It's the most wonderful time of the year; whether you're looking to buy locally crafted items for family or simply splurge on your sweetheart, here are the best malls and outdoor marketplaces to do your holiday shopping.
After a decade on hold because of the real estate bust, the shopping destination Avalon finally opened in October 2014 on Alpharetta's western edge. This 86-acre development includes 500,000 square feet of retail shops, a 12-screen theater and single-family homes with easy access to Ga. 400 and downtown Alpharetta. Shop for holiday gifts for your family and friends at brands such as Orvis, Madewell, Bonobos, Gymboree and Anthropologie. Enjoy personalized visits with Santa this season, a 30-foot Christmas tree and a Rockefeller Center-like skating rink in Avalon's central park. Stop by the community firepit to warm up after an evening of holiday shopping. Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
2200 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta, Ga. 30009
More than just a suburban mall, this shopping and dining destination houses world-renowned brands such as BCBG, Brooks Brothers, Lacoste, Michael Kors and Stuart Weitzman. Doing a bit of marathon holiday shopping and need to refuel? Sink your teeth into bangers and mash while you sip on brew at The Pub or treat yourself to a fancy lunch of grilled sea scallops with a glass of Champagne at Seasons 52. Don't forget to book your child's photo with Santa now through Christmas Eve. Pets love Santa, too. Bring the pooch, cat or guinea pig Monday evenings now through Dec. 14. Mall open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30346
It doesn't get more luxurious and high-end than the shops at Phipps Plaza. If you're looking to impress your sweetie this holiday season with a dream gift, you'll find it here. Give the old American Express card a workout at Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Versace or Nicole Miller. Head over to Legoland and let your kids build something amazing while you pick up a few gifts for Santa's sleigh. When you're finished for the day, head over to Davio's and enjoy filet mignon with a glass of Burgundy or fill up on a burger, fries and a milkshake at Johnny Rockets. Phipps does it up super fancy with Santa. So make sure to reserve your children's chance to meet the jolly old elf and whisper their Christmas wishes to him personally. Photos Nov. 21 and Dec. 24. Mall open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
3500 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30326
Lenox Square Mall
It's a mall packed with trendy stores, great dining options and an Atlanta holiday tradition, The Pink Pig holiday train. Come take in Macy's Great Tree high atop Lenox, then shop till you drop at stores such as 7 For All Mankind, Apple, bebe, Neiman Marcus and St. John. Afterward, grab a chicken sandwich at Bantam + Biddy or satisfy your cravings with sushi and steak at Prime. Still looking to sit on Santa's lap? Book your child's photo with the great bearded one today. Nov. 21-Dec. 24. Mall open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
3393 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30326
Don't want to spend your holiday shopping season cooped up inside a mall? Walk, shop, dine and do a bit of ice skating al fresco at Atlantic Station. Conveniently located on Atlanta's Westside just off 17th Street, this live-work-play community is home to shops such as Fab'rik, Gap, Old Navy, Dillard's, H&M and Swedish furniture store IKEA, which borders the community's western edge. While you're enjoying the crisp Atlanta air, visit Santa's Cottage for a chance to meet the man himself and peek inside his workshop. Skate on the rink in Central Park, then refuel from your day of shopping and holiday fun at Moe's, Meehan's or The Pig and The Pearl. Santa's Cottage opens Nov. 21. Skating rink Nov. 21-Feb. 14. $13/person. $10 for kids 12 and under. Check site for individual store hours.
1380 Atlantic Drive NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30363
Westside Provisions District
The thought of heading to the mall, with its throng of people and numerous shopping options, got you feeling overwhelmed? Shop in the great outdoors and relax as you leisurely stroll from store to store at Westside Provisions District. Peruse the high-end wares at local fashion designers Ann and Sid Mashburn's shops or spiff up your man's wardrobe with a little Southern charm from Billy Reid. Shop for locally made jewelry, pottery, kitchen items, shoes and clothing at Crafted or find a unique toy, book or baby gift at Seed. Head over to West Egg for a hearty lunch of soup and sandwiches or Taqueria del Sol for tacos and queso before you hit J. Crew, Anthropologie and Free People. Stop by Brash Coffee for a midafternoon caffeine boost before you wear out your wallet at Steven Alan and Lululemon Athletica. Check site for individual store hours.
1100 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30318
Ponce City Market
Atlanta's new kid on the block is already seeing brisk business in its shops. Ponce City Market has cleverly transformed the iconic Sears building in the heart of Poncey-Highland into a sustainable destination of high-end retail and local shops, independently owned food stalls and restaurants, and beautifully appointed loft apartments and flats for high-earning urbanites. Shops feature such brands as Madewell, Anthropologie, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, Rye 51, The Frye Company, Goorin Bros. Hat Shop, 18.21 Bitters, Strippaggio Artisan Oils and Ponce Denim. Head indoors to the market's food hall, where your choices for sustenance are endless. Grab tacos from chef Sean Brock's Minero, spicy Sichuan from Jia, soups and salads from Farm to Ladle or fried chicken at chef Linton Hopkins's Hop's Chicken. Need caffeine? Stop in at Spiller Park Coffee for an Americano to get your shopping engine revving again. Check site for individual store hours.
675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30308
For more ideas about gifts, decorating, where to eat and what to do, check out our complete Atlanta Holiday Guide.
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