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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 Santa Barbara 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 website just to discuss them all! Despite the many shopping destinations covered within these pages, there are hundreds more 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 very popular with the readers of this blog. It's located near the Santa Anita racetrack and Los Angeles Arboretum in the San Gabriel Valley town of Arcadia. A new open-air section has recently been added that has further increased the number of stores and restaurants from which you may choose.
2.) Beverly Hills: You may visit our Beverly Hills Shopping page to see a listing of designer stores which you will enjoy on your trip to the world-famous Rodeo Drive (and the other streets which surround it.) As you surely 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 recently DOUBLED in size, is always one of the top 5 most-requested malls by readers of this blog. 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 and direct freeway access.
6.) Culver City: Westfield Culver City is a newly renovated mall not far from LAX. Formerly known as the Fox Hills Mall, its attractive new 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. There is currently not a review on this website about the Americana at Brand, but if you'd like to discover what treats await you there, here's a link to the Americana at Brand website for your convenience.
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 amongst the readers of our site.
11.) Los Angeles: The Beverly Center Mall is a tony urban shopping destination with a unique and interesting roster of boutique shopping opportunities.
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, as evidenced by its popularity on this blog.
13.) Los Angeles: The Grove and Farmer's Market are two side-by-side shopping destinations which 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.
14.) Los Angeles/West: The Westside Pavilion Mall is a climate-controlled mall featuring a good selection of merchandise. One of LA's top Art House theaters can be found here, as well.
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 hottest shopping destinations in Long Beach, as evidenced by the avid interest our readers have for this varied "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 mall amongst our readers because of its long list of good stores and direct freeway access.
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 our readers living in or visiting the northern San Fernando Valley, it features an attractive decor along with a good mix of stores, restaurants and movies.
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 shiny new movie theater) make the AV Mall a popular 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.
21.) Santa Monica: The 3rd Street Promenade is an older...but ever-popular...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.
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 among the most popular malls amongst the readers of this blog. It's directory of stores inside the immense climate-controlled mall is expansive...and the mall's festive new 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.
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 Westfield West Covina Mall 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 cute new 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!
2.) Anaheim: The Downtown Disney District is the Disneyland Resort's own shopping, dining and entertainment destination. It's FREE to enter! Parking is absolutely free, as well...as long as you either observe the 3-hour time limit or get a parking validation. It's cute, lively...and features free entertainment (mostly on evenings and weekends.)
3.) Brea: The Brea Mall in northern OC 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 popular with readers of this blog.
4.) Buena Park: The Buena Park Mall is an older, established mall close to Knott's Berry Farm, which recently opened an attractive 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 our readers. Out-of-town visitors enjoy dropping in to re-supply basic needs at Walmart, or catching a movie at the mall's lovely 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.) But, in this case, the mall's sheer size isn't what matters...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. More of this blog's readers choose South Coast Plaza as their #1 favorite mall than any other.
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.
8.) Irvine: 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 to the side 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!
9.) Mission Viejo: The Shops at Mission Viejo is southern Orange County's most upscale shopping destination. 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 movie theaters and several other 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 mostly stores popular with youthful shoppers. However, outlet shopping for the entire family has also become a highlight here, as well.
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 Westfield MainPlace Mall is convently located to the side of Interstate 5...and not far from Disneyland Park! The mall's long list of popular stores, plus its dining and movie options, consistently make the Main Place Mall a popular destination amongst our readers.
14.) Tustin: Tustin-Irvine Marketplace, 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 convenient to reach for both local residents and out-of-town visitors alike.
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 Carlsbad Mall (official 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.
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 greater San Diego's newest 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 and restaurants.
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 Plaza Mall is one of the oldest malls in metro LA, but is still looking great inside--check out its recent upgrade. It's also a supremely convenient mall for shoppers heading into So Cal along Interstate 10.
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 very popular with our readers. It's huge, modern, and climate-controlled...plus it offers shoppers a mix of both factory outlet stores plus "regular" retail shops. And, some find Ontario Mills an ideal place to find 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 open-air mall is one of the largest new lifestyle centers in Southern California. Its cute, "looks-like-Main-Street" decor makes shopping fun. A number of good restaurants and an AMC movie theater make Victoria Gardens an entertainment & dining destination, in addition to its many fine stores.
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 malls. Recently added stores, restaurants and a brand-new all-stadium movie theater make 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.
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 and Santa Barbara 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 & Santa Barbara 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
2.) Thousand Oaks: The Oaks Mall, and established mall that's recently been completely renovated and has added a lovely open-air segment
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.
Ventura County outlet shopping: The one other mall in Ventura County which draws our readers away from Los Angeles is the huge, bargain-filled Camarillo Premium Outlets. Further info about the attractive Camarillo outlet center can be found in this blog's Southern California Outlet Malls section.
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.