Clear blue sky over Rodeo Drive, home to some of the best malls in Southern California

13 Best Malls in Southern California for 2023 (By a Local)

There are more malls in Southern California than in any other American state. To say that California locals love shopping would be an understatement.

As a Southern California local, I can confirm that statement by a landslide. I grew up shopping at some of the most famous malls in the country, some of which were only an hour’s drive away. 

Shopping is one of the best things to do in California, so get your reusable bags ready and your comfortable shoes laced tight because we’re about to explore the top 13 malls in Southern California. 

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

13 Best Malls In Southern California

Rodeo Drive

Luxury outdoor mall for high-end shoppers

Palm tress along Rodeo Drive under the clear blue sky

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Booking

Rodeo Drive is the place to be. This quintessential Beverly Hills shopping mall is a cultural icon and one of the best things to do in LA. High-end luxury stores line either side of the two-mile-long street. Among them, you will find Jimmy Choo, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and other such designer stores.

The European-style architecture of this palm tree-laden outdoor mall gives it an inviting presence. Stay for a while and shop under the hot California sun, grab a latte or a green juice for a pick-me-up, and keep an eye out for celebrities who frequent the area.

Glendale Galleria

Most popular mall in Southern California

A water fountain in Glendale Galleria
(photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Expedia

The 3-story Glendale Galleria offers most department stores imaginable. This Madrid-style mall also has an open courtyard with a luxury fountain, high-end outdoor restaurants, and 90 minutes of free parking.

The large Los Angeles shopping mall has 1.6 million square feet of retail space, making it one of the largest in Southern California. You are guaranteed to find everything you need at the Glendale Galleria from Disney toys to luxury handbags.

👉 Pro Tip: Visit during the holiday season for a chance to take a photo with Santa and try holiday-flavored beverages around the mall. 

Ovation

An outdoor mall in the heart of Hollywood

View from the third floor of Ovation
(photo: Ivanova Ksenia / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Booking

This Hollywood Boulevard shopping center is in the heart of Los Angeles. Ovation is also an entertainment center and is home to the famous TCL Chinese Theater and the Dolby Theater, where the Academy Awards are held.

Shop from over 70 department stores and for famous Hollywood souvenirs right on the Walk of Fame. The prime location of Ovation is its biggest appeal. It is right across from the El Capitan Theater and offers views of the Hollywood Sign, which is one of the top things to do in Hollywood. Stop by Ovation for a true Hollywood shopping experience.

👉 My Favorite Gear: Don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bags! Save plastic by using these reusable foldable shopping bags that have exterior pockets and plenty of space for merchandise.

South Coast Plaza

The biggest mall in Southern California

View inside the South Coast Plaza in California
(photo: Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Booking

South Coast Plaza is the mecca of Southern California malls. This is one of the best shopping malls in California, if not the entire country. Entertain yourself with over 250 boutique shops and restaurants at this elaborate mall.

From lima bean farm to the mall with the most sales in America, this west coast mall is an anomaly. South Coast Plaza features an indoor carousel and many luxury brand names. Even if you don’t buy anything, window shopping is entertaining enough at this huge mall. 

Fashion Island

A beach town mall with up-scale restaurants

View from the Fashion Island during a sunny day
(photo: The Image Party / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Booking

The most visited Southern California beach mall, Fashion Island is one of the best shopping malls in Orange County. Hit the waves in the morning then hit the department stores in the late afternoon for a true SoCal experience.

Fashion Island is located in Newport Beach, one of the most popular Southern California beaches, and has a multitude of stores and dining options. My favorite place to eat at Fashion Island is the Cheesecake Factory. When your feet need a break from shopping, stop by The Lot to catch the latest blockbuster film on the big screen.

Camarillo Premium Outlets

A discount mall just outside of LA

The Camarillo Premium Outlets from the outside
(photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Booking

Thank goodness one of the most expensive states in America has outlet malls. You will find many California locals at the Camarillo Premium Outlets on the weekends.

This open-air shopping center is 45 minutes outside of Downtown Los Angeles and is the best place to save money on clothes. With over 165 stores to choose from, Camarillo Premium Outlets has it all. 

🛎️ Need a Hotel? Make your shopping spree a multi-day adventure. The Hampton Inn & Suites Camarillo is the highest-rated hotel in the area.

3rd Street Promenade

A beachfront mall with high-end stores

People wandering at night in 3rd Street Promenade
(photo: shuttersv / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Booking

3rd Street Promenade is the main shopping center in Santa Monica, California. Situated right on the beach, listen to the sound of peaceful waves crashing as you shop ‘til you drop.

This pedestrian Santa Monica mall is a hotspot for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The best time to visit the 3rd Street Promenade is as soon as the sun sets when picturesque string lights illuminate the shopping district. 

The famous Santa Monica pier is also right across the street and is one of the most fun things to do in Santa Monica. Head to the boardwalk carnival after your shopping spree for an ice cream cone or a funnel cake dessert.

Del Amo Fashion Center

A huge SoCal mall near the Pacific Ocean

The Barnes & Noble Booksellers from the outside
(photo: Harun Ozmen / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Expedia

Del Amo Fashion Center stands a proud three stories tall in Torrance, California, and is the sixth largest shopping center in the United States. This Los Angeles County complex has made famous appearances in Hollywood cinema and is well known among California locals.

With the beach only a short drive away, this is one of the best shopping malls in SoCal. Spend your day shopping for the hottest LA trends, followed by a late lunch at the beach.

Ontario Mills

One of the best outlet shopping malls in the Inland Empire

View of the entrance going to Ontario Mills
(photo: The Image Party / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Booking

Ontario Mills is one of the biggest outlet malls in Southern California and is a top San Bernardino activity. About an hour outside of Los Angeles, this mall receives many Inland Empire shoppers and movie-goers.

Enjoy the many discount stores at Ontario Mills, eat at one of its many food court restaurants, or catch a movie at either the AMC or Edwards theater at the mall. Ontario Mills is the perfect mall to spend an afternoon at with the family.  

This mall also features a super convenient foreign currency exchange.

Irvine Spectrum

An Orange County gem with a huge Ferris wheel

View of plants at the Irvine Spectrum
(photo: Tim Gray / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Booking

The Irvine Spectrum has been rated as one of the best things to do in Orange County. This clean outdoor retail space attracts many families and college students in the area. 

There are delicious eateries at the Irvine Spectrum like The Veggie Grill and a ton of entertainment opportunities. The giant lawn Ferris wheel, carousel, seasonal ice rink, and movie theater are the big draws.

Fashion Valley

A chic coastal San Diego mall

View of people wandering in Fashion Valley
(photo: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Booking

This upscale, open-air shopping mall is one of the most popular San Diego activities. It is the biggest in the metropolitan city and its chic coastal aesthetic makes it worth the visit.

Also known as Southern California’s trendiest location, Fashion Valley has great photo opportunities around every corner. Enjoy the fresh sea breeze as you shop from your favorite department stores at this Pacific Ocean mall.

Victoria Gardens

An outdoor hangout spot with trending department stores

The Victoria Gardens signage outside
(photo: The Image Party / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Booking

Victoria Gardens is my favorite Southern California mall because it’s close to home. The entire Rancho Cucamonga mall is outdoors and you will find most Inland Empire locals here on the weekends.

Enjoy the huge Bass Pro Shop store, the AMC movie theater, Friday night farmers markets, and upscale bars and restaurants at Victoria Gardens. There is even a new escape room inside the mall for even more entertaining fun.

Paseo Nuevo

A Spanish-style, cliffside boutique mall

An arch at the entrance of Paseo Nuevo
(photo: Brenda Rocha – Blossom / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Find a Nearby Hotel on Expedia

This open-air Santa Barbara mall is one of the coolest malls in Southern California. You will find chain retailers at this shopping center as well as fine dining options and movie theaters.

Take a photo on the Spanish-style tile steps at the mall and listen to the nearby waves crash for the perfect afternoon excursion. Enjoy a late lunch or early dinner after your shopping spree at California Pizza Kitchen or Eureka! Burger and don’t forget to try some vegan ice cream at Pressed for dessert.

This is a great pastime activity during a romantic California getaway to Santa Barbara.

🚐  Looking for a tour? Check out the best Santa Barbara tours next time you’re in town! My favorite Santa Barbara activities include wine tasting, kayaking, and cruising the countryside via E-bike.

FAQs About Malls in California

What is the biggest mall in Southern California?

South Coast Plaza is the biggest mall in Southern California. This Costa Mesa mall is the 4th largest in the United States and has every major department store.

What is the most popular mall in LA?

The Glendale Galleria is the most popular mall in LA. The mall has over 200 stores to choose from like the Apple Store, Build a Bear Workshop, Urban Outfitters, Kate Spade, Hot Topic, and more. There is also a large food court and a children’s play area.

What are the biggest malls in Southern California?

South Coast Plaza, Third Street Promenade, Beverly Center Mall, and Ontario Mills are the biggest malls in Southern California. They are all located in Southern California near Los Angeles.

What is the biggest outlet mall in Southern California?

Ontario Mills is the biggest outlet mall in Southern California. An hour outside of Los Angeles, this outlet mall is the best place in the Inland Empire to shop for discount deals.

***

Thanks for reading my Southern California malls list! Have fun shopping and be sure to check out my best coffee shops in LA guide for that extra boost while shopping. 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate (you can leave feedback after clicking submit)

Help us help you travel better!

Your feedback really helps ...

What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.