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Southern California Malls & Shopping
From Santa Barbara south to San Diego, you'll discover a shopper's Paradise!
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of Southern California malls! From Santa Barbara south to San Diego, visitors enter a shopping wonderland featuring lovely malls brimming with every type of store you might be seeking. As you can tell from these photos, many of SoCal's malls are open-air centers, featuring attractive landscaping, interesting architecture, and surprising decorative touches.
Southern California Mall OverviewMany cities feature world-class shopping options...but you'll find that Southern California shopping choices are even more numerous and varied than many other metropolitan areas.
On this website, though, we'll focus on some of the best places a tourist can go to find some interesting shopping. Some visitors head to Southern California specifically to shop...particularly those tourists who don't have a full range of options in their own home town, state or country.
Other guests visit California as part of an RV trip or other extended tour...and need to stock up on the basic "supplies of living" as they travel along. And, virtually all tourists to the area are looking for unique items by which they can remember their adventurous vacation and gifts they can present to friends and relatives "back home."
Of the many shopping options available from Ventura County to San Diego, the ones on this website were chosen for their tourist-appeal.
1.) Major Southern California Malls, which draw both local residents and tourists like a magnet because of the many choices they offer. These major mall frequently offer shops, restaurants or entertainment options which may be difficult to find elsewhere
2.) Malls and shopping centers with easy off-easy on freeway access are in-demand with Southern California visitors (because most tourists rely on the freeway system to get around the area. They simply don't know the city streets and back roads like locals do.)
3.) Special shopping venues that are so attractive, so unique, or offer such unusual store choices that tourists should bother to learn how to reach their more off-the-beaten-path areas
On this page, you'll discover what shopping info is available on this website, and links to take you to the pages you'd like to investigate further.
What are the best Southern California malls?
SOUTH COAST PLAZA in Costa Mesa, California is the most popular mall amongst www.Family-Vacation-Getaways.com readers. This mall has consistently been the most sought-after mall by our readers every since our site began...and it remains just as popular this year, too. We can see why; it's easy to like. South Coast Plaza offers shoppers an A+ list of designer stores, but balances the mix with a selection of more moderately-priced shops, as well. A terrific list of restaurants, spanning a wide range of cuisines, can be found both on and around South Coast Plaza's property. The mall has next-to-freeway convenience; parking is plentiful (except during the holiday season when all spots in the mall's ocean of free parking seem to be full!); and there are movie theaters with stadium seating right next door at the Metro Pointe mall.
Other top searched-for malls amongst our readers currently are as follows:
You'll discover the details for these malls, and for a number of our other favorite malls in Southern California, on the rest of this page. May you have a successful and productive shopping spree!
List of top Southern California Malls---
Southern California Shopping: Los Angeles CountyLos Angeles County is so JAM-PACKED with great malls and shopping centers that it takes a huge chunk of this page just to discuss them all! Despite the many shopping destinations covered within these paragraphs, there are dozens more smaller centers from which you could choose. Nevertheless, Southern California visitors simply won't have the time to enjoy them all. So, here's a listing of the greater Los Angeles malls and shopping centers most convenient for travelers and/or the most noteworthy for out-of-town guests to visit:
1.) Arcadia: The Westfield Santa Anita Mall is a very busy mall whose large parking lots sometimes seem inadequate. Located near the Santa Anita racetrack and Los Angeles Arboretum, the mall's good mix of upscale and moderate stores, it's blend of restaurants and casual dining, and it's movie theaters and entertainment options make for a solid "hit" among local residents and visitors alike. An attractive outdoor section has been added fairly recently to the mall's traditional indoor area that's gives shoppers a pleasant blend of climate control and fresh-air.
2.) Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive: You may visit the Rodeo Drive website to see a listing of designer stores which you will enjoy on your trip to this world-famous shopping destination. As you surely already know, Rodeo Drive is a top Los Angeles tourist attraction...even among those who don't plan to shop!
3.) Burbank: The Burbank Town Center, is a conveniently-located mall which, combined with the adjacent downtown Burbank shopping district, forms a destination with a large choice of shops, restaurants and entertainment.
4.) Canoga Park: The Westfield Topanga Mall, which DOUBLED in size not too many years ago, is always one of our website's top-read shopping pages. Why? Because this San Fernando Valley mall "has everything." Designer stores? Check. Popular moderately-priced stores? Check. Freeway access? Not too far away. The combination of features make this a well-liked mall amongst tourists and local residents alike.
5.) Cerritos: The Los Cerritos Center Mall is a climate-controlled shopping mall directly off the I-605 Freeway in the lovely town of Cerritos. It's a popular choice of southern LA County malls amongst our readers, well-liked for its good mix of stores, direct freeway access and endless sea of parking spaces.
6.) Culver City: Westfield Culver City is a very attractively renovated mall not far from LAX. Formerly known as the Fox Hills Mall, its tasteful and up-to-date decor and list of stores make it a good shopping choice that's close to both I-405 and the Marina Freeway.
7.) Glendale: The Glendale Galleria is an attractive and versatile enclosed shopping mall featuring popular stores for the whole family. This is Glendale's largest mall, and offers a wide selection of popular retailers.
8.) Glendale: The Americana at Brand shopping center is a beautiful, lavishly landscaped and decorated outdoor mall featuring terrific options for shopping, dining and entertainment. If you'd like to discover what treats await you there, here's a link to the Americana at Brand website for your convenience.
9.) Hollywood: The Hollywood & Highland Mall (6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA) is a can't-miss destination for tourists. Even if you don't like to shop, its fun & funky architecture will delight you...and you won't want to miss its great views of the Hollywood Sign, either. Here's a link to the Hollywood and Highland mall's website.
10.) Lakewood: The Lakewood Center Mall is a large climate-controlled mall with something for everyone, nestled among the tree-lined streets of Lakewood, California. Its large selection of moderately-priced brands make this mall a popular choice for budget-conscious shoppers.
11.) Los Angeles: The Beverly Center Mall is a tony urban shopping destination with a unique and interesting roster of boutique shopping choices.
12.) Los Angeles: The Westfield Century City Mall is a much-visited and newly-updated mall set amid the gleaming high-rises of the Century City office park. It's a favorite of both tourists and locals alike, and offers interesting dining and entertainment options among its robust list of boutique and department store offerings.
13.) Los Angeles: The Grove and Farmer's Market are two side-by-side shopping destinations that together form an interesting and varied complex. The Grove is one of LA's most beautiful outdoor malls. It's popularity comes as much from its "lifestyle" components as much as its shopping opportunities; there's a terrific theater here, and a good choice of restaurants, as well. Also, Farmer's Market has been a top tourist destination for decades. Its not shiny & new, no; but you'll love the inviting aromas wafting from its restaurants and fresh produce displays.
15.) Long Beach: The Long Beach Towne Center is an outdoor shopping center located directly to the side of Interstate 605. It's one of the busiest shopping destinations in Long Beach, as evidenced by the many cars you see parked each weekend at this "big box" center. Restaurants and movie theaters round-out the options of things to do when you're visiting the Long Beach TC.
16.) Montebello: The The Shops at Montebello (formerly called the Montebello Town Center) is a climate-controlled mall that's very convenient for visitors traveling along the CA 60 Freeway. It's a popular San Gabriel Valley mall because of its long list of good stores and direct freeway access. The ocean of free parking makes sure that visitors never need to worry about finding a space once they arrive.
17.) Northridge: The Northridge Fashion Center is a large, fully-enclosed mall which also features an open-air dining and entertainment area. Quite popular with those visiting or living in the northern San Fernando Valley, it features an attractive decor along with a good mix of stores, restaurants and movies.
New!) Pacific Palisades: Caruso outdoor malls are beautiful and feature dining and entertainment in addition to shopping. Pacific Palisades is home to a lovely new Caruso mall (open late September, 2018) called Palisades Village. Off the beaten path for many locals and visitors alike, you may accidentally encounter this charming new destination if you find yourself taking a drive down Sunset Blvd. towards Malibu---you'll pass directly beside it along your way! This relatively small center will not be home to big-name chains, but will feature distinctive shops and restaurants. A re-creation of the nostalgic Bay Theater is set to be the entertainment highlight, with a vintage-style sign so reminiscent of the original that it will make old-timers do a doublt-take!
18.) Palmdale: The Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale is a vibrant hub of high-desert shopping in northern LA County. A good selection of restaurants (plus a large and popular movie theater) make the AV Mall an important destination among locals and visitors to the High Desert.
19.) Pasadena: The Paseo Colorado mall is an attractive outdoor shopping destination on Pasadena's Colorado Blvd (well-known to tourists as the Rose Parade's route!) Movies and restaurants add to the fun of your visit here. Frequent live entertainment in the central plaza adds to the festive atmosphere.
20.) Redondo Beach: The South Bay Galleria is a climate-controlled shopping mall in Redondo Beach not far off the I-405 Freeway.
21.) Santa Monica: The 3rd Street Promenade is an older...but ever-popular...outdoor shopping destination located a mere 2 blocks from stunning Pacific Ocean views, the beach and Santa Monica pier. Known for its street performers, access to restaurants and movie theaters, and good mix of store brands, Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade is equally popular with tourists and local residents alike.
22.) Santa Monica: The Santa Monica Place mall has re-opened as an outdoor mall! It's chic, it's beautiful...and it has sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean from its new rooftop dining deck! Local shoppers have given the newly-renovated mall a very good reception. Out-of-town visitors will love visiting the new Santa Monica Place for reasons far beyond shopping; it's a tourist destination in its own right! Here's a link to the Santa Monica Place website, which is very easy to remember: it's www.SantaMonicaPlace.com. Or, view our pictures & write-up of the mall on our Santa Monica Place Mall page.
23.) Sherman Oaks: The Sherman Oaks Fashion Square is an excellent climate-controlled mall that's located in the busy southern sector of the San Fernando. The good mix of stores and the mall's tasteful interior are two reasons why area residents and visitors enjoy Westfield Fashion Square.
24.) Torrance: The Del Amo Fashion Center Mall is an absolutely HUGE Torrance shopping destination. Although it requires quite a drive from the freeway, it's always a busy mall. Despite its massive parking lot, it can still be difficult to find a parking place during busy periods. Del Amo's directory of stores inside the immense climate-controlled mall is expansive...and the festive open-air section features restaurants, movies and other entertainment.
25.) Universal City: The outlandish Universal Studios Citywalk is known for its whacky architecture, many restaurant and entertainment options, and its unique. Visitors to the Universal Studios theme park can't resist browsing and dining. Local residents, too, love this outdoor mall's selection of restaurants, night clubs and entertainment options. If you'd like to see our pics of this fun destination, here's a link to our website's Universal Studios Citywalk page.
26.) Valencia: The Valencia Town Center is a beautiful mall in the Santa Clarita Valley which features both a traditional indoor mall PLUS several large, well-decorated outdoor segments. Shopping isn't the only activity you'll enjoy here. The Valencia Town Center also has a popular movie theater and good selection of restaurants, as well.
27.) West Covina: The Plaza West Covina Mall (formerly Westfield West Covina) is a bustling San Gabriel Valley shopping destination with convenient access to the much-traveled Interstate 10. It's fully enclosed and climate-controlled for your comfort, and offers a good selection of moderately-priced merchandise.
Orange County Malls & Shopping1.) Anaheim: The Anaheim GardenWalk is a lovely outdoor mall located in Anaheim's resort district. Local residents and tourists staying in hotels near Disneyland Park and the Anaheim Convention Center now have new shopping, dining and entertainment options! The center has its own underground parking structure and it's directly off of the Katella exit of I-5...so don't let the mall's proximity to the busy Disneyland Resort area scare you away from payinig a visit! The mall's own website doesn't show how really pretty it is, so here's a link to our own Anaheim GardenWalk pictures, if you were wondering.
2.) Anaheim: The Downtown Disney District is the Disneyland Resort's own shopping, dining and entertainment destination. It's beautiful, it's fun, and best of all, it's FREE to enter! Parking is absolutely free, as well...as long as you observe the time limit or get your parking validated. You can spend an inexpensive evening out at Downtown Disney, if you'd like, as it features free entertainment (mostly on summer evenings and weekends all year.)
3.) Brea: The Brea Mall is a large & popular indoor mall conveniently located to the side of the CA 57 Freeway. Noted for its large & varied selection of popular store brands, the Brea Mall is consistently busy. You'll should easily find a parking spot, however, because of this regional mall's vast parking area.
4.) Buena Park: The Buena Park Mall is an older, established indoor mall close to Knott's Berry Farm, which also has an attractive (and much newer) outdoor entertainment & dining section. Although the mall doesn't have the best mix of clothing stores, it does have location, location, location (as they say in the real estate business) and remains a fairly popular choice with locals. Out-of-town visitors may enjoy dropping in to re-supply their suitcases or RV's at Walmart...or catching a movie at the mall's lovely modern theater.
5.) Costa Mesa: The South Coast Plaza Mall is Southern California's largest mall...if you count the square-footage of ALL of its buildings. (It's even one of the largest malls in the entire USA, not just California.) But even so, the mall's sheer size isn't what makes it so popular...but rather, its selection of top designer stores and good restaurants. Located directly to the side of I-405, its convenience is a welcome feature, as well. Many out-of-state and international tourists choose South Coast Plaza as their #1 favorite mall in Southern California. In addition, South Coast Plaza is adjacent to an attractive outdoor mall called Metro Pointe. Home to popular mid-priced stores, such as Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack and Marshall's, this is also a busy, bustling center. Weekend evenings can be festive at Metro Pointe, as well, with live entertainment featured in the center courtyard.
6.) Huntington Beach: The Bella Terra Mall is Huntington Beach's attractive "new" shopping destination...that's actually the old Huntington Beach Mall reborn with a new open-air layout. Though the mall features some popular store brands, its poor mix and small size make Bella Terra less of a general shopping destination...and more of a place to head for specific items. For an evening out, though, it's a winner...featuring a selection of popular restaurants, a good movie theater and an attractive decor.
7.) Irvine: The Irvine Spectrum Center is a lovely outdoor mall that's great for dining and entertainment as well as shopping. Visitors to Southern California are sure to admire the mall's beauty and enjoy strolling through the lavishly-decorated center while making their purchases. Curbside pickup points allow for patrons to get take-out meals easily from the center's 20+ restaurants.
8.) Irvine: The The Tustin-Irvine Marketplace is an absolutely huge power center to the side of I-5. You'll find both "big box" stores as well as interesting smaller shops. The Marketplace also offers you a large list of restaurants, plus you'll find two Edwards theaters, as well. Located directly off of I-5, you'll certainly NEED to arrive by car; this shopping center is simply too large and spread out to walk between stores! It straddles both sides of Jamboree Road, and stretches all the way from the 5 Freeway to Irvine Blvd---about a mile!
9.) Mission Viejo: The Shops at Mission Viejo is one of southern Orange County's most upscale shopping destinations. It's a gleaming indoor mall noted for its impeccable list of top name brands, along with several good restaurant choices. For fun, though, you'll want to head to the nearby Kaleidoscope Mall, which features restaurants, movie theaters and several other interesting entertainment choices.
10.) Newport Beach: Fashion Island is a lovely outdoor mall in Newport Beach which features a unique mix of upscale stores...many of which are hard-to-find elsewhere. Fashion Island is also a destination for fun...featuring a number of good restaurant choices, plus movie theaters. /p>
11.) Orange: The Outlets at Orange (formerly named The Block at Orange) is a hugely popular outdoor mall with a heavy emphasis on entertainment and dining. In the past, The Block featured retail stores that were mostly popular with youthful shoppers. However, outlet shopping for the entire family has also become a highlight here, as well. Oceans of ample free parking surround the mall...and yet, on weekend evenings it can be difficult to find a spot near the theater and most popular restaurants!
12.) Orange: The Village at Orange shopping center is conveniently located off the 55 Freeway in Orange, California. Major stores include JC Penney and Sears department stores, Ross, Old Navy, WalMart, Cost Plus World Market, CVS, Trader Joe's, Party City and Sprouts Market. A number of other retail stores, services and restaurants are available for you to enjoy.
13.) Santa Ana: The MainPlace Mall (Formerly Westfield MainPlace) is convently located to the side of Interstate 5...only several miles from Disneyland Park! The mall's mix of moderately-priced stores, plus its dining and movie options, consistently make the Main Place Mall a popular destination.
14.) Tustin: See listing under "Irvine" (above)
15.) Westminster: The Westminster Mall is a convenient, climate-controlled destination for moderately-priced family shopping. It's located directly off Interstate 405, making the Westminster Mall easy to reach for both local residents and out-of-town visitors alike. More-than-ample free parking lots surround the mall, so you'll never go without a spot once you arrive.
San Diego Malls & ShoppingYou'll also find interesting shopping venues in San Diego County, the California Coast's southernmost region. You can indulge in some shopping fun at the following malls---
1.) Carlsbad: The Shoppes at Carlsbad (former name: Westfield Plaza Camino Real) is an indoor mall that's very handy for those traveling along the CA 78 Freeway. It's older but well-kept (and in a very safe neighborhood,) so it remains popular with customers seeking a good selection of moderately-priced stores. New renovations after the sale of the mall haven't reached their completion at the time of this update, but they'll probably be quite attractive...and worth scoping out when you're in the area.
2.) Carlsbad: The Forum at Carlsbad is a cute, small-sized outdoor mall in the Encinitas/Leucadia area which offers consumers a number of high-quality shopping choices. Dining at one of the center's restaurants is another activity that visitors enjoy.
3.) Chula Vista: The Otay Ranch Town Center is metro San Diego's newest major retail mall. This open-air "lifestyle center" features a movie theater and a selection of good restaurants in addition to its shopping opportunities.
4.) El Cajon: Westfield Parkway is a handy mall in El Cajon...and one of the first full-service shopping centers that visitors encounter after road tripping into greater San Diego along Interstate 8...as many people do. Known for its moderately priced stores, you'll find quite the gamut of merchandise here...from Walmart to Macy's.
5.) Escondido: Westfield North County, formerly the North County Fair Mall, is a full-service mall which is a hub of activity for residents of (and visitors to) Escondido, California. Visiting San Diego's Wild Animal Park? Westfield North County can handle whatever shopping whim you have during your Escondido outing.
7.) San Diego/Downtown: Horton Plaza, a zany outdoor mall in the heart of Downtown San Diego, makes a great addition to any tourist's itenerary. Will you be attending meetings at the San Diego Convention Center? Visiting Westfield's Horton Plaza Mall will make a fun outing for you which won't require having a car. Horton Plaza one of the few California malls that can boast of hosting a live theater company.
8.) San Diego/La Jolla area: Westfield UTC is an interesting, conveniently-located mall in the La Jolla area. In addition to shopping, it's a great place to "watch the leaves turn" Eastern USA-style in the fall because of its many beautiful deciduous trees. Plus, there's ice skating at the Westfield UTC!
9.) San Diego: Fashion Valley is San Diego County's glitziest shopping mall. You'll find a Bloomingdale's here, along with many other high-end designer stores. A movie theater and restaurants from full table-service to fast & casual round out Fashion Valley's offerings.
10.) San Diego: The Mission Valley Mall is located near the Fashion Valley Mall mentioned above, but caters to average and budget-minded shoppers. A terrific movie theater is here (sometimes less-crowded than the cinemas at Fashion Valley), along with a nice selection of restaurants both in and around the mall.
Southern California Malls -- Inland Areas
San Bernardino and Riverside County Shopping1.) Chino Hills: The cute Shoppes at Chino Hills outdoor mall is a gracious new addition to shopping options along the 60 Freeway. Restaurants, landscaping, and decorative touches (such as water fountains) make this a location where you can kick back & relax after your shopping safari.
2.) Corona: Promenade Shops at Dos Lagos, a recently-opened example of the new outdoor "Main-Street" style malls, this time in Corona, California. Restaurants and a new Krikorian Theater make Dos Lagos a place to relax as well as to shop.
3.) Montclair: The Montclair Place Mall (formerly called Montclair Plaza) is one of the oldest malls in metro LA, but it's still looking great inside--thanks to periodic upgrades. It's also a supremely convenient mall for shoppers living along the Interstate 10 corridor.
4.) Moreno Valley: The Moreno Valley Mall is a convenient shopping mall located directly to the side of the 60 Freeway. Can't find what you want among its moderately-priced stores? No problem; the mall is surrounded by a number of other shopping centers. A popular Harkins theater makes the Moreno Valley mall a destination for entertainment, as well.
5.) Ontario: The Ontario Mills Mall is consistently busy, and you can see plentiful numbers of cars parked in its enormous parking lots as you pass by on I-10...especially on weekends It's huge, modern, and climate-controlled...plus it offers shoppers a mix of both factory outlet stores plus "regular" retail shops. And in addition, some find Ontario Mills an ideal place to enjoy restaurants and entertainment...even if they don't enjoy shopping at all!
6.) Palm Desert: One of the most popular malls in greater Palm Springs is the attractive Westfield Palm Desert mall. Despite the desert heat, you'll shop in cool, air-conditioned comfort here...and you'll enjoy a good mix of popular retail brands, along with movies and eateries.
7.) Palm Desert: To enjoy luxury shopping in a beautiful desert location, you'll want to visit Palm Desert's own version of Rodeo Drive. The name of this tony street is El Paseo, and you'll find upscale shops situated along the street here...as well as in a cute outdoor mall setting. You'll want to view both the Gardens on El Paseo website, as well as the Shops on El Paseo site, in order to get a good overview of all the shops and designer boutiques available here. Here's a Google map to the El Paseo shopping district to help you plan your route.
8.) Rancho Cucamonga: Victoria Gardens outdoor mall is one of the largest new "lifestyle centers" in Southern California. It's cute, and its "looks-like-Main-Street" decor adds a dash of fun and nostalgia to the chore of shopping. A number of good restaurants and an AMC movie theater make Victoria Gardens an entertainment & dining destination, as well.
9.) Rancho Mirage: To enjoy a lovely outdoor Southern California shopping, dining and entertainment complex in the heart of the desert, head to The River in Rancho Mirage. Beautiful landscaping, graceful fountains, cute decor touches...and an excellent selection of major restaurants and movies await you in this oasis of charm and relaxation.
10.) Riverside: The Galleria at Tyler is one of the Inland Empire's top indoor malls. An outdoor section of the mall featuring stores, restaurants and an all-stadium movie theater adds some variety and makes this mall a popular spot for both shopping and relaxing.
11.) San Bernardino: The Inland Center Mall is a San Bernadino "oldie-but-goodie" that seems to keep re-inventing itself, adding popular new stores on a regular basis. Its convenient location makes this a nice stop for travelers to stop and take a break, as well.
12.) Temecula: The Promenade in Temecula is a busy indoor, climate-controlled mall...but with an attractive outdoor segment. It features a large selection of stores, along with a very popular movie theater.
Ventura County ShoppingVentura County's shopping centers and malls are delightful. Unfortunately, most of our readers who visit Southern California never venture northwards from the LA/Orange County attractions to discover them. Therefore, our coverage of Ventura County shopping has been cut back to cover only the three Ventura Co. shopping destinations which have been most popular with our readers. These are---
1.) Simi Valley: Simi Valley Town Center, an extremely attractive outdoor mall located directly off the CA 118 freeway. Locals enjoy coming here for the specialty restaurants as well as the shopping. Convenient location and a huge, free parking lot are extras that make this a nice place to visit. Enjoy the beautiful decor in one of the conveniently-placed chairs, or go for a stroll to admire the landscaping.
2.) Thousand Oaks: The Oaks Mall, an established indoor mall that has a modern (and quite lovely) open-air segment. The mall's popular movie theater makes it a destination for entertainment as well as shopping.
3.) Ventura: Ventura's Pacific View Mall offers you a selection of clothing and accessories brands within a climate-controlled setting. Several full-service restaurants (plus a number of eateries) will provide you with a pick-me-up after shopping.
Southern California Outlet Malls!Southern California's factory outlet malls are every bit as popular with our readers as "regular" malls, if not more so! It's difficult to resist shopping 'til you drop in SoCal's very attractive outlet centers...which offer the most popular brand name merchandise at less-than-retail prices. To see a list of Southern California's outlet malls, along with photos, directions, list of stores, and contact information, please visit the Southern California Outlet Malls page of our site.