New Jersey is known for its malls, especially The Mall at Short Hills, a high-end option.

With 28 shopping malls located throughout the state, shopaholics have many ways to indulge their favorite hobby in New Jersey. The malls come in all different sizes, with the largest being Garden State Plaza in Westfield at nearly 2.3 million square feet. The smaller Livingston Mall seems tame in comparison at just under one million square feet, but it is also full of wonderful shops and eateries.

Yes, size matters, but it is not the most important factor. The quality and variety of stores, cleanliness, dining options, and parking facilities all make or break a great shopping experience.

Active adults who are drawn to outstanding shopping malls understand the value and convenience of being a quick drive from many of life’s necessities. Some malls also have movie theaters and other large stores nearby. Plus, when you need to pick up a last-minute gift, shopping malls have the best variety. Another advantage is always having something to do when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Here are some of the top malls in Jersey, along with a few nearby active adult communities.

Garden State Plaza - Westfield

This two-level, 2.3-million-square-foot shopping behemoth underwent renovations in 2017 that resulted in redesigned interior and exterior areas along with some hi-tech additions. The common areas now feature comfy seating, digital media screens, good Wi-Fi, and interior landscaping. The mall even added an interactive children’s area, another dining hall, and a remarkable art collection.

It has pretty much every retailer imaginable, from high end to bargain shops. Some of the more well-known include Adidas, Anthropologie, Bath & Body Works, Burberry, Coach, Gap, J. Crew, and Louis Vuitton. The four anchor stores are Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus. After breaking your bank, you can take in a movie at the AMC 16 theaters.

Garden State Plaza has numerous dining options, including casual fare at Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue, cocktails and seafood at Legal Seafood, and more exotic choices at Sarku Japan or Ruby Thai. If you indulge too much, the mall opens early for walking groups like The Activities Club which meets weekdays for a little exercise. Garden State Plaza is in Union County.

Alpine Ridge - Mountainside

  • Mid $700s - High $700s

  • 30 new condo homes

Enclave at Shackamaxon - Scotch Plains

  • High $800s - Mid $900s

  • 56 new attached homes

Freehold Raceway Mall - Freehold

Drive 45 minutes south from Westfield and you will find Freehold Raceway Mall in Monmouth County. Close to 30 years old, it was built on Route 9 across from the Freehold Raceway. At 1.7 million square feet, it is the state’s second-largest mall, and it also underwent a renovation back in 2008.

JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Sears serve as the mall’s major department stores. There are shops inside for every fashion taste, like Chico’s, L.L. Bean, and Lululemon. If your wardrobe is updated enough, there are jewelry stores, bath shops, Apple and Microsoft stores, and even a travel agency. The mall’s complex also has its own AMC 14 movie theater as well as a Bob’s Superstore and an Ashley Furniture store.

Hungry shoppers have plenty of dining options, including full-service eateries like Bobby’s Burger Palace, Gyro Place Mediterranean Grill, Ruby Tuesday, and Brio.

Surrey Downs - Freehold

  • Mid $100s - Mid $200s

  • 443 resale single-family homes

Riviera at Freehold

  • High $300s - High $500s

  • 300 resale single-family homes

The Mall at Short Hills

Call it The Mall at Short Hills or call it Short Hills Mall, this upscale mall has 150 shops and restaurants that attract 55+ adults who appreciate the finer things in life. The property originally contained a single department store but was expanded throughout the years to its current incarnation.

The mall’s anchor stores are Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. Luxury goods aficionados will be in their element at stores like Van Cleef & Arpels, Saint Laurent, Jimmy Choo, and Prada. To balance things out, there are also some mid-range stores like J.Jill, Express, and Crate & Barrel.

Short Hills Mall is also known for sponsoring exclusive events like children’s story times, trunk shows, and technique classes at its Williams Sonoma store. As one would well expect, the restaurants are top-tier, including Legal Sea Foods and the Nordstrom Café.

Fox Hills - Rockaway

  • Low $200s - Mid $400s

  • 672 resale condo homes

Greenbriar at Fox Ridge - Rockaway

  • Mid $200s - Mid $400s

  • 336 resale condos

Cherry Hill Mall

Opened in 1961, this 1.2-million-square-foot-mall is one of NJ’s largest, with a good mix of retail shopping choices. Cherry Hill Mall was also renovated years back, and now has a JCPenney, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. A Container Store and Crate & Barrel were also added recently. Amongst the most popular shops are The Apple Store, Pandora, Sephora, Michael Kors, and Urban Outfitters.

This mall has its own restaurant row that features popular chain restaurants like Seasons 52, Capital Grille, and Bahama Breeze. For quick bites, there is a food court at the mall’s other end. It also has ample parking, including a multi-level garage adjacent to Nordstrom. Cherry Hill Mall is in Camden County.

The Plaza Grande at Garden State Park - Cherry Hill

  • Mid $100s - Mid $300s

  • 608 resale condos

The Mews at Laurel Creek - Moorestown

  • Mid $400s - Mid $500s

  • 122 new attached homes