Best Shopping Malls and Centers in Baltimore

10 best places to shop while exploring Baltimore

If you haven't figured out by now, Baltimore has a myriad of things to do, places to eat, people to see, hotels to sleep, and stores to shop. And just like Baltimore's foodie scene and cultural landscape, the shopping in the area is diverse. From shopping districts, to shopping rows, to shopping malls and shopping centers, there are a variety of ways to flex your retail muscle in Charm City. In this list, we focus on some of the 10 best shopping malls and centers in the area.

Baltimore is a continuously evolving mecca. With the increase in urban development, the city has welcomed new dwellings, restaurants, stand-alone retail stores, shopping malls and centers. The latter have been a big draw for residents and visitors alike, boosting both the economy and local fashion sense. Many of these malls and centers, feature more than just shoes and clothes; they are also home to electronics, restaurants, bakeries, and home goods. 

Harborplace and the Gallery are ultra convenient for travelers staying close to Inner Harbor hotels and attractions, offering a completely indoor shopping environment. Further outside the city, in surrounding areas such as Hanover, Towson, and White Marsh, you'll find an outlet, upscale shopping mall, and an outdoor shopping center, respectively. If you're interested in taking a day trip from Baltimore, explore Annapolis for both nautical history and shopping. Whatever you're looking for and wherever in or around the city you may be staying, Baltimore's shopping malls and centers offer convenience, variety, and accessibility.



Lexington Market

Several historic markets are still in operation in Baltimore, but this one stakes its claim for having been in continuous operation longer than any of the others. Since 1782, citizens have gathered here to pick up stables like breads, cheeses and meats. The modernized version offers more upscale options, including a broad range of ethnic items that can be eaten on the premises or packed to go. The crab cakes from Faidley's Seafood are renowned for their quality and make a great gift with true Baltimore flavor. Berger's Bakery is the top spot for sweet treats. Special events are often held here, including musical performances and the popular Preakness Crab Race.

Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: Lexington Market isn't the typical shopping center but a nice indoor market for delicious local foods.

Tawanna's expert tip: Lexington Market isn't in the prettiest of Baltimore neighborhoods but it's fairly safe for visitors.

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Owings Mills

Located in Owings Mills, MD about 30 minutes Northwest of the Inner Harbor, Owings Mills offers premier shopping, dining and entertainment in an outlet setting. This two-story mall, anchored by Macy's and JC Penney, features a broad variety of popular specialty shops including Aeropostale, H&M and Bath & Body Works. With over over 100 retailers in this shopping mall, offering something for everyone, you're sure to find exactly what you need. The dining options are equally extensive, with upscale restaurants as well as quick, casual options. After a day in the shops, relax with a recent release at the 17-screen movie theater.

Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: Owings Mills made the list because its an outlet shopping option for people looking for outlet prices

Tawanna's expert tip: Christmas is an amazingly busy time at the mall. To beat the crowds, it's best to arrive at opening.

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Broadway Market

Who says that a shopping center has to only be about clothing or shoes? In historic Fell's Point, Broadway Market is the place to visit if you want a taste of local flavor at its best. Here, locals eat, shop, and relax. There are two buildings that make up the market which was first built in 1785. Although the market is the oldest of the city's existing market buildings, the interiors are now thoroughly renovated. People come here to pick up lunch while they're in the neighborhood but this is also a great choice for local crafts, fresh flowers, specialty foods and gourmet items. All items that make for great gifts (or souvenirs). Need an idea? Pick up a slab of raspberry crumb cake and enjoy it outside while taking in the waterfront view.

Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: Broadway Market isn't a clothing shopping center but it's a historically rich place to shop for something to eat and more.

Tawanna's expert tip: Parking right near Broadway Market is sometimes almost impossible - grab the first spot you see within the vicinity and take a relaxing stroll to the Market.

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A short trip from the downtown area, The Village of Cross Keys sits in North Baltimore. It's a great alternative to many of the enclosed malls in Baltimore. The name is an appropriate label for this collection of luxury condos and upscale small shops. The open, outdoor setting and the attractive boutiques evoke an inviting neighborhood feeling. During the warmer months, you'll find concerts in the central courtyard area, adding to the ambiance. You'll find the Red Door Spa here as well as upscale retailers like Talbot's and Williams-Sonoma, and a host of local independent merchants.

Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: The Village of Cross Keys exudes ambiance and makes a great shopping option for visitors looking to stay at a hotel away from the Harbor.

Tawanna's expert tip: If you check their website, you'll find a tab for sales - definitely worth viewing before you get there.

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Located in Columbia, MD, Columbia Town Center is a 25 minute drive from the Inner Harbor. Nestled in a residential community, the Town Center is an indoor shopping mall that's just as meticulously planned as the town in which it is located. The mall offers many of the mainstream retailers and department stores such as Sears, Macy's and Nordstrom. It also houses more exclusive retailers such as Sephora and Coach, as well as catalog-type stores like J. Crew and LL Bean. The town center has both outdoor parking as well as a parking structure, offering ample parking for shoppers, movie-goers, diners, or anyone doing everything the Town Center has to offer. There are several hotels nearby, perfect for visitors who want to stay the day in the area and explore.

Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: Columbia Town Center is a beautiful mall that offers shopping, dining, movies, and a play area for kids.

Tawanna's expert tip: There is no direct public transportation to this mall so you will need your own vehicle or taxi to transport you to the Town Center. There's also an indoor carousel near the L.L. Bean entrance of the mall, great for shoppers traveling with kids.

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Annapolis Towne Centre is located just twenty five minutes East of Baltimore and is the youngest of Annapolis' three premiere shopping centers. Still undergoing development, the Towne centre is where locals live, shop, exercise, and dine. It's pretty representative of the people that live in the area. Here you can find grocery shopping power house, Whole Foods, right across from a wine shop and just downstairs from a major gym. Within the complex you'll find a host of upscale retail stores ranging from yoga and fitness wear to furniture. There's a cornucopia of dining options including tapas, seafood, Chinese, Italian and more. Don't worry - you'll find something for just about anyone in your group to eat.

Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: Annapolis Towne Centre is chic and new and one of few places with upscale shopping, a Whole Foods, and a Target all on site.

Tawanna's expert tip: Don't try to park right next to your final destination. Park quickly and enjoy walking through the area.

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Towson Town Center is an indoor shopping mall that's been a mecca of high style for Baltimore area women and men. It first opened its doors in 1959, but don't be fooled, Towson Town Center is modern and has kept up with the times. It's a place where you can find many high-end stores all in one place. Who can you find here? To name a few: Nordstrom, Macy's, Anthropologie, Coach, Burberry, Swarovski, Pottery Barn, Banana Republic and Sephora. For those shoppers high on style but short on cash, affordable stores like H&M and XXI Forever occupy Towson Town Center as well.

Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: Although Towson Town Center is outside of Baltimore, you can take public transportation to get to it if you're without car.

Tawanna's expert tip: Towson Town Center usually has family fun days on Friday mornings.

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Located in White Marsh, MD, the mall is 15 minutes from the Inner Harbor. The mall has over 140 specialty shops including an outdoor shopping area called the Avenue lined with restaurants and retailers. Developers of this mall had families in mind when they designed White Marsh. The mall has a family restroom, a children's play area, and preferred family parking. These are features that you won't necessarily find in a shopping center - this gives White Marsh Mall a leg up to other shopping malls and centers in the Baltimore area. Events often take place on The Avenue during the summer months and during the holidays.

Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: White Marsh Mall has family friendly features such as a children's play area, family parking and restrooms.

Tawanna's expert tip: There is hourly bus service to the mall on weekdays and Saturdays from downtown.

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Located in Hanover, MD, Arundel Mills is a 20 minute drive from the Inner Harbor. This 1.3 million sq. ft. outlet mall houses many of the main stream retailers at significantly reduced prices. It's the second largest mall in Maryland and attracts locals and visitors by the bus load. The mall has expanded significantly over the past few years with continued urban development in the Hanover area. To accommodate the onslaught of both new residents and visitors, several popular restaurants were built just outside the mall, adding to its all-day-excursion appeal. It's surely a place where you'll want to shop until you drop.

Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: Arundel Mills is a destination all its own. Besides excellent shopping, it has a movie theater, Medieval Times, six nearby hotels, and a hot new casino.

Tawanna's expert tip: Parking at the mall can be a chore so if you plan to shop, it's best to arrive as soon as the mall opens.

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This vast shopping emporium, located in the popular and beautiful Inner Harbor area, offers an excellent setting for some of the best shopping in Baltimore. Conveniently located just steps away from more than a dozen Baltimore hotels and even more attractions, Harborplace & The Gallery offers visitors a one-stop shopping experience. This indoor mall is right in the center of the action and is home to popular national retailers as well as some local shops. You'll find common items here as well as things unique to Baltimore. Searching for bath and beauty, jewelry, kids apparel, books, and more? Not to worry - you'll find it here. And if you're looking for inexpensive dining options to re-appropriate some funds for your shopping, there are more than two dozens eateries and restaurants in the building to choose from. But don't get carried away indoors. Be sure to step out and take in the sights and sounds of the outdoor Inner Harbor. In the summer months especially, you'll stumble upon lively entertainment of some sort in the outdoor amphitheater.

Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: Harborplace and The Gallery is the most convenient shopping mall for visitors staying at the Inner Harbor.

Tawanna's expert tip: Hourly parking rates at the Gallery are not cheap, however if you enter the garage by 9 am and exit by 6pm, your early bird rate for the day will be $8.

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Meet Tawanna Browne Smith

Tawanna has had a wanderlust spirit since she was 13. A dozen or so addresses later, she now resides in Maryland with her husband and two sons.

Tawanna is the founder and creator of Mom's...  More About Tawanna