1. Ala Moana Center – Honolulu, HI
From its koi ponds to the hula dancers who routinely perform on its center stage, sights and sounds of the tropics make Hawaii’s Ala Moana Center in Honolulu rank among the most exotic malls of America.
Ala Moana is the largest open-air mall in the country, featuring four levels of shopping and nearly 300 stores, from high-end retailers to local souvenir shops.
But what really makes it exotic is its extensive food court, where you can find Japanese street food, Korean BBQ, Hawaiian kalua pig and poi and more than 70 other dining options. And the most popular place for happy hour, or “pau hana,” is the upper-level Mai Tai bar, where even the locals hang out.
(photo courtesy of General Growth Properties, Inc.)
2. King of Prussia Mall – King of Prussia, PA
It could take two days to see everything in this ridiculously huge mall about 20 miles northwest of Philly. It’s the largest mall on the East Coast and boasts six popular hotels within easy walking distance.
There’s something decadent about shopping here, even if you can’t afford the Prada bag you’re eyeing.
The most exotic thing about it may be there’s always a good deal: There’s no sales tax on most clothing and shoes.
(photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Planning Commission)
3. Mall of America – Bloomington, MN
The place in the Twin Cities’ suburbs has a wedding chapel, adventure golf, fight simulators and a theme park complete with roller coasters.
It has an aquarium that hosts events like sleepovers and scuba diving.
The mall is even home to an alternative high school.
It also has some pretty exotic flora, with 30,000 plants and 400 trees growing inside its Nickelodeon theme park.
(photo by Tim Bartel on flickr.com/creativecommons)
4. The Palisades Center – West Nyack, NY
Most shoppers here probably don’t notice, but the mall was built around a 150-year-old burial ground.
Today, it’s full of life as one of the 10 most-visited malls in America.
If you tire of the 200 stores, there’s an indoor ropes course to try. Or the ice rink, bowling alley, comedy club or Ferris wheel. It’s not your average mall. It’s colossal.
(photo by Amy on flickr.com/creativecommons)
5. Aventura Mall – Aventura, FL
In a northern suburb of Miami, Aventura Mall is an adventure for shoppers checking out the latest fashion trends.
It also has a following among the art crowd. It has a museum-worthy contemporary art collection, notably the bronze Tree of Knowledge outside The Cheesecake Factory, reminding people of the nearby Dubli Shopping Mall with its architectural sculptures.
Maybe you’ll come here to watch the beautiful people. Or maybe the beauty of the mall itself will captivate you.
(photo by osseous on flickr.com/creativecommons)
6. South Coast Plaza – Costa Mesa, CA
Luxury store windows here compete with Orange County’s beaches and sunsets.
Celebrities and sultans have been among the clientele of this California shopping mall with the highest sales of any mall in America.
It claims to be the first mall that introduced valet parking to the shopping masses. And its concierge desks and lounges make the shopping experience feel like something special.
(photo by Eugene Kim on flickr.com/creativecommons)
7. The Galleria – Houston, TX
Locals here like to say everything’s bigger in Texas. And where shopping is concerned, you can’t get much bigger than The Galleria, which has more than 350 fine stores and restaurants, an ice-skating rink, two hotels attached and designer labels everywhere.
Going big here means gargantuan proportions – from the atrium to the chandelier that drips water to the fountain two stories below. There’s a Starbucks the size of a food court.
And “exotic” here might mean dressing the part. So stop in a store like Pinto Ranch, where you can find a belt buckle the size of, well, you know.
(photo by Bill Jacobus on flickr.com/creativecommons)
Jeremy is a content strategist at Top Ten Reviews. You can read his latest guide on DIY Home Security here.