San Diego is considered one of the best cities in the entire United States. This is because of its excellent weather throughout the year, its beaches, food, plus there are many things to do. Going shopping is one of them, so in this article we will talk about the best malls in San Diego. You will be able to know where they are located, the best stores of each one as well as discover which are the outlets in San Diego that you should visit.
Best Malls in San Diego
Fashion Valley Mall
Fashion Valley Mall is not only one of the best malls in San Diego, but it is the largest in the entire city. Its range of stores is great as it includes absolutely everything. First of all, in this mall you can find the most important department stores in the country: Saks, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and JCPenney. In addition, the best luxury brands in the world are present in Fashion Valley including Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Chanel, Saint Laurent, Gucci or Tom Ford among many others.
There are many other exciting brands in the mall such as AllSaints, Scotch & Soda, John Varvatos, Free People and Tory Burch. There are more than 200 stores on this site so you will surely be able to find what you are looking for (like shoes, furniture, kitchen items, toys, gifts and more). Dining options are not far behind, as there are restaurants of different styles including True Food Kitchen, Blanco and The Cheesecake Factory.
- Address: 7007 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA
- Other Featured Stores: Apple Store, Balenciaga, Celine, H&M, Hugo Boss, Lego Store, Lululemon, Nike, Sandro
- Hours: Monday to Thursday 11AM to 8PM, Friday & Saturday 10AM to 9PM, Sunday 11AM to 7PM
In La Jolla there is one of the best malls in San Diego: Westfield UTC. This is one of the favorite shopping centers in the city and there is no doubt why. There are tons of shops, great restaurants and it has an amazing outdoor design. We start with the places to go shopping that are headed by two department stores: Nordstrom and Macy’s. It also has stores like Michael Kors, J.Crew, Lucky Brand, James Perse, Bonobos and even the famous French luxury fashion brand Hermès.
In addition Westfield UTC has great furniture stores like RH, Crate & Barrel, Arhaus or Pottery Barn. Not only does it have good stores, but it is also the mall in San Diego with the best selection of restaurants such as Queenstown Bistro, Pacific Catch, Eureka & Larsen´s.. The shopping center is only 20 minutes away by car, but now you can also easily get there by trolley, since there is a station right in front.
- Address: 4545 La Jolla Village Dr Ste E-25, San Diego, CA
- Other Featured Stores: Alo Yoga, Banana Republic, Lacoste, Sephora, Superdry, Ted Baker, Tommy Bahama, Untuckit
- Hours: Monday to Saturday 10AM to 8PM, Sunday 11AM to 7PM
Westfield Plaza Bonita
Known for its wide variety of stores, Westfield Plaza Bonita is another of the malls in San Diego that you should visit if you are in the southern part of the city. Major stores at the mall include Macy’s and JCPenney as well as Target and the Nordstrom Rack outlet store. Among the more than 100 stores in Plaza Bonita, we highlight fashion brands such as Express, Cotton:On, Victoria’s Secret, Hollister and H&M. There are also several jewelry stores here, including Tous, one of the most famous in Spain.
- Address: 3030 Plaza Bonita Rd Ste 2075, National City, CA
- Other Featured Stores: American Eagle, Crocs, Forever 21, Hot Topic, MAC Cosmetics, Miniso
- Hours: Monday to Thursday 10AM to 8PM, Friday & Saturday 10AM to 9PM, Sunday 11AM to 7PM
The Shoppes at Carlsbad
The Shoppes at Carlsbad is not only one of the malls in San Diego that have changed their names the most, but it is also one of the oldest in the entire city. It opened in 1969, at which time it became Southern California’s first indoor mall and for a long time it was also the largest. Although it has some empty spaces, there are several good stores to go shopping, highlighting the Macy’s department stores (where you can also find its outlet section: Macy’s Backstage) and JCPenney.
Among the clothing stores in the mall you can find Zara, H&M, Forever 21, Express and Hollister. There are also stores like Sephora, Zumiez, Vans and the pop culture clothing and collectibles stores: Hot Topic and FYE, as well as movie theaters. The dining options at The Shoppes at Carlsbad aren’t bad either as you can go to The Cheesecake Factory, Yard House or the Brazilian-style steakhouse: Texas De Brazil.
- Address: 2525 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA
- Other Featured Stores: Bath & Body Works, Foot Locker, Journeys, Lids, Shoe Palace
- Hours: Monday to Saturday 11AM to 8PM, Sunday 11AM to 7PM
Westfield Mission Valley
Westfield Mission Valley doesn’t compare in size to Fashion Valley (both are very close) but there are plenty of interesting shops to check out. One of its biggest attractions is the large number of discount stores it has. For example, they have the outlet versions of Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom and opposite is the Saks outlet store. All of these are great stores to get great deals on clothing and accessories from luxury or premium fashion brands.
Also in this mall (which by the way is one of the oldest in the city) there is a Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Trader Joe’s as well as movie theaters. There are several other clothing stores along the mall such as Express, Marshalls, Old Navy, The Children’s Place or Torrid. On the other hand there are plenty of quality restaurants in Mission Valley including Outback, Lazy Dog, burgers at The Habit or the excellent sandwiches at Mendocino.
- Address: 1640 Camino Del Rio N, San Diego, CA
- Other Featured Stores: Best Buy, DSW, Francesca´s, Golf Galaxy, Hot Topic, Lane Bryant, Macy´s Home
- Hours: Monday to Saturday 10AM to 9PM, Sunday 11AM to 7PM
Otay Ranch Town Center
If you’re in Chula Vista, there’s no better place to shop than Otay Ranch Town Center. Not only is it one of the best malls in San Diego to wander around with its beautiful design and many events, but it also has many interesting stores. These include Best Buy, the Apple Store, Ulta Beauty, Barnes & Noble, the discount shoe store: DSW, as well as several clothing brands (including H&M and Cotton:On). Also, every Tuesday of the year, a farmers market is organized here where you can buy high quality food and products for a good price.
- Address: 2015 Birch Rd, Chula Vista, CA
- Other Featured Stores: Carter´s, Hollister, Macy´s, Party City, Vans
- Hours: Monday to Saturday 11AM to 8PM, Sunday 12PM to 7PM
Westfield North County
Although two of its anchor stores have closed in recent years, Westfield North County remains a good place to shop in Escondido. There are almost 100 stores in the mall including Macy’s, Forever 21, Apple Store, Lucky Brand, JCPenney and Old Navy. There are also good options if you’re looking for athletic clothing or shoes at stores like JD Sports and Lululemon. Also there is a Target in the mall. While its restaurants also include well-known chain restaurants like California Pizza Kitchen, Chipotle and Romano’s.
- Address: 272 E Via Rancho Pkwy, Escondido, CA
- Other Featured Stores: Cotton: On, MAC Cosmetics, Q, Miniso, Soma, Victoria´s Secret
- Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11AM to 7PM, Friday & Saturday 10AM to 8PM
The Best Outlets in San Diego
Las Americas Premium Outlets
If you want to go shopping without spending much, the solution is to go to one of the outlets in San Diego. The largest is Las Americas Premium Outlets, which is located south of the city, very close to the border with Mexico. There are dozens of outlet stores from top brands like Lacoste, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Brooks Brothers and Banana Republic. You can also go to Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach or sports brands like The North Face, Under Armour, Columbia and Nike.
Another of the stores in Las Americas that you cannot miss is Disney Outlet where you can buy clothes and toys of your favorite characters and even products from the theme parks. As if that weren’t enough, around this San Diego outlet there are more stores including Ross, Marshalls and T.J.Maxx as well as brands like Express, H&M and Carter’s.
- Address: 4211 Camino De La Plaza, San Diego, CA
- Other Featured Stores: Adidas, Ann Taylor, GAP, Guess, J.Crew, Levi´s, Nautica, Skechers, Tommy Hilfiger
- Hours: Monday to Thursday 11AM to 8PM, Friday & Saturday 10AM to 8PM, Sunday 11AM to 7PM
Carlsbad Premium Outlets
In the north of the city, and very close to the Legoland theme park, are the Carlsbad Premium Outlets. The two outlets in San Diego are owned by the same, so their range of stores is quite similar. It is a bit smaller than Las Americas but this one also has several good stores. GAP, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Adidas and Karl Lagerfeld are just some of the stores you can visit at the outlet. There are also more fashion brands Chico’s, Asics, Theory or the European brands Zadig & Voltaire and Salvatore Ferragamo.
- Address: 5620 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA
- Other Featured Stores: Aldo, Banana Republic, Lucky Brand, Nike, Rebecca Taylor, Samsonite, 7 For All Mankind
- Hours: Monday to Thursday 11AM to 8PM, Friday & Saturday 10AM to 8PM, Sunday 11AM to 7PM
Other Places to Go Shopping in San Diego
Carmel Mountain Plaza: There are many other malls in San Diego, smaller but with interesting stores. One of them is north of the city and is called Carmel Mountain Plaza. It’s a bit far from downtown San Diego, but if you’re in the area it’s worth it. This is thanks to stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, the Banana Republic outlet store, the supermarket Sprouts or famous discount stores such as Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls and Ross.
Parkway Plaza: Another option for shopping in San Diego is Parkway Plaza, in the northeast area, specifically in El Cajon. The shopping center has been open since the 1970s, being one of the oldest malls in San Diego, and has dozens of stores such as Best Buy, Burlington, Pandora, Dick’s Sporting Goods, movie theaters and various local stores.
Marketplace at The Grove: This shopping center has two of the main supermarkets in the country: Target and Walmart, as well as Sam’s price club. But what stands out most in Marketplace at the Grove is that here is the popular department store Kohl’s, famous for its good prices on clothing, home decor and kitchen accessories.