9 Best Malls in San Diego

San Diego is a shopper’s paradise - here are some of the best places in the area to shop until you drop.
Todd Sarouhan
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Enjoy a Day Out at The Best San Diego Shopping Spots!

Seaport Village in the EmbarcaderoArt Sculpture next to Shops at UTC Mall

If you’re looking to shop until you drop, San Diego has plenty of amazing malls where you can spend a day.

Whether you’re looking for high-end designer pieces, great bargains, or just an entertaining day out with the family, you’ll love all of the retail therapy that San Diego has to offer.

Sunset at the Koi Pond at Westfield UTC Mall
Sunset at the Koi Pond at Westfield UTC Mall

Outdoor Shopping at its Best!

No matter where you’re staying in San Diego, there’s likely a shopping destination nearby. San Diego’s gorgeous weather is perfect for outdoor shopping, and many malls offer entertainment options as well as popular chains and local boutiques. You’ll even find outlet malls that offer designer goods at great prices.

Not sure where to start on your San Diego shopping trip?

We’ve compiled a list of the best malls in San Diego that are perfect for a day out.

Local Tips
Seaport Village a Must!
Seaport Village, a 14-acre waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment complex along San Diego Bay, recreates a California harbor setting of a century ago.

Experience the Flavorful Din Tai Fung Restaurant

Delicious meals are steps away from a shopping spree at the Westfield UTC Mall when you visit Din Tai Fung restaurant, a local favorite Chinese restaurant originated in Taiwan. Feel like you’re touring Asia with Todd as he takes in the atmosphere and samples the authentic cuisine.

The 9 Best Malls in San Diego

Local Tips
Westfield UTC Mall, the Best!
Westfield UTC or UTC Mall is hands down the best mall in San Diego. This newly redone mall offers everything from great shopping to entertainment and amazing restaurants. It is a must go!

Famous Artists Sculptures Inside of UTC Mall
Famous Artists Sculptures Inside of UTC Mall

1) Westfield UTC Mall - San Diego

Shopping in San Diego: Westfield UTC Mall San Diego
4545 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92122

Westfield’s UTC Mall is one of the most popular malls in the San Diego area. It is conveniently located in the University Town Center area of University City, just east of La Jolla and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). It is easily accessible from downtown San Diego via the 5 and 805 freeways, and will eventually be the last stop on the forthcoming UTC trolley line.

This gorgeous open-air mall was recently renovated in 2017. The renovation transformed the mall into a dining and entertainment destination. The outdoor area is full of water fountains and cozy fire pits, and charming San Diego-themed art installations.

UTC transforms during the Christmas season, when they have an ice-skating rink, Christmas trees and Santa’s Village. This is featured in our Holiday Season Guide to San Diego Christmas Activities.

The mall also has an AMC movie theater (called AMC UTC 14), a play space for kids, and a dog park. The movie theater offers an upscale experience with both blockbuster and independent movies.

The selection of shops is excellent, with designer and budget fashion brands, tech retailers, beauty brands, toy stores, bookstores, and much more. Nordstrom and Macy’s are the anchor department stores here, but there are also over 100 boutique options to choose from.

The UTC Mall is also known for its incredible dining. Expect premium steakhouses, charming cafes, and global cuisines. Many popular local restaurants have outposts here, including Great Maple, Queenstown Bistro, Eureka, and more.

Adults can even enjoy specialty cocktails, wine, and beer at the mall’s excellent array of bars. One of the most lauded bars here is Raised By Wolves, a speakeasy that focuses on vintage cocktails and even hosts mixology classes.

Pottery Barn at Fashion Valley Mall
Pottery Barn at Fashion Valley Mall

2) Fashion Valley Mall

Shopping in San Diego: Fashion Valley Mall
7007 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92108

Fashion Valley is one of San Diego’s most luxurious malls. It is located in the Mission Valley area of San Diego, just off the 8 freeway. This mall also has its own stop on the San Diego Trolley green line.

The Fashion Valley mall is known for its designer stores like Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. You’ll also find more affordable clothing stores, beauty boutiques, and electronic stores. The upper level of the mall has an airy outdoor food court, and there are also upscale restaurants located around the mall.

Like many malls in San Diego, Fashion Valley has a movie theater. There are also many amenities available, including a children’s play area, electric vehicle charging stations, and valet services. The mall has an elegant open-air design with fountains and seating located throughout the mall.

Seaport Village in the Embarcadero
Seaport Village in the Embarcadero

3) Seaport Village

Shopping in San Diego: Seaport Village
849 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Seaport Village is located on the west end of downtown San Diego in the Embarcadero. It’s located directly at the end of the Pacific Highway and also has its own stop on the San Diego Trolley green line.

This charming mall is designed to resemble an old fishing village. It sits right on the shore of the San Diego Bay and has beautiful views of both the water and the downtown skyline.

The village has charming local shops that are an ideal place to find souvenirs. They also have a selection of excellent restaurants to enjoy, many of which focus on seafood. Families will also enjoy the vintage carousel in the center of the village.

In addition to the shopping and dining, Seaport Village hosts a number of events throughout the year. This includes live music, art festivals, and street performers. No matter where you visit, there will likely be a performance going on for you to enjoy, whether it’s a musician, dancers, or even magicians.

Kay Jewelers Outlet at Carslbad Premium Outlets
Kay Jewelers Outlet at Carslbad Premium Outlets

4) Carlsbad Premium Outlets

Shopping in San Diego: Carlsbad Premium Outlets
5620 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008

The San Diego area has a few excellent options for outlet shopping. The Carlsbad Premium Outlets are approximately a half-hour drive north of downtown San Diego and offer a luxurious outlet experience. They are located directly off the 5 freeway in Carlsbad and are also a short Uber ride from the Carlsbad Poinsettia Coaster rail station.

Carlsbad Outlets has the feel of a high-end fashion mall, but with the incredible deals of an outlet mall. Many top designer brands have outposts in the outlet mall where you can get coveted pieces at affordable prices.

There are casual, family-friendly dining options located throughout the mall. The mall’s outdoor spaces are beautifully decorated with flowers and plenty of seating. The south end of the outlet mall also has access to Carlsbad’s iconic flower fields, which light up with color during the spring.

5) Las Americas Premium Outlets

4211 Camino De La Plaza, San Diego, CA 92173

If you’re staying near the California / Mexico border in Chula Vista or Imperial Beach, make sure to check out Las Americas Premium Outlets during your stay. These outlets are located just off the 5 and 805 freeways in San Ysidro, and are also very close to the last stop on the San Diego Trolley blue line.

These outlets are very similar to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets and are managed by the same company. There’s an excellent selection of high-end and designer brands as well as more affordable options, including plenty of stores for kids and teens. Each store offers low prices with excellent deals.

Las Americas also has plenty of casual dining options, including several Mexican options as a nod to the area’s culture. As with most malls in San Diego, the mall has an abundance of well-maintained outdoor space and seating, decorated with palm trees, water fountains, and Christmas lights.

Amc Theater at the Westfield Mission Valley Mall
Amc Theater at the Westfield Mission Valley Mall

6) Westfield Mission Valley Mall

Shopping in San Diego: Westfield Mission Valley
1640 Camino Del Rio N., San Diego, CA 92108

Just east of the Fashion Valley mall is the Westfield Mission Valley mall, another popular shopping destination. Like Fashion Valley, the Mission Valley mall is accessible via the 8 freeway or by the San Diego Trolley green line.

While Fashion Valley is known for its luxury brands, the Westfield Mission Valley has more accessible priced stores with great deals. They also have a large movie theater and plenty of dining options. Many of the stores in Mission Valley focus more on entertainment than fashion, with electronics, toys, books, and more to pursue.

The Mission Valley mall has plenty of parking with the option for a valet. The outdoor areas are bright, spacious, and clean, making it a pleasant place for a stroll.

Inside the Westfield North County Mall
Inside the Westfield North County Mall

7) Westfield North County

272 E Via Rancho Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92025

Another excellent mall from the Westfield company, the Westfield North County is located in the San Diego suburb of Escondido. It is located directly off Interstate 15 on Via Rancho Parkway. The mall is approximately a half-hour north of downtown San Diego.

Westfield North County is home to many popular department stores as well as smaller specialty retailers. This mall has several unique stores where you can find things such as surf wear, candles, Japanese toys, and more. The mall also has beauticians and a gym.

There are several excellent dining options at Westfield North County, including several familiar chain restaurants. The atmosphere is family-friendly, with play areas and events for kids throughout the year. Free WiFi is also available.

The Shopps at Carlsbad
The Shopps at Carlsbad

8) The Shoppes at Carlsbad

Neighborhood: Carlsbad
2525 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 92008

The Shoppes at Carlsbad is a large mall just outside of the downtown Carlsbad area. They are located just off the I-5 freeway at Ronald Packard Parkway. The Carlsbad Village Coaster train station is a short bus or cab ride away.

This mall is home to many popular department stores, including Sears, Macy’s, and JCPenney. You’ll also find specialty fashion, beauty, tech, and children’s retailers.

This mall has a large food court as well as several standalone restaurants and bars. Many of the restaurants here are San Diego local favorites. There is also a Dave and Buster’s, which offers dining and arcade games, as well as a movie theater and a gym.

The Shoppes at Carlsbad is two stories tall and has both indoor and outdoor areas. There is a children’s play area on the second floor as well as plenty of seating throughout. There is also free WiFi throughout the mall.

Kids Fountain at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center
Kids Fountain at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center

9) Del Mar Highlands Town Center

Neighborhood: Del Mar
12925 El Camino Real, Del Mar, CA 92130

In the northern San Diego suburb of Del Mar is the Del Mar Highlands Town Center. It’s located on Del Mar Heights Road, just off of the 5 freeway. The mall is roughly a 30-minute drive north of downtown San Diego.

This two-story shopping center has a range of retail stores, restaurants, and local services, many of which are family-oriented. The mall also has a focus on entertainment, with a movie theater, regular live music performances, and play areas with water fountains located throughout the mall.

The Del Mar Highlands Town Center prides itself on being a comfortable place to hang out, with plenty of seating and cozy outdoor fire pits. They even have free WiFi, and are totally pet and kid-friendly.

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