Anchored by the only Bloomingdale's in the area, Chestnut Hill Mall is a long-time Boston favorite with shoppers seeking mostly upscale shopping in a relaxed environment.
In addition to Bloomingdale's, the mall's carefully chosen 60 shops and boutiques deliver a high-quality shopping experience.
Despite the mall's small size (which means that you can do what you need to do quickly and efficiently), the generous size of its soaring center atrium means that it never feels crowded.
Bloomingdale's is a destination all by itself. In addition to its own label, it also offers many in-store boutiques that showcase everyone from big-name globally-known couturiers to young innovative designers hoping to become the next Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, or Juicy Couture.
Although you can certainly spend some serious money here, you can also find some very affordable options, especially when sales are underway.
Ditto for Bloomie's home furnishings department where, for example, you can splurge on china too expensive to risk using ("That plate I just dropped cost how much?!?!?") or you can opt for its own line of well-priced, attractive tableware - or choose from lots of possibilities in between.
Other women's fashion choices in the mall include a well-stocked Eileen Fisher boutique that seems to carry her entire line, an equally well-stocked Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor, Kate Spade, super-fashionable Oilily, J. Jill, Banana Republic, Stil, Lucky Brand Dungarees, and quite a few more.
For home furnishings, you can shop at Crate and Barrel, Sur La Table, and of course, Bloomingdale's. For electronics, go to the Apple Computer store.
Chestnut Hill Mall is also a good place to shop for gifts. Coach, Montblanc, Tumi, Teavana, and the Apple store are all especially good for graduation and holiday gifts. Hotel Chocolat will make everyone happy (remember to get a small treat for yourself).
For weddings and other special events, you'll do well at Tiffany, Bloomingdale's, Stoddard's Cutlery, and Crate and Barrel.
For the deserving shopper . . . well, you'll find plenty of goodies for yourself in this Boston mall!
No food court here, but several nice restaurants.
If you're in the mood for a meal, you'll find three good restaurants to choose from in the mall: Bernard's Gourmet Asian Cuisine, Daikanyama (trendy Japanese cuisine), Charley's Saloon, Forty Carrots at Bloomingdales (go for their famous no-mayo tuna salad on organic olive bread), and PapaRazzi.
In general, allow at least an hour for a meal in one of Chestnut Hill's restaurants. You may also find a bit of a wait - sometimes even longer around holiday periods. If you have cranky children with you, a quick stop by Forty Carrots for a frozen yogurt smoothie can lead to a pleasanter meal later.
Location: 199 Boylston Street (westbound side of Route 9), Burlington, MA
More information: 617-965-3037; www.simon.com (search for "Chestnut Hill")
Parking: Free covered and outdoor parking lots