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San Diego Shopping: Mission Valley Center

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What is Mission Valley Center:

Westfield's Mission Valley Center is one of two major regional shopping centers in San Diego's Mission Valley. It's one of the region's oldest malls and is located less than a mile from its upscale neighbor, Fashion Valley.

What makes it so special?:

Hmmm...that's a tough one. Westfield's Mission Valley Center is kind of a mess. Its layout is a mess (a remnant of the '60s) and it's the most downscale of the area shopping malls. It is the mall that started Mission Valley development in the 1960s and is at the epicenter of retail in Mission Valley, so shopping in the vicinity is busy.

What's the mall's flavor?:

Mission Valley doesn't seem to know what it is. The makeovers over the years have been less than successful, yet they seem a patchwork. And the mall really shows its age. The selection of shops and the gigantic AMC multiplex suggest a catering to the teen and young adult crowd. Oh, and did I mention the hideous color scheme and tacky painted walkways?

What's the clientele?:

Strictly working class and the young adult crowd.

Food factor:

A new, spacious food court recently opened. Sit-down options include a large, monolithic Ruby's Diner, Tilted Kilt Pub, Outback Steakhouse, Onami Seafood. The west annex also has Fuddrucker's, Gordon Biersch Brewery, The Habit Burgers, and King's Fish House.

Signature stores:

A two-level Target, two Macy's, Nordstrom Rack are the department stores. The aforementioned AMC 20-plex occupies the middle of the mall, and there's also a 24-Hour Fitness Center in the mall. The mall's West Annex is more like a big box center and features a DSW Shoes, Old Navy, Marshall's, West Elm and Golfsmith.

Parking prognosis:

Huge and plentiful. The original mall features a spacious underground parking lot, which actually makes for easy access to the stores.

The Essentials:

Address:
1640 Camino del Rio North
San Diego CA 92108-1506
(619) 296 6375

Westfield Mission Valley is located off Interstate 8 and Highway 163. Mission Valley West is located directly to your left and Mission Valley is to your right on Camino del Rio North. A trolley stop is located directly across the street.

Click here for an interactive map of Westfield Mission Valley and the surrounding area.

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