Convenience, accessibility, and a vast selection are the perks of Boston's best malls and shopping centers. With on-site parking available at most, you can easily enter and exit, and make trips to your car in-between to drop off bags, and do your walking from store to store rather than across the city's landscape. Local malls tend to be quite large and filled with many retailers from small specialty shops you may discover to the large chains that you know and love. With no sales tax on clothes, a wardrobe update is a must while shopping in Boston. Malls and centers are filled with stores for every budget; places like CambridgeSide Galleria are inner city malls with lots to offer. While the suburban Natick Mall has a mix of high-brow stores to serve the fanciest of desires as well as retailers known for their low priced yet fashionable goods. While the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets allow you to bargain shop for designer goods in an outdoor arena. Should you desire food or drink while you shop, you can easily enjoy one of the varied food offerings which range from sit down restaurants and fast casual take out stops to food courts and snack bars. Check out the wide variety at places like Faneuil Hall or the malls that live not too far outside the city. Indoors and outdoors, there's a bounty to be had.
When you want to enjoy an outdoor outlet shopping experience close to Boston with great restaurants and other entertainment, make your way to Assembly Row. Here you'll find a lifestyle concept like no other because they offer more than just stores to keep you entertained, and even a few special spots for the kids. At Assembly Row, the entire family can enjoy themselves. While some shop others can visit Lego Land Discovery Center (tickets must be purchased in advance), frolic in the waterfront play area, or catch a flock at the AMC Movie Theater. Restaurant options include a mix of family friendly options like JP Licks and Legal on the Mystic as well as more inviting choices for adults who've left the kids at home like Earl's and River Bar. Outlet stores include Orvis, Banana Republic, Clark's, J Crew, Stride Rite, Sax Off 5th, Express and Loft. (617-440-5565)
The Burlington Mall is always busy, and for good reason. It is packed with the best places to shop and eat; it offers free parking, a climate controlled interior, and is just a bit North West of Boston. The Burlington Mall is big enough without being overwhelming; making it easy to walk from one end to another to hit every store you desire. Large retailers like Nordstrom and Macy's anchor this center that is filled with fun finds for the entire family. Taking mall food to a new level, the Burlington Mall has a great selection of eateries including Bobby Flay's Bobby's Burger Palace, Legal Sea Foods, and Besito Mexican Restaurant. (781-272-8667)
South Shore Plaza
Shop the South Shore Plaza for a climate controlled experience less than 20 minutes south of Boston's center. This multi-level mall has it all: excellent places to eat and drink, department stores and smaller more specialized shops as well as common retailers you don't want to miss. You'll be sure to find what you're looking for within these walls be it fashion, food, or home goods. Here are retailers and stores that make South Shore Plaza unique to the area: Target, Nordstrom, Apple, Dave & Buster's provides hours of entertainment for guests. With plenty of free parking, your car will be in easy reach when your arms get full and you need to unload your haul. You'll be so comfortable shopping at the South Shore Plaza that you may find the entire day has passed and you are still shopping. (781-843-8200)
Copley Place located in the Back Bay, offers high-end stores with a variety of quality merchandise. This indoor shopping "mall" is a sight to see. The two story design with extra wide walkways allows guests to enjoy the space while shopping at their favorite retail stores. Here are retailers and stores that make Copley Place unique in Boston and additional spots to buy gifts: Neiman Marcus (only Boston location), Tiffany & Co., David Yurman, Barney's New York, and Tory Burch. Built with luxury in mind, the marble columns, gorgeous floors and rotunda are worth a look. Restaurants, and two hotels offer perfect places for a mid-shopping escape. Connected to the Prudential center by a glass encased bridge, the Copley Place Mall is ideal for mall hopping. It is also a great spot to enjoy some time shopping for yourself or a gift for someone special. (617-272-6600)
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
A Boston social and commercial centerpiece since 1742, Faneuil Hall was originally established as a market for merchants, fishermen and vendors. It later hosted inspirational appearances by prominent figures like Samuel Adams and George Washington, which earned it the nickname "Cradle of Liberty." In the 1970s, a major renovation to the aging structure transformed it into one of America's premiere urban marketplaces. Now, it boasts more than 50 shops, 14 restaurants, and 40 food stalls. Some folks (and publications) refer to the retail component as Quincy Market. Here you'll be able to pop in and out of stores while enjoying a piece of the Freedom Trail. (617-523-1300)
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets was built with bargain hunters in mind. Wrentham Village Premium Outlet Center is home to one hundred and seventy high end retail outlets, all offering reduced pricing on their premium goods. Less than an hour away from Boston, Wrentham Village Premium Outlets is worth the drive to buy the Kate Spade clutch you've been eyeing or the Brooks Brothers suit you've been dying to buy. Beyond attire, the Wrentham Outlets has many retailers selling housewares, and food items. Add to that a walkable outdoor landscape and you can enjoy the outdoors while getting your shopping fix. Like any shopping in Massachusetts, all clothing purchases are made tax free. ((508) 384-0600)
The Mall at Chestnut Hill
If you're looking to spend an afternoon shopping while in Boston, The Mall at Chestnut Hill is wonderful the place to go. Visitors here peruse merchandise from classic retailers, including Apple, Coach, Gymboree, Bloomingdale's, Crate & Barrel, Banana Republic and L'Occitane. It's this diverse mix of goods and a pleasant, distinctly urban atmosphere that keeps trendy patrons coming back. That and the calm, upscale vibe that makes shopping quite pleasant and typically not wildly crowded. There are excellent restaurants on-site, that include Besito Mexican Restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory and Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse; ideal for mid-shopping sustenance or a post bag filling drink. (617-965-3038)
The Natick Mall is the largest mall around. Home to two hundred retail stores, the Natick Mall is anchored by lavish retailers like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom as well as affordable stores such as JC Penney and Sears.
The Natick Mall's indoor architecture has been updated from the run of the mill to a spectacularly serene setting. With more than 7,000 parking spaces, including valet and premium parking, Natick Mall offers more FREE parking options than any surrounding retail destination to ensure your bags find their way home with ease.
Located just twenty minutes west of Boston, you can easily breeze to the Natick Mall and make it back to the city before dinner. ((508) 655-4800)
The Shops at Prudential Center
Billed as one of the Northeast's top shopping destinations, the exclusive Prudential Center offers well over 75 retail establishments, including Barnes & Noble, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lacoste, Lord & Taylor, and Club Monaco. The mall also has a pleasant food court where shoppers can grab a quick bite between stores. And for those seeking a more relaxing dining experience various restaurants call the Prudential Center Home including Legal Seafood, and the Cheesecake Factory. Connected copley Place, the Sheraton and Mandarin Oriental you can cover a great deal of the Back Bay without leaving this enclosed space. For truly great views, the Prudential Tower's Skywalk Observatory offers an unparalleled perspective of the city and beyond. (617-236-2300, 800-746-7778)
Hip, contemporary CambridgeSide is an indoor mall that draws locals for easy indoor shopping at all the shops you love: Ann Taylor, Gap, Victoria's Secret, Best Buy, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and J Crew. Easily accessible by MBTA, Boston area locals enjoy the mix of stores that call the CambridgeSide close to home. Home to a decent food court and several sit-down restaurants you can enjoy a side of food with your shopping. Paid parking is available in their indoor garage. Located a block from the Museum of Science you can add a "quick" mall stop to a museum day. Best of all, CambridgeSide hosts many events throughout the year to make your shopping experience extra special. (617-621-8666)
About Jessica Polizzotti
Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand. Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings.
Although Jessica has been a world traveler since her teens, her favorite trip may always be her Italian honeymoon.
Living in a city that allows her to experience a change in seasons equals an opportunity to enjoy a shift in activities. As the old New England cliché says, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.”
Read more about Jessica Polizzotti here.
Connect with Jessica via: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | StumbleUpon