Fashion Valley / Mission Valley, San Diego
Fashion Valley is the only really good mall in San Diego. It has everything and you can drive or take the trolley. It's much better then Horton Plaza. If you want a small specialty store atmosphere, it's La Jolla. Check it out!
What to pay: Clothes are costly but in Fashion Valley there are a couple decently priced stores
I couldn't get over the size of this place! When I looked a the map, I thought it was strange, as it seemed to take up several blocks, but it really is big. The anchor stores are Macy's, Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus, Robinsons-May and Saks Fifth Avenue, and in total, there are more than 200 stores and restaurants.
Everything is outdoors, since the weather is perfect year-round.
The parking lot is large, but it can take about 5 minutes if you're trying to turn left. Try approaching from the West, so you can turn right - it will be much faster.
Mission Valley is one of two big malls along the I-8 corridor. There are about 90 stores to choose from, some are upscale and some are mid-priced a very few are discount type shops.
There are restaurants here, some local businesses that have little or nothing to do with shopping, but convenient for those of us who shop there on a regular basis. In other words this is not really a touritst spot.
Parking is free and they have a very big lot, only during the last days before Christmas do we have problems finding a parking spot near the store we'll shop at.
Also there is a San Diego Trolley station in the parking lot here, Mission Valley stop, so if you're relying on public transportation it's easy to get here.
Most stores are open on average from 9 am to 9 pm, everyday of the year, except maybe Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Nordstrom is an upscale department store offering some of the most popular brand named items. Usually the quality of these items are good and the prices are high. The store I mention here is Nordstroms Rack. It is sort of an outlet for Nordstroms.
The items sold here are sometimes irregulars, sometimes a result of over-stocking and mostly "last season's" items. They are sold at a discount that can be as high as 75% off, but I'd say that is not the norm. Still forty or fifty percent off is still a good bargin.
So, those who like to buy high-end but are on a budget, might find great deals here. There are a few Nordstoms Racks in the San Diego area and I mention the Mission Valley location because it is closest to downtown SD and pretty easy to get to by public transportation. Though parking is free, there is a SD Trolley stop near that is convenient to use.
Be aware that though service tends to be really great at Nordstroms, at the Rack it might sometimes fall short, especially on busy weekends when there is a long line of customers ready to pay. Also, expect to do a little searching to find the right thing for you and your budget.
What to buy: The items sold here include clothing for men, women and children, home accessories, bath products, but really what I like is the shoe selection.
I'm not really into named brands so don't know which to mention that would be impressive or inspiring to a shopper.
What to pay: This is hard to say, some items will be seriously discounted and others mildly discounted. If you're not good at this type of shopping, it might be fun to go to the Nordstroms at Horton Plaza or Fashion Valley and see the regular prices of things then shop at the Rack with more confidence.
There are four Macy's in San Diego that are convenient for tourists to reach, Horton Plaza downtown, Fashion Valley mall which is service by the SD Trolley Fashion Valley station and two Mission Valley locations also near the SD Trolley Mission Valley station.
Macy's is a large chain throughout the country but most well known in New York City. Heard of Macy's Thanksgiving Parade?
I've only shopped Macy's a few times. The first was at Horton Plaza when Macy's moved into The Broadway Store located there. Their prices were a big shock to me! Even the sale prices were higher for the same type of quality. Later, it seemed that they had adjusted their prices because when I went back, it wasn't so shocking. They have some pretty big sales throughout the year and once I bought a hundred dollar pair of shoes for $35.00. I did end up buying a couple more things at a really reduced price and was happy.
The Horton Plaza store has a smaller selection than the Fashion Valley store and I think that the Mission Valley stores are probably a little better priced.
What to buy: This is a general department store. They sell clothes for men, women and children, shoes, accessories, perfume, housewares, bed and bath items and lots of other stuff.
Fashion Valley is one of the major shopping malls in San Diego, and in my opinion it is the best one around. It has many high end shops and department stores (Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales), and other more affordable stores like Macy's and JC Penneys. Other common chain stores that you can find include the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works, Abercrombie and Fitch, Crate and Barrel, and some that I haven't seen or rarely see at other malls, especially in San Diego, like Aveda, Bang and Olufsen, Apple (one of 2 in SD County), The Container Store, and Lilly Pulitzer. There is also a small food court, an 18 screen AMC movie theatre, and several other restaurants, including the Cheesecake Factory, Uno's Chicago Pizzeria, California Pizza Kitchen, and P.F. Changs.
This is an open air mall, so you can bask in the warm San Diego sunshine even if you're only window shopping here.
What to buy: If you like to collect university team sportswear, swing by the Aztec Store and More shop on the second level close to the food court. This is one of the few places off the campus of San Diego State Unversity where you can buy official SDSU Aztecs tees, sweatshirts, etc.
If you're looking for a place to eat but don't want to eat at the usual places located in the mall, I would recommend trying out Crocodile Cafe (next to Bloomingdale's and across the way from the Cheesecake Factory). They serve "California Cuisine" and it's a nice casual place for a good sit down meal. I've eaten here several times and everything they serve is good!
all sorts of shops and department stores (bloomingdales, macy's, anthropologie, steve madden, forever 21, H&M, and so on). for the label freaks there's burberry, louis vuitton, hermes... etc. anywho... it's huge! one can have great food at Nordtroms (their salads are delish) and also try california pizza kitchen (the four cheese ravioli is super yummy and the mango mojitos are awesome). they also have a movie theater.
What to buy: i'd say flip flops (reef are my favorite).
What to pay: all price ranges. well... it can be a bit on the high end.
This is my favorite place to shop it's a great place to go shopping on a nice sunny day without feel the wasting of a sunny day.
It's easy to access by public transportation by Trolley or bus. It have some of the best stores in San Diego and Restaurants. My favorite place is Sephora, but the variety of stores is amazing like Louis Vuitton, Betsey Johnson, Hugo Boss, Banana Republic, Mac, Victoiria Secret's, Macy's, Nike, Sony, Discovery Channel, Bath & Body, Gap, Starbucks and More.
What to buy: If you're a Women and never have been in Sephora you have to go there, you can find every womens dream on beauty supplies, and have a specialist help you choose the best for you.
Fashion Valley Mall is a stones throw (long arms and a big build required) from Handlery Hotel.
All the usual shops are here, personally I liked the Warner Bros Shop (now closed), the book shops & a few others too.
Worth a visit.
It's on the trolly lines too.
What to buy: A lot here.
What to pay: Various depending on shops.
I liked this mall a lot. It had a bunch of stores that we don't have in Canada, which to me is exciting. I took the trolley there and spent the afternoon shop shop shopping away.
What to buy: Check out Sephora if you're into cosmetic and beauty stuff, they've got lots of neat things!
What to pay: From a little to a lot, there are less expensive and more high end stores there.
Fashion Valley has it all: Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Coach, Armani Exchange, Sephora, Charles David, Tiffany's, etc. This is an upscale mall and usually there aren't any sales, just expensive goodies. There is an AMC movie theatre and a food court located on the second floor. Also, there is a "Cheesecake Factory" and a "P.F. Chang" w/in walking distance.
What to buy: Nice summer sandals.
What to pay: A lot