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Top 10 Shopping Malls in California

Written by: Lindsay Shugerman

March 30, 2012
Filed Under Places, Shop 


Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

A list of the top ten shopping malls in California

In California, shopping is less of a way to buy things and more of a lifestyle. And that means some great malls and shopping areas.

It’s hard to narrow it down to just a handful, but as a serious shopper myself, I think I’m up to the challenge. So here are my choices for the top ten shopping malls in California. Do you have different choices? Did I miss the greatest mall in California? Leave a comment and share your great California shopping mall finds!

10. Santana Row, San Jose

Sur la table

How great is it when one shopping mall can do so much? At Santana Row, you can order invitations for your next party from the Paper Source, stock up on the perfect new table settings and kitchen ware at Sur La Table, find a great new outfit at Boutique Harajuku, then accessorize with the same jewelry the stars are wearing from Flying Lizard Design.

And you’ll still have time to grab lunch at one of the great restaurants around the mall!

9. Mission Valley Mall, San Diego

Top 10 California Shopping Malls Mission Valley

When you’re looking for a great deal — or the next great look — in San Diego, head to the Westfield Mission Valley Mall where Nordstom Rack, Marshalls, and Macy’s share space with Vans, Aeropostale, and Things Remembered, to name a few of the many shops that make up this welcoming mall.

After you finish shopping, there’s time to grab dinner at one of the many restaurants, then catch a movie at the mall cinema, all without moving your car.┬áNow how many times can you say that in Southern California?

8. South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa

Top 10 California Shopping Malls South Coast Plaza

When is a mall not a mall? When it becomes a travel destination… and the largest grossing shopping area in the United States.

The stores you want are all there, from Cartier to Crabtree and Evelyn, Lalique to Lego. There are two hundred and fifty choices in all, mixed with four performing arts venues and thirty restaurants.

And all of it is contained within elegant architecture, and airy walkways. South Coast Plaza is one California mall you don’t want to miss!

7. Westfield Century City, Los Angeles

Top 10 California Shopping Malls century city

With 11 stores including Lucky Brand Jeans, Bloomingdales, Apple and Rolex, plus 42 restaurants, Century City is the place to shop for almost everything you need.

After you finish shopping and treat yourself to lunch or dinner, catch a movie at the mall cinema, or check out one of the mall’s special events.

6. Victoria Gardens, Cucamonga

Top 10 California Shopping Malls Victoria Gardens

Stroll the beautiful open air shopping area, and browse your favorite stores, including Fossil, Forever 21, bebe and Williams-Sonoma. Then treat yourself to a burger at Johnny Rockets, a French treat from Crepes de Paris or something delicious from one of 16 other restaurants.

Stay for story time, join in a holiday celebration, or visit during Farmer’s Market Fridays to add more to your visit.

5. Westfield Valley Fair Mall, San Jose

mall shoppers

With 192 stores and 44 restaurants, odds are the Valley Fair Mall will have everything a shopper needs. Start with Nordstrom and Macy’s, then check out the best of today’s shops and boutiques including American Apparel, Hanna Andersson, Ed Hardy and The North Face.

4. Sun Valley Mall, Sun Valley

mall shoppers

Big, bright and airy, the Sun Valley Mall offers the best in popular department stores like Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Sears plus 167 more stores and 10 restaurants.

A recent remodeling has brought new light and style to this landmark shopping mall. Whether you’re shopping for fashion, gifts, home decor or electronics, you’ll find it under the roof of the Sun Valley Shopping Mall.

3. Pier 39, San Francisco

Top 10 California Shopping Malls pier 39

This is like no mall you’ll ever visit. Sure there are over 75 unique shops, most of them local. And tons of restaurants to choose from.

But a mall won’t have the wonderful atmosphere of Fisherman’s Wharf, with the cool bay breezes and signature San Francisco style. Start your day with breakfast on the Wharf, then start browsing the shops at Pier 39. Lunch, some more shopping and before you know it, you’ll have spent a wonderful day at one of the best California shopping areas you’ll ever find.

2. Embarcadero Center, San Francisco

Top 10 California Shopping Malls Embarcadero

Over 100 stores housed in four towering skyscrapers makes this one of the most unique urban malls. With sky bridges and three floors of art, food and retail in each tower, this Embarcadero Center has earned its place on the top California mall list.

Shop for the latest fashions, great home accessories and glittering jewelry amid one of the most dynamic cities in the U.S.

1. Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco

westfield mall

One hundred thirty-one stores from PacSun to Banana Republic, to forty restaurants, and the coolest escalator to ever grace a mall earned Westfield San Francisco Centre a place on my list of the top 10 shopping malls in California.

The Nordstrom is huge, and so is the Bloomingdales (reportedly the second largest in the chain). The national and local stores you want are here, too. And did I mention the escalator? It’s a spiral! Make sure you take a look from the top floor … it’s an amazing site!

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