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San Diego Shopping: University Town Center


What is University Town Center?:

One of the many Westfield Shopping entities, UTC is a pleasant outdoor mall. Located in the Golden Triangle area and recently renovated, it serves the La Jolla/University City/Clairemont area. Built in the late 1970s, I remember hanging out here in between my classes at nearby UC San Diego - because there was nothing else around. Believe it or not, when the mall was built, there was nothing: no condos, no office towers, nothing.

What makes it so special?:

The ice skating rink. Yep, when UTC was built, they included an ice skating rink (with a food court) to serve the burgeoning residential community. Now, that's foresight! The rink is incredibly popular for ice skating and hockey, and its a great place to chill (literally) and people watch. It also lends a nice ambience to the Holiday Season.

What's the mall's flavor?:

Middle class suburbia. The recent renovation has enhanced the "town center" in its name was an attempt to conjure up that neighborhood feel, which is reflected in its more meandering layout. In fact, you could say it predicted today's concept of shopping malls as the local town square, it features sit-down eateries and a 24-Hour Fitness gym, as well as an upscale Arclight Cinemas.

What's the clientele?:

Yuppies, college students, younger families and soccer moms - your typical suburban clientele.

Food factor:

Standard food court fare but have recently bumped up the sit-down choices with more upscale dining with Tender Greens, Eureka! Burgers and Seasons 52.

Signature stores:

Standard Westfield fare: Nordstrom, Macy's, Sears, Pottery Barn, Banana Republic. The renovation has added more upscale shops like Tiffany and Splendid, and you'll find pretty much all the other essentials like Apple, Hollister and Bath & Body Works.

Parking progonosis:

Plentiful. Usually lots of parking next to Sears to the east, or on the west side next to Macy's.

The Essentials:

4545 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego CA 92122-1212
(858) 546-8858

Conveniently located on the corner of La Jolla Village Drive and Genesee Avenue between the 5 and 805 Freeways.

Entrances to the center are located on La Jolla Village Drive (north side of the center), Genesee Avenue (west side of the center), Nobel Drive (south side of the center) and Towne Centre Drive (east side of the center).

Map and directions to UTC.

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