If you're in Raleigh, North Carolina, and were born to shop, you've come to the right place. The Raleigh area -- called the Triangle by locals for the proximity of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill -- has fabulous shopping malls with all your favorite stores and more than a few surprises. You can window shop, cruise around the stores, actually buy stuff and then top off the day with a great meal at the mall's restaurants or food court. One of these malls even includes lodging. So never mind dressing up; put on those walking shoes, grab your wallet and get going to one of these Raleigh-area malls, which all have a slightly different appeal.
At the North Hills Mall you can eat, shop, go to the movies or get some TLC at the spa and fitness center. You'll find a huge range of eats -- American, Asian, Mexican, Italian, barbecue, breakfast, coffee, crepes. There's a great chance that whatever you're jonesing for food-wise, you'll find it at North Hills Mall. But there's more: Depending on when you're at North Hills Mall, you'll find events like a Motown revue, CrossFit fitness days, bluegrass music series, classic car shows or farmer's markets. You can even stay at North Hills Mall if you're mainly in town to shop.
Crabtree Valley opened in 1972 and is Raleigh's most established mall. It's also one of the largest malls in the Southeast, with more than 220 stores -- that's a lot of shopping. Hungry? The list of places to eat is long, ranging from smoothie and coffee shops to many and varied food court options and upscale dining options like Brio, Fleming's, McCormick & Schmick's and Cheesecake Factory.
Triangle Town Center is home to the only Saks Fifth Avenue in North Carolina. The architecture includes a small creek that meanders throughout the shopping area. Eating options are mostly casual but offer up a nice variety, with fast food and fast casual dominating the scene. California Pizza Kitchen and Chili's offer a couple of sit-down choices.
Cameron Village, 2 miles west of downtown Raleigh, dates to 1949 and is part of one of the first planned communities in the United States and the first in North Carolina. This open-air shopping center is home to a unique collection of locally owned upscale boutiques and favorite national brands like Talbots and Ann Taylor. Check out the Fresh Market for its farmer's market feel with a soundtrack of classical music while you shop for groceries. It's also where to go for a whole array of top Raleigh restaurants like Cantina 18. Brixx Pizza, Piccola Italia and the Flying Biscuit Cafe.
Cary Town Center your all-around regular mall, with a long list of national chain stores, from Dillard's and JC Penny to Game Stop, Lenscrafters and Victoria's Secret. Casual food stops give you a range of choices, from coffee to popcorn, pretzels, and cookies.