Best Malls In The US: Top 5 Shopping Centers Most Recommended By Experts

There is nothing better than a mall shopping day! Strolling around, people watching, window shopping, and getting a bite in the food court are just part of the fun of heading out on a shopping spree. But only some are considered the best malls in the United States where even the stingiest shoppers will loosen their purse strings. 

Before you hit one of these fabulous malls, try to hold back on that extra cup of Joe. Coffee and credit cards may be a financial planner’s worst nightmare, according to researchers from the University of South Florida. Scientists report shoppers who sip on a complimentary cup of coffee before shopping ended up spending 50 percent more money and buying 30 percent more items than their non-caffeinated counterparts. “Caffeine, as a powerful stimulant, releases dopamine in the brain, which excites the mind and the body. This leads to a higher energetic state, which in turn enhances impulsivity and decreases self-control,” says lead study author Dipayan Biswas, the Frank Harvey Endowed Professor of Marketing at USF, in a university release. “As a result, caffeine intake leads to shopping impulsivity in terms of a higher number of items purchased and greater spending.”

Even so, stick to shopping in person. A new study shows that you are more likely to splurge on unnecessary items when shopping on a touchscreen as opposed to shopping on a desktop. Researchers at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus recruited nearly 300 students at the school to take part in three different experiments that examined their online purchasing habits. “The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers’ favor of hedonic products; while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses the consumers’ preference for utilitarian products,” Zhu explains in a university news release. Zhu claims that her findings found that desktop users were more likely to use rational thinking when it came to spending money online, while touchscreen products saw students opening their wallets more for products that weren’t so rational — what she refers to as “experiential” thinking. Maybe just keep it to the actual mall visits.

Even though some shopping malls may be disappearing, these superstar shopping centers in America are here to stay. StudyFinds did the work to find the best malls in the U.S. across 10 expert reviews. Let us know if we missed your favorite shopping hub in the comments below!

Person walking inside a mall (Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash)

The List: Best Malls in the U.S., According to Shopaholics

1. King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, PA 

Located just outside of Philadelphia, it’s not only the largest shopping mall on the East Coast, but it’s also one of the best shopping malls in America. “With 400 stores spread over 3 million square feet, the King of Prussia Mall is heaven for shopaholics. The mall has everything you could wish for, from low-budget stores to high-end brands that will take up your monthly wage,” boasts All Women’s Talk.

“The King of Prussia Mall outside of Philadelphia is the largest on the East Coast with 3 million square feet of shopping fun. The space is so large, 5 of the Great Pyramids would fit in its footprint; thank goodness for shopaholics, this space is filled with 400 shops,” says Travel Channel.

Just how big is the King of Prussia Mall? Two original buildings were converted into one space. Property Manager Insider elaborates, “It edges out the number two mall by just 14,000 sq. ft It employs over 7,000 daily workers and attracts 25,000,000 annual visitors. Since many visitors do not cover the entire mall when they visit, many retailers have more than 1 store.”

2. Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, FL

Seagrass Mills couldn’t get more convenient with their app that offers up-to-date information on mall hours, directions, and special events and deals. “There are more than 350 stores at Sawgrass Mills. Also, the enclosed, air-conditioned mall ensures you stay comfortable in the Florida heat. Luxury shopping is also available at the attached Colonnade Outlets, which feature over 70 designer shops. All of this will allow you to have an excellent shopping experience,” offers List For All.

From electronics to home accessories, beauty products, and jewelry, you’re sure to find a handful of deals at Sawgrass Mills. “The largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States, Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, Florida is perfect for those shoppers who love a great deal. Here you’ll find luxury-brand outlet shopping amongst three unique shopping destinations, with over 40 outlets in a combination of both indoor and outdoor spaces featuring over 355 retail stores,” explains Trips To Discover.

Sawgrass Mills is often called the largest discount mall in the United States, with also 70 luxury brand outlet stores included in the mix. “Aside from ample deals, Sawgrass Mills includes a cinema (a rarity for outlet malls) and 45 top-notch dining options. The location has some prime real estate for tourists, located just 30 minutes from Miami International Airport and 15 minutes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport,” says Footwear News.

3. The Mall of America in Bloomington, MN

Opened in 1992, Mall of America is the nation’s largest mall at more than 5.6 million square feet. “Located outside Minneapolis, Mall of America draws 40 million visitors each year to its more than 520 shops and restaurants. Mall of America also boasts attractions beyond shopping, including a Nickelodeon theme park, an immersive Crayola Experience, an aquarium, and a flight simulator,” states Business Insider.

Did we forget to mention that the Mall of America also has the largest indoor theme park? We mean it when we say it has everything you could possibly need. “Without having been there, I don’t think you’d even be able to imagine how big it is. In total, the Mall of America sits on 5.6 million square feet of land. And, for comparison, to give you some idea of the size, that’s roughly 71 professional soccer fields,” explains The Coolest. 

The Mall of America is so big that it has its own tourism office. You’ll want a shopping strategy before you hit the mall, so request a free visitor’s kit before your trip for optimal planning. Attractions Of America offers some great advice, “It is so big that it even has its own zip code. If you take a trip to the Mall of America, we think you should make sure to wear comfortable shoes to get the most out of this incredible shopping and entertainment experience.”

4. South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA

South Coast Plaza has four concierge locations to check your packages and free up some arm space for more shopping bags. “Boasting the highest sales at a mall in the US, South Coast Plaza is an Orange County hot spot for browsing, schmoozing, and swiping the credit card. There are 280 boutique shops and 30 restaurants where the area’s best-dressed housewives might be found sifting through the racks at BALENCIAGA or Barneys New York CO-OP or browsing 3 levels of furniture and housewares at the mega-sized Macy’s Home Furniture store,” says Travel Channel.

South Coast Plaza is the largest mall on the West Coast, and it has the highest sales of all shopping malls in America. “The South Coast Plaza is a luxury shopping mall with roughly 300 high-end boutiques and a 3-level Macy’s Home Furniture Store. It’s the place to be for those with money burning in their pockets. With its award-winning restaurants and unique collections, the South Coast Plaza is internationally recognized,” states All Women’s Talk.

With over $1.5 billion in annual sales, South Coast Plaza boasts the highest sales of America’s largest shopping malls. “South Coast Plaza is the highest concentration of luxury retailers in the country, its $800 sales per square foot is almost double the $411 national average,” says Property Manager Insider.

5. Destiny USA in Syracuse, NY

Destiny USA is an ideal mall to take the entire family. It is a unique family-friendly complex with a plethora of activities to keep everyone entertained. “Located in Syracuse, Destiny USA is a massive six-story shopping center with over 250 places for visitors to shop, dine, and play. Visitors will find a range of entertainment, from an antique carousel to an arcade at Dave and Buster’s, and the world’s largest suspended ropes course at WonderWorks. On top of that, it’s also home to the first mall with a go-kart track in it!” says Trips To Discover.

The Destiny USA Mall in New York originally opened in 1990 under the name of the Carousel Center Mall. “This successful shopping mall spans over six stories with floors containing retail shops, restaurants, a 19-screen Regal Cinema, entertainment venues, and major food courts,” states The Coolest

The entertainment options don’t stop at the 2.4 million square foot Destiny USA. Even the kids who “hate” shopping would love to visit this mall. “In addition to filling your shopping bags and your belly, you should take a ride on the antique carousel and check out the Regal movie theater after going go-karting and trying your skills on the ropes, of course,” says Attractions Of America.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.