by Tara Bard, Contributing Writer
Suburban Philadelphia includes some world-famous shopping opportunities, as well as some hidden Main Street gems. Here are six shopping sites you should experience when you visit Philadelphia and South Jersey, all within an hour of Center City.
King of Prussia Mall
690 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA
The King of Prussia Mall (sometimes called "K of P" or "K.O.P." by locals) is expansive. Going by retail space, it is America's largest shopping mall. The mall is divided into two sections: the court and the plaza, connected by a breezeway. Visitors should expect to spend at least an entire day at the mall.
Additionally, this shopping location is upscale, and some people consider it a true event to go there. You'll feel a bit under-dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Parking is free; valet parking is also available near Neiman Marcus.
If you plan on visiting, check out the mall's website and download a map.
Willow Grove Park Mall
2500 W. Moreland Road, Willow Grove, PA
Willow Grove Park Mall (locally referred to as "Willow Grove Mall") sits on a historical location, as evidenced by the functioning carousel in the mall. This mall provides an inclusive shopping experience with stores offering both the kitschy and the upscale. It features a full parking garage. A complete mall trip takes approximately five to seven hours. Parking is free.
Cherry Hill Mall
2000 New Jersey 38, Cherry Hill, NJ
Located in South Jersey, this mall is actually closer to some parts of Philadelphia than the listed Pennsylvania malls. Renovated in 2011, the mall features open spaces and kiosk shopping. Prior to that, it had a bad reputation, and as a result, it's often less crowded than other area malls despite its makeover. If you happen to be in the area on Black Friday, this is the place to go for the least crowds and best deals. Parking is free.
Additional malls worth checking out include Philadelphia Mills Mall, Deptford Mall (New Jersey), and Plymouth Meeting Mall.
Main Street Community Shopping
Main Street Marketplace
22 S. Main St., Doylestown, PA
You might find this Main Street shopping area familiar -- it was featured in the movie "Signs." This is an ideal shopping location for antiquers. It's also a hot spot for used books and music shopping and features several food specialty stores. It's a family-friendly location. Plan a few hours for shopping, but add some time for dining and observing the historical homes located here. Bring quarters for metered parking.
New Hope, Pennsylvania
Main and Bridge streets, New Hope, PA
Looking for a scenic Main Street shopping experience? Check out New Hope, located right along the Delaware River. If you don't mind walking a few extra blocks, look for metered parking. (You could save up to $10 if you bring your own quarters.)
Founded as an artists' colony, you'll find many crafts in that tradition. Additionally, New Hope is a haven for the LGBT community, bikers, free spirits, and pagans. Restaurants and other activities are interspersed throughout the shopping area. This is a great place to shop if you don't really want to plan your day out. Though some of the shops are open late, daytime shopping is recommended, as the night crowd tends to come out primarily for plays, drinks, and dining.
Mill Race Village
White Street, Mount Holly, NJ
Located in Mount Holly, New Jersey, Mill Race Village focuses on the arts. If you're in the market for quilts, jewelry, a gift for your pet, an antique treasure, ghost-hunting equipment, or an edgy new style, this is the place for you. The variety of shops here is personal and eclectic. Parking is free, though shop hours are limited. If you're staying all day, be sure to check out the village's own simulated séance experience (reservations required).
Additionally, Mill Race Village hosts multiple special events each year, including the famous Witches Ball.
Whether you're interested in planning a trip to a large mall or shopping riverside, the Philadelphia area offers a serious shopping experience for any traveler.
This article was originally published on the Yahoo Contributor Network.
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