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Best Places to Shop in the OC

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There is no shortage of strip malls and shopping centers in Orange County. Whether you're looking for a classic shopping-mall experience, high-end luxury boutiques, a hip alternative atmosphere, or antique treasure hunting, there's a little something for everyone. Here's a guide to some of the best places to shop in the OC.

South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa

This mega shopping center, located in Costa Mesa, is a destination shopping experience that attracts visitors from all over the world. With the highest concentration of brand boutiques and fashion retail in the county, it's no wonder the South Coast Plaza has been dubbed the OC's version of Rodeo Drive.

Fashion Island, Newport Beach

Fashion Island is an upscale, open-air mall with an ocean view and more than 200 high-end shops including Neiman Marcus, 7 For All Mankind and Betsey Johnson. This luxurious mall, located in Newport Beach, is known for its over-the-top opulence, affluent shoppers and quintessential California decor.

The Brea Mall

Voted one of Orange County’s best in the OC Register’s annual Best of OC poll, the Brea Mall is located in North County and boasts itself a gathering place for the whole family. With five major department stores as well as specialty shops, such as True Religion, H&M, Michael Kors and Sephora, this shopping center is considered a classic, all-American mall.

Bela Terra, Huntington Beach

Bella Terra is a combination of unique high-end boutiques, affordable retail, good eats, entertainment, and boasts itself the ultimate shopping destination in Huntington Beach. In addition to retailers such as Diane's Swimwear, R.E.I., and Huntington Beach Surf and Sport, a movie theatre, and eateries such as King's Fish House, Chronic Tacos and Johnny Rockets, Bella Terra also hosts special events for the whole family all year.

Irvine Spectrum Center

The Irvine Spectrum is one of the biggest and most popular malls in Orange County. With more than 130 stores, including Anthropoligie, White House/Black Market, Quicksilver Boardriders Club and Brighton Collectibles, a movie theatre, a variety of eateries, the Improv Comedy Club, and a carousel, the Irvine Spectrum is a great place to go for a leisurely shopping, dining and entertainment experience.

SoBeCa District, Costa Mesa

South of Bristol Entertainment Culture and Arts is home to the Lab Anti-Mall and the CAMP, which bill themselves as the alternative to your typical corporate shopping mall. At The Lab you’ll find a community art installation, a Buffalo Exchange and other hip fashion boutiques. The CAMP is an eco-friendly environment for outdoors and action sports enthusiasts. There are also a variety of chic eateries other artsy fare.

The Plaza and Orange Circle

The Orange Circle is the heart of historic Orange and home to hundreds of antique and vintage retailers. You could spend hours browsing the antique malls for jewelry, tools, books, furniture, and other nick-knacks for your home or garden. There is also a big army surplus store, a popular family owned bike shop, a classic pharmacy and soda fountain, and plenty of other places to dine.
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