The Natick Collection is huge . . . a mega-mall with hundreds of top stores and specialty shops. Most Bostonians know it as the "Natick Mall" - its original and now official name again, as "Natick Collection" has been retired.
With almost 300 stores, the Natick Mall is the biggest Boston shopping mall and also the largest mall in New England.
Despite my best efforts, I've never managed to explore all of it.
And it's gorgeous - very sleek and sophisticated. Natick Mall features the largest skylight in New England, and beautiful landscaping.
And in an interesting display of mixed-use development, the mall also includes a luxury condo complex.
In a contest to see which Boston shopping mall has the largest number of anchor stores, the Natick Collection would win hands-down. This popular Natick shopping mall boasts 6 anchors: Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Sears, and JC Penney.
Although the Natick Collection has recently been expanding its high-end offerings, it actually provides a wide range of shopping options from affordable to luxe.
Women's apparel stores and boutiques include Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Guess, Hollister, J. Crew, J. Jill, Aeropostale, Betsey Johnson, Brook Brothers, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Forever 21, Karen Millen, Justice, Lululemon, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Ferragamo, Lane Bryant, Juicy Couture . . . and many, many, many more.
Men will find more and better clothing store choices than in most malls: North Face, Rugby, Thomas Pink, Tommy Bahama, Under Armour, Martin + Osa, McGregor, Lacoste, Ruehl, Bottega Veneta, American Eagle Outfitters, Metropark, Zumiez . . . and the choices continue.
You'll find over 20 shoe stores . . . everything from Nine West to Gucci, Payless to Puma, Clarks to Timberland, Ferragamo for men and women.
Home furnishings . . . look for Crate & Barrel, Shabby Chic, Williams-Sonoma, Comptoir de Famille, Pottery Barn . . . and of course, more.
A tempting Apple Store . . .
Even children's clothing, usually limited to just a few specialty stores in most malls, enjoy plentiful venues here. You'll find Gymboree, Hanna Andersson, Jacadi, Janie and Jack, American Girl (!!!), babyGap/GapKids, crewcuts, O'Kaidi . . . and more!
The choices in every category at the Natick Mall go on and on. Bath and beauty - 20+. Accessories boutiques - too many to count!
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Fortunately, the mall has plenty of plush seating areas. And of course, lots of restaurants.
Although you'll find some typical mall food court and even fast food options here, the focus is on restaurants, with lots of yummy choices.
You'll find Nordstrom's Cafe Bistro, California Pizza, Cheesecake Factory, and even branches of popular Boston restaurants such as Sel de la Terre and Met Bar and Grill. For something unusual, try the Melt Gelato and Crepe Cafe or the Nordstrom Ebar.
This map will help you find the mall. If you're coming from Route 9, find the entrance most convenient to where you want to be.
Natick Mall gets quite crowded on weekends. Best way to avoid the biggest crowds is to arrive just as it opens at 10am (12 noon on Sundays) - or come during the week.
Location: 1245 Worcester Street (Route 9), Natick, MA
More information: 508-665-4800; www.natickcollection.com
Parking: Free outside parking lots and a couple of free hi-rise covered deck lots. Valet and premium garage parking are also available for a fee.
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