Location: 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Known for: "Overlooking the ocean, Fashion Island offers distinctive shopping and dining in a coastal resort setting." That's what it says on its website; that's reason enough to go. Situated on 75 acres on a slope above the Pacific, the center attracts more than 13 million people a year to its mix of indoor and outdoor shopping and dining facilities. It boasts dancing fountains, flower-filled courtyards, peek-a-boo views of the ocean and possibly the best piped-in music I've ever heard in a mall.
What you'll find: Orange County's only Neiman Marcus, along with Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Bloomingdale's Home Store and Macy's. Fashion Island has almost completed a $100-million face-lift, adding more than a dozen new stores and restaurants this year. The newcomers include Ella Moss, Earnest Sewn, Vince, Jack Spade, Roberto Coin for Traditional Jewelers, Sperry Top-Sider, Athleta, Vineyard Vines, Quiksilver Waterman Collection, Drybar, the Newport Colony Co., Carrol Boyes, Uno del 50 and Johnny Was. The Apple store has expanded too. Additional stores set to open during the holiday season include Rebecca Taylor, Kitson, Tesla and Casey's Cupcakes, the bakery owned by former "Laguna Beach: The Real O.C." cast member Casey Reinhardt, who won Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" this year. Coming in December: the Island Cinema, an upscale movie house for grown-ups, serving gourmet food, specialty coffees, beer, wine and champagne.