Shop ’till you drop, family fun, food and entertainment on the grandest scale…travelling in the USA just gets better.
Shopping remains one of the top activities for Aussie travellers to the US, and despite currency fluctuations, you’ll still get great bang for your buck, thanks to a huge range of international brands, excellent sales and world-class discount outlets.
Vacations & Travel magazine has searched far and wide and we’ve got a clear winner – Simon Shopping Destinations offers shopping experiences for every style, itinerary, family and budget with more than 100 world-class locations in and around major destinations across the US.
Simon Premium Outlets offer great discounts/value for money on the finest designer and name brands.
Simon Malls offer the ideal mix of renowned style icons and the hottest retailers as well as sophisticated dining options.
Simon Mills not only offer sensational value for money but also hours of endless fun for every member of your family, offering excellent range of entertainment, dining and attractions for the whole family.
Here are our top picks to make your dollar go further and keep the whole family happy:
1. The Outlets at Orange (Anaheim, California)
Save some time for this beautiful open-air centre located in Anaheim, only a few minutes from Disneyland. It features both outlet and retail stores as well as lots of attractions and entertainment, including an AMC 30 Movie Theatre with IMAX, Lucky Strike Bowling, Dave & Buster’s restaurant and arcade, Burke Williams Day Spa, and Thrill It Fun Center, which is fun for all ages and features laser tag, the Adrenaline Arcade, a high ropes challenge, a three-level interactive Ballocity, rock climbing, and a mechanical bull.
Get the adrenalin pumping at the various courses and ramps at Vans SkatePark – one of the largest indoor skate parks in Southern California. You can even rent boards and equipment and take private lessons.
Feeling hungry? There are more than 25 restaurants, bars and cafes, including a “BJ’s Restaurant Brewery” where they serve their award-winning hand crafted beers.
What to do next? Mum can go shopping, while Dad takes the kids to see a movie, or drops the kids off at the Thrill It Fun Center and grabs a beer at BJ’s brewery while Mum relaxes at the day spa after a busy day of shopping. And if Mum drinks beer also then dad can get a facial too!
As for the shopping part, the center features many popular designer and name-brands in the mid-market/casual range such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, GAP or H&M. Teens will love Aéropostale, Forever 21, Zumiez or sports brands such as asics, Nike Factory Store or Puma Outlet.
2. Ontario Mills (California)
About 30 miles east of LA, and a quick trip down the freeway, Ontario Mills is California’s largest outlet and retail shopping destination with more than 200 stores. This indoor climate-controlled mall welcomes more than 28 million shoppers every year. The centre offers a wide range of attractions and entertainment for the whole family, including the popular Rainforest Cafe as well as a Comedy Club and Dinner Theatre.
For kids, there is the LEGO Store or the Disney Store Outlet which offers the latest in official Disney merchandise, including Disney toys, clothes and Disney collectibles featuring favourite characters including Mickey Mouse, the Disney Princesses, Fairies, Buzz Lightyear, Pooh and many more.
Need more fun? Visit Build-a-Bear Workshop and create your very own personalised stuffed animal, with more than 30 furry friends to make and hundreds of outfits and accessories to choose. And of course, stuffed animals aren’t just for kids, they’re happy, thoughtful gifts for the kids at heart.
3. Sawgrass Mills (Florida)
Sawgrass Mills is recognised as the largest outlet, retail and entertainment destination in the United States, with more than 350 stores.
Why? The Oasis at Sawgrass Mills is an exciting array of themed restaurants, specialty retailers and entertainment venues. A great spot for kids is the Game Room – a huge game centre with arcade games, simulators and attractions as well as a restaurant/sports bar.
The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills features many exclusive upscale designer and brands including Coach Factory Outlet, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, and many more.
One of the highlights at Sawgrass Mills is “Barbie – The Dreamhouse Experience” – a 10,000 square-foot interactive installation for fans of all ages.
4. Grapevine Mills (Dallas, Texas)
Right next door to Dallas Fort Worth airport, and located about 30 minutes north of Fort Worth and Dallas, Grapevine Mills is the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in North Texas. In addition to more than 180 stores, it has a variety of exciting attractions for families, including the SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium and the LEGOLAND Discovery Center.
Get up close and personal to the giant octopus, reef sharks, green sea turtles and stingrays at the SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium, which has over 4,000 square meters of display tanks filled with thousands of sea creatures.
The LEGOLAND Discovery Center offers 15 different rides and attractions, including a 4D cinema, a LEGO factory tour, where guests can create their own lego bricks or the Pirate Beach, a playground where kids can navigate through water jets and fountains, squirt cannons and splash down water slides.
You should be with such an array of choice and exciting options. We love USA travel and last year 1.5 million Australians did also. There is no other country in the world that offers such amazing shopping, family fun and a galaxy of entertainment. What are you waiting for?