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South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza Pics

One of Orange County's most popular tourist attractions is South Coast Plaza, an upscale luxury shopping mall in Costa Mesa, California, and a place where the stars shop. A worthy rival of Rodeo Drive, South Coast Plaza is one of the most notable shopping centers in the United States, which offers the ultimate California shopping mall experience. At almost 3 million square feet of enclosed space, and covering some 128 acres in all, it is one of the largest shopping centers in the world. It's also the most profitable mall in the country, with profits reaching nearly $1 billion in sales, and it attracts more shoppers than any other mall in America - over 20 million a year. Believe it or not, but some tour groups from Japan even plan their entire vacation trips around a visit to South Coast Plaza. In addition to shopping, it is also home to the Orange Lounge, a digital media-focused branch of the Orange County Museum of Art.

South Coast Plaza Photos

Often mentioned as "The O.C.", South Coast Plaza is a delightful mix of indoor and outdoor settings, featuring over 300 shops and nine anchor department stores, including Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's. There are also such chic shops as Steve Madden, Gap, Starbucks Coffee, Sears, Smith & Hawken, Wet Seal, Tumi, The Limited, Johnston And Murphy, not to mention Mrs. Fields, Lady Foot Locker, Armani Exchange. Also A Pea in the Pod, The Walking Company, Apple Store, Borders, Fossil, Coldwater Creek, Puma, Calvin Klein, Nike and.. the list goes on.

Many ultra-luxury brands, which have very few boutiques nationwide, have chosen South Coast Plaza as one of their few, and for some brands, their only store locations. Here you can find Harry Winston, Tiffany's, Cartier, Calypso Christiane Celle, Montblanc, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Prada, Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Hermès, and Nordstrom. In fact, South Coast Plaza is often mentioned in designer advertisements as a store location alongside such world shopping destinations as London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beverly Hills, Bal Harbor, Boston, Chicago, and New York City.

South Coast Plaza Pictures

The western wing of South Coast Plaza, the "Jewel Court", between Nordstrom & Saks Fifth Avenue, contains such exclusive stores as Gucci, Valentino, Versace, Georgio Armani, Saks Fifth Avenue, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Tiffany, Hugo Boss, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Harry Winston, Bvlgari, Burberry, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jimmy Choo, Montblanc, Bottega Veneta, Donna Karan New York, Sergio Rossi, Celine and Cartier. There's even a Wolfgang Puck Café.

You'll also find here such interesting stops as Puzzle Zoo, Book Soup, The White Rabbit Children's Bookstore, the tropical Rainforest Cafe, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Godiva Chocolates, the Disney Store, and a branch of the Orange County Museum of Art.

It is not simply a shopping mall. Rather, South Coast Plaza is a vast shopping, dining, & entertainment complex, featuring two separate enclosed malls, and several distinctive outdoor areas. It sprawls over a vast property which includes luxury hotels, dozens of restaurants, banks, fountains, art gardens and theatres. It's virtually a small city in its own right. The upscale nature of the mall is evident in valet parking, concierge services, and even courtesy umbrellas or hot beverage service.

South Coast Plaza Picture

This shopping center also features restaurants such as Lawry's Carvery, Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdales, Armani Cafe, and Vie De France as opposed to a food court. In 1999 a new golf-themed celebrity restaurant, The Clubhouse, owned by partners Kevin Costner, Robert Wagner, and golfers Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couples opened. It is located near Robinsons-May.

Since 2007, South Coast Plaza has held "Fashion Plates", an annual 10-day Restaurant Week-like promotion of its high-end restaurants at discounted rates

The degree of popularity of South Coast Plaza can be illustrated by the fact that South Coast Plaza's Tiffany now does more business than the Beverly Hills Tiffany. And today, 40 percent of South Coast Plaza's business is from customers who live outside of Orange County. That's rather impressive when you consider that the mall is located deep inside The O.C., meaning that shoppers from L.A. have to be willing to make a fairly long trip to reach this shoppping mecca.

South Coast Plaza Photo

Across Sunflower street (to the North), is South Coast Plaza Village, a small, outdoor cluster of shops and restaurants where you once found the first Planet Hollywood restaurant built on the West Coast, owned by a group which included Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. In the northeast corner of Town Center you'll discover the Orange County Performing Arts Center, a giant regional theatre offering a wide range of cultural events: ballet, opera, symphony, & Broadway musicals like "Phantom."

Nearby is the luxurious Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel, where guests have included Liza Minelli, Demi Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Placido Domingo, Bruce Willis, Mikhail Baryschnikov, Sly Stallone, Julio Iglesias, the Duchess of York, and Vice President Al Gore.

If you get the chance, do not miss seeing this mall at Christmas time. It is just fantastic, from the lavishly decorated Carousel Court to the astounding Fantasy Tree at Crystal Court, there's nothing quite like Christmas at South Coast Plaza.

South Coast Plaza Stores

Also notable is the architecture of South Coast Plaza which has always had a strong design element in its building. The original center is a work by Victor Gruen, and later numerous additions and store buildings included designs by such architects as William Blurock and Ellerbe Becket. The recurring pyramid motif can be traced in many exterior designs. Chandeliers took the shape of inverted pyramids, and the escalator atrium leading to the mall's third floor is loosely modeled after the Grand Gallery of the Pyramid of Khufu. In 2000, the pedestrian bridge, Bridge of Gardens, and accompanying Garden Terrace were completed by landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson. There are also carousels placed in wide rest areas. After a major reconstruction in 2006, with a $30 million remodeling project, South Coast Plaza now features Italian ivory marble on the floors and travertine to surround new water and fountain features. Modern and contemporary oil-rubbed bronze replaced the dated brass side railings and all door and elevator hardware.