1410 Del Monte Center, Monterey
Big-time shopping, eating and entertainment with a small-town feel? OK, it’s a mall, and it’s one run by a ginormous national company. But this open-air space, where so many teenagers spend their free time sipping Starbucks and falling in and out of love, where families congregate for flicks and food, has a local hangout feel—and also keeps some of those valuable shopping bucks from heading to San Jose or San Francisco. The big names are all there: Gap, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, White House/Black Market. But there’s also a service edge, with Whole Foods, CVS, a copy center and banks. Park it, give the kids some cash for food and drinks, send them on their way and wander through retail wonderland.