Burlington Mall, always large, became even larger and more upscale after a recent expansion created space for a new Nordstrom and other high-end specialty stores.
Additional anchors include Macy's, Sears, and Lord & Taylor.
All together, you'll find almost 200 stores in this sprawling mall north of Boston, located just off of Route 128. Add to this mix a huge stand-alone Crate & Barrel in the parking lot, an enormous and enormously popular Barnes & Noble Bookstore across the Middlesex Turnpike, and numerous discount and other stores in the general vicinity, and the result is a major shopping destination.
Burlington Mall is so large that you'll want to have a parking strategy in mind when you arrive. Are you making any large purchases from one of the anchor stores? If so, park as close to your target as possible. You'll be thankful that you did when you get ready to leave.
Burlington Mall is a great choice when you have to do tons of shopping, or need multiple options in a particular shopping category. Although many of the stores are higher-end, you'll also find many affordable choices here as well. And Macy's often has good prices during sales, especially if you have a store charge card and get their coupons.
Inside, you'll find just about every store that you could want. In addition to the 4 anchor stores, women can shop for clothing at Gap, Burberry, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, Betsey Johnson, Banana Republic, Zara, J. Jill, J. Crew, Talbot's, The Limited, Cache, and many, many more.
Men can shop for their dream wardrobes at Eddie Bauer, Hollister, Kaps, Lucky Brand Jeans, American Eagle Outfitters, Custom Caps, and more.
Got kids? You'll want to check out Hanna Andersson, LaCoste, The Children's Place, Gymboree, and Geox. Of course, kids will love Build-A-Bear. GameStop brings out the kid in everyone. And teens will zoom into Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, and PacSun.
You'll also find some great choices for home decor and home electronics. In addition to the huge Crate and Barrel across the parking lot, you'll want to stop by Williams Sonoma, Brookstone, Pottery Barn, Bose, and Sony Style for the big screens of your dreams. Even more fantasies can be fulfilled at the Apple Store.
A unique store here that I really like is Asia Ultimate. In addition to Chinese style furniture, they have lots of smaller home furnishing items like cushions plus things like silk-covered boxes and little jade-like animals that make great gifts.
Other gift and beauty care options include L'Occitane, Lululemon Athletica, Bath and Body Works, Bluemercury, Origins, Sephora, the Body Shop, Swarovski Crystal, Teavana, Lush, and more.
For luggage and great handbags, check out The Coach Store.
A seasonal Halloween emporium, usually in place for just 6 weeks or so before the Big Event, is very popular.
After a few hours of shopping, you'll need something to eat. In addition to a food court offering a number of options (Gourmet India is especially good), the Burlington Mall has several restaurants, including Legal Sea Foods, The Cheesecake Factory, Uno Chicago Grill, and for theme dining, the Rainforest Cafe.
Retro fans will love Johnny Rockets. And if you're at Nordstrom's, stop by eBar or Blue Stove.
Even if you haven't shopped in the Burlington Mall, you've seen it if you watched the 2009 comedy, "Mall Cop." The movie's plot is fairly simple . . . a band of organized criminals take over a suburban shopping mall, and a mild-mannered but dedicated mall security guard equipped with a Segway (a big-wheeled personal transport vehicle) saves the day and restores care-free shopping.
Don't be fooled by the fake New Jersey police cars . . . "Mall Cop" is a Boston movie. Most of the filming took place right at the Burlington Mall, although a few scenes were filmed in nearby suburban Burlington, the Boston neighborhood of West Roxbury, and even 2 other Boston malls (Northshore Mall and South Shore Plaza).
When you shop here, you'll see plenty of places shown in the movie . . . Bank of America, escalator scenes, the now-departed Sharper Image, and plenty of other stores that are still here. What's cool is that you can still occasionally see the mall's security guards rolling around on their Segways.
Otherwise, there's really no resemblance between the "real" Burlington Mall, where shoppers browse in serene bliss, and the crime-filled spot in the movie. But if you shop here, it's fun to see the movie and spot familiar locations.
Location: 75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, MA
More information: 617-272-8667; www.simon.com (search for "Burlington")
Parking: Free outdoor parking lots
If you love large malls, Natick Collection is even larger