Enter to Win a Dog-Friendly Vacation in the Bold North

This article is sniffed out and served to you in partnership with the Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau.

You’ve heard of Mall of America. Perhaps you’ve even been there. But did you know one-third of the city it’s in is made up of nature areas, and that it’s a hotspot (the good kind) for dog-friendly fun? Here’s where we’d stay, eat, play, and adventure on a long weekend in Bloomington, MN, with our furry besties. Sniff it out, and then scroll down and enter to win a chance to experience it in pawson.

Editor’s note: Are you one of our beloved Twin Cities peeps? You can enter to win, too!


First things first, a woof to the wise for jet-settin’ pups who need to lift a leg like whoa: MSP Airport has four different pet relief areas so you can take your pick. 

Next, you two need a pawsh vacay pad, and you’re in luck because the city is CHOCK FULL of dog-friendly hotels. A few that top our list: 

Radisson Blu Mall of America
This place has a skyway connection to Mall of America but what we’re really diggin’ is the doggo package that’ll greet you at the front desk: a dog bowl, bandana, pet bag dispenser, and more. If your dog is extra, get that gorgeous Don’t Forget Fido package, which comes with a dog bed and other snuggly swag.

TownePlace Suites Minneapolis Mall of America
There’s spacious, and then there’s full kitchen and lounge areas for you and your number one to whip up something tasty and relaxo to the maxo. Ah, now this feels like vacation.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Bloomington/Minneapolis
Pooches up to 50 pounds will feel so pawsh in this stylish hotel, and it’s close to Hyland Lake Park Reserve, with miles of walking trails for you and your dog to explore. 

TFW your human said “walk” but you just. Got. Comfortable. (Photo courtesy of Sheraton Bloomington Hotel)

Sheraton Bloomington Hotel
Sheratons are known for their love of dogs, and that’s exactly why they have no pet fee. What they do have is a dog bowl with a mat and a dog bed that’ll compete with your woofer for Most Fluffy. 

Once you’re checked in, stretch all six of your legs over at Bloomington Off-Leash Dog Park, which is lit at night (just bring your doggo’s license tag for your home city). There’s a big, open space for pupps who wanna run and play with other woofers, and a trail around the pond for pooches who think playing is so puppy school. BYO towel in case doggo wants a swim in the pond, and BYO camera in case that golden hour light hits the fur just right. 


Your pooch wants to get her Coco Chewnel or Chewy Vuitton on, and Nordstrom at Mall of America’s the ultimutt place to do it. Yep, while MOA as a whole isn’t dog-friendly, its Nordstrom department store totally is. In fact, many Nordstrom stores across the country pawsitively love dog customers. Sniff out #dogsofnordstrom on Instagram.

After your number one has been petted by literally every Nordstrom employee and customer, take a picture-perfect walk and picnic at Normandale Lake. (You can pick up doggo noms on the way at Chuck & Don’s Pet Food & Supplies or Pet Supplies Plus.) The wide, paved lakeside path has plenty of shaded areas fur hot days and there are usually water bowls by the drinking fountains outside the restrooms. Not to mention that view:

Totally not chasing ducks at Normandale Lake. (Photo by @shiva_jiva)

Your dog is so, so good. Doesn’t she deserb a real-deal date? Urbana Craeft Kitchen’s seasonal, locally sourced menu has convinced us the extra “e” is for “excellent,” and its dog-friendly patio is the pawfect place to unwind and woof about your Nordstrom finds. Walk across the street to Bloomington Central Station Park for a post-meal stroll. You two are adorable. 


Brunch it up on the shiny new dog-friendly patio at NorthStar Tavern. Then let your bestie do a lil #selfcaresunday at Dogtopia’s spa, which offers everything from nail trims and de-shedding treatments to a full-on fluff dry and blowout. So dogue.

Want another outdoor adventure? Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge has 13,000 acres to explore and an abundance of ducks and deer to watch. Congratulations, you’re the best pawrent ever.

Now, enter to win this amazingness:

(Top photo, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, by @justdewitt)

The Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau ruvs helping dogs from near and far have the best time ever in Bloomington, MN. Sniff out its Dog-Friendly Vacation Guide to plan your next adventure.


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