I went to a shopping center and returned from a well laid out garden with a few shops scattered around. I would hate to call this place a shopping mall; it has no association with shopping malls. It is all about the experience of walking in a garden, sitting for a coffee, looking up at the sky while reading a book. Of course you can shop here too.
Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California should be rated as a must-see tourist destination in the Bay Area. It is a comfort zone for shoppers, and you can be yourself and at ease out here. If you don't want to spend a few thousand dollars, you can always do a few good walks around this place and between its very elegantly done corridors. Known as much for its ambiance as for its shops and dining, this open-air shopping center is a family destination too. This place is huge – it has 140 brands jostling for your attention: Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Wilkes Bashford are the main anchor stores. Ralph Lauren and LV standout for their presence.
Microsoft and Apple again have stores almost next to each other. Microsoft has twice the size of outlet as Apple, and like all Microsoft stores this one also attracts every tenth shopper who walks inside Apple. What stood out for me were the restaurants and cafes. There are so many of them.
The outlets that interested me most once I was done with marquee brands were Sigona's Farmers Market and Schaub's Meat Fish & Poultry. While Sigona's claim to fame is their selection of the finest local and organic fruits and vegetables, Schaub's located next door is the local butcher. It of course is not just a butcher's outlet, it also offers breads, salads and everything else that goes with meat, fish and poultry. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Prices of course are very steep.
On a rough count, you can do your dinner for a month in this shopping center without going to a place twice. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, The Melt and Max’s Opera Café standout for their menus and service. Of course they have Starbucks and McDonald's too.
This shopping center has been planned foot by foot, and there is an artistic dimension to everything. Sculptures that would make you stand and admire, fountains that add to the ambiance of the open-air shopping experience and flowers just about everywhere.
I strongly recommend 4-6 hours for a trip to experience Stanford Shopping Center. Of course dinning included and shopping excluded.
Published On: Tuesday, June 4th, 2013