A Guide to Shopping America’s Biggest Malls


Photo

The Mall of America has Nickelodeon Universe, the nation’s largest indoor theme park, with 28 rides including a Ferris wheel.

Credit
Mark Erickson/Getty Images

Malls are ever-popular standbys when it comes to holiday shopping, but some are so expansive in their offerings that they have become tourist destinations in and of themselves. With that in mind, we’ve shared the scoop on the five biggest malls in the country (as measured by square feet of gross leasable area according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, the global trade association for the shopping center industry). Here is the lowdown on the shopping, the amenities and where to eat and sleep during your retail getaway.

Mall of America

60 East Broadway, Bloomington, Minn., 952-883-8800

The Shopping: Open since 1992, the Mall of America, located 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, stands at 5.6 million square feet and is hands down the largest mall in the country. It’s big enough to fit seven Yankee Stadiums, and the distance to walk around it once is more than a mile. Four out of 10 shoppers here are tourists, and 40 million people visit a year. Most of the 520 retailers, spread out among four levels, are familiar ones: Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears are the three big department stores. Other brands include Puma, Williams-Sonoma, Chico’s, Lacoste, J. Crew and the ever-popular mall staple Yankee Candle.

The Grub: With more than 50 restaurants to pick from, shoppers are spoiled for choice when it comes to refueling. Fast casual options include the pizza chain Sbarro, the Chinese-food chain Panda Express and the pita sandwich brand Pita Pit. For a proper — albeit not fancy — meal go for Japanese food at Benihana, seafood at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. or ribs and steaks at Tony Roma’s. Shake Shack is opening its first Minnesota location in the mall next summer.

Holiday Hours: From Dec. 7 to 11, the Mall of America is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. From Dec. 12 to 23, hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Eve hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Amenities: A paperless valet program is new: Shoppers, who have the option to pay for the service ($10) through their phones, drop off their car at one of four designated locations and receive a confirmation text. They reply to the text when they’re ready to leave, and a valet brings their car to a checkpoint closest to where they are shopping. There’s also a new play space for children in partnership with the Minnesota Children’s Museum, free Wi-Fi and baby changing stations in men’s, women’s and family restrooms.

Non-Shopping Attractions: There’s a mini-golf course, an aquarium with a stingray touch pool and a 1.3-million-gallon walk-through tunnel swimming with hundreds of sea creatures, and Nickelodeon Universe, the nation’s largest indoor theme park, with 28 rides including a Ferris wheel.

Hang Your Hat: JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America opened last week and is connected to the north side of the mall. It has 342 rooms and nightly rates from $209. Radisson Blu Mall of America has 500 rooms and is connected to the south side of the mall. Nightly rates begin at $199.

Photo

South Coast Plaza is in the heart of Orange County about an hour south of Los Angeles.

Credit
South Coast Plaza, via Business Wire

South Coast Plaza

3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, Calif., 800-782-8888

The Shopping: Luxury lovers have considered this 2.8 million-square-foot mall, in the heart of Orange County about an hour south of Los Angeles, a go-to since it opened in 1967. It has seven department stores including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue and claims to house one of the largest collections of designer boutiques in the world — Chanel, Lanvin, Celine, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, Harry Winston, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin are just a handful of the luxury retailers to look for. In fact, the emphasis on high fashion is so strong at South Coast Plaza that it regularly hosts fashion exhibitions, including retrospectives by Dior and MaxMara.

The Grub: Your average mall fare this isn’t. The typical food court is nonexistent, and the 30 restaurants are worthy enough to warrant a food-focused trip: There’s Din Tai Fung from Taiwan, famous for steamed dumplings; San Francisco’s Boudin SF, known for sandwiches made from its sourdough bread; and the Asian fusion AnQi by Crustacean. Vaca, a Spanish restaurant by the “Top Chef” season 17 contestant Amar Santana, featuring tapas, steaks and paellas, is scheduled to open in the next few weeks.

Holiday Hours: They vary. Check the visitors page for more information. Christmas Eve hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Amenities: There are four concierge locations throughout the mall where shoppers can find a number of services such as free package check, stroller and wheelchair rentals, and currency exchange. The staff at these desks can also make dining reservations within the mall, provide translation assistance in more than 40 languages and help buy tickets to Disneyland, a 20-minute drive away. Other perks of visiting include a family-friendly restroom with three private nursing suites, valet parking, 12 free electric vehicle charging stations and, for big spenders, access to a V.I.P. hospitality suite stocked with Champagne and other drinks as well as snacks.

Non-Shopping Attractions: The shopping center is connected by a bridge to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the county’s performing arts hub that includes South Coast Repertory, the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and Segerstrom Hall, featuring Broadway shows and ballet performances from international troupes.

Hang Your Hat: The Westin South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, across the street from the mall, has 394 rooms and nightly rates from $199. The Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa, a block away, has 486 rooms and nightly rates from $119. Montange Laguna Beach, a 20-minute drive, has a longstanding partnership with South Coast Plaza: The property offers a year-round Shopping Spree package. Guests who book two nights get a $60 breakfast credit, free transportation to and from the mall and access to the V.I.P. hospitality suite. Rates from $595 a night. During the holiday season, there’s also the Holiday Shopping Excursion package with transportation to and from the mall, lunch at the mall, V.I.P. hospitality suite access and gift wrapping. Rates from $595 a night.

Continue reading the main story

The 10 Largest Malls in America

The country’s largest malls, as measured by square feet of gross leasable area according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, have become tourist destinations in and of themselves.

Aventura Mall

19501 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura, Fla., 305-935-1110

The Shopping: Located in a suburb north of Miami and surrounded by some of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods, this 2.7-million-square-foot mall opened in 1983 and expanded in 2008. It’s home to around 300 stores and six department stores including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. Though mid-tier chains such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Banana Republic are part of the mix, luxury names are the big draw — Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Burberry and Tiffany & Co., among others. A 240,000-square-foot retail wing is expected to debut later this month.

The Grub: Food choices are limited compared with most large malls. The dozen or so restaurants include the Cheesecake Factory; the Cheese Course, which serves high-quality artisan cheese; and the 59th & Lex Café inside Bloomingdale’s.

Holiday Hours: From Dec. 11 to 23, Aventura closes at 11 p.m.; opening hours vary — check the hours page for details. Christmas Eve hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Amenities: A children’s play area from the Miami-based artists Sam Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, free Wi-Fi, foreign currency exchange, valet parking, stroller rental, luxury vehicle rentals including Aston Martins, Bentleys and Ferraris through the Visitor Center by MasterCard, and multilingual ambassadors who guide visitors through their shopping trip.

Non-Shopping Attractions: Shoppers get a taste of South Florida’s thriving arts scene with the contemporary installations throughout the mall from both local and international names including Louise Bourgeois, a well-known French-American artist. Three six-foot-tall sculptures cast in aluminum by the Swiss-born mixed-media artist Ugo Rondinone are the newest additions to Aventura’s collection.

Hang Your Hat: Courtyard Miami Aventura Mall is a 10-minute walk away; it has 156 rooms and nightly rates from $160. Turnberry Isle Miami, with 408 rooms and nightly rates from $150, is across the street.

Photo

King of Prussia Mall is about 30 minutes from downtown Philadelphia.

Credit
Mark Makela/Reuters

King of Prussia Mall

160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, Pa., 610-265-5727

The Shopping: Opened in 1981 and owned by the real-estate developer Simon since 2003, King of Prussia Mall is about 30 minutes from downtown Philadelphia. It spans almost 2.5 million square feet and has more than 400 stores, a mix of luxury and more affordable names. The big department stores are Bloomingdale’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. Primark, an Irish retailer selling low-cost, high-fashion clothing, opened last week, and other retailers include Hermès, H & M, Madewell, Kiehl’s, Louis Vuitton, New Balance, Sephora and Old Navy.

The Grub: Fast-food places abound. There are the typical mall finds like Chipotle Mexican Grill, pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s, Jamba Juice and Subway, as well as pleasant surprises such as a Shake Shack and Pholicious, a Vietnamese rice noodle soup cafe. Shoppers can have a sit-down seafood meal at Bonefish Grill or a steak at Morton’s Steakhouse.

Holiday Hours: From Dec. 7 to 23, the mall closes at 11 p.m.; opening hours vary — check the about page for details. Christmas Eve hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Amenities: Free coat and package check through guest services, baby changing stations in men’s, women’s and family restrooms, a children’s play area, a currency exchange station, stroller rental, valet parking, free wheelchairs, free Wi-Fi and an iPhone and Android app with a mall directory and information on the latest deals and offers.

Non-Shopping Attractions: Few to speak of. The shopping is the hook.

Hang Your Hat: Crowne Plaza Philadelphia-King of Prussia, with 226 rooms and nightly rates from $119, is right across the street and offers the Shop Till You Drop package. For an additional $50 a night, each room gets a $50 American Express gift card and a buffet breakfast. Hyatt House Philadelphia/King of Prussia is also across the street. It has 147 rooms and nightly rates starting at $159 including breakfast.

Del Amo Fashion Center

3525 West Carson Street, Torrance, Calif., 310-542-8525

The Shopping: This two million-square-foot mall 15 minutes south of Los Angeles International Airport has been around since the 1970s and has shopping options to accommodate most budgets. The department stores include Macy’s, JCPenney and Sears, but the biggest draw is the Nordstrom, part of the new Fashion Wing that is also home to a two-level Zara, a two-level H & M, Uniqlo and Madewell. Other retailers include Crate & Barrel, Foot Locker and Lucky Brand Jeans; around 40 stores are in the Outdoor Village, an open-air shopping area lined with palm trees.

The Grub: The fast-food choices are a notch above mall staples. There’s the Japanese spot Ginza Grill, a Blaze Pizza and the Hollywood institution Pink’s Hot Dogs. A few restaurants like P. F. Chang’s and Outback Steakhouse offer meals with a waitstaff.

Holiday Hours: They vary. Check the about page for more details. Christmas Eve hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Amenities: Baby changing stations in restrooms, a currency exchange station, valet parking and an iPhone and Android app with a mall directory and information on the latest deals and offers.

Non-Shopping Attractions: An 18-screen AMC movie theater is on-site.

Hang Your Hat: DoubleTree by Hilton Torrance-South Bay, across the street, has 367 rooms and nightly rates from $119. Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach, with 487 rooms and rates from $129 a night, is also across the street.



Source link

About admin

Check Also

DNA Tattoos Are the Final Frontier of Love

But that practice has long been left to underground artists, a subculture unto itself with ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *