32:17 PM EDT
In my experience I find the best time to go to MOA is on a weekday in the morning or early afternoon hours, otherwise it tends to get a little thug-juvenile rich later in the evening and definitely on weekend evenings.

You'll probably be fine in Bloomington (where the mall is located) and any of the surrounding burbs, you might see a different side of life depending on whether you're from a rural or urban area if you venture to either downtown St. Paul or Mpls. after dark. I can't say I'd recommend you stay away from these areas but like I said, it might be "interesting". Other MN members may have other advice.

My wife and I had the opportunity to go to a birthday party at Gluuk's (sp?) near the Target Center in downtown Mpls. a couple of Friday nights ago and man, what a place. Timberwolves were playing and it was people everywhere. It's an interesting mix of people ranging from "overtly, super wealthy" to "not a penny to their names". Those Mpls. coppers really work for their pennies. It was cool but being LE, I might have been packing the whole time...then again maybe I wasn't.

Sorry but I lack the ability to explain directions to any "good" gunshops but there's a Dick's Sporting Goods store a few miles west of the MOA on 494 at the junction with 35W. Not much to see there but they carry Otis cleaning patches and back when they were Galyan's had deals on Winny ammo from time to time but I'm not even sure if they carry Winny anymore since the switch to Dick's. There's also a Sport's Authority at the exit just before the exit for Dick's (Dick's exit is the first on the west side of 35W and Sport's Authority exit is the exit just before 35W). SA sometimes has deals on Winny ammo also but I've never had good luck there.

Enjoy your visit,
Scott
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 8:41:52 PM EDT
Oh yeah- leave your supressors at home. Those tools of death are not welcomed in our state.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 4:20:46 AM EDT
dont thinkg the Mall waterpark is open yet....

did you catch the 1 hr special on the MOA on Travel channel last night.?
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 5:07:12 AM EDT
DO NOT go to MOA at night. After about 6 or 7 o'clock it starts getting less family friendly. My fiance used to work there when we started dating. I would go to meet her after work when I could. I saw some pretty interesting things. The "mall thugs" like to try to "regulate" on families with children. I don't know how many times I saw families getting harrased by the scum. Stacey said she had been followed, or chased to her car more than once (before I met her). During the day it is fine, and I'm thinking it may have improved to some degree since they have taken all or most of the bars out of the 4th floor. I know there is a Hilton about 2 blocks from the mall. A friend of mine stayed there for a wedding once. It wasn't extravigant, but it was clean and well kept. Most of the hotels in the suburbs should be decent. Others have hit most of the good gun shops in town. I don't know if anyone mentioned frontiersman. They have a decent selection of stuff to look at. They are off of 394 and Louisiana. If you venture north, stay out of most parts of north minneapolis, and like others said, downtown at night can be interesting. Other than those places, we have a pretty decent metro area.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 6:13:58 AM EDT
I have never seen anything bad happen at MOA or in Downtown Minneapolis, and I live there.

Situational awareness will prevent you from getting into 99% of all trouble. Anyone who has trained even a little should have developed this mindset.

MOA is just like any other large shopping mall. If you are from MI, I'm sure you've been to Detroit, so I'm sure a few kids dressed like 50 cent won't intimidate you. Make sure you see some of Minneapolis while you are here. A lot to do and see here. The lakes and parks are my favorite.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 7:54:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2006 7:57:59 AM EDT by hardcase]
MOA is pretty safe. I don't think that anyone has been murdered there yet this year. It's in east Bloomington, which is probably less safe than the other suburbs & west Bloomington. It is becoming very hispanic. If you have a choice, price-wise, stay on the east side of the Minnesota River in Inver Grove Heights, near Pilot Knob Road. Alternatively, the other rule-of-thumb would be to stay west of 35W.

Whatever hotel you stay at, check to see if they have a shuttle to MOA. Don't worry if they don't though. The traffic isn't too bad & the parking is free.

If you have any free time, the MN History Museum near downtown St. Paul is only a few years old & I understand that it is very nice. It's near the state capitol so take a few minutes & walk over to the capitol too. It's about 3 - 4 blocks north. Don't go north of the capitol on foot. Don't bother going down University Avenue. That is somewhat trashy & not worth your time, although if you go far enough, you will get to the University of MN campus which is very nice. It straddles the Mississippi River.

The Cathedral is about a block or 2 south of the museum & very cool. Go up Summit Ave. to see all of the cool old mansions & come back down Grand Ave. to see all of the yuppification. There are several nice university campuses in that area, St. Thomas, St. Catherines, & MacAlester. St. Thomas is the best.

Think F. Scott Fitzgerald & James J. Hill on Summit Ave. & Kofi Annan, a MacAlester graduate and former hot dog vendor, on both Grand & Summit.

Look at the schedule of gun shows tacked at the top of the MN HTF. There are a couple of good ones coming up at the MN State Fair grounds, one at the end of this month & one next month. They only charge $5 admission & DPMS will be there so you will have some EBRs to oogle.

If you have some free time after that, go for a drive. There is a lot of pretty country in this area. A nice drive would be to go south on 35W or 35E, which becomes just 35 in about 10 miles, to Cabela's in Owatonna & stop there for a couple of hours. (It's actually in Clinton Falls, not Owatonna, but it's well marked, so you can't miss it. Even if you drive right by it, you can get off at the next exit & take the frontage road back.) Then go a few miles south & get off at Hwy 14 & go east for about an hour to Rochester. Drive by Mayo Clinic & St. Mary's Hospital & then get on Hwy 52 northbound to The Cities. That will probably be the prettiest part of your trip, with the gently rolling hills & woods, but you will have seen a good, representative sampling of Minnesota in an afternoon's drive. The only real cool part that you will have missed is the great north woods & Lake Superior. Be sure to Mapquest that last part, from Rochester to your hotel in The Cities. There is a minor complication getting from Hwy 52 back to your hotel, assuming that you are staying near the 494 strip. You have to take MN Hwy 49(?) north for about a half a mile to catch 494 west.

An alternative route would be to 494 east to 94 east just into Wisconsin. Then catch WI Hwy 35 south & it roughly parallels the Mississippi. Drive as far as you like & then when you figure that you are halfway, cross the Mississippi & come back north on MN 61. You could go through Lake City & there is a Wild Wings gallery just south of the town. You could go through Red Wing which is all around very nice. The eagles might be migrating back along the Mississippi about now. Note that WI Hwy 35 is just a rural 2 lane road. Don't confuse it with 35W, 35E, or the rest of I35.

Keep your eyes open right near MOA. The MN River meets the Mississippi just a couple of miles north & I've seen eagles flying over 494. There is also a USFWS office near MOA & you can go in there during the week. I haven't been over there for a long time, but it seems like they have some stuffed game birds, etc.

Did anybody mention GunStop? It's the coolest little gun shop & hard to find. A couple of nice guys run it.

Also, think about going over to Ahlman's Guns if you are going to be near Cabela's. It's near Morristown, MN. They aren't exactly right next door to each other, but maybe 15 - 20 mile apart. INuh could give you directions.

Enjoy MN.

Link Posted: 3/10/2006 8:00:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cleatus:
dont thinkg the Mall waterpark is open yet....

did you catch the 1 hr special on the MOA on Travel channel last night.?



I did and that's when the wife started the talk. You know the one.


Situational awareness will prevent you from getting into 99% of all trouble. Anyone who has trained even a little should have developed this mindset.

MOA is just like any other large shopping mall. If you are from MI, I'm sure you've been to Detroit, so I'm sure a few kids dressed like 50 cent won't intimidate you.



I was born and raise in Flint Mi. had my share of that. Live about a hour away now.
Tonight after work I'm going to book some rooms. Then map out some events around town. Then I will work on the important things like the gun stores.

I hope your state opens up on CCW and suppressors. Once they see it workout else where and the right people in there you guys will win.

You guys are great thanks for you help.
Ed
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 8:24:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Easy_E:
I hope your state opens up on CCW and suppressors. Once they see it workout else where and the right people in there you guys will win.

You guys are great thanks for you help.
Ed



Ed, we are good to go right now for CCW. I don't think Michigan permits are recognized, but Florida and some other states permits are. You can always take the MN class while you are here! No restrictions on carrying OC/Taser, FYI.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 9:00:05 AM EDT
Forgot about Fort Snelling, I think that is pretty close to the airport/MOA. I was only there once when I was about 8 or 10, but if you have kids, they should enjoy it from what I remember of it.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 10:37:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2006 10:39:38 AM EDT by OBird]

Originally Posted By mnandy:
DO NOT go to MOA at night. After about 6 or 7 o'clock it starts getting less family friendly. My fiance used to work there when we started dating. I would go to meet her after work when I could. I saw some pretty interesting things. The "mall thugs" like to try to "regulate" on families with children. I don't know how many times I saw families getting harrased by the scum. Stacey said she had been followed, or chased to her car more than once (before I met her). During the day it is fine, and I'm thinking it may have improved to some degree since they have taken all or most of the bars out of the 4th floor. I know there is a Hilton about 2 blocks from the mall. A friend of mine stayed there for a wedding once. It wasn't extravigant, but it was clean and well kept. Most of the hotels in the suburbs should be decent. Others have hit most of the good gun shops in town. I don't know if anyone mentioned frontiersman. They have a decent selection of stuff to look at. They are off of 394 and Louisiana. If you venture north, stay out of most parts of north minneapolis, and like others said, downtown at night can be interesting. Other than those places, we have a pretty decent metro area.



+1

I have a friend who was a security guard there for one summer, and according to him it was pretty bad. Homeboys would just light up a joint right in front of him like it was nothing (and then get arrested of course....idiots). It doesn't have the nickname "Mall of Africa" for nothing....



But yeah, during the day it's really not a bad place to spend an afternoon, especially if you've never been there before. And BTW, just FYI, CCW is hardcore banned inside the mall.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 1:06:33 PM EDT
Funny, I've never heard the "Mall of Africa" nickname.
I kinda laugh about hardcase's warning about Frogtown (University and north of the capital) because I live downtown St Paul and I work in the Capital Complex. Maybe it is because I drive a relatively quick import that I "fit in" around there. Or just don't stand out.

Downtown St Paul also has a Children's museum and the Science Museum, not to mention Wild hockey at the Xcel.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 1:39:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mcnielsen:

Originally Posted By Easy_E:
I hope your state opens up on CCW and suppressors. Once they see it workout else where and the right people in there you guys will win.

You guys are great thanks for you help.
Ed



Ed, we are good to go right now for CCW. I don't think Michigan permits are recognized, but Florida and some other states permits are. You can always take the MN class while you are here! No restrictions on carrying OC/Taser, FYI.



Damn good for you guys! Before Mi had CCW's the county I live in now was shall issue. As soon as I was able I took the class and began carrying. It was the greatest thing to know I could protect my family if need be. It was a little restrictive be I made do.
I always felt guilty for my friends and family that couldn't carry. Now all my friends , relatives and coworkers carry.
We need that nation wide CCW ! I live for the day that I can drive to South Dakota without stopping in Indiana to unload .
I'll get off the soapbox now thanks for the input here. I will let you know what going on when I find out.
If you ever need any info in Mi I work for a hardware co. with 25 stores. If I don't know the fishing report in Port huron or temp in Traverse City I can call a manager and get it .

Thank again guys
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 2:08:36 PM EDT
Top Top