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10 Best Shopping Destinations in Phoenix: From Vintage Thrifting to Upscale Chic



Phoenix has enjoyed a shopping renaissance of sorts, with a spate of new venues turning the city into one of the best shopping destinations in the Southwest, especially for bargain hunters. Visitors will enjoy taking in the amenities at the city's newest shopping centers as well as enjoying well-established shopping destinations.

For the best in upscale shopping, head to the Biltmore Fashion Park, where high-end names like Saks Fifth Avenue and Escada have been in residence for decades.

Bargain-hunters who still want the latest in first-run fashion will appreciate the newish Tanger Outlet stores on Phoenix's westside. This sprawling shopping complex features 80 shops, including Gap Outlet, Coach and Calvin Klein.  

For families, Desert Ridge Marketplace in north Phoenix features outdoor fireplaces and water features, along with a rock-climbing wall, entertainment center, Dave & Buster's, a movie theater and an interactive splash pad for the kids.

For some of the best upscale shopping and bargain-hunting, head to the Phoenix Premium Outlets, home to dozens of high-end brand names. This open-air shopping venue is landscaped with palm trees, desert flora, water features, and offers guests a children's play area and food court. 

Looking for a break from shopping malls and outlets? Check out the Melrose Shopping District in central Phoenix, where you'll find some of the city's best vintage and antique shops.


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Tempe Marketplace is an open air shopping center located in Tempe, just east of Phoenix. This popular shoppping destination features more than 1.3 million square feet of retail space. Dramatic lighting, outdoor fireplaces and unique water features set the stage for a fun, youthful and interactive shopping experience in a vibrant setting. Tempe Marketplace is located on Loop 101 & 202, a short drive from the surrounding communities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert. Retail stores include Barnes & Noble, JCPenney, GAP, Best Buy, Old Navy, G by Guess, and Target, along with a selection of specialty boutiques. Restaurants include Cadillac Ranch, California Pizza Kitchen, Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill and more.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Tempe Marketplace is a popular open air marketplace in Phoenix's east valley featuring outdoor fireplaces and water features in a high energy outdoor setting.

Patricia's expert tip: Live music on the District Stage every weekend.

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Arrowhead Towne Center


Catering to residents in the west metro area, this refurbished shopping center creates a welcoming atmosphere with sleek wood accents, tiled floors, and plenty of seating. It's also ideal for a quick errand or wandering about for a while, looking for bargains. Anchor stores include Sears, JCPenney, Dillard's, and Macy's; other retailers range from Charlotte Russe to Claire's Boutique. A movie theater, a kids' play area, a food court, and several full-service restaurants complete the picture. The food court even has a colorful carousel. Outside, you'll find a sprawling greenbelt area, perfect for taking a relaxing shopping break with the whole family.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Arrowhead Towne Center on Phoenix's west side offers upscale shopping in a fun, family-friendly setting.

Patricia's expert tip: Stop by the popular Lego's store--fun for the whole family.

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The Shops at Norterra is a 350,000-square-foot shopping center with more than 40 diverse shopping, dining and entertainment venues. The shopping center is located in scenic north Phoenix at the northeast corner of I-17 and Happy Valley Road, next to the USAA corporate campus. Stores include Christopher & Banks, Coldwater Creek, Dick's Sporting Goods, Fans and Fashionistas, Jos. A. Bank, Men's Wearhouse, Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, Best Buy, Charming Charlie, Claire's Boutique, Dick's Sporting Goods, Exquisite Swimwear, Sour Apple Gallery, Sunglass Hut, and T Mobile. Restaurants include Ah-So Sushi, Bevmo, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Elevate Coffee Company, Johnny Rockets, Mellow Mushroom, Olive Creations and more.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Norterra offers a casual upscale shopping oasis in scenic north Phoenix.

Patricia's expert tip: Norterra hosts free car shows and family night events. Check their website for current events.

Read more about The Shops at Norterra →


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Desert Ridge Marketplace


It would be hard to imagine not finding what you need at this 110-acre outdoor mall, which occupies more than a million square feet of retail space. Naturally, the complex offers places like American Eagle Outfitters and Old Navy, but there's also a Pier 1 Imports, Kohls, and Target. A movie theater, rock-climbing wall, and entertainment center provide other leisure-time possibilities, and restaurants peppered throughout the property guarantee that hunger is never an issue. Outdoor fireplaces and unique water features deliver an interactive shopping, dining and entertainment experience in a bustling outdoor setting. A great destination for shopping, casual shopping and entertainment.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Desert Ridge Marketplace offers an upscale, interactive shopping experience in a family-friendly north Phoenix setting.

Patricia's expert tip: For a summertime treat, take the kids to the interactive Splash Pad located near the AMC movie theatre, open daily from 7am to 11pm.

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Built in 1955, this historic and newly redeveloped midcentury-era shopping center has become a central Phoenix shopping destination. The Uptown Plaza is home to trendy restaurants, including Sam Fox Restaurants' Flower Child, a Nekter Juice Bar, and Elly's Pancake House. The plaza is also home to the Huss Brewery taproom. In terms of shopping, Uptown Plaza is home to Phoenix's first location of West Elm, a handful of chic apparel boutiques, and an outpost of the luxury grocery store AJ's Fine Foods. Whether you come to brunch, browse or grab a cup of coffee, the Uptown Plaza offers a convenient and comfortable shopping destination in midtown Phoenix.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The recently redeveloped Uptown Plaza is a walkable and eclectic shopping destination in midtown Phoenix.

Patricia's expert tip: Uptown Plaza regularly hosts a "Second Saturdays" event that sometimes features live music, yoga, kids activities and more.

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The Tanger Outlet Center in west Phoenix offers shoppers a vast selection of brand name factory outlet stores, including Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Calvin Klein, GUESS Factory Store, H&M, Levi's Outlet, Michael Kors, Nike Factory Store, Tommy Hilfiger, J Crew and many more. Tanger Outlet malls are known for their first quality, in-season name-brand stores, so if you're looking for the latest in fashion, home decor, jewelry and gifts, you are likely to find it at this Wega-outlet shopping destination. The Tanger Outlets are located next to the Westgate Entertainment District at the 101 and Glendale.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Tanger Outlets in Phoenix are one of the newest and most comprehensive outlet shopping destinations in the Valley of the Sun.

Patricia's expert tip: Check in at the Tanger Customer Service center for discount coupons and a center brochure which provides a handy map of the store locations.

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A desirable shopping destination for decades, Biltmore Fashion Park hosts an upscale contingent of shops in a gracious setting. Down pathways, amid landscaped beds and fountains, shoppers browse the offerings, which include Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ralph, Waterworks, and Escada. Along with fantastic shops, the complex features a number of well-received restaurants, both mid-range and more elaborate in intent. The opening of UNION Biltmore has brought a welcome new dimension to the the fahsion park. The new locally-owned independent concept offers shoppers an exciting mix of 18 small, distinctive boutiques ranging in size from 200-500 square feet, as well as the new casual eatery, Trattoria del Piero.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Biltmore Fashion Park offers a uniquely Phoenix shopping experience in gracious, central city location.

Patricia's expert tip: Stop at the Concierge Desk for a complimentary visitor guide courtesy of the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau and a free Shopping & Dining Visitor Rewards book.

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Phoenix Premium Outlets is the newest shopping destination in the Phoenix metro area. This upscale outlet center is home to over 90 stores including Coach, Armani, Michael Kors, DKNY, Elie Tahari, Adidas, Banana Republic, Tommy Bahama, BCBG Max Azria, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Charlotte Russe, Columbia Sportswear, Converse, Dress Barn, Elie Tahari, Gap, Rawlings Sporting Goods, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and more. The outdoor outlet center is mere minutes away from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the nearby suburb of Chandler, adjacent to the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino. Groups receive added incentives, so plan ahead and bring your favorite shopping buddies.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Phoenix Premium Outlet is an upscale outlet shopping destinations featuring brand names.

Patricia's expert tip: Groups of 15 or more receive free VIP Coupon Books upon arrival.

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The Newton is not your typical shopping center, but rather a recently redeveloped midcentury building in mid-town Phoenix that's home to Changing Hands Bookstore, the city's top independent bookseller. The store carries a wide selection of eclectic and unique gift items, and regularly hosts author events. You'll also find a neat bar located right in the bookstore. The Newton complex is also home to Southwest Gardener, a local home decor and gardening gift shop specializing in desert flora. When you're reading to take a shopping break, step into Southern Rail, which dishes out modern southern comfort food. The Newton is also convenient to shopping pit stops around the Biltmore District, Arcadia, and other central Phoenix neighborhoods.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Newton is a convenient central Phoenix spot to find unique gift items.

Patricia's expert tip: Don't miss the selection of unique gift items inside Changing Hands Bookstore.

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Phoenix is home to many of the southwest's swankiest malls and shopping centers, but it's also home to some excellent antique and vintage shopping destinations. The Melrose Shopping District (which is loosely based around Seventh Avenue and Indian School Road) is one of the city's best places to find unique, vintage finds. The small but thriving shopping district is home to dozens of independently owned boutiques and specialty shops, many of which specialize in antique and vintage furniture, clothing, books, music and gifts. From midcentury modern furniture to retro duds, come here when you're looking for a one-of-a-kind treasure. The Melrose District is also home to eateries, diners, bars and nightlife.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Melrose District is a vibrant antique and vintage shopping district, situated in a well-established central Phoenix neighborhood.

Patricia's expert tip: For great vintage furniture, swing by Melrose Vintage. For home and garden decor, try Figg's.

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Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.

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